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Former UK Shadow Gambling Minister Nick Hawkins attended the industry’s new awards evening on behalf of Casino International
8 Northumberland Avenue was a new, and rather successful, venue for “ICE week” (and the smaller related events) in London in late January, and these were new awards, sponsored by Novomatic in association with the National Casino Industry Forum, the European Casino Association and ICE.
The host for the evening was TV arts personality Katie Derham, who introduced herself as a “poker widow” and did a pretty good job – the presentations were slick and the event didn’t drag as other awards have sometimes done.
There was particular pleasure for many attendees in seeing Neil Goulden of Gala Coral be given a special Lifetime Achievement award, presented by Roy Ramm (one gathered afterwards that Neil had been invited, to keep the surprise, being told that it would be the other way round, that he’d be presenting to Roy – which would have been equally appropriate!). Also highly-applauded was the equally well-deserved award for Outstanding Service to the Remote Industry for Wes Himes of Policy Action. 888 did well, winning both Best Online Casino of the year and Best Online Gaming Product of the year; Best Landbased Casino of the year went to Casino Cosmopol of Sundsvall, Best Casino Operator of the year went to The Lido – Holland Casino, Best Marketing Campaign went to Casinos Austria. Novomatic themselves won the “Media award”.
Both before and after the awards there was a great deal of networking over drinks and snacks in a separate room downstairs – the only reservation some expressed about the evening, was that it was a bit unusual to have extensive drinks, then have to move rooms to sit in an upstairs “theatre” room for the awards, and then return whence all had come (of course, we are all used to having a dinner, and then post-dinner awards – this was certainly more informal). I certainly think these awards are here to stay…