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Jeanette Kozlowski

Holiday Special | A Few of Their Favorite Things

17 December 2008

It can pretty much be guaranteed that raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens aren’t the kinds of things that frequent the minds of I-gaming industry members. But if it’s not cream-colored ponies and crisp apple strudels, doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles, then what is it that chief executives, analysts and other decision-makers adore?

To find out, IGamingNews asked the I-gaming community to tell us a few of their favorite things.

Unibet’s chief executive Petter Nylander replied with one single item: a history book.

“I am a real history nerd, and every night I go to bed with a history book,” he confessed. “Right now I am reading ‘The Battle of Blenheim.’”

Mr. Nylander calls history the best tool with which to understand society and try to predict the future. It’s also the thing he’s most likely to unwrap for Christmas since that’s when he said he gets a lot of good reading material.

Speaking of Christmas, that’s one of Justin Thouin’s favorites. CryptoLogic Ltd.'s vice president of business development and product management also filed pocket aces, the Green Bay Packers, winning and watching football on a snowy day under that same category.

Snow will be very helpful to Vicente Linares, ClickandBuy’s country manager for Spain, Portugal and Latin America, since his favorite thing is powder skiing. He’s also quite fond of sailing.

Per Scavenius, Ladbrokes' country manager in Norway, told us 10 of his favorites -- Mercedes; Nobu in London; indie and British rock; Paris; Barcelona; football; Mexican food; and sushi make up more than half of the list.

But who is his favorite politician?

“Without a shadow of a doubt, the Norwegian minister of culture, Trond Giske,” Mr. Scavenius wrote. “By introducing the new gaming transaction ban (bill), he will for sure be looking like a proper fool when we are continuing our growth in Norway in 2009 and beyond. Some people just never learn.”

Ralph J. Topping, William Hill’s chief executive, has learned that he loves chickenpox on grandchildren. “Because they are very subdued and not destroying granddad's house,” he said with a chuckle.

Some of his other favorites include ice cream, coffee shops in Canada, his Range Rover and, of course, his wife.

Actually many industry members mentioned their family, including Gigi Levy, chief executive of 888 Holdings. He called his daughter, Alex, the joy of his life.

Another joy? Food.

“Both eating and cooking,” he wrote.

Norbert Teufelberger, Bwin’s co-chief executive, said he loves to spend his spare time with his kids and enjoys “watching them challenge us more and more as they grow up.” PurePlay's chief executive, Jason Kellerman, said he enjoys low cost family fun for the holidays. Play’n GO’s marketing head, Ebba Arnred, mentioned her boys as her top favorite. But she couldn’t leave out her new kitchen, her pool and a glass of wine on Friday evenings -- all things that sound quite nice.

Guess who else has a hankering for wine?

Mark Blandford, director of Valhalla Investments Inc., especially loves vino of the red variety. He prefers a Bordeaux wine like a Latour. He gave us a list he called “fairly random,” which included football, Hereford United, 70’s glam rock classics, Thai food, poker, darts and the work of John Constable, an English Romantic painter, which all goes very well together, don’t you think?

Finally, Simon J. Holliday, director of H2 Gambling Capital, couldn’t decide between his racing bike and his girlfriend’s dog, Phillip. After we told him Phillip was a cute name for a dog, he wrote back to say: “Let’s go with the dog then -- I seem to walk him more than ride my bike these days!”

Holiday Special | A Few of Their Favorite Things is republished from
Jeanette Kozlowski
Jeanette Kozlowski