SBC launched the Sports Betting Hall of Fame in 2016, to recognise the individuals who have contributed a great deal to the industry over the course of their careers with a lasting legacy. The purpose of the Hall of Fame is to honour, preserve and perpetuate the names and outstanding accomplishments of personalities who have brought lasting fame to the sports betting sector.
Consideration for the Sports Betting Hall of Fame shall be limited to individuals (living or deceased) who have made outstanding contributions and/or provided outstanding service to the sports betting industry.
The candidate(s) should have accomplishments such as:
On the final day of this years Betting on Sports Week, held at the iconic Natural History Museum, we will be inducting more members into the Sports Betting Hall of Fame, for continued support to the gaming industry.
Last year SBC recognised three members of the sports betting community who have made a real difference to the sector over the course of their careers. Each of these had played a prominent role in the public’s awareness and appreciation of the importance of sports betting, while displaying a level of innovation either by improving an industry process or bringing a new product to market.
The inaugural members of the Hall of Fame were:
BetConstruct Chairman Vigen Badalyan also assumed CEO duties for the company in November 2017 following the departure of Vahe Baloulian. Formerly the owner of Vivaro Betting, Badalyan was one of the founding members of the company, which now operates development, sales and service centres in 14 countries worldwide. Now headquartered in London, Badalyan has overseen the growth of BetConstruct’s online and land-based gaming solutions, with a product range which includes a fully managed sportsbook and casino, alongside sports data and retail betting shop solutions.
Fred Done recently celebrated 50 years in the betting game. With his brother Peter, he opened the first ‘Done Bookmakers’ betting shop in Pendlebury on 4 September 1967. Heading up the family business, the real growth came in the millennium with a name change to Betfred and the opening of a first shop in London. By 2010, Betfred had a high street presence of 800 shops, which grew to 1,350 with the purchase of the Tote for £265 million, an exclusive seven-year licence to run pools betting on UK horse racing. Fast forward to 2017, Done has consolidated Betfred’s status as a UK betting behemoth, which operates over 1,700 shops and employs more than 11,000 staff nationwide.
Paris Smith started her gaming career in 1995 by taking bets at WWTS, an offshore sports betting company that was later sold to Betcorp Ltd. Having worked her way up the business to become COO, she joined Curacao-based Pinnacle in the same role from 2006. Pinnacle soon recognised Smith’s efforts in shifting the focus away from North America towards growth markets in Asia and Europe, by promoting her to CEO in 2008. Almost a decade on, Pinnacle continues to flourish under her leadership. The operator emphasised its desire for data driven innovation by launching a revamped eSports portal in 2017.
Howard Chisholm, the long term Managing Director for Chisholm Bookmakers, is a third generation independent bookmaker who has grown the family business from 10 shops to 47 in the North East of England. He is also one of the founders and a director of the Bookmakers Technology Consortium, a not-for-profit co-operative that shares the cost of IT infrastructure. It has grown from the original four members to represent 50 companies today and over 500 shops.
Carsten Koerl is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Sportradar AG, a company which occupies a unique position at the intersection of the sports, media and betting industries. Since 2001, Koerl has driven the company’s growth from a tech-focused start-up to a global leader in delivering sports data. Prior to founding Sportradar, he was the founder of bwin and led the company through one of the most successful public listings ever undertaken on the Vienna stock market.
Mark Blandford is the Founder of Sportingbet. He became a bookmaker on 4 July 1984 and successfully built up two betting shop chains in the following decade. However, the emergence of the internet triggered the venture that became Sportingbet. As a result of organic growth and strategic acquisitions, Sportingbet posted operating profit of £105m in 2006. Blandford is now a venture capital investor and the Chairman of FSB Technology.
The Natural History Museum in the heart of London is one of the most iconic buildings in the capital. Entering through the spectacular main into the magnificent Hintze Hall, a drinks and canapes reception will be held for all attendees of the Betting on Sports Week 2018, in what will be a truly memorable closing party.