Jan Svendsen to join Sports Betting Hall of Fame

Jan Svendsen, the founder of the Coolbet, Nordicbet and Triobet brands, will be inducted into the Sports Betting Hall of Fame on the final day of next week’s Betting on Sports Europe conference and exhibition. 

The Sports Betting Hall of Fame was launched by SBC in 2016 to celebrate the individuals who have made a lasting contribution that has made a positive impression on the wider industry. Its latest members will be recognised at a special ceremony at London’s Natural History Museum on 11 November.

Svendsen has been selected to join in recognition of his track record of success in building long-lasting brands and to the development of the industry in the Nordic region and Baltic states.

A background in the hotel and restaurant business taught him the importance of delivering a high level of customer service and of creating a happy working environment for staff, which is an ethos he took into his career in the betting industry.

After a spell with Kesak, Svendsen moved to Norsk Tipping to help launch the Oddsen sportsbook, before joining the Australian operator Centrebet and playing a crucial role in the brand becoming a market leader in the Nordic region.

A spell with Playit followed, during which he helped to turn around the company and put it on a path that ended in its sale to bwin. 

It was then time for Svendsen to branch out on his own and in 2001 he founded what would become Nordic Gaming Group. Its Nordicbet brand turned into a major player in the Nordics and its Triobet operation developed into the market leader in the Baltics, eventually resulting in the Group’s acquisition by Betsson in 2012.

In 2014, Svendsen returned with a new company Coolbet, which grew into an established brand in Northern Europe and the Americas, thanks in part to its commitment to developing its own technology. That industry-leading proprietary sportsbook technology prompted B2B supplier GAN to pay €149.1 million to acquire Coolbet in January 2021. 

Commenting on his induction into the Sports Betting Hall of Fame, Svendsen said: “It’s a great honour and a nice reward after 35 years in the industry.”

He jokingly added: “I also think I deserve it, as hardly anyone has built so many successful brands!”

The European Sports Betting Hall of Fame Class of 2021 also includes Ludovico Calvi (President, Global Lottery Monitoring System), Simon Bold (Founder SBGL and Former CEO bwin International), Vincent Caldwell (Founder, betinternet and Chairman & CEO, Virtual Software), Birgitte Sand (Former Director General, Danish Gambling Authority), and Clive Hawkswood (Former CEO, RGA and Former Chairman, RAIG). All will be inducted at a special ceremony at the Natural History Museum on 11 November, the final day of the Betting on Sports Europe conference and exhibition, which takes place at Stamford Bridge, London.

The North American Sports Betting Hall of Fame Class of 2021 includes Yolanda Acuña (Former Director of Race & Sports Administration, MGM Resorts International), Joe Asher (President of Sports Betting, IGT), Johnny Avello (Director of Race & Sportsbook Operations, DraftKings), Joe Brennan Jr (Former Chair, IMEGA), and Jimmy Vaccaro (Legendary Las Vegas Bookmaker / Sports Marketing Director, South Point Hotel & Casino). They will be inducted at a ceremony at the MetLife Stadium on December 1, 2021, during the SBC Summit North America conference and trade show. 

About the Sports Betting Hall of Fame

SBC launched the Sports Betting Hall of Fame in 2016, in order to honour, 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: 

2017: Paris Smith (CEO, Pinnacle), Fred Done (Founder, Betfred), and Vigen Badalyan (Founder & CEO, BetConstruct).

2018: Norbert Teufelberger (Co-Founder, Bwin), Pontus Lindwall (CEO, Betsson), Warwick Bartlett (CEO, GBGC), Constantinos Antonopoulos (Vice-Chairman, Intralot), and Fabio Schiavolin (CEO, Snaitech). 

2019: 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).

2020: Ralph Topping (former William Hill CEO), Victor Chandler (Founder, BetVictor), Bill Mummery (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). 

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