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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.

Central Europe

Ever more people 60 years and older are gaming

George Miller

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Ever more people 60 years and older are gaming
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

  • More than 34 million Germans play computer and video games
  • Over 5 million seniors are gamers
  • Average age of gamers increases to 37.5 years

Ever more seniors are discovering an affinity for games. Over 5 million people 60 years or older in Germany currently play computer and video games – an increase of around 700,000 players compared to the figure of about 4.4 million in 2019. A total of more than 34 million people play computer and video games in Germany. These are the numbers released today by game – the German Games Industry Association, based on data collected by the market research company GfK. As in all other age groups, players over 60 are equally divided between women and men. Seniors most often reach for their smartphone or tablet to play; around 50 per cent of players in this age group make use of these devices for gaming.

‘For many people 60 years and older, a virtual round of skat, a construction simulation or a crossword puzzle is just as much a part of everyday life as reading the newspaper or watching the news,’ says game Managing Director Felix Falk. ‘Games often open the door to the digital world for older people. They don’t merely entertain; they make possible digital participation. The ongoing corona crisis brings into even sharper focus just how important access to the digital world is for older people too.’

The average age of gamers in Germany continues to increase

Currently, around 34 million people play computer and video games in Germany. Half of these players are women (about 48 per cent). The average age of gamers in Germany has increased compared to last year, from 36.4 years in 2019 to 37.5 years currently. This is in part a result of the continual increase in the numbers of gamers in the 50–59 and 60-plus age groups in Germany. In part, it is due to the fact that many long-time players have remained true to the medium and are now in these age categories.

About the market data

Please note: for the first time, the current market data includes analyses for the 60-plus age group. This data is visualised in the corresponding market data graphic.

The market data is based on statistics compiled by the GfK Consumer Panel and App Annie. The methods used by GfK to collect data on Germany’s digital games market are unique in terms of both their quality and their global use. They include an ongoing survey of 25,000 consumers who are representative of the German population as a whole regarding their digital game purchasing and usage habits, as well as a retail panel. The data collection methods provide a unique insight into the German market for computer and video games.

game – the German Games Industry Association:

We are the association of the German games industry. Our members include developers, publishers and many other games industry actors such as esports event organisers, educational establishments and service providers. As a joint organiser of gamescom, we are responsible for the world’s biggest event for computer and video games. We are an expert partner for media and for political and social institutions, and answer questions relating to market development, games culture and media literacy. Our mission is to make Germany the best games location.

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Central Europe

Scientific Games Signs Technology Deal with LOTTO Bayern

Niji Narayan

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Scientific Games Signs Technology Deal with LOTTO Bayern
Photo Source: abendzeitung-muenchen.de
Reading Time: < 1 minute

 

Scientific Games Corporation, the US-based provider of gambling products and services, has inked a new four-year systems technology deal with Staatliche Lotterieverwaltung (LOTTO Bayern), the state lottery operator for the German Province of Bavaria.

As per the deal, Scientific Games will migrate LOTTO Bayern’s existing gaming system to the Company’s advanced “SYMPHONY” technology over the next year.

SYMPHONY is Scientific Games’ latest digital lottery business platform and games technology designed to support new channels and easily integrate third-party solutions through secure, open interfaces.

Scientific Games will also supply retail technology, instant games, sports betting and other online services to LOTTO Bayern.

“For more than 25 years, LOTTO Bayern has trusted Scientific Games to provide best-in-class lottery products and solutions to serve its retailers and entertain players. Our new SYMPHONY open-architecture gaming system advances LOTTO Bayern’s operations and helps drive maximum profits for beneficiaries,” Pat McHugh, Group Chief Executive, Lottery for Scientific Games, said.

“It’s important for Scientific Games to provide our lottery customers with market-driven, cloud-ready and ultra-reliable systems, like SYMPHONY,” Matthias Müller, VP Sales and Marketing International Lottery Accounts for Scientific Games, said.

“SYMPHONY accelerates time-to-market for new products and services while integrating new solutions to implement new games, providing LOTTO Bayern players with the latest state-of-the-art technology,” Matthias Müller added.

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Central Europe

Polish Bookmakers Association Calls for Government Help

Niji Narayan

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Polish Bookmakers Association Calls for Government Help
Reading Time: < 1 minute

 

The Employers and Employees of the Bookmakers Companies Association in Poland have called for government help to avoid significant job losses as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The association said it has seen the number of bets placed drop by around 60% due to the cancellation of sports across the globe. This decline is particularly after the retail bookmakers in Poland closed from 14 March.

As a result, bookmakers have seen customer spending disappear, meaning they are losing money, with no way to mitigate the shut-down.

The association said this would result in efforts to reduce fixed costs, including mass redundancies, with many operators now facing bankruptcy. The situation could result in most of the 5000 staff employed in betting shops, not to mention head office staff, risk losing their jobs, it warned.

The regulated Polish gambling industry has an annual turnover estimated at PLN7bn, of which at least PLN820m goes to the state through gambling and lottery taxes.

To avoid job losses and protect the state’s tax revenue, the association urged the Polish government to reduce gambling tax rates from 12% to 10% of turnover at least until August this year. The association also asked the government to delay the deadline for paying these taxes to September.

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