Industry old hand Leon Thomas featured on the ‘Safe Bet Show’ at SBC Summit Barcelona

September 11, 2023 9:03 PM
  • CDC Gaming Reports
September 11, 2023 9:03 PM

Leon Thomas, Managing Director (Canada) at Entain & CEO of Sports Interaction, is set to make a special appearance on the “Safe Bet Show” at the upcoming edition of SBC Summit Barcelona.

The live version of the show, scheduled for Thursday, September 21 during SBC’s global betting and igaming exhibition and conference, will be a part of the “Player-Protection Symposium” track. It will be moderated by its regular host Martin Lycka, Senior Vice President of American Regulatory Affairs and Responsible Gambling at Entain.

Launched in collaboration with SBC in April 2021, the “Safe Bet Show” is a podcast where Lycka delves into the industry’s efforts in dealing with player protection and the advancement of social responsibility initiatives. Through conversations with prominent individuals, Lycka thoroughly examines a range of subjects pivotal in the battle against problem gambling.

Thomas boasts an illustrious career in the industry, having worked at bwin, an Entain company, as Director of Regulatory Compliance from 2006 through 2011. Thomas thereupon served as a Managing Director at Tombola, Vice President and General Manager at Caesars Interactive Entertainment Inc., Chief Operating Officer at Mecca Digital (Interim) at The Rank Group, Chief Commercial Officer at Instant Win Gaming, and previously as Managing Director for Bingo and subsequently as Commercial Director for Microgaming.

In February 2021, Thomas returned to Entain to take the role of Group Head of Corporate Development and M&A. In March 2022, a month after Sports Interaction owner Avid Gaming was purchased by Entain, Thomas was promoted to Managing Director (Canada) at Entain & CEO of Sports Interaction.

Sports Interaction touts itself as “the first online sportsbook and casino dedicated to Canadians” and has served Canadian bettors since 1997.

Operating exclusively in Canada and Jersey (UK), the brand is licensed and regulated by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission and the Jersey Gambling Commission and further supervised by the Jersey Financial Services Commission for anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing controls.

Thomas commented on his appearance at the show. “As leaders in this industry, we have a moral responsibility to safeguard the well-being of our players. At Sports Interaction, we take great pride in our commitment to player welfare, exemplified by our guiding principle ‘operate responsibly and act with integrity.’ Our values closely mirror those of the ‘Safe Bet Show.’”

Lycka added, “Leon has a wealth of knowledge on responsible-gambling practices and building relationships with regulators and gambling commissions that I believe a lot of the industry could benefit from.

“Over the past few years, a multitude of dynamic markets such as the US, Canada and Brazil have emerged. Introducing these new markets to the importance of player protection and welfare is not just a matter of ethics, but a cornerstone of sustainable growth. We want to help brands establish a foundation of trust with players, an environment where players feel safe, valued and respected. This, in turn, will help create a loyal and engaged player base, the bedrock of any thriving industry. “

Attendees will have the opportunity to attend a variety of player-focused sessions as part of the Player Protection Symposium track. These sessions include “The Ethics of AI – A Tool of Protection or Harm?”, “Should ‘Path to Play’ Be A Roadmap For Other Regulated Markets?”, and “Betting on Sustainability: The Rise of ESG in iGaming.”