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Home Gambling Industry Casino Guru celebrates success of Casino Guru Awards 2023

Casino Guru celebrates success of Casino Guru Awards 2023

CASINO GURU 24 Feb 2023
7 min. read
Casino Guru Winners annnounced!

The Casino Guru Awards 2023 ceremony is now officially over, and it was an event to remember. Presented in real-time by Casino Guru Sustainable & Safer Gambling Lead Šimon Vincze and Casino Guru PR and External Relations Lead Daniela Kianicova the live stream began with a brief introduction of the overall structure and the months of an intense organization that went into creating the inaugural edition of the event.

"These past months have been full of challenges and new opportunities – we met great people, enjoyed a strong reception of the Casino Guru Awards, and received overwhelming feedback from some of the most prominent companies in the industry. There were many nominees competing, and we believe our shortlisting process focused on the ones that had done best in each respective category. I am extremely pleased with the turnup and the overall progress made in helping set a new standard for the industry to follow. This is just a start of a long, long journey," said Kianicova, Casino Guru Awards Project Lead.

Following a short break, Vincze took the lead and introduced the members of the Casino Guru External Panel of Judges with nine judges in attendance live during the ceremony who previously weighed in on "The Most Impactful Social Responsibility" and "The Best Implementation of RG Tools" during a live gathering in Prague, Czech Republic in 2022.

Vincze used the opportunity to not only discuss the format of the Casino Guru Awards, but to also dig deeper into what the judges thought of the evaluation process and how this format helped them get acquainted with the candidates not just on paper, but also in real-time.

The judges extolled the process that went into Casino Guru Awards, calling the gathering transparent and clearly establishing a set of values that are important, and specifically to the categories that the External Panel addressed.

Jo Abergel, Founder – Rock Learning, Co-Founder – Ethical Gambling Forum, and Maris Catania, a prominent responsible gambling expert and consultant, both congratulated Casino Guru Awards for the level of transparency and honesty that went into the evaluation process.

They commended the organizaiton of the judging process which involved an in-person gathering of most of the judges who were able to attend and discuss the categories in person as well as interview candidates over a video link. Jody Bechtold, CEO at The Better Institute, said that the submissions came from companies that clearly took the categories they were applying for very seriously.

She explained that the industry was looking at itself inwardly and not just in a way that tries to win judges’ favor, but rather to truly excel in consumer protection. Adrian Sladdin, Managing Director at Seventh Wave Corporate Training, was of similar mind and opinion, arguing that the fact that the judges could come together was extremely helpful.

Sladdin also spoke of how the evaluation process attempted to recognize companies that know the difference between what should be done and what can be done or, in other words, the companies that go above and beyond in terms of player safety and social responsibility rather than stick to ticking boxes.

This initial part of the discussion also saw Vincze turn to Kevin O'Neill, General Manager of the Responsible Gaming Foundation, and James Mpiirwe, Genius Gaming Consult - Senior Consultant Regulatory, who weighed in on what nominees should aspire to if they seek to pursue another participation in the Casino Guru Awards next year.

O’Neill spoke about how anything that is geared towards better consumer protection within these companies should be a genuine part of their ethics and company culture. "When ethics guides the organizaitons – compliance comes naturally and it’s not an obligation," O’Neill remarked.

Mpiirwe congratulated the companies for truly doing their best and going way beyond judges’ expectations in order to demonstrate why they make fitting candidates for each category. Throughout the rest of the ceremony, when Vincze spoke about categories separately, he made several interesting remarks about Casino Guru Awards as a project and what the industry may expect next.

Vincze explained that there were challenges when evaluating each individual company as the format required to take companies that can be so vastly different from each other and bring them under the same set of criteria. Still, he was optimistic about the next edition of the Casino Guru Awards, noting that a wider set of nomination guidelines is coming moving forward to help make the process more streamlined.

Commenting further on the process of the Casino Guru Awards, Vincze explained that the company wanted to "freestyle" the process during the inaugural event as much as possible in a bid to grant participants as much freedom as possible and also see what they understood from each category, and what they wanted to present as a fitting entry for that category.

Melissa Etherington, Vice President of Partnerships at Gamban, similarly welcomed the opportunity and said that the thing about the Casino Guru Awards that stood out the most was the opportunity to bring judges to the same place. Dan Iliovici, Vice-President of the Romanian Gambling Organizers’ Association, noted that in his 15 years of experience in the industry, that was the first time an awards host has gone the extra length to do so.

The opportunity to collaborate closely with other judges was similarly welcomed by Matt Smith from Head of External Affairs at BetKnowMore, who welcomed the opportunity to hear the input of so many different people and their opinions, and not least see from participants a true willingness to show what they stand for in their respective categories. As to the next editions, Smith noted that any participants would have to demonstrate in detail how they have upheld previous commitments they have undertaken.

The Casino Guru Awards was from that point on a near-two hour succession of discussions and interviews with participants, with Vincze picking their brain on various topics pertinent to the categories they had applied for and announcing the winners of each. The winners of the seven Casino Guru Awards categories are as follows:

  • The Most Impactful Social Responsibility Initiative (Kindred Group)
  • The Best Implementation of RG Tools (Mindway AI)
  • The Most Effective Handling of Complaints (Vulkan Vegas)
  • The Fairest Bonus Policy (RocketPlay Casino)
  • The Fairest General T&Cs (7BitCasino)
  • The Most Transparent Casino (
  • Voice of the People (RocketPlay Casino)

Vincze wrapped up the event on a positive note, confirming that Casino Guru Awards will be returning in 2024. He spoke about the format and said that Casino Guru was bucking a trend in the way award events are held and emphasized that the company remains fully committed to the level of transparency in hosting and running this format that judges mentioned.

Transparency, though, comes with its own sets of challenges and it’s a journey – an ever-evolving process that allows Casino Guru to adjust the way it hosts the Casino Guru Awards so that it can distinguish those companies that serve consumers first. Vincze confirmed that Casino Guru is determined to keep and improve on the standard.

As to the nominations for Casino Guru Awards 2024, they will be open in just a couple of weeks. Stay tuned for more updates.

Image credit: Casino Guru

24 Feb 2023
7 min. read
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