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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

Microgaming makes its debut in the Czech Republic

George Miller

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Microgaming makes its debut in the Czech Republic
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Microgaming’s celebrated content has gone live in the Czech Republic, with a range of the leading software supplier’s most popular games now available through Tipsport, with more operators to follow in due course.

Microgaming’s entrance into the Czech Republic continues a well-executed strategy of expansion into key regulated markets around the world, following successful entries into Colombia, Bulgaria and Denmark in 2018, and Sweden at the beginning of the current year.

Devised specifically for the Czech Republic market, a tailored software solution will offer customers of Tipsport, one of the country’s leading operators, access to an extensive selection of titles from Microgaming’s innovative, diverse portfolio of premium casino games, with more content to be added in the near future.

“We are excited to be extending our offering into the regulated market of the Czech Republic. Tipsport are a major operator in the region, and a leader in the European sports betting industry as a whole. We are delighted to begin a partnership with them that will provide their customers with an expanding library of our best online slot gaming content.” – said Andrew Clucas, Chief Operating Officer at Microgaming.

“With the addition of Microgaming’s exceptional casino titles, we look forward to seeing players enjoy a wealth of thoroughly entertaining gaming experiences. Our partnership with Microgaming signals our commitment to diversifying our product offering, providing players in the Czech Republic with access to the largest and most diverse online gaming portfolio in the industry.” – concluded Jiří Švarc, Director of Online Casino at Tipsport.

 

For more information about the Czech market market make sure you don’t miss the 2019 edition of Prague Gaming Summit, which has the aim to give a quality report on the activity of the industry in the Czech Republic and neighboring countries such as Slovakia, Poland and a special DACH regional panel discussion.

 

About Microgaming:

Microgaming developed the first true online casino in 1994. It has been breaking records, breaking new ground and breaking its back in pursuit of original gaming ever since. Developer of thousands of unique, genre-defining casino, mobile, poker, bingo, land-based and multiplayer games, and a pioneer in virtual and wearable gaming, the software giant hosts the world’s largest progressive jackpot network. Its products include Live Dealer, Sportsbook, Business Solutions and Quickfire. Microgaming is an award winner. A millionaire maker. The father of player protection and responsible gaming. And through Microgaming PlayItForward, it is a pillar of its local community on the Isle of Man.

About Tipsport:

As the market leader, Tipsport is pushing the boundaries of sports betting, developing largest active online betting community in the region, with unique approach to its clients – encouraging them to share expertise, copy tickets and develop winning strategies. Established as a regional company in 1991 with just one branch, Tipsport quickly became an international holding company and the leading bookmaker in Central and Eastern Europe. With turnover of over EUR 2bln/year, the group currently employs more than 3,000 people at Tipsport and Chance in the Czech Republic and Tipsport in Slovakia. As the overwhelming majority of bets are placed online, the company’s main focus is technology. Thanks to its unique in-house solutions, Tipsport is now the No.1 sports betting operator in the Czech Republic and one of the major players in Europe. Recently, the company has firmly established itself also in the field of online casino games, now its fastest growing segment.

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Central Europe

3 Countries That Once Banned Online Casinos But Brought Them Back

George Miller

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3 Countries That Once Banned Online Casinos But Brought Them Back
Photo Source: flickr.com
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Online casinos have experienced great success around the world ever since the industry first began to bloom in the late 1990s, but some countries have been hesitant to allow online gambling. For a variety of reasons, many governments have restricted the use of online casinos throughout the last two decades. Fortunately, many of these countries have started to embrace the opportunity, fun, and freedom that the iGaming industry can provide, with some of these citizens now being some of the online casino world’s biggest fans!

Slovakia

The most recent change in online casino legislation comes from Slovakia, where iGaming is set to become more popular than ever. Back in 2005, laws were set in place to ban over 200 online casino platforms, including some of the world’s largest brands. However, as of 2019, online casinos in Slovakia are overseen by the state-run TIPOS national lottery organisation, who are planning to relax the laws and give the industry a great boost. Already casino comparison sites are listing which online casinos are regulated and available in Slovakia, as well as what they each have to offer (for more info, visit casino-online-sk.com). The re-introduction of online casinos in Slovakia will hopefully begin in March when the ban on many other off-shore platforms will hopefully be lifted.

Denmark

While Slovakia has the TIPOS, Denmark is home to the Danske Spil (you can read more about the company at Bloomberg.com). Before 2012, laws regarding gambling and online casinos were generally considered overly restrictive and didn’t really allow for grey areas and ambiguity. Thankfully, on January 2012, these laws were revised, and ever since then online casinos have been able to flourish far more easily throughout Denmark. The transition was so successful that even now other countries such as Ukraine that are rethinking their restriction on the iGaming industry are using it as the prime example. After all, Denmark’s success shows that countries can relax their gambling laws without things getting completely out of hand.

Romania

One such country is Romania, another European state that upheld overly strict rules when it came to online casinos. It wasn’t until the end of 2014 that the Romanian government relaxed these restrictions. The decision to do this has allowed the online casino industry in Romania to grow to incredible levels, with the country receiving a good chunk of the sector’s income.

Some countries, including Brazil, Australia, and India, are still struggling with how to deal with online casino regulations. Some pick and choose which forms of gambling are legal, while others are even more inconsistent, picking specific sites to support while outlawing others. Still, we must remember that iGaming is still a relatively young industry, and over time it’s likely that many countries will follow in the footsteps of the countries we’ve explored here.

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Central Europe

The Current Casino Legislation in Slovakia and What Will Change in 2019

George Miller

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The Current Casino Legislation in Slovakia and What Will Change in 2019
Photo Source: flickr.com
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Here at European Gaming, we like to keep on top of all the latest news when it comes to gambling laws in European countries. After all, there are plenty of changes happening on an almost weekly basis, with a surprising number of revisions coming from none other than Slovakia.

A Brief History of Gambling In Slovakia

Alongside a number of countries once part of the Soviet Union, Slovakia had upheld laws regulating and banning gambling for a number of decades. However, in 1992, this law was revised and allowed Slovakian online casino fans to play at iGaming platforms as long as they operated within the country.

Over the next twenty years, these sites became increasingly popular, particularly those that provided online poker. There were even a number of Slovakian poker players who managed to become millionaires, including top Slovakian player Jan Bendik, who is thought to have raked in over $3.4 million.

Unfortunately, Slovakia’s government went off gambling again in 2017 and blacklisted a number of big iGaming brands, as well as introducing fines of up to €500,000 for anyone breaking the rules. Since these were recently implemented, the result of these fines is unclear, but it seems as though even the Slovakian parliament wasn’t happy with the decision.

The Turn-Around

Back in December, Slovakia’s parliament surprisingly drafted a brand-new gambling act, which would again transform gambling’s role in the country. The act, drafted by the Ministry of Finance, stated that off-shore online casinos can now operate within Slovakia as long as they buy betting and casino licenses. Each of these licenses will cost €3 million and last up to ten years, though the amount will be brought down to €5 million if a brand applies for both.

This new act will hopefully be put in place by March 1, 2019, though there will be some regulations upheld until June 1, 2019. Already it’s clear that operators and fans alike are ready for the new regulations to pass, with casino comparison sites offering all sorts of info from everything you need to know about free spins to which sites are the best overall for Slovakian players. Meanwhile, off-shore sites looking to operate within Slovakia will have to wait to apply on or after March 1, with licenses coming into effect from July.

Looking to the Future

Gambling has been a tricky subject throughout Europe for a long time, but countries that have already relaxed their previously strict online casino laws are experiencing great success. Denmark, for instance, is perhaps the world’s leading example when it comes to changing strict gambling laws. Romania, too, has an incredibly impressive gambling industry that now garners a significant income for the country since their new act in 2014.

Hopefully, after the new gambling act passes in a few months, Slovakia can also enjoy the online gambling world to the fullest.

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