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Conferences in Europe

Prague Gaming Summit 2018 – Speaker profiles, Michal Shinitzky, Max Krupyshev and Dr. Robert Skalina

Zoltan Tundik

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Prague – 23 January 2018 – We are already seeing a large volume of registrations and are optimistic about the 2018 edition as we’ve been with the 2017 edition.

If you study the event’s agenda, you will find some interesting panel style talks that are going take place on the 29th of March at Andel’s by Vienna House Prague.

The speakers of the second edition of Prague Gaming Summit have been carefully selected in order to facilitate education and to raise the quality of the content even higher than the inaugural event, thus some interesting names can be found on the speaker list in 2018.

Here are a few profiles of the speakers who will be part of the panel discussions designed to bring the latest information in the field of marketing, communication, innovation and regulatory compliance.

Michal Shinitzky (Pangea Localization Services)

Michal has had over 15 years’ experience in the iGaming sector, working as a senior manager at a few leading companies including 888 and PokerStars. With extensive knowledge in gaming, marketing as well as expertise in translation, localization and content, Michal eventually launched her own company in 2015. Pangea is a translation and copywriting company, mainly serving clients from the Casino, Poker, Bingo and online gaming sector as well as trading industry. Bringing her experience and professionalism to Pangea as managerial director has surely been one of Michal’s greatest achievements.

Panel: Effective Marketing and Communications in the Sports Betting Industry

Max Krupyshev(Cubits)

Max has a Bachelor’s degree in Physics and Master’s in Business Administration. He heard about Bitcoin for the first time in late 2013 right after completing his Master’s degree in Management. Max was immediately inspired by the innovative and disruptive technology behind Bitcoin and quickly made a name for himself in his local Bitcoin community in Kiev.

Eventually, Max’s passion for Bitcoin drove him to co-found a Kiev-based software development studio and to found the Bitcoin Foundation Ukraine and Satoshi Square Kiev. Max has also worked for one of the biggest Bitcoin Cloud mining platforms prior to becoming Product manager and later Chief Operating Officer at Cubits.

Today Cubits.com is a leading Bitcoin Payment provider in Europe and a well known platform where customers can Buy and Sell bitcoin using classical financial instruments.

Panel: Innovation Talks

Dr. Robert Skalina(WH Partners)

Dr. Robert Skalina is Czech Advocate as well as a Registered European Lawyer in Malta. He is currently a Senior Advisor to WH Partners, a Malta-based leading law firm with a business focus and expertise in gaming & gambling, technology, financial services, tax, M&A and corporate finance.

Robert has vast experience advising clients in the gaming/gambling industries on all aspects of their operations. He also provides advice to wide range of investment managers and funds, and regularly advises clients on complex cross border transactions and mergers and acquisitions.

He has previously held the position of head of legal of a London based investment advisor active throughout EMEA region.

Robert holds LLM from the London School of Economics and a Master of Laws degree from the Charles University in Prague.

He is a frequent speaker of European Gaming Media and Events organized conference.

Panel: Focus on Slovakia

More speaker profiles will be announced soon, but you may want to check the already confirmed line-up of speakers and register in time. The event is limited to 125 seats.

Visit the official website of the event for more details or follow this space: https://praguegamingsummit.com/

Don’t forget to follow the event’s twitter feed, facebook page to stay up to date with the announcements or join the LinkedIn Group to start networking straight away.

Register here

 

After starting out as an affiliate in 2009 and developing some recognized review portals, I have moved deeper into journalism and media. My experience has lead me to move into the B2B sector and write about compliance updates and report around the happenings of the online and land based gaming sector.

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Conferences in Europe

Gambling in Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia and Austria, moderated by Dr. Joerg Hofmann at Prague Gaming Summit 2018

Zoltan Tundik

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Prague – 21 February 2018 – The most important boutique style gaming conference in Prague is going to welcome leading experts of the online gambling industry on the 29th of March at Andel’s by Vienna House Prague. The second edition of Prague Gaming Summit is gathering new and old faces of the industry in order to highlight the trending topics for the attending delegates.

The key to a successful panel is in the careful selection of the panel moderator. The panel moderator brings the session to life: often selecting and prepping the panelists, determining the format to ensure a lively and informative conversation and having excellent facilitator skills to keep the conversation focused and moving along.

We have always searched to find the best possible mediators for the panel discussions and Prague Gaming Summit will continue to bring these quality dialogues.

The latest announced moderator is a familiar face at gaming events and is known for his experience in the industry. Dr. Joerg Hofmann (Melchers Law Germany) is the Immediate Past President of the International Masters of Gaming Law (IMGL), the pre-eminent global gambling law networking and educational organisation. He has been consistently ranked as a “Leading Individual” in Gaming & Gambling by Chambers Global since 2011 and is the only German Lawyer listed among “Germany’s Best Lawyers” in the category “Gaming Law” by Handelsblatt and BestLawyers since 2014. Joerg is based in Heidelberg/Germany. He frequently publishes articles in international expert’s magazines and periodicals and speaks regularly on international gaming law conferences around the world.

Dr. Joerg Hofmann will moderate the “Focus on Czech Republic” and the “Focus on Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland and Austria” panel discussions, which promise to offer some inside information around the markets.

More speaker profiles will be releases soon, but you may want to check the already confirmed line-up of speakers and register in time. The event is limited to 125 seats.

Visit the official website of the event for more details: https://praguegamingsummit.com/

To hear more about the subjects and meet Joerg  in person, make sure you register and attend Prague Gaming Summit 2018, held on the 29th of March at Andel’s by Vienna House Prague.

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Conferences in Europe

Exclusive Interview with Piotr Dynowski (Partner and Head of IP, Media, Tech & Comms practice at Bird & Bird’s Warsaw Office)

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The Polish gambling industry has been the subject of many major changes, however not all of them are clear for the operators and shareholders.

So, I took advantage of the opportunity to catch up with Piotr Dynowski (Partner and Head of IP, Media, Tech & Comms practice at Bird & Bird’s Warsaw Office), who is going to be among the speakers at Prague Gaming Summit 2018 (more details here...), to gain an inside perspective on the Polish gambling market.

I would also like to thank you for following my interview series and for sharing these information with your colleagues and partners. If you would like to be featured in an upcoming interview, please send me an e-mail to reka.szalo@europeangaming.eu and I will happily get back to you!

I would like to thank you for spending time to answer our questions. First I would kindly ask you to shortly introduce yourself.

Piotr: My name is Piotr Dynowski and I’m a partner and head of IP, Media, Tech & Comms practice at Bird & Bird’s Warsaw office. For over 10 years now, as part of my practice, I have advised clients on all aspects of gaming law, in particular online gambling and betting, social gaming and e-sports. I advise on licensing regimes, regulatory issues, as well as advertising and provision of B2B services to gambling operators.

What is your personal opinion about the European gambling industry and could you make a comparison with the market that you know better and the European situation in terms of gaming and gambling?

Piotr: Unfortunately, Poland is still one of the most restrictive markets in Europe with respect to gambling and doing business by gambling operators in Poland is still pretty difficult, but apparently the changes to the Polish gambling regulations introduced last year were quite beneficial to the licensed betting operators and helped them almost double their turnover in comparison to the previous years. In general running gambling business, even in the EU, is very difficult as legal regulations differ significantly from country to country, some are very restrictive, others pretty liberal, and it is one of probably very few industry sectors left in the EU that are still completely unharmonised and where it seems the fundamental freedoms on which the EU is based do not really apply. Gambling industry has also to struggle all the time with negative perception by many governments and sometimes also negative image in the society. Generally gambling is still often perceived as something a little doggy and causing a lot of harm to the society despite all the efforts of the industry towards fraud protection, fighting gambling addiction and other important initiatives to prove that it is not a different industry than  any other entertainment industries.

In several Eastern European countries there are significant regulatory changes concerning online gambling. What advise would you give for the operators; which are the most attractive markets?

Piotr: Yes, we have seen recently some major changes to the gambling regulations in several Eastern European countries, but unfortunately most of them did not have too much impact on the situation of the private operators. Either they aimed at expanding and strengthening of the state monopoly like in Poland or Hungary or in theory created new opportunities for private operators to apply for new licences, but in practice turned out to be impossible to complete as in the Czech Republic. It seems that only Romania with its relatively liberal regulation in the region sees a major growth of its gambling market. The next big thing in Europe will most probably be Sweden which after years of strict monopoly will open soon to private operators. Taking into account that already a big number of companies in gambling industry are in fact of Nordic origin, the opening of the Swedish market will create enormous opportunities.

I would like to ask you to speak about the recent updates of the Polish gambling market. What can be expected in 2018 in terms of regulations, changes in this particular industry in Poland?

Piotr: Unfortunately, I’m afraid, there no major changes with respect to gambling regulations in Poland that we can expect in 2018. In my view any major future changes will depend on how successful the new online casino operations of the state monopoly will be, but there are delays with the launch of it, so it will take still some time to see how they are doing. If it is successful, the Polish government will have no incentive to liberalise the regulations and to let the private operators compete with the monopoly. But if it is a failure, they may reconsider whether it is not better to allow private operators to operate more freely and generate revenue for the state from the taxes. The only area where there may potentially be some changes in the foreseeable future is lowering slightly the taxes on gambling in Poland as they are currently very steep and one of the reasons many operators do not even try to apply for a licence here. Such change would certainly be welcome by the industry and could generate some more action on the market.

To hear more about the subject and meet Piotr in person, make sure you register and attend Prague Gaming Summit 2018, held on the 29th of March at Andel’s by Vienna House Prague.

Interviewee profile:

Piotr is one of the leading Intellectual Property, patent and IP litigation lawyers in Poland.

Piotr advises on all aspects of gaming law, in particular online gambling and social gaming. His expertise covers licensing regimes, regulatory issues as well as advertising and provision of services such as electronic payments in relation to gambling products.

In 2011, as the Polish expert he participated in the research conducted by Cambridge Health Alliance together with Harvard Medical School and Harvard Law School, investigating associations between European gambling regulations and the actual gambling behavior of players.

In 2011, he represented the two largest European online gambling industry organisations in complaint proceedings against Poland to the European Commission for violation of the EU law by Polish gambling regulations, which resulted in the European Commission launching proceedings concerning violation of the EU law by Poland at the end of 2013 which terminated only in January 2016 after a number changes to the Polish gambling regulations were introduced.

He is a legal expert of the Polish Chamber of Commerce

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Conferences in Europe

Exclusive interview with Tom Edmonds (Harris Hagan), speaker at Prague Gaming Summit 2018

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It was my pleasure and honor to conduct the below interview with such a experience professional of the gambling industry.

I would also like to thank you for following my interview series and for sharing these information with your colleagues and partners. If you would like to be featured in an upcoming interview, please send me an e-mail to reka.szalo@europeangaming.eu and I will happily get back to you!

My current interviewee is Tom Edmonds (Harris Hagan), who is going to be among the speakers at Prague Gaming Summit 2018 (more details here...)

We are very grateful for your generosity to answer our questions. First I would like to ask you to shortly introduce yourself and tell us when and why you started working in this industry.

Tom: My first taste of working in the gambling industry was advising on the sale of a major gambling company, when I worked at Travers Smith (a UK firm specialising in corporate transactions).  This gave me an appetite to work in the industry and I moved in-house to Betgenius, a B2B sports betting provider.  I then continued my journey into the world of gambling when I joined the specialist gambling law firm Harris Hagan in 2014.

Before joining Harris Hagan in March 2014, you worked at Betgenius as an in-house solicitor. Which are those professional experiences or which is the knowledge you accumulated there and proved to be useful in your present job?

Tom: It was valuable to develop a detailed understanding of the sports betting sector, as well as a general overview of the rest of the industry.  This has enabled me to better assist clients by anticipating issues which a client has not necessarily considered but which I’m aware will come into play.

You advise clients on regulatory requirements from a gambling law perspective, product classification and on making operating license applications in the UK. Which are the most common problems your clients ask your help in and what are your most important suggestions?

Tom: We regularly assist clients with applications for a Gambling Commission licence.  At the outset this involves dealing with the fundamental question of which company/ companies need to be licensed and which licences they need to hold – a question which you might imagine to be simple, but which can be complicated and which is vital to get right.

We then work with clients to ensure they remain compliant with the requirements of holding a Gambling Commission licence and, if they should breach such requirements, assisting them in finding the best resolution.

In several Eastern European countries there are significant regulatory changes concerning online gambling. What is your opinion about the European market in general? What advise would you give for the operators; which are the most attractive markets?

Tom: In general, Europe is moving towards ‘point of consumption’ licensing regimes, as in Great Britain, where operators need a licence in each country from which they take play.  As a result, operators must be prepared to spend increasing amounts of time and money on compliance as they have to deal with the requirements of more licensing regimes.  Conversely, and with regards to the most attractive markets, there are still unregulated markets which may prove more profitable but which also carry a higher risk profile.

You are particularly interested in areas of this industry where sports and gambling meet. How would you characterize this area of the gambling industry and which are the new trends, important changes that you would like to speak about?

Tom: There has been a significant tightening of the rules regarding advertising of gambling, including those adverts shown around televised sporting events.  At the time of writing (mid-February 2018), the advertising regulator in Great Britain has just issued wide ranging new guidance that is intended to have a substantial impact on the content (and tone) of such adverts.  Adverts will have to change but we wait to see how significantly operators will change their adverts and what action is taken against non-compliant operators.

To hear more about the subject and meet Tom in person, make sure you register and attend Prague Gaming Summit 2018, held on the 29th of March at Andel’s by Vienna House Prague.

Interviewee profile:

Tom works in the Gambling Group and specialises in regulatory, commercial and corporate matters.

Before joining Harris Hagan, Tom worked as an in-house solicitor at Betgenius, a technology company which provides sportsbook solutions to bookmakers. At Betgenius, Tom gained first-hand experience of the online industry and advised on a broad range of commercial contracts and regulatory matters. Prior to working at Betgenius, Tom trained and worked for four years at Travers Smith where he specialised in M&A, including advising on the sale of a large gaming company.

Tom joined Harris Hagan in March 2014 and deals with all aspects of gambling law including advising major land based casino operators, online B2B and B2C operators and start up companies. Tom regularly advises clients on regulatory requirements from a gambling law perspective, product classification and on making operating licence applications in the UK. Tom has a particular interest in areas where there is a cross-over between sport and gambling including sports betting, advertising gambling at sports events and spot-the ball competitions

In his spare time, Tom enjoys playing or watching sport, planning adventures overseas and having the occasional flutter.

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