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Conferences in Europe

Exclusive interview with Mare Balticum Gaming Summit speaker, Valts Nerets(Senior Associate at Sorainen Latvia)

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My latest interviewee is a well known lawyer in Latvia and internationally. Valts Nerets is Senior Associate at Sorainen Latvia and has been practising law since 2008. Valts will be among the speakers at the inaugural edition of Mare Balticum Gaming Summit Riga, which is going to be held on the 8th of May at Astor Riga. You can find more details here

Thank you very much for being available for this interview. I read in your biography that you are senior associate and have been practicing law since 2008. As head of the Pharmaceuticals & Life Sciences Sector Group in Latvia you specialized in dispute resolution, distribution and trade, transport and maritime, information technology and data protection, pharmaceuticals and life sciences, and telecommunications. You also have extensive experience in litigation and arbitration, administrative law and procedure, contract law and international investment law. Why did you also choose the gambling industry and what other information about you would you like to share with us?

Valts: My work in Sorainen started more than seven years ago and back then my knowledge in gambling laws was very limited. One of the very first assignments that allowed me to obtain an in-depth insight into gambling law peculiarities, was back in 2011 when the Ministry of Finance of Latvia planned enacting a new Lotteries and Gambling Law. The online gambling industry was furious about the proposed changes which were very inconsiderate and were aimed into imposing more and more restrictions on the industry without any proper reasoning. It took many hours of work, letters, opinions and meetings, to convince the Ministry of Finance that the wording was incompatible. And a new law was not enacted back then and has not been enacted yet. Also, for example, to a very large extent it is thanks to our efforts that for obtaining a Latvian gambling license the law now requires that the foreign capital in the company does not exceed 49% excluding investors not only from the EU, but also from the EEA and the OECD member states.

I maintain close contacts with the gambling industry, but my passion is dispute resolution and in particular investment arbitration. I hope that in the future we also manage to defend the gambling industry players in investment cases against the State.

Would you please tell us more about the projects you have worked on and about the difficulties and successes you have experienced during your career?

Valts: It is indeed true that every case is unique and sometimes the smallest assignments are those which require most attention. Apart from our successful work on the gambling law amendments, already just in the very first two months of 2018 I have completed work on two very important assignments related to government relations. First, we drafted amendments to the Law on State Funded Pensions which hopefully will make Latvia not to be the last EU member state having no mechanism for inheritance of the funded pension capital. Second, we assisted our client in drafting amendments to the regulations on ridesharing. Both are crucial for every individual and I believe we have contributed to make life better for every citizen in Latvia.

What is your personal opinion about the gambling industry in general in Europe or in the countries you know better?

Valts: In many European countries the situation with gambling is similar: it is not considered as an industry beneficial for citizen well-being. The legislators are very indolent in liberalising the gambling laws. Advertising opportunities are almost limited to zero and taxes are constantly increasing. It is of course true that the increasing AML risks must be duly handled, but at the same time the feeling is that the legislators impose restrictions without carefully evaluating the risks and without taking into account the industry’s opinion.

Please tell us more about the Latvian gambling industry, the challenges of this market, the Latvian laws and regulations and their acceptance by the public.

Valts: With about 2 million population the Latvian market is very small and is seen as cost ineffective to most gambling organisers who must obtain a Latvian licence to operate there. There are only less than 10 casinos operating in Latvia, about 350 gambling halls with roughly 9000 slot machines and 100 roulette and card tables run by 13 licensed gambling operators. There are seven online gambling operators in Latvia, and it is expected that this number will increase. During the last few years the supervisory authority has put a significant effort in combating operation of unlicensed gambling operators in Latvia by blocking access to their websites, albeit not fully efficiently.

We know that gambling in Latvia is completely legal and has been regulated by the government since 1988. Online gambling is also legal if the operator is licensed in Latvia. What important issues can you relate regarding gambling and online gambling in Latvia?

Valts: To operate online gambling in Latvia, the gambling organiser must obtain a Latvian licence. The requirements for obtaining the licence are the same as for land-based gambling. The most significant requirement is establishing a capital company in Latvia with a paid-up share capital of not less than EUR 1,4 million. Since 2016 the requirement to locate the equipment in Latvia that is used for operating the gambling has been abolished and is replaced with granting the State authority access to such equipment. The competition in online gambling in Latvia is increasing, as more and more gambling operators are considering obtaining a licence due to the blocking of unlicensed operators’ websites.

 

Tell us please about your future plans, projects regarding your professional life.

Valts: In today’s business providing legal advice requires industry-specific know-how and keeping yourself up-to-date on the latest sector developments. That is the only way how to provide an exact solution to the client. Thus the professional challenge is keeping myself updated on the industries where my clients operate, including gambling. IT solutions and digital platforms like Avokaado, which Sorainen recently has started to use for contract automation, offer incredible opportunities also for lawyers. Law firms must be IT-focused and increase their efficiency to meet the needs of their clients. This is even more true in such relatively small markets as Latvia.

To meet Valts in person, make sure you register for Mare Balticum Gaming Summit and gain access into compliance related content about the Baltics and Scandinavian region.

Interviewee profile:

Valts Nerets, a senior associate has been practising law since 2008.

He is head of the Pharmaceuticals & Life Sciences Sector Group in Latvia. Valts specialises in dispute resolution, distribution and trade, transport and maritime, information technology and data protection, pharmaceuticals and life sciences, and telecommunications. In particular, he has extensive experience in litigation and arbitration, administrative law and procedure, contract law and international investment law. Valts has further developed his knowledge by participating in summer schools and additional courses in such fields as maritime law and mediation. Before joining Sorainen, Valts specialised in telecommunications and dispute resolution, through his work as a senior in-house lawyer for the leading satellite and telecommunications equipment wholesaler in the Baltics.

Additionally, Valts has vast experience in lecturing, and today he maintains successful cooperation with several universities. He is a lecturer at the Riga Graduate School of Law for courses in Private international law and international civil procedure, International sales law and Comparative constitutional and administrative law, as well as a lecturer and programme director at the College of Business Administration. International investment law is the main field of interest where Valts continues his research.

Valts has authored several learning manuals on administrative law and procedure.

The Legal 500 recommends him in the shipping and transport practice.

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Conferences in Europe

European Gaming complements the events portfolio with Virtual Quarterly Meetups and assigns Way Seer (Advisory Board)

George Miller

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European Gaming’s leading conference portfolio to be complemented with Virtual Quarterly Meetups starting 2021.

 

There is no doubt that virtual gatherings will still be a key activity for content sharing and networking in 2021 as well and we are adapting our agenda accordingly by launching the virtual European Gaming Quarterly Meetups series.

The quarterly meetups will complement the yearly conferences that will be hosted (if allowed) in hybrid formats, and will be strategically coordinated by the European Gaming Way Seers (Advisory Board).

We observed, tested and now implementing a special format to our audience. The idea is to continue brining an efficient communication channel that allows participants to stay up to date in a comfortable way with the latest updates. Only the vital information will be shared during the meetups and we are also allowing the participants to add to the topics. It is important for the industry to share their knowledge among each other in an efficient way that also creates a conversation that leads to opinion forming. This temporary abnormal is pushing us out of our comfort zone of hosting traditional conferences and he future looks brighter than it did in April-May 2020, even some might argue this”, stated Zoltán Tűndik, Co-Founder and Head of Business at Hipther Agency.

European Gaming Quarterly Meetups

The European Gaming Quarterly Meetups are designed to keep you up-to-date with what is fresh in the European gambling industry. The meetups also focus on countries in the EEA region and also on the CIS countries.

All the 4 meetups in 2021 are virtual and can be attended from the comfort of your office or home.

The virtual meetups will be organized quarterly and the calendar looks the following way:

  • February 11, 2021 – European Gaming Q1 Meetup
  • June 10, 2021 – European Gaming Q2 Meetup
  • September 09, 2021 – European Gaming Q3 Meetup
  • November 18, 2021 – European Gaming Q4 Meetup

The tickets are sold at the rate of 89 EUR per Meetup or you can benefit of the full year membership offer and save 25%. You can find more details about the passes here.

The meetups feature several panel discussions per region and topics that are joined by key industry experts, CEOs, C-Level Executives, Business Development Managers, and sometimes government officials/regulators.

All meetups offer the opportunity to network online in special break-out sessions, but also join a round table discussion which answers all burning questions of the industry at a certain point in time during 2021.

To receive constant updates about the registration opening and agenda updates, subscribe here: http://eepurl.com/hfyZxf

Advisory Board

In order to fully embrace all hot topics and regulatory updates from the above-mentioned regions, the topics and discussions will be put together by a group of experts, which were hand-picked to join the European Gaming Way Seers (Advisory Board).

We honored to announce the appointment of the following experts:

  • Raffaela Zillner, LL.M (General Secretariat of the Austrian Association for Betting and Gambling (OVWG))
  • Nadiya Attard (Director of Sales at Relax Gaming)
  • Charmaine Hogan (Head of Regulatory Affairs Playtech)
  • Jessica Maier (Chief Risk Officer, Head of Legal and Compliance at Push Gaming)
  • Sissel Weitzhandler (Chief Compliance Officer at Play’n GO)
  • Bahar Alaeddini (Partner at Harris Hagan)
  • Joerg Hofmann (Partner at MELCHERS LAW)
  • Morten Ronde (CEO at Danish Online Gambling Association and Managing Partner at Nordic Gambling)
  • Pieter Remmers (CEO at Assissa Consultancy Europe)
  • Gustaf Hoffstedt (Secretary-General at the Swedish Trade Association for Online Gambling)
  • Andrius Gabnys (Attorney At Law – Gabnys Law Firm)
  • Dr. Simon Planzer (Partner at PLANZER LAW)

The excitement about 2021 is also shared by the above-mentioned experts and here are some inputs that were stated:

“It’s great to see European Gaming Media and Events challenging the ‘new normal’ of gaming conferences. I‘m delighted to be part of this journey as a member of the advisory board.”Jessica Maier (Chief Risk Officer, Head of Legal and Compliance at Push Gaming)

“This is a great initiative. I look forward to participating in this project together with the other members of the advisory board.”Charmaine Hogan (Head of Regulatory Affairs at Playtech)

“Regular exchanges of experts not only strengthen the industry’s networking, but also support the goal of keeping gambling safe, fun and responsible. I am therefore very pleased to support the project as a member of the Advisory Board.”Dr. Raffaela Zillner, LL.M (General Secretariat of the Austrian Association for Betting and Gambling (OVWG))

“European Gaming is the organization where I feel at home. It will be interesting to say the least to be involved as a member of the advisory board.” Andrius Gabnys (Attorney At Law – Gabnys Law Firm)

“European Gaming has developed into the obvious choice for anyone in search of knowledge and insight regarding the gambling industry. I look forward to not merely observe its future development, but take part of it.”Gustaf Hoffstedt (Secretary-General at the Swedish Trade Association for Online Gambling)

“I have come to know Zoltan as a self-made man who has learned to understand the gambling industry within a relatively short period of time and created a position for himself and his activities.

The boutique format conferences that Zoltan set up a couple of years ago definitely created a ‘must attend’ event for all of us that want to stay informed.”Pieter Remmers (CEO at Assissa Consultancy Europe)

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).

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Conferences in Europe

European Gaming Congress surpasses all expectations and achieves supreme goal

Zoltan Tundik

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Good morning Hipthers!

Digital events have been key for the industry this year and we’ve made it a priority to not only keep things going with our hybrid conferences but to also make sure that we’re able to adapt and offer the latest in technology to make sure that the format never gets old.

Last week’s Congress and PICANTE MARKETING Summit smashed all our expectations, and we want to thank each and every one of you for taking part to make it truly brilliant!

With more than 500 registrants and more than 3,000 viewers over the festival via our streams, it was truly an honor to have close to 100 brilliant speakers draw up a virtual chair and offer some of the industry’s best insights on Europe.

We also saw plenty of firsts at the Congress, with our new Altenar-sponsored interactive panel discussions topping out at more than 400 viewers at both sessions – and based on your feedback, we’ll definitely be doing more to bring the audience into the panel conversations at our upcoming events.

Our (newly launched) virtual networking platform also had the chance to make its trial appearance, and we’ll be doing plenty of work to develop it in the coming months to ensure we can start making more connections for our community during the coming winter!

Of course, these events could never happen without our fantastic sponsors, and special thanks goes to Altenar (Registration Sponsor) and Golden Race (Gold Sponsors), as well as Trustly, SoftSwiss, BetGames.TV and Nordic Gambling.

Looking ahead, we’re already planning our live calendar for Q1 2021 – with our Prague Gaming Summit 2021 and MARE BALTICUM going ahead on-location as planned, as well as plenty of virtual appearances for those who can’t make it!

Here is a small break-down of the hybrid events we are planning for 2021:

Prague Gaming Summit – 30 March – (Registrations are open)
MARE BALTICUM Gaming Summit and BSG Awards – 13 May (Riga)
CEEGC Budapest – End of September
European Gaming Congress – beginning of November

You can subscribe to our communications on this link to be updated with all it’s happening at Hipther!

Make sure to also register for our upcoming free webinar: What is Hipther and what are our plans for 2021?

Until then, stay tuned for plenty more awesome news soon enough, and enjoy your October!

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Conferences in Europe

BetGames.TV sponsors the Baltic and Scandinavian Gaming Report Panel at European Gaming Congress 2020 VE (Hipther Festival)

Zoltan Tundik

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Award-winning live dealer betting games supplier joins the sponsors’ list at Hipther Festival.

 

There is just one day left until European Gaming Congress 2020 kicks off (between 6-7 October). The event is part of Hipther Festival, which kicks off today with PICANTE MARKETING Summit.

The organizing team is honored to announce the support of BetGames.tv as the panel sponsor of the “GAMING REPORT: BALTICS AND SCANDINAVIA” panel discussion.

The panel discussion is scheduled for the 7th of October between 14:50 – 15:50 CEST (Central European Summer Time) and will be joined by:

  • Morten Ronde (CEO at Danish Online Gambling Association and Managing Partner at Nordic Gambling)
  • Gustaf Hoffstedt (Secretary-General at the Swedish Trade Association for Online Gambling)
  • Dainis Niedra (Chief Operating Officer at Enlabs)
  • Richard Hogg (Director, Online Betting and Gaming at TV)

The panel is moderated by Andrius Gabnys (Attorney At Law – Gabnys Law Firm) and will focus on Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Denmark, and Sweden.

The registration is free and you REGISTER HERE NOW!

BetGames.TV  is a unique, innovative , and pioneering live dealer betting game supplier. The company offers fixed odds betting products combined with popular lotteries and table games to industry’s leading operators and platforms. Demo: http://demo.betgames.tv

European Gaming Congress aims to become Europe’s largest gaming compliance gathering which during the two days of discussions will cover all compliance-related updates from the EU/EEA and Balkans region.

You can find more details about the Agenda here or you can register here!

The speaker lineup at the European Gaming Congress is well-known for its colorfulness that includes the presence of regulators, industry experts, and industry representatives.

Even from its launch in 2018 in Ljubljana, the conference has topped all boutique-style conferences and has continued to offer an even bigger platform in 2019 when it was held in Milan.

 

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