2024 Categories & criteria

The categories for the EGR North America Awards 2024 have been developed following a thorough research process to ensure they reflect the fast-moving nature of the sector. Each category has its own set of criteria to ensure that entering companies can fully demonstrate why they deserve to win and so that judges can decide on the true standout firm in each category.

Please note that all categories will be judged on results from the period of February 2023 - January 2024 inclusive.

AFFILIATE CATEGORY

Affiliate of the year

GENERAL CATEGORIES

Best new game

Best product innovation

Diversity & inclusion model

Employer of the year

US Rising star

OPERATOR CATEGORIES

Casino operator

Customer services operator

Fantasy & DFS operator

Marketing campaign

Operator of the year

Safer gambling operator *New for 2023*

Social gaming operator

Sports betting operator

SUPPLIER AND SERVICE CATEGORIES

Acquisition and retention partner

Business advisory partner

Casino content supplier

Cloud and IT services partner

Compliance technology provider *New for 2023*

Customer onboarding partner

Freeplay gaming supplier

Full-service platform provider

Lottery supplier

Payments provider

Safer gambling supplier *New for 2023*

Sports betting supplier

Sportsbook platform provider

AFFILIATES CATEGORY


Affiliate of the year

The judges will reward the affiliate that has stood out from the pack in a competitive US-facing egaming sector through innovation, traffic generation, growth, genuine ROI for operators, and the ability to build strong partner relationships. This is not an award for the biggest affiliate site in the US, but the scale will be a factor in determining the winner. Entrants will need to provide evidence of growth, innovation, quality, and scale of traffic and differentiation.

Key criteria include:

  • Differentiation and quality of offering
  • Quality and scale of traffic
  • Growth
  • Innovation
  • Strong partner relationships

GENERAL CATEGORY


Best new game

Best new game is intended to recognize the game studio that has produced the stand-alone game that made the biggest impact during the past 12 months. The award is open to any operator, independent studio, major supplier or in-house team. This is not an award for the game that generated the largest amount of revenue, but revenue generation will be a key factor. Special consideration will be given to innovation, marketing value, product quality and games that provided cut-through in a crowded market.


Best product innovation

The award will be presented to the company that is able to demonstrate the most impressive and business changing innovation of the last 12 months across one or more of the main product verticals, sectors, marketing and/or technology. In particular judges will look for an idea, product or technology that has delivered business growth, additional revenue, and profitability for the operator in question over the course of the last 12 months.


Diversity & inclusion model

This award will recognize the operator or affiliate that can demonstrate its commitment to diversity and inclusion. The award will honor the organization that puts workforce engagement at the heart of their business strategy, communicating a strategy that provided clear support and inclusion for all. 

Key criteria include:

  • Details of D&I strategy
  • Positive impacts on representation and retention
  • Engagement, education, and commitment


Employer of the year

This award will recognize the operator or affiliate that can demonstrate its commitment to organizational performance improvement through investment in the recruitment, personal and skills development, and motivation of every individual employee. Special consideration will be given to the operator or affiliate that can show evidence of a clear plan towards integrating a strong company culture right across the business.

Key criteria include:

  • Staff retention and employee engagement
  • Positive leadership and management
  • Incentive and benefit schemes
  • Quality of training initiatives


US Rising star

The award will go to a company of up to two years in existence in the US market, including brand new companies and ones already live outside of the US, which, despite being new to the North American market, is rapidly growing and establishing itself as a force to be reckoned with. Innovation will be a major factor in the judging process, however operational excellence and early signs of commercial success will also be taken into account. This category is open to operators, affiliates and service providers

Key criteria include:

  • Greatest promise
  • Innovation and differentiation
  • Growth and commercial success
  • Profitability

Please note: This category is only open to online companies that have been live for two years or less in the US market. This category can not be won by a previous winner

OPERATOR  CATEGORIES


Casino operator

The winner of this award will be the online casino operator that has been able to dominate the sector through their global reach and quality of their product. Entrants will be judged on the originality of their product, the strength of the brand and product, and innovations helping set their offering apart from its competitors.

Key criteria include:

  • Growth and commercial success
  • Innovation and differentiation
  • Quality of product
  • Customer acquisition and retention strategies
  • Quality of brand and marketing


Customer services operator

This award will go to the operator that can best demonstrate that it truly has the customer at the heart of its business, and manages its resources to continuously improve its performance standards ensuring it can meet the needs of its entire customer base. 

Key criteria include:

  • Staff engagement in customer satisfaction strategy
  • Continual training and development
  • Continual measurement
  • Competitive advantage
  • Impact on retention


Fantasy & DFS operator

The fantasy & DFS operator of the year award will be given to the operator that has operated the most successful offering over the past year. Judges will award the prize for originality, growth, and marketing strategy, with special consideration given to innovation.

Key criteria include:

  • Growth and commercial success
  • Innovation and differentiation
  • Quality of product
  • Quality of brand and marketing


Marketing campaign

This rewards the company that has run innovative, intelligent, and creative marketing campaigns over the past year. Judges will select a winner based on effective use of banner ads, affiliate programs, use of SEO and viral marketing, brand advertising, and contextual advertising. The award is not for the most effective campaign in terms of ROI, but the financial performance of the campaign or its success in recruiting new players will be a major factor in judging a winner.

Key criteria include:

  • Innovation and originality
  • Creativity
  • ROI or player acquisition numbers


    Operator of the year

    This award recognizes the operator that has set the standards for others to follow over the past year. The judges will be looking for a company that has acted as a driving force for innovation across all areas of the business. It is not a reward for the largest operator, but scale will be a consideration. Judges will be looking for a winner that has clearly differentiated itself from the chasing pack in its sector, through a mixture of growth, innovation, and strong product performance in one or more of the key verticals.

    Key criteria include:

    • Operational excellence
    • Quality and diversity of product
    • Innovation and differentiation
    • Growth and commercial success
    • Influence on wider egaming market
    • Strength of brand and marketing


      Safer gambling operator *New for 2023*

      Judges will award the operator that has the most effective procedures in place to protect their customers. The winner will be rewarded for best-in-class age verification technology, problem gambling support, responsible gambling safeguards and comprehensive KYC procedures. Special consideration will be given to operators that have campaigned for wider industry controls to ensure socially responsible gambling.

      Key criteria include:

      • Advancement of research in gambling
      • Age verification
      • Problem gambling assistance
      • Problem gambling safeguards
      • CRM for problem gamblers
      • KYC procedures


        Social gaming operator

        The award will go to the operator that can demonstrate the strongest social gaming offering in the US market through a combination of product, revenue and DAU/MAU growth and leadership within its sector. It’s not an award for the largest operator, but scale will be a consideration. The judges will also look to reward those operators who have shown the most innovation in through product, marketing, and/or technology.

        Key criteria include:

        • Commercial success and business growth
        • MAU/DAU growth and player retention
        • Differentiation and originality of product(s)
        • Brand strength
        • Cross-platform strategy


          Sports betting operator

          This award recognizes the online sports betting operator that has set the standards for others to follow over the past 12 months. Judges will look for a company that has brought innovation to the US sports betting sector as well as one that has provided a high-quality player experience and shown evidence of real growth via mobile and web. It is not a reward for the largest operator, but scale will be a major consideration.

          Key criteria include:

          • Scale and growth
          • Innovation and differentiation
          • Quality of marketing
          • Quality of product

            SUPPLIER AND SERVICE CATEGORIES


            Acquisition and retention partner

            This award will be given to the company which has excelled as a marketing partner to egaming operators during the past 12 months. Judges will be looking for tangible evidence of the service delivered, innovative strategies, and proven ROI.

            Key criteria include:

            • Business growth
            • Delivery of brief
            • Flexibility
            • Understanding of customer needs
            • Reaction to market challenges


            Business advisory partner

            The judges will reward the provider which has provided a market-leading service or solution for gaming operators in the US market including general consulting, license applications, and legal advisory. Entrants will need to provide evidence of commercial success and positive feedback from their clients.

            Key criteria include:

            • Business growth
            • Delivery of brief
            • Reaction to market challenges
            • Reliability of service


            Casino content supplier

            This award will be given to the supplier that has offered the most successful casino content over the past year. Judges will award the prize for the quality and performance of the casino software and related technology, customer service, and the company’s commercial success, with special consideration given to innovation.

            Key criteria include:

            • Product development
            • User interface and experience
            • Innovation
            • Understanding of customer needs


            Cloud and IT services partner

            This award will be given to the company which has excelled as a Cloud hosting and IT services partner to egaming operators during the past 12 months. Judges will be looking for tangible evidence of the service delivered, innovative strategies, and proven results.

            Key criteria include:

            • Product/service development
            • Flexibility
            • Reliability of service
            • Innovation
            • Understanding of customer needs


            Compliance technology provider

            Judges will award the company that has provided the most effective, innovative technology allowing operators to ensure compliance throughout their business. Judges will be looking for quality and performance of the technology, customer service, commercial success and innovation in areas such as KYC, geolocation and cybersecurity.

            Key criteria include:

            • Scalability and integration
            • Commercial success
            • Stability and flexibility
            • Understanding of customer needs


            Customer onboarding partner

            This award will be given to the company which has excelled as a customer onboarding partner to egaming operators during the past 12 months. Entrants will need to provide evidence of commercial success and positive feedback from their clients. This category is open to PR firms, marketing agencies, and CRM service providers.

            Key criteria include:

            • Product/service development
            • Reliability and security of service
            • Flexibility and ease of use
            • Reaction to market challenges


            Freeplay gaming supplier

            This award will be given to the supplier that has been the most successful freeplay gaming partner over the past year. Judges will award the prize for the quality and performance of the freeplay software and related technology, marketing, customer service, and the company’s commercial success, with special consideration given to innovation.

            Key criteria include:

            • Commercial success
            • Product development
            • Product integration and delivery
            • Product flexibility


              Full-service platform provider

              This award will be given to the supplier that has offered the most successful full-service product over the past year. Judges will award the prize for the quality and performance of the platform and related technology, customer service, and the company’s commercial success, with special consideration given to innovation.

              Key criteria include:

              • Scalability and integration
              • Commercial success
              • Stability and flexibility
              • Understanding of customer needs


              Lottery supplier

              The judges will reward the supplier which has provided a market-leading lottery solution for operators. Entrants will need to provide evidence of commercial success and positive feedback from their clients.

              Key criteria include:

              • Product integration and delivery
              • Product quality, reliability, and flexibility
              • Commercial success
              • Innovation


                Payments provider

                This award will be given to the company which has excelled as a payments provider to egaming operators during the past 12 months. Entrants will need to provide evidence of commercial success and positive feedback from their clients.

                Key criteria include:

                • Product/service development and innovation
                • Reaction to market challenges and understanding of customer needs
                • Reliability of service
                • Business growth


                Safer gambling supplier

                Judges will award the prize to the supplier that has offered the most outstanding solutions for improved responsible gambling over the past year. Judges will award the prize for the quality and performance of RG tools and related technology, customer service, commercial success and with special consideration for innovation.

                Key criteria include:

                • Product/service development
                • Understanding of customer needs
                • Innovation
                • Reaction to market challenges
                • Integration and delivery


                Sports betting supplier

                The judges will reward the supplier which has provided a market-leading retail or online solution for operators. Entrants will need to provide evidence of commercial success and positive feedback from their clients.

                Key criteria include:

                • Back office/reporting
                • Product development
                • User interface and experience
                • Commercial success
                • Understanding customer needs


                Sportsbook platform provider

                The judges will reward the supplier which has provided a market-leading retail or online sportsbook platform to their operator clients. The winning provider will have shown extraordinary commercial success along with offering the most up-to-date technology to their customers. The winning company will also show leading products that last the test of time in terms of quality and usability.

                Key criteria include:

                • Scalability and integration
                • Jurisdictional compliance
                • Commercial success
                • Stability and flexibility
                • Understanding of customer needs

                  Ensuring excellence is recognised

                  EGR’s team of independent, external judges is updated each year and is selected to bring a diverse range of in-depth egaming expertise to the judging process. All judges were required to sign a disclaimer form to keep all submitted information and the winners confidential, and were obliged to declare that they have no conflicts of interest prior to judging.


                  The EGR North America Awards voting process will be officiated by accountancy giant Deloitte

                  The adjudication by a third-party continues to be a part of EGR's pledge to make the judging process the most stringent in the industry. This ensured that the judging process is completely transparent, and the winners will clearly demonstrate the innovation and commercial success required to be rewarded with this honour.