Simon Bold selected for Sports Betting Hall of Fame

Simon Bold, a pioneer of telephone betting, virtual racing and the industry in Gibraltar, is to be inducted to the Sports Betting Hall of Fame at a special ceremony on the final day of next week’s Betting on Sports Europe conference and exhibition. 

SBC launched the Sports Betting Hall of Fame in 2016 in order to recognise and celebrate individuals who have made a lasting contribution to the industry, and its latest members will be celebrated at a ceremony at the Natural History Museum, London on 11 November.

Bold’s inclusion is in recognition of a long and successful career, during which he has been at the vanguard of a number of key developments that have helped to shape the industry.

He is perhaps best known for the launch of his Simon Bold (Gibraltar) Limited operation in 1999, which he sold to BetandWin (later bwin) for €2 million just two years later.

Bold then enjoyed a successful career with the group, where he remained until 2015. During that time he acted as CEO of the Gibraltar company and later COO of Betbull PLC, which successfully listed on the Austrian stock market as a betting exchange and later established retail betting operations in Germany and Spain. 

However, Bold was influencing the industry long before he joined the first group of operators to set up in Gibraltar. 

He had already grown a retail operation from two betting shops in Liverpool to a chain of more than 50 high-quality, well-presented stores throughout north-west England under the brand of Mawdsley Bookmakers.

Under his leadership, the company became well known as an innovator in the industry and in 1979, he launched the first virtual racing product in a selection of the chain’s shops. It prompted a legal test case, which although Bold lost, eventually led years later to the legalisation of virtual racing as we now know it. 

In the late 80s, Bold became the first betting operator to accept bets via debit card. Having secured a unique agreement with RBS, he set up terminals in his shops as a pilot scheme, with the ultimate goal of being able to offer debit card betting by telephone. 

In 1989, RBS finally gave its consent and Bold became the first, and for several months the only, bookmaker globally to offer debit card betting by telephone. 

Bold is still involved in the industry, as a consultant to and a shareholder in Winners Apuestas, which operates retail betting based on regional Spanish licences.

Commenting on his induction into the Sports Betting Hall of Fame, Bold said: “It’s most gratifying and a great pleasure to be joining good friends and colleagues from my many years in the industry, such as Norbert Teufelberger, Carsten Koerl, and Denise Coates, and many others who form part of this illustrious group.”

The European Sports Betting Hall of Fame Class of 2021 also includes Ludovico Calvi (President, Global Lottery Monitoring System), Jan Svendsen (Founder, Coolbet, Nordicbet and Triobet), 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 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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