Matti Kankainen from Veikkaus Casino Helsinki in Finland was crowned winner of the European Dealer Championship 2018 at Maestral Resort & Casino on 9 May 2018. After competing for the fifth time and finishing runner-up in 2009 and 2012, Kankainen succeeded in confirming his position as firm favourite by impressing the judges throughout the competition with great character and skill on Blackjack and American Roulette. He narrowly beat Tamas Adam from Swiss Casinos Pfäffikon and Gilbert Ho Kang Jou from Holland Casino Scheveningen in a captivating final. After the competition, Kankainen said “After coming second and third in previous years, it feels great to finally get the gold medal. It was an amazing trip and competition. I encourage everybody to take part in the Championship in the future, it is a great way to learn from colleagues around Europe and experience new things.”
The 2018 EDC, held for the first time in Montenegro, at the stunning Maestral Resort & Casino brought together a record number of 37 participants from 20 European countries to compete for the title of best European dealer. Judges scored competitors on technical skill, game control and hospitality in Blackjack and American Roulette over the 2-day event. Besides the main competition, a number of side events tested the skill and finesse of dealers with the following winners:
– Best chipper: Tamas Adam – Switzerland – Swiss Casinos Pfäffikon
– Best mathematician: Dušan Jovanović – Serbia – Grand Casino Beograd
– Best pushing stacks: Antone Grauss – Monaco – Casino Monte Carlo
– Best cutting chips: Edgars Siņausks – Latvia – Olympic Voodoo Casino Riga
– Best card handler: Carmen de Lange – The Netherlands – Holland Casino Rotterdam
Per Jaldung, ECA chairman said: “The growing number of participants at the European Dealer Championship and their ever-improving level made it a very challenging final. Congratulations to Matti for winning the competition, he is a real testament to the great customer service and skill of our industry across Europe. Thank you to Maestral Resort & Casino for providing such a great location.”
Christos Tsemperas, CEO of Maestral Resort & Casino added “The competition brought together a very talented group of competitors that competed at their highest level. Maestral Resort & Casino is proud to have hosted the European Dealer Championship and made some great friends for Montenegro. Personally, I am delighted to have had the opportunity to host the competition for the third time after hosting in Serbia”
Kate Chambers, Managing Director of long-term sponsor Clarion Gaming commented “First of all, and on behalf of the entire team at Clarion Gaming, I would like to extend our congratulations to all of this year’s finalists and in particular to Matti Kankainen the eventual winner. As sponsors we are delighted to be associated with such a prestigious event which champions the unique skills and talents that are required to work in a customer facing role within a casino.
“While our primary role is to provide a modern environment for international gaming organisations to conduct business, courtesy of events such as ICE London and ICE Africa, our remit is to also recognise excellence and the exceptionally high standards of professionalism that exist within gaming. The European Dealer Championship does exactly that and the ECA is to be congratulated on organising such a professional and fitting celebration of the casino industry.”
Special thanks go to the long-term supporters of the 2018 EDC: Clarion Gaming, Scientific Games, ICSE, CLS, Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers (AGEM), GPI Gaming, Abbiati and CTC.