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iGaming leaders in confident mood at KPMG Gibraltar eSummit

George Miller

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KPMG Gibraltar eSummit
KPMG Gibraltar eSummit 2018. Photo credits: KPMG Limited
Reading Time: 4 minutes

More than 300 delegates met in Gibraltar at the KPMG eSummit 2018 which took place on the Sunborn Yacht last week, to learn more about the future for iGaming and blockchain.

The Summit is one of the year’s highligt for all those linked to the iGaming industry in Gibraltar. The 2018 summit was also a must go event to those who are working hard to to position Gibraltar as an emerging Fintech hub. the most important topics were: Brexit, the evolving regulatory landscape with particular reference to DLT (distributed ledger technology) and tokens, PASPA in the USA, customer protection, industry and jurisdisction predictions and market developments.

After a welcome from KPMG’s Micky Swindale, founder of the eSummit events, the conference was opened by Gibraltar’s Minister for Commerce, the Hon. Albert Isola, who was upbeat in his assessment that “the iGaming industry in Gibraltar remains in excellent health and order”. Minister Isola observed that both new and established providers continue to apply for licenses and that over 3,250 people are directly employed by the industry in Gibraltar, with half as many again employed in support services.

Whilst acknowledging that Brexit has created uncertainty, it was clear, he said, that progress was being made with the UK Government to “square the circles”, adding that “only Gibraltar has guaranteed access to UK markets post Brexit”.

Minister Isola also took the opportunity to present KPMG recognition awards to two long-standing stalwarts of the Gibraltar eGaming community: outgoing Gambling Commissioner Phill Brear and former CEO of Burford Group and 888 John Anderson. The Minister commented that it was “impossible to separate Phill Brear’s work from our success as a gaming jurisdiction” and commended Mr Anderson as “an unsung hero” who had provided “excellent service to the industry and jurisdiction for over 40 years”. Both men were presented with commemorative wood carvings in the shape of gaming chips.

Phill Brear then took to the stage himself to give a regulatory overview, reflecting that Gibraltar’s success in the iGaming industry had been largely down to who it had chosen to licence and the professionalism of operators who were prepared to engage and listen to each other. His successor Andrew Lyman then outlined his impressions of his first 100 days in the job, and assured delegates that the Gambling Commission would continue to work closely with operators to remain a supportive regulatory regime.

Sian Jones, senior advisor to the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission, provided a fascinating insight into the burgeoning DLT sector in Gibraltar and the practicalities of legislating for an industry that is still being formed. She revealed that 30 applications have been received for DLT licences in Gibraltar with the first expected to be issued this summer. Sian also discussed the Commission’s ongoing work around regulating tokenised digital assets and Initial Coin Offerings.

In one of the two IMGL Masterclass sessions, KPMG Brexit advisor Mark Essex took to the stage to host a panel discussion on Brexit looking at the potential implications of UK’s departure from the EU and the transition period for Gibraltar. Panellists agreed that it was important to plan for a number of different outcomes but avoid committing too early to any major change ahead of the final agreement on a deal. This session also included a poll of delegates that revealed “ensuring free movement across the border” is currently considered the single most important factor in Brexit outcomes for Gibraltarian operators.

The second Masterclass was led by Richard Schuetz, who has worked both as an operator and a regulator in the US gambling industry. He gave an entertaining account of his experience with some useful tips on building relationships and the wisdom of staying onside with regulators.

In the afternoon delegates had a choice of attending breakout sessions which included an update on data protection from local law firm Hassans, cyber security benchmarking from Neil Coutts at KPMG and gender diversity in technology from the Gibraltar Girls in Tech team. Sessions on crypto funds and a panel discussion on Gibraltar’s proposition for Fintech were also well attended.

In the main conference area, in the fabulous surroundings of the Sunborn’s ballroom, the iGaming conference programme continued with a market update from Simon French of Cenkos Securities, who also hosted a panel discussion on M&A activity. Delegates were then introduced to HABET, a virtual world treatment currently in development for gambling disorders, followed by a panel discussion on protecting vulnerable customers. Andrew Lyman led the traditional industry outlook panel at the end of the day before delegates retired to the Sunborn’s sun deck for drinks, informal chat and networking opportunities.

The KPMG eSummits are recognised as leading industry events and take place with the help of a number of generous sponsors including HM Government of Gibraltar, Continent 8, Gibtelecom, Hassans, Mishcon de Reya, SMP, ISOLAS, Microgaming and Kompli-Global.

Speaking after the event, KPMG’s Global Head of Leisure Will Hawkley said it had been another day of highly valuable education and discussion for all those who had attended. “With events moving at such a pace, and external pressures such as Brexit and evolving legislation still creating uncertainty, it is extremely helpful and constructive to have an opportunity to reflect on how the industry in Gibraltar has progressed to date and where we would all like it to go in the future.

It is very encouraging to see such a positive picture emerging and I’m extremely grateful to all our clients and speakers for sharing their insights and providing thought leadership on such an important range of topics.

George Miller started his career in content marketing and has started working as an Editor/Content Manager for our company in 2016. George has acquired many experiences when it comes to interviews and newsworthy content becoming Head of Content in 2017. He is responsible for the news being shared on multiple websites that are part of the European Gaming Media Network.

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Balkan's

Montenegro in the focus at the inaugural European Gaming Congress (EGC) with Tatjana Scepanovic (Montenegro Bet)

Zoltan Tundik

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Ljubljana – 21 August 2018 – Montenegro features several amazing casinos. Best ones are on the Montenegrin Coast. When it comes to online gambling, well it’s a different animal.

Online gaming has been legal in Montenegro since October, 2011, and the Games of Chance Administration, the main gaming authority, started issuing online gaming licences in January, 2012.

To attract more investors, the Government of Montenegro made the procedure simple with minimum capital requirements imposed. Operators who get an online gaming licence in Montenegro can offer all forms of entertainment including slots, sports betting, Poker and other card games, live casino as well as other web-based games of chance. The only form of entertainment that is excluded is lottery.

A licensing package costs are between €25,000 for the first year while the renewal of the licence costs €15,000. An income tax rate is 9%.

There are certain advantages of getting an online gaming licence in Montenegro and one of them is that is allows operators to cater to the international market. However, when it comes to players’ interests, some of these advantages can be perceived as disadvantages.

During the inaugural edition of European Gaming Congress, Ms Tatjana Scepanovic will share her insights and give her expert opinion about the gambling industry in Montenegro and its potential investment opportunities.

Tatjana will join Zoran Puhač (European Organization for Gaming Law -EOGL) in the “Highlighting the Balkans and Southeast Europe” panel discussion, a panel in which more speakers will be announced soon.

About Tatjana Scepanovic

Tatjana holds degrees of Bachelor of Economy and Specialist in Marketing Management. I have been involved in the field of the games of chance since 2001, and I have been serving as Secretary General of Montenegro Bet since 2012. In addition to my engagement as the Secretary General, I also perform tasks of accounting, tax consulting, financial forensics and other areas related to the successful and legal operation of the company in general. In addition to promoting socially responsible organising of the games of chance, as the Secretary General I actively participate in following the legal regulations as well as in the drafting of proposals that can result in the improvement of the business environment.

Montenegro Bet is a representative association of the biggest organisers of the games of chance in Montenegro. The Association is a full-fledged member of the EUROMAT and EOGL, and in addition to being a member of all relevant Montenegrin business associations, it is recognised as being the first organisation to apply the principles of socially responsible organising of the games of chance in Montenegro.

Make sure you register your seat in time to benefit of the great lineup of speakers that will share their knowledge for operators and industry connected companies about France, Spain, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Slovenia, Austria, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, Greece, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Netherlands and Belgium.

The inaugural edition of European Gaming Congress which will be held on the 16th of October at the Grand Union Hotel in Ljubljana and will bring together industry experts from all over Europe and create a platform which will enable both networking and learning at the highest quality.

You can view the full agenda on the following link.

Full detail about the event can be found on the official website of the event: https://europeangamingcongress.com/

Make sure you grab your seat as the seats are limited to 100 registrants!

Register here!

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CEEGC 2018

Romanian Gambling Industry update with Cosmina Simion (NNDKP) at CEEGC Budapest 2018

Zoltan Tundik

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Budapest – 20 August 2018 – Since the regulation of the Romanian gambling industry, most of the large brands have obtained licenses to offer their services on the territory of the country. There is no doubt that the industry in the region is booming when it comes to licensing, but what makes the Romanian markets so popular among regulated gambling markets in this part of Europe.

We are honored to announce the latest speaker who will join the “Focus on Eastern Europe” panel discussion and share the insights of the Romanian gambling industry.

Cosmina Simion (NNDKP – Nestor Nestor Diculescu Kingston Petersen) an expert, who is often quoted in the industry portals and magazines and has extensive knowledge about the up and downs of the gambling industry in Romania compared to other jurisdictions.

About Cosmina Simion

Cosmina Simion co-heads the Gaming and Consumer Protection & Advertising practices of NNDKP, a preeminent business law firm in Romania. In addition to the gambling industry, her practice focuses on IP/IT, media & entertainment and online industries, having acquired a strong expertise in these fields in her 19 years of professional activity.

In the gaming field, her experience encompasses the full range of regulatory and operational gaming aspects, assisting betting and gaming operators, software & platform suppliers, financial services providers, auditors & certifiers, industry relevant associations or marketing affiliates.

Cosmina has also been actively involved in the review and drafting of the gaming legal framework (primary and secondary legislation), including representing clients before the Romanian regulator.

Previous coordination roles include heading the IP, media and technology practice of a Tier 1 global law firm, and acting as an in-house counsel at a US media group.

Cosmina is acknowledged as Leading Individual in the field of Gambling law by Legal500, being the only Romanian lawyer included in the highest band of the rankings.

She is a General Member of IMGL.

Make sure you grab your seat in time and attend the most prestigious boutique style gaming event which gathers C-level executives yearly in one of Europe’s most visited city. Register here!

You can browse the full agenda and already confirmed speaker list on the following link.

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CEEGC 2018

U.S. Gambling Market Opportunities debated at CEEGC 2018 in a special IMGL MasterClass with Jeremy Kleiman (Partner at the New Jersey law firm of Saiber LLC)

Zoltan Tundik

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Reading Time: 3 minutes

Budapest – 16 August 2018 – The industry portals are full of news about the gambling industry in the U.S. and this flood of data started when the Supreme Court paved the way for gambling to become legal nationwide.

The online and land based gambling industry is incredibly vast and sophisticated through the whole of Europe. Thus, investment in the U.S. market by overseas companies is a certainty and some are focusing really hard on it.

While this will make the market more competitive, the U.S. market poses a few unique challenges. For example, many gambling companies won’t necessarily know how to properly launch the U.S. market with new products. Gaining the insights necessary to succeed starts at the top with a strategic plan that’s driven by advanced technology.

As mentioned earlier, the IMGL MasterClass™ – US Market – Gold Rush or Opposite for European Operations (panel discussion) is the result of the extensive debates and talks, which leave many questions un-answered by European operators. That question being, expanding through Europe or aiming for the American dream.

We are honored to announce that Jeremy Kleiman, Partner at the New Jersey law firm of Saiber LLC, will join the IMGL MasterClass and share valuable insights as an “inside expert” of the market.

About Jeremy Kleiman

Jeremy Kleiman is a partner at the New Jersey law firm of Saiber LLC and a member of the firm’s executive committee.  His law practice focuses on gaming, regulatory and business law, representing casino operators, gaming equipment manufacturers, technology providers and financial institutions involved in the gaming and lottery industries.  He specializes in gaming-related corporate, regulatory, licensing and compliance matters, with an emphasis on the online and mobile gambling and sports betting industries.

Prior to rejoining the firm, Jeremy served as Executive Vice President, Regulatory & Business Affairs for Coastal Development, LLC, a developer, investor and operator in casino resorts and racetracks.  In that role, he was responsible for the company’s legal affairs, government relations and compliance functions, as well as sourcing, negotiating and executing on a number of business transactions.  Jeremy’s background and experience on the business side of the gaming industry uniquely positions him to counsel and advise clients on transactional and regulatory matters while understanding the clients’ business objectives.

Jeremy had previously been a member of the Firm and head of its Gaming Law Practice Group prior to his time at Coastal Development.  He advised financial institutions, gaming equipment manufacturers, lottery providers and casino operators on all matters related to licensing, compliance and other regulatory matters.

Jeremy is a co-founder and director of iDevelopment and Economic Association (iDEA), an industry association seeking to grow jobs and expand online interactive entertainment business in the United States through advocacy and education.

Jeremy serves on the Board of Trustees of the International Association of Gaming Advisors, is a past Chair of the Casino Law Section of the New Jersey Bar Association, and is a member of the International Masters of Gaming Law.  He is a frequent panelist at gaming industry conferences.

Make sure you grab your seat in time and attend the most prestigious boutique style gaming event which gathers C-level executives yearly in one of Europe’s most visited city. Register here!

You can browse the full agenda and already confirmed speaker list on the following link.

Quotes about CEEGC Budapest from attending delegates

Rafal Nowak – iGaming Sales Director at Mobiyo

“A week after the Budapest Gaming CEE conferences, I’m still discussing the topics brought up there with fellow delegates. Thank you Zoltan Tundik for organizing an informative an well shaped event on this, often underestimated iGaming territory and good luck with the next one!”

Roy Pedersen – CEO & Chief Editor at All In Translations

“For All-in Translations’ 10 Year Anniversary Tour we decided to attend more smaller conferences. Zoltan and Betty are much of the reason for this. They have a unique way of giving a personal touch to the events they organise while at the same time keeping them highly relevant. CEEGC Budapest was another great example where we felt truly welcome, and at the same time it was great for business.”

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