International edition
October 22, 2021

Class of 2021

Sports Betting Hall of Fame to add five new members at SBC Summit North America

Sports Betting Hall of Fame to add five new members at SBC Summit North America
SBC announced the five luminaries who make up the Class of 2021.
United States | 09/27/2021

The five new members to be inducted on Dec. 1 are Yolanda Acuña, former Director of Administration of MGM Resorts; Joe Asher, former CEO of William Hill US; Johnny Avello, director of Race & Sportsbook Operations at DraftKings; Joe Brennan Jr, former Chair of IMEGA; and Jimmy Vaccaro, Bookmaker and Sports Marketing Director at South Point Hotel & Casino.

T

he Sports Betting Hall of Fame will see five new members inducted in a special ceremony at the MetLife Stadium on December 1, 2021, during the SBC Summit North America conference and trade show.

SBC has now announced the luminaries who make up the Class of 2021:

  • Yolanda Acuña – Former Director of Administration at MGM Resorts
  • Joe Asher – Former CEO of William Hill US
  • Johnny Avello – Director of Race & Sportsbook Operations at DraftKings
  • Joe Brennan Jr – Former Chair of IMEGA
  • Jimmy Vaccaro – Las Vegas Bookmaker and Sports Marketing Director of South Point Hotel & Casino 

The Hall of Fame ceremony will take place on the second evening of the SBC Summit North America, the sports betting and igaming industry event will take place at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus in New Jersey across November 30 – December 2.

All delegates at the conference will have full access to the induction ceremony and party at the Coaches Club at the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Sue Schneider, SBC’s Vice President of Growth and Strategy, Americas, said: “Each of these inductees has made an amazing contribution to the industry so we’re pleased to induct them into the Hall of Fame to recognize their efforts.”

The new inductees bolster the US industry representation in the Sports Betting Hall of Fame, which started with Class of 2019 members Art Manteris (retired VP Race and Sports Book Operations, Station Casinos), Dennis Drazin (CEO, Monmouth Park), and Chris Christie (former NJ Governor).

They were joined last year by Victor Salerno (President, USBookmaking & US Fantasy Sports), Raymond Lesniak (former NJ State Senator), Roxy Roxborough (Legendary Las Vegas Oddsmaker), Sara Slane (former Sr VP, American Gaming Association), and Jay Rood (SVP, Risk & Trading, Bally’s Interactive).

SBC launched the Sports Betting Hall of Fame in 2016, in order to honor, preserve and perpetuate the names and outstanding accomplishments of personalities who have brought lasting success to the industry. The original inductees were Carsten Koerl (Founder & CEO, Sportradar), Mark Blandford (Founder, Sportingbet), and Howard Chisholm (Director, Bookmakers Technology Consortium). 
They have since been joined by Paris Smith (CEO, Pinnacle), Fred Done (Founder, Betfred), and Vigen Badalyan (Founder & CEO, BetConstruct), Norbert Teufelberger (Co-Founder, Bwin), Pontus Lindwall (CEO, Betsson), Warwick Bartlett (CEO, GBGC), Constantinos Antonopoulos (Vice-Chairman, Intralot), and Fabio Schiavolin (CEO, Snaitech). Denise Coates (Founder & CEO, bet365), John Boyle (Founder & Chairman, BoyleSports), John Anderson (former CEO, 888 Holdings), Armin Sageder (Founder, Paysafecard & BGT), Richard Flint (Non-Executive Director, Flutter Entertainment & former CEO, Sky Betting & Gaming), Jukka Honkavaara (Bettor who placed the first-ever online sports bet), Art Manteris (retired VP Race and Sports Book Operations, Station Casinos), Dennis Drazin (CEO, Monmouth Park), and Chris Christie (former NJ Governor). Ralph Topping (former William Hill CEO), Victor Chandler (Founder, BetVictor), Bill Mummery (a pioneer in online betting & Asian market), Giovanni Garrisi (CEO, StanleyBet), Juan B. Pérez Hidalgo (former President, Coljuegos), Victor Salerno (President, USBookmaking & US Fantasy Sports), Raymond Lesniak (former NJ State Senator), Roxy Roxborough (Legendary Las Vegas Oddsmaker), Sara Slane (former Sr. VP, American Gaming Association), and Jay Rood (SVP, Risk & Trading, Bally’s Interactive).

SBC Summit North America will feature a conference focused on the future of the high-growth sports betting and igaming industries, with a speaker line-up of 200 senior executives and specialists. There is also an exhibition of 100 suppliers showcasing their latest innovations, and a program of networking events that include the Sports Betting Hall of Fame Ceremony and the SBC Awards North America. 

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