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VIGE2017 Post Event Press Release

George Miller

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VIGE2017 cover
Reading Time: 7 minutes

With two weeks past the closing of the doors at the inaugural Vienna International Gaming Expo, the organizers would like to thank all exhibitors, sponsors, speakers and delegates for their attendance.

The three-day expo was organized by EEGEvents and designed to bring together gambling professionals working for the online and land based sides of the industry with a special focus on Central Europe.

The time of the event has flown by really fast and there was plenty to see and hear during the 3 days of VIGE Seminars, which ran in parallel with the exhibition.

The exhibition floor has seen a large space where delegates enjoyed an open networking area with catering on site and free beers sponsored by Lotto Hero.

The first edition of the yearly event was organized in a rather large hall with a total of 15 exhibitors coming from various sides of the industry. The organizers mentioned that they have experimented with the large open space with the possibility of organizing a more crowded area next year. All these facts were found in the results of the survey conducted prior to the event.

VIGE2017 Expo floor

Day one of ViGE featured a networking expo floor and VIGE Seminars have highlighted some of the recent regulatory topics in Central Europe with special focus on the challenges operators, suppliers and affiliates face when working in such regulated markets.

Some of the most known gaming lawyers of the industry have spoken about the current situation of the online gambling market in Austria, Croatia, Slovenia, Hungary, Germany and the recently regulated Czech Republic. The keynote speakers of the regulatory briefings which have been held in the first part of day 1 were: Dr. Arthur Stadler(Austrian Association for Betting and Gaming), Mag. Claus Retschitzegger(Austrian Association for Betting and Gaming/CEO at Bet-at-home), Hrvoje Vincetic(Casino Adriatic), Jaka Repansek(RePublis d.o.o), Arendts Martin(Arendts Anwaelte), Jan Rehola(PS Legal) and Gabor Helembai(Bird & Bird).

The first day seminars have turned even more exciting in the second part of the day when an IMGL Masterclass was held in a special panel which covered the subject of the risks and challenges for affiliates, operators and platforms working in regulated markets.

Keynote speakers have addressed their direct questions to the only regulator which was present in the panel, Ms. Odeta Nestor(Romanian National Office of Gambling). The keynote speakers of the Masterclass were: Robert Skalina(WH Partners), Assaf Dor(CELLXPERT), Yoav Dotan(Genesis Global/Affiliatecruise.com), Tal Itzhak Ron(Tal Ron, Drihem and Co., Law Firm), Morten Ronde(IMGL / Danish Online Gaming Association) and the panel was moderate by expert Dr. Joerg Hofmann(IMGL / MELCHERS LAW FIRM).

Day one at the Austria Center Vienna concluded with a special panel which was moderated and put together by Tal Itzhak Ron(Tal Ron, Drihem and Co., Law Firm) and focused on the recent marketing trends of the gaming industry(Recent Trends in Online Marketing) with interesting topics discussed by Maayan M. Dana(Tal Ron, Drihem and Co., Law Firm), Assaf Stieglitz(Odds1x2.com) and Boaz Gam(PaynetEasy).

Tal Itzhak Ron-Alexandre Tomic

The day has ended or for some started with the Networking Party organized by EEGEvents and sponsored by Prague Gaming Summit.

The party was held in a “chill out” atmosphere in a Viennese local lounge with great music, lots of networking and drinks+snacks covered by the sponsors.

VIGE2017 Networking Party

The second day of the event got up to a slower start due to the extended partying and networking of the official party and the seminars turned their focus on more serious topics such as Responsible Gambling and Innovations of the industry.

The first part of the day was mainly focusing on the recent developments of the Responsible Gambling projects and their implementation process. The discussion extended in two panels where the experts of the Responsible Gambling project have addressed their concerns about the future of the industry.

Keynote speakers of the first Responsible Gambling panel were: Roman Nesshold(Institute Gambling and Addiction, Austria), Dan Iliovici(Rombet), Malcolm Bruce(Gambling Integrity) and the panel was moderated by Pieter Remmers(Assissa Consultancy).

The second panel was moderated by Zoltan Tundik(EEGMedia/EEGEvents) and featured keynote speakers such as Pieter Remmers(Assissa), Nikos Roumnakis(EOGL) and Zoran Puhac(EOGL).

After the two very packed panels the delegates got the chance to attend two panels which have highlighted some of the most talked about innovation of the online gaming industry.

The first “Innovation Talks” panel was moderated by Konrad Gill, founder at ViARSys. ViARSys was one of the most frequented exhibitor during the exhibition. The company created a special VR cage where you got the opportunity to test the real Virtual Reality games and most of the delegates were delighted about the experience.

The keynote speakers of the panel discussed the importance of using Big Data in DFS, using Artificial Intelligence(AI) in the online gambling industry and a recent innovation of the online sports betting industry called Snap Screen(an innovative app that he described as the “Shazam for Sports Betting”).

The opening remarks in the panel which has intrigued the audience were spoken by Valery Bollier, who described DFS as a threat to the gambling industry as we know it, but also as an opportunity.

The recently appointed CEO of BtoBet, Kostandina Zafirovska, who has 17 years of experience in Computer Science Engineering said that it was an obvious move for their company to bring over technology such as AI that is already being used in other industries.

She also said the gaming industry is a bit slow in adapting to new technology but that the innovation in AI is here and being delivered to the players now.

Angelo Dalli gave an insight into their newly launched Lottery software, called Lotto Hero. Dalli spoke about his innovation in lottery, a sector of the gambling industry that he said has been called “a dinosaur on the brink of extinction”. As someone who is always on top of the latest technology and challenges, Dalli decided to launch a “V.2” of lottery in the form of LottoHero.

The seasoned panel has been well attended by the audience on the event and the experts who gave speech were: Valery Bollier(Oulala Games), Angelo Dalli(Bit8), Kostandina Zafirovska(BtoBet) and Thomas Willomitzer(Snap Screen).

The second panel dedicated to the innovations of the industry also saw big names and some emerging companies that will soon shape the industry. Keynote speakers of the second “Innovation Talks” panel focused on the deliverabilty of e-mails, VR/AR, casino software innovations and Virtual Sports. The names lived up to the title of the panel and here are the names of the panelists: Martin Cagalinec(1SpinMillionaire), Sebastiaan de Vos(MailMike), Potapenko Vadim(Slotegrator), Kostandina Zafirovska(BtoBet), Konrad Gill(ViARsys) and Domagoj Marić(NSoft). The panel was moderated by Mihnea Paul Popescu-Grisogono of Casino Life and Business Magazine.

Konrad Gill, one of the industry’s biggest supporters of Virtual Reality (VR) technology comes from a land based background and is familiar with the suffering arcade gaming scene due to Austrian regulations. He founded ViARSys with the intent of providing the only turnkey solution for operators who wish to enter the arcade environment with a VR offering. Gill believes his solution will help revive the arcade scene in Austria and bring customers back to empty properties that are already fitted out for arcade and gaming use.

Domagoj Marić(NSoft) spoke about Virtual Games demands which are still on the rise and fairness of the industry when it comes to Virtual Games. His explanations shed light across this highly debated niche within the online gambling industry.

Day two concluded with a large takeaway of informations and business card for all attending delegates.

Day 3 was dedicated for the Austrian gaming industry where the agenda was dedicated exclusively to the regulatory climate in Austria.

To put it in the words of Rebecca Liggero from CalvinAyre.com: “When it comes to gambling operations, essentially a big mess complicated by politicians trying to protect a monopoly.

Helmut Kafka, President of Automatenverband.at, told CalvinAyre.com of the pending gambling court cases addressing if the Austrian gambling monopoly infringes upon EU law.

Helmut Kafka

He also mentioned his association’s 60 years of service as of 2017 and said there have been consistent ups and downs within the gambling industry in Austria for all these years. While he’s a big supporter of expanding gambling operator opportunities in the country, he cannot predict with certainty where regulations will end up in the near future.

The organizers released some of the partial results of the survey which was sent to +450 delegates and show some interesting facts. Here are some of the percentages and feedback received by the organizers:

  • How likely is it that you would recommend the event to a friend or colleague?
      • Detractors (14%)
      • Passives (35%)
      • Promoters (51%)
  • Overall, how would you rate the event?
      • Excellent (11.11%)
      • Very good (22.22%)
      • Good (48.89%)
      • Poor (17.78%)
  • How organized was the event?
      • Extremely organized (16.67%)
      • Very organized (43.33%)
      • Somewhat organized (22.22%)
      • Not so organized (16.67%)
      • Not at all organized (1.11%)
  • Was the event length too long, too short, or about right?
      • Much too long (29.41%)
      • Somewhat too long (11.76%)
      • Slightly too long (17.65%)
      • About right (41.18%)
      • Slightly too short (0.00%)
      • Somewhat too short (0.00%)
  • We are planning to organize VIGE yearly and the plan is to have the next edition in March 2018. How likely will you be among the delegates at the next year’s show?
      • I will attend (50.00%)
      • I will decide later (38.89)
      • I will not attend (11.11%)

Based on this feedback, the organizers are already planning the 2nd edition of the Vienna International Gaming Expo and promise a much greater show by learning from the essential feedback and suggestions of the attending companies and individuals.

Further information will be published on a newly released website which will strengthen the online meeting setting and interactivity among the delegates.

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Central Europe

Merkur Sportwetten Rebrands Totolotek

Niji Narayan

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Merkur Sportwetten Rebrands Totolotek
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Merkur Sportwetten GmbH has started its expansion in the Polish online gambling market by rebranding its newly acquired Polish sports betting provider Totolotek. Totolotek has been a part of Merkur since April 2019.

“Totolotek is one of the most renowned sports betting providers in Poland. By integrating Totolotek into our company structure, we want to further advance its success and sustainably strengthen its position in the market. We are convinced that we will succeed in doing this with our innovative products and by drawing on our experience and financial strength,” Niko Steinkrauß, MD of Merkur Sportwetten said.

The Totolotek betting shops in Warsaw are now shining with the laughing MERKUR sun as a widely visible trademark. The shops were fitted out with high-quality “Made in Germany” betting terminals. All Totolotek stationary points of sale will be branded in the new Merkur look before the European Football Championship in 2020.

Totolotek’s online presence has also been revamped so that Merkur sports betting can be experienced at any time and any place. The highlight of the new www.totolotek.pl website is its user interface. All of the betting options can also be called up conveniently and securely using the Totolotek app for Android smartphones.

“Such an extensive modernisation as the one undergone by Totolotek has never before taken place in the Polish sports betting market! The great commitment of our parent company is paying dividends: The response from our customers is overwhelming, both in the betting shops and online,” Adam Lamentowicz, CEO of Totolotek said.

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Central Europe

EGT Interactive Enters in Hungary’s Online Gaming Market

Niji Narayan

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EGT Interactive Enters in Hungary’s Online Gaming Market
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EGT Interactive has entered in the online gaming market of Hungary. The most appreciated EGT Interactive games are now accessible to players of LVC in their online casino – www.vegas.hu.

“As a natural continuation to our long-term partnership in the land-based field, we are extremely excited and looking forward with great expectations to this collaboration that naturally closing the circle for the players. Providing the same portfolio of EGT games to LVC’s base of customers in the land-based, as well as in their online casino, is one of our biggest advantages. This deal also strengthens our presence in Europe and is a continuation of the ongoing policy for expansion in new markets,” Todor Zahariev, MD of EGT Interactive said.

The players of vegas.hu can enjoy the attractive RTP strategy of the first 20 games that keeps the player longer in the game, which along with the sleek graphics and the high execution quality of the video slots, are the features that make EGT Interactive games stand out and build a strong base of fans worldwide.

“We are delighted to enter a new phase of our cooperation with EGT Interactive, with the introduction of their video slots to vegas.hu, the first licensed online casino in Hungary. We work tirelessly to ensure that our players get the best possible service, and therefore we are planning to launch additional games in the near future,” Béla Zsolt Orbánhegyi, the Online Operations Director of vegas.hu said.

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CEEGC 2019

CEEGC2019 Speaker Profile (Czechia): Jan Řehola (Director at IFGR and Partner at PS Legal)

Zoltan Tundik

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Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

Director of platform which brings together the majority of legal gambling operators in the Czech Republic, testing laboratories and game systems and games manufacturers to give a briefing about the jurisdiction at CEEGC 2019 Budapest.

 

The Czech gambling industry briefing will be part of the “Regulated Central and Eastern European jurisdictions” compliance panel discussion at CEEGC2019 and will be joined by leading experts with extensive experience in the region. The panel discussion is important for operators and service providers who can have a direct impact on the market or harvest from their investments.

The briefing about the Czech jurisdiction will be presented by Jan Řehola (Director at IFGR and Partner at PS Legal), who will share the insights he has on the tax regime and recent licensing procedures.

The 4th edition of the yearly Central and Eastern European Gaming Conference will take place on the 24th of September at the Ritz-Carlton Budapest, and provides a unique opportunity of learning and networking with the gambling industry in the CEE and Balkans region via the CEEGC platform which is committed to bringing together industry shareholders and government officials from the region on a yearly base.

Register here or View the Agenda!

 

About Jan Řehola

Jan Řehola has over eight years of experience in the gambling field, both from the public and private sector.

He holds a Master’s of Law from Charles University in Prague.  Jan worked for four years for the Ministry of Finance – the Czech gambling regulator; firstly, as a Head of the Legal Unit and later, as a Director of Gambling Department.  In his work for the Czech gambling regulator, Jan was responsible for all gambling policy issues, including the drafting of new legislation, the issuing of gambling licenses and cooperation with other European regulators as a member of the European Commission Expert Group on Online Gambling.

After leaving the Ministry of Finance in 2014, Jan became a member of Petroš Sedláčková Legal and co-founder of the consultancy company BetOnSkill Consulting, a full-service international gaming consultancy.

Jan is also a member of the Chamber of Commerce of the Czech Republic and its special section “Czech Chamber of Lottery Industries”.

More about the Institute for Gambling Regulation (IFGR)

The platform brings together the majority of legal gambling operators in the Czech Republic, testing laboratories and game systems and games manufacturers. It currently has 31 members, including 4 partner associations, through which other operators are members. The most important Czech operators and manufacturers such as Tipsport, Fortuna, E-gamming, Kajot, Apollo, as well as foreign manufacturers and testing laboratories such as Microgaming, GLI, and BMM are among its members today.

The primary objective of the IFGR is to participate in the conceptual development of gambling operation in the Czech Republic and to become a respected partner of a regulator and other public authorities that are active in the field of gambling for expert discussion during the creation of regulation. The Deputy Finance Minister, responsible for gambling regulation, took part in the IFGR’s founding meeting and endorsed this idea.

The main means of achieving this goal will be not only participation in planned regular meetings with a regulator’s representatives, but also the IFGR’s participation during the development of gambling legislation, interpretative statement, methodologies, standards, and preparation of analyses and studies on the assessment of impacts of gambling regulation.

IFGR has been given the status of a comment place of relevant ministries and authorities in the process of drafting new legislation in this field.

Any gambling operation license holder in the Czech Republic, a testing laboratory with authorization for expert assessment from the Ministry of Finance and game systems and games manufacturer can become a member.

The platform is divided into five sections according to its focus, namely Lotteries, Fixed-odds Betting, Technical and Live Game, Authorized Persons, and Game Systems Manufacturers.

The sections are headed by their managers, most of whom are former officials of a Czech regulator. The Director of the IFGR is Jan Řehola, former director of the Gambling Regulation Division, the managers of the sections are Václav Ulrich, former deputy head of the Licensing Procedure, and Petra Razím Ďurovičová, former head of the Administrative Procedure Department.

IFGR has an established website (www.iprh.cz). The advantage of membership is, among other things, the private part of the website, where members can find materials on the issues currently addressed, the Newsletter, summarizing information on the statements published by the Ministry of Finance and by the Customs Administration, FAQs, minutes of meetings and other material.

Members can also use the current very popular method of training, that is webinars, on topics currently addressed.

IFGR organizes quarterly meetings of the individual sections to discuss current gambling issues.

Make sure that you are among the delegates of CEEGC Budapest this year for a new and engaging format that is going to increase the engagement and interaction of the attending delegates.

Register here or View the Agenda!

Browse the official event website for more details: www.ceegc.eu

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