his prestigious award, which has seen past recipients including Dr Stanley Ho and Andrew Love, recognises the influence and inspiration Bertil Knutsson has made on the gaming industry. In a career spanning more than 60 years, Knutsson is one of the industry’s most influential characters. Born March 1st 1932 the youngest of four children, he was brought up in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Developing a keen interest in boxing when he was younger, he was an international boxing referee and became a promoter of professional boxing events featuring legends such as Sonny Liston. Also counting the former heavy weight world champ (the late) Ingemar Johansson amongst his friends. He also promoted other sporting events such as The Harlem Globetrotters and the tennis tournament WCT, which hosted legendary players such as Björn Borg, Stan Smith, Arthur Ashe, Ilie Nastase and Rod Laver.
It was not until 1959 that he started in the gaming industry operating casinos in Sweden. However, Sweden soon became too small for his visions and in the early 1980’s he branched out to international market. It was at this time he invented the groundbreaking chip sorting machine – Chipper Champ, which changed the face of gaming floors worldwide and still continues to be a world beating product.
In 2001 with his partners, formed a company introducing Ladbrokes eGaming into the Nordic Countries. Within 5 years the company recruited over 300,000 new members, making approx. 40% of Ladbrokes eGaming total Poker revenues. Among many others he and his family are also major shareholders in Betsson AB and Net Entertainment.
In 2003 TCS acquired John Huxley and TCS John Huxley was born. The company continues to be at the forefront of the supply and manufacture of live table gaming equipment and goes from strength to strength in this competitive arena.
With so many business interests, it is almost unbelievable that Bertil Knutsson has time for any hobbies or outside interests. His passion is for Trotting horses and for decades has supported the Industry, owning more than 50 trotting horses.
The Award was a total surprise on the night, with the family having been sworn to secrecy. On receiving the award, Bertil commented: “I am overwhelmed and extremely delighted to receive this honour. It is very satisfying to be acknowledged not only for my achievements to the gaming industry, but also the varied other work I have been involved with over the years. Many thanks to everyone involved!”