If you didn’t make it to central London for the eGR Awards, saying that you missed out doesn’t even cover it. Think of it akin to missing the comeback gig of a band you never really thought much of and then finding out the next day that Twitter, Facebook…well really the whole of your social circle was talking about that, and only that. This was all before you found out Real Time Gaming had laid on free wine and champagne. If you’re mad enough already that you didn’t make it, don’t fear. There’s much more where that came from.
The conditions may not have been favourable for everyone attending, but it’s the middle of November for crying out loud! Good then the gaming industry’s finest luminaries didn’t seem too vexed by any of it.
As the guests arrived, they were able to finally appreciate the fantastic surroundings that these events offer on a yearly basis. The HAC, London, was a venue that more than lived up to expectations, decked out in red and gold, filled with the well dressed masses, and littered with what could be had in the evening’s silent auction, supporting the Great Ormond Street Hospital
Following a cocktail reception that gave those that needed it some Dutch courage to try and chat up the Ayre Heads, the party moved into the main room for the evening’s grub. Calling it that is doing it quite the disservice, we’re in London though – turns everyone all cockney!
Beef Carpaccio awaited the guests as a starter, washed down with some wine, before a main course of stuffed Guinea Fowl, the obligatory pre-dessert of wine, and then pear frangipane to finish it off. After the bar had been raided for another few minutes, and the room seemed to be playing the world’s largest game of musical chairs, it was time for the awards.
Someone had mentioned that host Jack Whitehall had been out for model Kelly Brook’s birthday the night before, but the young comic was on top form as always. After an opening riposte in which he appealed to the online gambling community to leave him alone whilst he masturbated, he concluded that former-cricketer Phil Tufnell now has no effect on him whatsoever – to the extent, he can be on TV during him and his girlfriend having sex, and Whitehall won’t bat an eyelid.
Anyway, before I start to use any of Whitehall’s gags and label them as my own, it’s on to the awards. Who were the biggest winners on the night I hear you cry. Why it was the recently floated Betfair and Bet365 who each managed three awards, and they were the two fighting it out for the iGaming’s best actor/picture award. This was picked up by Bet365, which may well have been predicted by someone not too far away from here at all, just a week ago.
Recently interviewed here on the tablog, Buzz Sports were lucky enough to pick up the award for “Sports Betting Innovation,” so congratulations go out to them.
The rowdiest table of the night was Paddy Power who, as Whitehall pointed out, were obviously drinking through the pain of the current fiscal crisis that is affecting their home land. Paddy did pick up the award for “Customer Relations Operator of the Year” and one of the table even won third place in the prize draw and a hamper. Whitehall’s suggestion was it could be used to feed the entire country of Ireland. *Cue ever more laughter*
The full list of winners was as follows:
Affiliate programme – Virgin Games
Innovation – Betfair (for their TV betting application on Internet ready TV sets)
Mobile operator – Betfair (with particular note to their iPad app)
Marketing campaign – Gamesys (it was noted signing up Barbara Windsor for Jackpot Joy was a masterstroke)
Social networking operator –WooHoo Bingo
Asian operator – SBOBet
One-to-watch – Mandalay Gaming Group (Costa Bingo)
Lottery operator – Intralot
Customer relations operator – Paddy Power
Sports betting innovation – Buzz Sports
Financial betting operator – London Capital Group
Slots operator – PartyGaming
Italian operator – Lottomatica
Skill gaming operator – King.com
White label partner – Metro (MEgaming)
Socially responsible operator – 888 (Virgin Games were highly commended)
Best website performance – Bet365
Best mobile performance – Blue Sq
Innovative gaming site – QuickThink media for Free Bingo Hunter
Gaming community site – PokerStrategy.com
Gaming comparison site – Oddschecker
Gaming review site – Bettingpro.com (Mandalay Gaming Group (Casino Choice) were highly commended)
European sports operator – Bwin
UK sports operator – Betfair (William Hill Online were highly commended)
Casino operator – Bet365
Bingo operator – Tombola
Poker operator – PKR
Rising star – NeoGames Partners
Operator – Bet365 (Betfair were highly commended)
Outstanding contribution to the industry – Manfred Bodner of Bwin
Check back here tomorrow for Becky’s party review of the venue’s poker tournament, dodgems, gamblin’, drinkin’, and carryin’ on, and we hope that the hangover isn’t too bad. You may also want to find out whether you did enough to win the DAF award. It will all be here for your viewing pleasure, don’t worry about a thing. With a video later in the week, what more could you possibly want?
Another evening of entertainment, awards, food, and wine…just have to wait for next year!