Event held at Grand Casino Brussels

ECA’s European Dealer Championship comes to an end with winners crowned after two days of competition

Reading time 3:08 min

The European Casino Association’s European Dealer Champion 2023 has been crowned at a finals event staged at the Grand Casino Brussels: VIAGE. Two days of competition, starting on June 13, saw 36 participants from 20 different European countries showcase the industry’s finest talent in the "art of dealing" in the Belgian city.

Alessandro Mesina from UK’s Les Ambassadeurs beat William Gosnold from UK’s Metropolitan Gaming and Katarzyna Bielawska from Sweden’s Casino Cosmopol, into second and third place, to win the final to be named this year’s European Dealer Champion. 

The 15th edition of the ECA’s European Dealer Championship took place at the Grand Casino Brussels VIAGE, billed as the largest entertainment space in Belgium’s capital. The 2023 event welcomed a record number of participants, jury members, and a crowd of hundreds of spectators who witnessed Europe’s finest dealers in action.

Reflecting on his performance, the winner Alessandro Mesina stated: “I can’t explain how happy and excited I am after winning this championship."

Winner Alessandro Mesina, UK’s Les Ambassadeurs

"It was my first time participating in both the UK Dealer Championship and the European Dealer Championship, and to win them both is an ecstatic feeling - adrenaline at 1,000 per cent, constant suspense, I slept probably three hours in the last four days, but it was all worth it!”

In addition to the main prize, in which participants had to prove their talents in the traditional and most popular casino games of American Roulette and Black Jack, a variety of Skill Challenges focused upon special disciplines to find croupiers that have mastered chipping, card handling, cutting chips, pushing stacks and mathematics.

The following winners showed their skills in these specialty events:

  • Best in Pushing Stacks: William Gosnold, UK, Metropolitan Gaming
  • Best Chipper: Antonis Spyrou, Cyprus, City of Dreams Mediterranean
  • Best Cutting Chips: William Gosnold, UK, Metropolitan Gaming
  • Best Card Handler: Fernando Ivanoff Gomes, Finland, Veikkaus
  • Best Mathematician: Agata Litwinienko, Poland, Casino Poland 

The second runner-up prize was sponsored by CLS Casino Locking Systems. The runner-up prize was sponsored by TCS John Huxley, and the main prize for the EDC champion 2023 was sponsored by Light & Wonder. This year’s Skill Challenge prizes were sponsored by Matsui Gaming, Cammegh and Marton Gaming.  

The ECA Dealer Championship is the longest-running competition of its kind in Europe, with croupiers chosen at the national level to compete in a knock-out tournament that involves technical skill, control of the game, hospitality and "nerves of steel."

Since its inaugural event in 2007, the European Dealer Championship has visited 14 countries and welcomed almost 500 contestants and 2,500 spectators from across Europe and beyond.

This year’s event was originally planned to take place in Cyprus, at the City of Dreams: Mediterranean, but delays in the completion of the project meant that Grand Casino Brussels VIAGE stepped in as a replacement venue.

Mark Banks, CEO of VIAGE, commented: “It has been a great pleasure to host such elite dealer talent from so many European land-based casinos here in Brussels."

"I congratulate all participants for making the competition such an enjoyable two days here in Brussels. In my view, every dealer taking part in this year’s European Dealer Championship is a winner.”

Jaana Ruokamo, EDC 2023 Tournament Director and Chain Operations Manager at Finland’s Veikkaus Oy, stated: “Judging the competition increases in difficulty each and every year as the talent within our casino community also expands, beyond all expectations, each and every year. It has been a pleasure to witness the skill and determination of all the dealers taking part in this year’s competition."

"Every dealer brought their “A” game to EDC 2023, with only the slimmest of margins separating the participants, all of whom acquitted themselves with the same great composure and professionalism that they show every day in their home country casinos."

ECA Chairman Erwin van Lambaart stated: “I would like to thank all the participants at this year’s event, for their dedication and ongoing commitment to upholding the finest standards the casino industry has to offer."

"The European Dealer Championship continues to serve as a platform for broadcasting the fact that our industry fosters the finest talent, builds lasting connections, and inspired future generations of professionals to dream big on the greatest of stages, the gaming floors of our European casino members."

The European Dealer Championship will return in 2024 at Casino Venlo, hosted by Holland Casino. 

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