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Conferences in Europe

Francisco Vidal on the prospects of gambling business development in the CIS

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Francisco Vidal Speaker at RGW 2017
Reading Time: 5 minutes

Francisco Vidal is the CEO at major entertainment complex Sortis & Golden Lion Casinos in Panama. Francisco is an expert of gambling business, having started as a croupier at London and Las Vegas casinos and becoming the head of several casinos in a very short term, namely Comar Group and Cirsa International in the Dominican Republic. Over the couple of years, he traveled almost throughout all countries of the West Indies, gaining the managerial positions. At the Russian Gaming Week 2017 conference, he will make a presentation titled “Building a Healthy Casino Industry in Russia – Casino Operations point of view”.

The expert told the RGW team about the prospects of the CIS market development, confirming his interest in attending of the RGW 2017 conference to surprise the audience with his presentation.

1) Is the CIS market considered as promising for the European companies that work in the gambling industry? Please explain your opinion.

Francisco: I would not see the CIS market as a whole, but more on a country by country basis and on those terms obviously the main opportunities are in Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Belarus (to name just a few); countries with bigger populations and with a stronger customer base (in terms of income and gaming culture). As long as the different markets are at this moment underdeveloped, there is of course opportunities for several of the main gaming groups in Western Europe (British, French, Germans, Austrians, etc.) but I do not see them entering the CIS countries without local partners. In my view, there is a lot of work to be done in terms of building trust, social connections, and comprehension of the business environment from the part of the foreign operators before starting operations in the CIS countries.

2) What can the European/American and CIS businessmen offer one another? What are the opportunities and risks?

Francisco: Obviously both the American and the Western European operators are more experienced, they have been involved in the gaming sector for more years, and depending on the country, they do have specific expertise in running different formats of casinos (from the classical, pure gambling operation to the more sophisticated integrated resorts that you find in Las Vegas, Macau, etc.). I do think that there is a natural divide when thinking about the possibility of potential partnerships between western operators and CIS businessmen, the former would provide the operational know how (CRM systems, management staff, operational procedures, product mix and configuration, etc.) and the latter – their understanding of the business/political environment, and the social/political connections to get things done. In my experience, those partnerships are quite difficult to maintain over the long term, so it would be smart to have a clause that specifies the potential sale of the partnership to the other part when the time comes.

Regarding the opportunities and risks, I do see the potential of a mature collaboration once the proper bond of trust has been built between the partners of developing attractive and well-designed venues that will be managed professionally with a long term focus. Overtime, well managed operations are profitable for the corporations behind them and provide the customer with a genuine and enjoyable casino experience, apart from generating taxes for the government and have a positive impact on their communities through social initiatives financed by casino operators. Obviously, the main risk is losing the investment, I was involved directly in a partnership between a Spanish operator and Mexican businessmen in 2012-2014, and that was the perfect example on how not to do things, in the end, the Spanish operator lost millions of Euros, the operation never opened (although it was built and ready to operate) and the Mexicans walked away almost unharmed.

3) How will the CIS gambling market develop in the future? What trends can be observed?

Francisco: I hope that each country will establish a proper legal environment for operators according to the nature of their economies, for example: the integrated resorts model is not for everybody, every country should adapt their laws to the needs of its populations. Most probably in the long term, the decisions made by the biggest countries (Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan) will set the path for the rest, because depending on what they do, that will create opportunities in the surrounding countries or not.

The way I see it now, the developing of specific gaming zones is the main trend on the CIS market, and probably, at this point in time it is the right thing to do. Most probably, Russia is not ready yet to have casinos in every city, for me it is a question of maturity of the economy and the social fabric of each country; for more than 45 years, gaming in the USA was allowed only in the state of Nevada, nowadays there are casinos almost in every state and Indian reservations. Regarding the customer base, I think that for some time, untill the economies of the CIS countries develop more, casino venues will be targeted towards VIP customers and will offer a luxury product (high limits, credit lines, refunds and so on).

4) You have an insider knowledge of the casino market. What do you think is the problem of gambling development in the CIS?

Francisco: From the distance, what I can see is the weakness of the gaming regulation and business environment, there are no clear rules in most countries; so potential investors both local and foreign are afraid of losing their investment. Most of the CIS countries are relatively new, they have a lot of things to fix before gaming, and that is quite understandable; for me it is a question of priorities, what to do first. Most probably, the gaming agenda is a secondary issue within the general regulation of the economic activities in most of the CIS countries, however as an industry we have to defend our interest in a proper manner, and work side by side with government institutions in order to design and implement a legal framework that will give gaming operators confidence and stability. Once the legal infrastructure is in place, the investments will flow as the economy of the different CIS countries improve.
When looking at my responses, take into account that I have never worked directly in a CIS country, my European experience is related to United Kingdom, Spain and Croatia.

5) Why are you interested in attending the Russian Gaming Week 2017? What do you expect from the conference?

Francisco: I really like the country, its culture, gastronomy and the sophistication of its people (speaking in general terms), more specific to the conference; I hope to learn a little bit more about the potential opportunities for business in the region and to establish professional connections with local businessmen/casino executives.

6) How would you impress attendees at the conference? What new things could they learn?

Francisco: Well, it would be very naive from my part to tell the local operators how to conduct business on their markets (I managed several casinos in Croatia in the past, which is a relatively close market, but that doesn´t mean that I have some kind of special knowledge that relates to CIS operators); what I will try to do is to give some ideas or principles that from my point of view could serve them to operate their venues with a long term focus, something that new operators normally do not take into account. Every time that a new city or region is exposed to a full-fledged casino venue, people gamble very aggressively, and overtime many customers get burned in the process, something that is not healthy nor desirable for the gaming operators. My presentation covers several topics related to the protection of the customer and how to improve the gaming experience, everyone knows the potential negative effects of having a gaming offer right at your doorsteps, but there are actions and policies that could help to reduce them, and that is what my presentation is about.

I hope that the attendees will discover several ideas that will help them when conducting their day to day operations (my presentation is directed towards casino operators and executives), including: what can they do to minimize problem gambling in their customer base, which information should we provide to the customers in order to extend their life cycle, what can they do to improve the gaming experience both in table games and slots and how to train casino management, just to name a few.

 

On 7-8 of June, 2017, ECC Sokolniki in Moscow will host 11th International gambling and entertainment exhibition-forum Russian Gaming Week 2017.

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Conferences in Europe

Save the date for European Gaming Q4 Meetup and the HIPTHER FESTIVAL XXI

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  • Join the world’s leading companies in Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Fintech, Climate, Virtual Reality, Marketing, Education Technology, FashionTech, Gaming, eSports, and more…
  • One-stop agency gears up for a full week of panel discussions which will explore some of the most important trends
  • The content will also be available in virtual reality

The #hipthers are gearing up to host the second edition of the HIPTHER FESTIVAL, a virtual-only event that was born in 2020 and attracts a plethora of industry representatives from all across the world.

HIPTHER FESTIVAL XXI will span over 5 days between 8-12 November, and the sessions can be joined via ZOOM, YouTube, or in NEOS Metaverse in collaboration with ViARsys.

The event will be joined by +6000 online participants, and over 200 experts speakers will share the virtual stages.

Here is a short breakdown of the conferences you can attend during the full week of knowledge sharing:

  • TECH Conference Americas – 8 November
  • TECH Conference Europe – 9 November
  • PICANTE MARKETING Summit – 10 November
  • European Gaming Q4 Meetup – 11 November
  • Gaming Americas Q4 Meetup – 12 November

Register here for free!

Calendar .ICS file | Add to Google Calendar

We are very excited about the second edition of HIPTHER FESTIVAL, a yearly virtual-only conference which gathers all our contacts from the multiple industries we cater news and quality content for. The festival also gives us the opportunity to introduce a new conference in our now global tech conference series, the TECH Conference Americas, an event that complements our European TECH conference and will pave the way for our strategy in 2022 and beyond. To add to the excitement we are happy to share all the content via virtual reality thanks to our friends at ViARsys. Make sure to mark your calendar for this awesome gathering of representatives from multiple jurisdictions and industries” stated Zoltán Tűndik, Co-Founder and Head of Business at Hipther Agency.

The HIPTHER FESTIVAL focuses on some of the most talked-about industries and is powered by the agency’s media outlets.

Here are some of the sessions that can be found in the draft agenda:

TECH CONFERENCE SERIES (8-9 NOVEMBER)

  • ETHICALLY DESIGNED TECHNOLOGY & DEMYSTIFYING DECENTRALIZED FINANCE
  • ESPORTS ON THE RISE, WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR TECH COMPANIES IN NORTH AMERICA
  • INVESTMENT IN AI AND SPORTS
  • IS THERE ANY BUSINESS VALUE FROM AI
  • AI FOR HUMANS AND THE PLANET
  • FIRESIDE CHAT CLIMATE CHANGE AND SUSTAINABILITY
  • HOW IS GEN Z ADAPTING TO ONLINE LEARNING AND LESS IN-PERSON SOCIALIZING
  • PLANNING FOR AN IMMERSIVE WORKPLACE
  • PREPARING FOR A NEW REALITY (METAVERSE, EDTECH)
  • FIRESIDE CHAT CYBERSECURITY: AFTERMATH OF A BREACH
  • INSPIRING WOMEN IN TECH
  • THE NFT REVOLUTION FOR FASHION, LUXURY & THE METAVERSE
  • AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES / DRIVING INNOVATION
  • AIOT FOR CLIMATE CHANGE

PICANTE MARKETING SUMMIT (10 NOVEMBER)

  • THE AGE OF ON-DEMAND VIDEOS
  • GEN Z MARKETING
  • MARKETING IN AN ERA OF REMOTE WORKING
  • WORKING WITH SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCERS TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS
  • THE ROLE AI IS PLAYING FOR MARKETING

EUROPEAN GAMING Q4 MEETUP (11 NOVEMBER)

  • REGULATION OUTLOOK IN EUROPE
  • PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE: RESPONSIBLE GAMING AND SUSTAINABILITY
  • FIRESIDE CHAT – EXPLORING THE WORLD: GAMING IN AFRICA
  • LIVE CASINO ON THE EUROPEAN CONTINENT. WHERE ARE WE AT?
  • NORDIC UPDATES
  • DISRUPTING SPORTS BETTING AND CASINO MARKETING, BARRIERS, AND RESULTS

GAMING AMERICAS Q4 MEETUP (12 NOVEMBER)

  • RECENT UPDATES FROM LATIN AMERICA
  • REGULATION OUTLOOK IN LATAM
  • US LEGISLATION ROUND-UP
  • THE CANADIAN GAMING INDUSTRY UPDATES WITH CHANTAL CIPRIANO
  • INVESTOR TALKS: ENDING 2021 WITH A BANG AND PREPARING FOR 2022

The event is sponsored by Altenar, All-In Global, nanocosmos, Play’n GO, PLANZER LAW, and Nordic Gambling.

Hipther Agency has been among the first conference organizers that have shifted to just virtual events back in March 2020 and the team keeps growing its portfolio of conferences and content distribution network.

In other news, the team would like to let you know that they are happy to unveil a new platform, HIPTHER TV.

HIPTHER TV is a collection of videos from several industries, which are fetched from the leading conferences hosted by the team and future updates are already planned in order to facilitate video uploading and sharing by registered users.

The platform complements the offering of HIPTHER Agency, who are also heavily engaged in populating their very own social media platform, WireUp.Zone.

“We are excited to launch a new platform dedicated for content sharing and even if we are not the first ones to do so, we hope that it will be helpful for professionals from multiple industries to view and hear quality content. In time, the platform’s features will be enriched in order to allow controlled third party content sharing”, stated Zoltán Tűndik, Co-Founder and Head of Business at Hipther Agency.

Make sure to browse their collection of videos and relive the moments offered by leading experts.

Hipther Agency is the parent brand of European Gaming, PICANTE, WireUp Zone, and Gaming Americas and the team is excited to invite interested parties to review their android news app on the Play Store.

To receive constant updates from Hipther Agency and conference agenda updates, subscribe here: http://eepurl.com/hfyZxf

For sponsorship/speaking inquiries, make sure to reach out to Andrada Marginean (B2B Sales Executive at Hipther Agency) on [email protected]

For media-related inquiries, please contact Alexandru Marginean (Marketing Specialist at Hipther Agency) on [email protected]

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Central Europe

CEEGCVirtual – Final agenda and meet the sponsors

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Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

The virtual CEEGC is taking place on 22 September in a virtual layout.

The team at Hipther Agency is excited to announce the final agenda of one of the most important conferences in the Central and Eastern European region, the CEEGC.

The yearly Central and Eastern European Gaming Conference was launched in 2016 and is the crown event for the gambling industry professionals that are looking to dive into quality discussions about the CEE, CIS, and Balkans.

Register here for free | View the agenda

The focus in 2021 is on industry updates from Romania, Croatia, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Poland, Russia, Ukraine, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Serbia, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, and the final agenda looks the following way:

22 SEPTEMBER 2021 – All times CEST (Central European Summer Time)

– 9:30 – 10:15 – INDUSTRY UPDATE: ROMANIA
Moderated by Andrius Gabnys – Founding Attorney at Gabnys.Gabniene
Panelists:

  • Nicola Longmuir – Chief Commercial Officer at Push Gaming
  • Cosmina Simion – Managing Partner at Simion & Baciu
  • Dan Iliovici – Vice President at Rombet

– 10:15 – 11:30 – INDUSTRY UPDATE: CENTRAL EUROPE
Moderated by Andrius Gabnys – Founding Attorney at Gabnys.Gabniene
Panelists:

  • Dr. Robert Skalina – Senior Advisor at WH Partners
  • Helembai Gabor – Senior Associate at Bird & Bird Budapest
  • Dr. Jan Rehola – Director at IFGR and Partner at PS Legal
  • Aleksej Mišković – Senior Partner at Law Firm Glinska & Mišković Ltd.
  • Jaka Repansek – Media and TECH Law Expert
  • Piotr Dynowski LL. M. – Partner/Attorney at Law/Head of IP/Media/Tech&Comms Practice at Bird & Bird Poland

– 11:30 – 12:30 – CEE AND CIS AS THE MOST IMPORTANT HUBS FOR ESPORTS
Moderated by Lyubomira Lazarova – Chief Marketing Officer at UltraPlay
Panelists:

  • Anton Janér – Founder & CTO at Abios
  • Vlastimil Venclik – Founder and CEO of Oddin.gg
  • Peter Ivanov – Head of Trading at UltraPlay
  • Alexandr Iaroshenko – CEO at Betbazar

– 12:30 – 13:15 – INDUSTRY UPDATE: D-A-CH
Moderated by Dr. Simon Planzer – Partner at PLANZER LAW
Panelists:

  • Dr. Christian Rapani – Attorney at Law at Dr. Christian Rapani
  • Dr. Holger Jakob – Senior Lawyer at MELCHERS LAW

– 13:15 – 14:00 – INDUSTRY UPDATE: BALKANS
Moderated by Joe Ewens – Managing Editor of Vixio
Panelists:

  • Lazar Miuchin – VP of Strategic Partnerships at NSoft
  • Luka Popović – Partner at BDK Advokati

– 14:00 – 15:00 – INDUSTRY UPDATE: CIS
Moderated by Dr. Simon Planzer – Partner at PLANZER LAW
Panelists:

  • Tamar Jikia – Senior Associate at MG Law Office
  • Araksi Sargsyan – Head Of Business Development at DS Virtual Gaming
  • Ilya Machavariani – CEO and Senior Partner at 4H Agency

If you haven’t already registered, make sure to register here for free.

The conference is sponsored by UltraPlayNordic Gambling, and PLANZER LAW.

UltraPlay is a multi-awarded betting provider, founded in 2010, offering a turn-key iGaming platform to online operators worldwide. The company focuses on sports and eSports betting, live betting, white-label, online casino, and blockchain technology.

Assembled by a team of iGaming professionals with vast experience in betting product development, operations, eSports, and marketing, UltraPlay is a trusted partner for delivering superior sports betting software and odds products to its customers.

Learn more about the company here: www.ultraplay.co

Nordic Gambling is the only legal firm in the Nordic countries that specializes in gambling-related law such as licensing, compliance advice, and public affairs.

They have gained extensive experience in the industry from working with operators, suppliers, service providers, and government regulators. Their team has been closely involved in the development of the law and regulation in a number of European jurisdictions, including Denmark and Sweden.

The partners of Nordic Gambling are recognized among the leading legal experts in the gambling industry and are qualified to assist you with whichever legal issue you may encounter.

The team at Nordic Gambling is also very pleased to announce that they have contributed a section on Sweden, first published in the latest version of the International Comparative Legal Guide to Gambling 2020. You can read that chapter here.

Visit https://www.nordicgambling.com/ for more details.

PLANZER LAW is a law firm specializing in gaming & entertainment and technology & online businesses. Its team notably provides strategic, regulatory and legal advice on all matters relating to EU/EEA and Swiss gaming regulation. PLANZER LAW enables and facilitates business development and compliance programs. Clients profit from an unrivaled global network and highly specialized expertise.

Dr. Simon Planzer, founding partner of PLANZER LAW has been recognized by the leading ranking by Chambers & Partners as a global gaming law expert. He has been endorsed by interviewees as “absolutely excellent” and “the top Swiss lawyer” for gaming.

For more details visit https://www.planzer-law.ch/en/

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Conferences in Europe

Dive into native gambling industry knowledge at the virtual Central and Eastern European Gaming Conference (CEEGC 2021 Virtual)

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The traditional yearly CEEGC will be hosted in a virtual format on 22 September and brings together top industry specialists from the CEE, CIS, and Balkans.

The team at Hipther Agency is excited to announce the comeback of one of the most important conferences in the Central and Eastern European region, the CEEGC.

The yearly Central and Eastern European Gaming Conference was launched in 2016 and is the crown event for the gambling industry professionals that are looking to dive into quality discussions about the CEE, CIS, and Balkans.

Register here for free | View the agenda

In 2021, the event will be held in the virtual format and focuses on industry updates from Romania, Croatia, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Poland, Russia, Ukraine, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Serbia, Austria, Switzerland, Germany and more.

Besides the regulatory talks and burning questions being answered about certain jurisdictions, the audience will have the opportunity to hear more about why the region is so important in the development of eSports.

Zoltán Tűndik, Co-Founder at HIPTHER Agency, stated: “CEEGC is the first conference series we launched back in 2016 and even if we can’t meet in person this year at the luxurious Ritz-Carlton Budapest, we are bringing you the opportunity to hear more from the experts who represent the industry for many years in the CEE, CIS and Balkans regions.

The conference is sponsored by UltraPlay, Nordic Gambling, and PLANZER LAW.

Among the already confirmed industry experts, you can find:

  • Cosmina Simion – Managing Partner at Simion & Baciu
  • Nadiya Attard – Director of Sales at Relax Gaming
  • Lyubomira Lazarova – Chief Marketing Officer at UltraPlay
  • Alex Iaroshenko – CEO at Betbazar
  • Ilya Machavariani – CEO and Senior Partner at 4H Agency
  • Lazar Miučin – VP of Strategic Partnerships at NSoft
  • Luka Popović – Partner at BDK Advokati
  • Peter Ivanov – Head of Trading at UltraPlay
  • Marek Suchar – Head of Partnerships at Oddin.gg
  • Aleksej Mišković – Senior Partner at Law Firm Glinska & Mišković Ltd.
  • Oskar Fröberg – CEO and Founder of Abios
  • Piotr Dynowski – Partner/Attorney at Law/Head of IP/Media/Tech&Comms Practice at Bird & Bird Poland
  • Jaka Repanšek – Media and TECH Law Expert
  • Joe Ewens – Managing Editor of Vixio
  • Dr.Simon Planzer – Partner at PLANZER LAW
  • Jan Řehola – Director at IFGR and Partner at PS Legal
  • Dr. Robert Skalina – Senior Advisor at WH Partners
  • Gábor Helembai – Senior Associate at Bird & Bird Budapest
  • Andrius Gabnys – Founding Attorney at Gabnys.Gabniene
  • Dan Iliovici – Vice President at Rombet
  • …and many more

If you haven’t already registered, make sure to register here for free.

The strategic partners of the meetups are GameOn and Square In The Air.

For further sponsorship/speaking and marketing inquiries, make sure to reach out to Andrada Marginean (B2B Sales Executive at Hipther Agency).

For media-related inquiries, please contact Alexandru Marginean (Marketing Specialist at Hipther Agency).

To receive constant updates, subscribe here: http://eepurl.com/hfyZxf

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