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Home Gambling Industry Meet Casino Guru Awards' Social Responsibility Initiative judges

Meet Casino Guru Awards' Social Responsibility Initiative judges

CASINO GURU 31 Oct 2022
6 min. read

Casino Guru Awards' SR judges.

Casino Guru is happy to reveal the list of judges for "The Most Impactful Social Responsibility Initiative," part of the upcoming Casino Guru Awards. After Casino Guru revealed the judges for "The Best Implementation of Responsible Gambling Tools," the company is happy to introduce the new faces who will leverage their expertise to weigh on one of the most important categories for the project.

The Social Responsibility category will focus on distinguishing and recognizing the achievements of responsible gambling and problem gambling prevention initiatives. This category will seek to award the one industry specialist whose efforts in the field stand out and have had an impactful change on the issue, or stand to make an impact.

To help Casino Guru decide objectively, the Casino Guru Awards panel for this particular category will consist of a number of external judges and the company’s own team. The professionals that may apply for this category as participants may have completed projects or currently be developing one.

The judges will review each proposal based on the possibility of a positive impact, intentions, execution, results (when applicable), and more. The people making the final decisions are themselves extensive professionals in the field of social responsibility and responsible gambling. They include:

  • Ewa Bakun, Director of Industry Insight and Engagement of Clarion Gaming, who is a long-standing Clarion Gaming veteran and who introduced and oversaw the growth of the Consumer Protection Zone at ICE London.
  • Shelley White, CEO of the Responsible Gambling Council (RGC), whose responsibility is to help her organizaiton promote responsible gambling and reduce problem gambling using research and evidence-based approaches to implement innovative prevention, education, and social marketing programs.
  • Sarah Ramanauskas, Auditor for the US National Council on Problem Gambling’s iCAP RG standard, who works with gambling operators around the world to ensure that their corporate policies stay true to safer gambling.
  • Dan Iliovici, Vice-President of the Romanian Gambling Organizers’ Association (ROMBET), and of the Responsible Gambling Association, who is permanently involved in responsible gambling projects and committed to the transformation of the industry.
  • Eduards Jakubovs, Head of Responsible Gambling of Betsson Group, who has been in charge of the Betsson’s commitment to responsible gambling operations since 2015 and has extensive experience in the field.
  • Jo Abergel, Founder – Rock Learning, Co-Founder – Ethical Gambling Forum, who is focused on challenging the industry with some of its greatest ethical dilemmas and seeks meaningful conversation with operators who are in position to start tackling these issues.
  • Maris Catania, Head of Responsible Gaming and Research at Kindred, who has extensive experience in studying and understanding behavior related to problem gambling, and has used her career to advance the industry’s collective understanding of problem gambling and how it can be stopped at an early stage.
  • Melissa Etherington has an extensive experience as part of the Gamban team where she works as Vice President of Partnerships. She is responsible for helping the company’s outreach with governmental bodies, treatment support providers and commercial organizations globally. Melissa is committed to Gamban’s mission, which is to help consumers manage their gambling habits and reduce gambling-related harm.
  • James Mpiirwe, Genius Gaming Consult - Senior Consultant Regulatory frameworks, who is a seasoned legal practitioner and who has been a torchbearer and pioneer of responsible gambling practices in Uganda and helped establish the National Responsible Gaming Policy of Uganda.
  • Martin Lycka, SVP for American Regulatory Affairs and Responsible Gambling at Entain, whose impressive track record in responsible gambling and social responsibility spans the American Gaming Association, the Entain Foundation US, the National Council on Problem Gambling, and others.
  • Matt Smith, Head of External Affairs at Betknowmore, who seeks to provide support and training services that prevent and address personal and societal harms caused by gambling.
  • Vladimir Malakchi, Chief Commercial Officer of Evoplay, whose industry experience and drive for results have translated into creating compelling products that protect consumers and innovate iGaming.
  • Pieter Remmers, Founder of Assissa Consultancy Europem, who has extensive experience in helping businesses understand the importance of consumer protection, social responsibility, and how intervention can help business and players.
  • Jody Bechtold, CEO of The Better Institute, who is the author of The Gambling Disorder Treatment Handbook: A Guide for Mental Health Professionals, and who has spent considerable part of her professional life in promoting social responsibility and responsible gambling in the industry.
  • Paul Buck, CEO & Founder of EPIC Risk Management, and an individual with a distinct commitment to consumer protection and responsible gambling in the industry. Paul's company works with some of the most dedicated iGaming stakeholders to date.
  • Jennifer Shatley, RG Consulting Lead at International Gaming Institute, who has 25-years of experience working on responsible gambling initiatives and projects and who has provided various services to Caesars Entertainment, UNLV’s International Gaming Institute, among many others, helping them better understand and implement responsible gambling programs and research.
  • Adrian Sladdin, Managing Director at Seventh Wave Corporate Training, who has worked on innovative corporate training to help leading gambling clients such as Ladbrokes, Lottoland, Betvictor and many others, improve their understanding of particular problems.


The categories will also be judged by Head of Content Maros Gasparik and Sustainable & Safer Gambling Lead Simon Vincze whose work in gambling over the years has pivoted towards creating safer and meaningful content, projects and initiatives that focus on bringing on more social responsibility to the industry.

Casino Guru will hold the official ceremony for Casino Guru Awards online in February 2023. You may stay up to date with the Awards progress by visiting the official page at Casino Guru Awards. For additional nuggets of information, please make sure to follow Casino Guru News.


Image credit: Casino Guru

31 Oct 2022
6 min. read
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