Finalists for the 2016 iGaming North America Awards Revealed

Steve Ruddock : March 9th, 2016

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In early April, the 5th through the 7th to be precise, the Planet Hollywood Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas will play host to iGNA, which is the acronym for the iGaming North America conference.

The conference is now in its sixth year, and for the second year, the iGaming North America awards will be handed out as part of the festivities. The iGNA awards recognize the accomplishments and initiatives of the people and businesses in the North American iGaming space.

In the run-up to the conference, iGNA solicits nominations in each of its seven award categories, the short-list of finalists was revealed on Tuesday.

Last year’s winners were:

  • Best Marketing Campaign – Tropicana
  • Operator of the Year – Golden Nugget Online Casino
  • Best Social Gaming Operator – Playtika
  • Best Payments System – Sightline Payments
  • Best Fantasy Sports Provider – DraftKings
  • Best Platform Supplier – The Gamesys Group
  • Best Innovation in North American iGaming – GeoComply USA

And here are the finalists for the 2016 awards, along with my best guess on who will walk away with the trophy:

Best Marketing Campaign

  • Borgata
  • DraftKings
  • Golden Nugget Online Casino
  • Mohegan iGaming
  • Resorts iGaming
  • Tropicana/Virgin

My pick: Resorts

Resorts online casino launched in February of 2015, over a year after the other operators in New Jersey. Yet the company has already crossed the million-dollar-mark in terms of monthly revenue, and is on an upward trajectory that will likely see them pass Caesars and possibly one or more other competitors before the end of the year. A big part of ResortsCasino.com’s success was their multiple marketing campaigns.

Operator of the Year

  • Borgata
  • Caesars Interactive
  • Draftkings
  • Golden Nugget Online Casino
  • Pala
  • Resorts iGaming
  • Tropicana/Virgin

My pick: Borgata

Borgata continues to lead the way in New Jersey, topping the states online poker and total monthly revenue charts every month since launch, and at or near the top in monthly online casino revenue. With Golden Nugget taking this trophy last year for its over performance, it seems like Borgata is the obvious choice in 2016.

Best Social Gaming Operator

  • DoubleDown Casino
  • GAN
  • MyVegas
  • Playtika
  • Rocket Games
  • Ruby Seven Studios
  • Zynga

My pick: Playtika

It’s somewhat uncommon to see repeat winners at industry awards, but Caesars Interactive Playtika is the top social casino platform in the world, and it’s not even close.

Best Payments System

  • Neteller (paysafe)
  • PayNearMe
  • Paypal
  • Sightline Payments
  • Vantiv

My pick: PayPal

With the addition of PayPal the industry is expecting payment processing concerns to lessen, and while the online payment eWallet hasn’t affected this change yet, I feel as if the company’s embrasure of legal online gambling is the biggest development in payment processing thus far.

Best Fantasy Sports Provider

  • DraftKings
  • DraftDay
  • FanDuel
  • Star Fantasy Leagues

My pick: FanDuel

This is a tough category to handicap, as the obvious choice is FanDuel or DraftKings. But lost in the shuffle is the approach taken by Star Fantasy Leagues, one of the few DFS operators calling for regulations before the fit hit the shan, and along with StarsDraft, the only company to leave states on their own accord.

Still, I think the award goes to FanDuel.

Best Platform Supplier

  • Flower City Gaming (Star Fantasy Leagues)
  • GAN
  • IGT
  • Income Access
  • NYX Gaming Group
  • Scientific Games – Interactive
  • Neteller (paysafe)

My pick: NYX Gaming

NYX is another late addition to the New Jersey market, but they’ve had massive success powering Resorts online gaming sites as well as Golden Nugget’s after GN switched to NYX (from Scientific Games/Bally Technologies) in late 2014.

Best Innovation in North American iGaming

  • Flower City Gaming (Star Fantasy Leagues)
  • DraftDay
  • Fast Fantasy
  • GeoComply
  • Phrazzing Games
  • Rapid Games
  • Traffic Generation

My pick: Flower City Gaming

Since Geocomply won last year, and since neither PayPal or Income Access didn’t make the final cut in this category, I’m going to go with Flower City Gaming/Star Fantasy Leagues, for their unique B2B and B2C DFS and season-long fantasy products.

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