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Conferences in Europe

Looking back at the 2018 GiH Conference

George Miller



Looking back at the 2018 GiH Conference
Photo Credits: gettyimages
Reading Time: 4 minutes

The 7th annual Gaming in Holland Conference concluded last week in sunny Amsterdam. We had some big news and some big names. Today, we will highlight some of most notable sessions, as well as the festive Responsibility in Gaming Awards Dinner, celebrating responsibility in Dutch gaming.

Breakthrough in Dutch Remote Gaming Impasse

As the first day of the Gaming in Holland Conference was drawing to a close, Ministry of Justice and Security official Dennis van Breemen announced that Minister for Legal Protection, Sander Dekker, had sent a letter to the Dutch Lower House clarifying the additional conditions for future licensees that had been agreed in last year’s coalition agreement.
Specifically, Dekker’s letter addressed the coalition agreement’s requirement for online licensees to establish some form of physical presence in the Netherlands. Referring to a recent decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union, Dekker said that only online licensees without a presence in the EU or European Economic Area could be obligated to open an establishment in the Netherlands.

All online licensees, however, even those already established in the EU/EEA, will need to appoint a local representative in the field of addiction prevention.
The Dekker’s proposals also include measures to erect greater barriers between (social) gaming and gambling.
As the Ministry letter obviously represents the official government position, the main roadblock to further legislative progress in the Senate, where the current government coalition commands a majority, has now been removed.
While it is clear that the legislative process will resume in short order, unforeseen obstacles could still emerge. “We’re back on track, but the Remote Gaming Bill hasn’t been enacted yet,” warned Rutger-Jan Hebben of Dutch industry association Speel Verantwoord. “Maybe the remote market will now open in a year, but it could also take three.”

Responsibility in Gaming Awards Dinner and Charity Raffle

This year, for the very first time and in close cooperation with a wide range industry stakeholders, Gaming in Holland introduced the Responsibility in Gaming Awards, celebrating excellency and responsibility in the licensed Dutch gaming industry.

The 2018 winners are:

Responsible Gaming Initiative of the Year: HANDS 24×7
Best Use of Technology for Responsible Gaming: E-Assyst B.V.
Governance, Oversight and Social Care Organization of the Year: HANDS 24×7
Operator of the Year: Janshen-Hahnraths Group
Gaming Destination of the Year: Holland Casino Rotterdam
Industry Innovation of the Year: HANDS 24×7 & Mindway
Female Role Model of the Year: Yvon Jansma, Centrum voor Verantwoord Spelen
Gaming Industry Ambassador of the Year: Jan Suyver, Chairman of the Netherlands Gaming Authority

During the Responsibility in Gaming Awards Dinner, a charity raffle was held for the benefit of Fonds Gehandicaptensport, a charitable foundation for handicapped sports.


Netherlands Gaming Authority CEO Calls for Innovation in Land-based Sector

In her keynote speech, Marja Appelman, CEO of the Netherlands Gaming Authority, stressed the importance of innovation, in particular in the land-based sector, in order to keep players away from unlicensed offerings.

“I invite the entrepreneurs among you to innovate. Look for opportunities within existing rules and regulations to innovate and get results. The Netherlands Gaming Authority finds it important that licensees are able to offer attractive gambling possibilities, right now,” Appelman said.

According to Appelman, there is room to do so, while still keeping within the boundaries of even outdated rules and regulations.

“Look for new possibilities within the restrictions of current laws and regulations,” Appelman told her audience, promising that the Netherlands Gaming Authority “will accommodate this process.”


Holland Casino and Nederlandse Loterij

The CEOs of the Netherlands’ leading gaming companies, Holland Casino and Nederlandse Loterij, both spoke at the 2018 GiH Conference.

Holland Casino CEO Erwin van Lambaart discussed his company’s long-term strategy. In the coming years, the casino operator will specifically target the 25-36 age cohort, for instance with a soon-to-open “Millennial Zone” in Holland Casino Utrecht, as well as with an even greater focus on Food & Beverage. “Food & Beverage will become even more important than before, especially when remote gaming will be legalized,” Van Lambaart said.

Van Lambaart also said that the gaming sector should take the lead in responsible gaming; and called on the Netherlands Gaming Authority to apply existing rules in a fair and consistent manner.

The current prohibition on remote gaming should thus be more strictly enforced, Van Lambaart argued. Operators who do not withdraw immediately from the Dutch online market, should be excluded from obtaining remote licenses once the market opens.

Nederlandse Loterij CEO Niels Onkenhout agreed: “I believe that unlicensed operators should withdraw from the market right now, or be blocked from operating in the future regulated online market for at least five years.”

“In order to protect consumers, the Remote Gaming Bill must be enacted as quickly as possible,” Onkenhout added. “The letter sent by Minister Dekker is an important step in the right direction, but we must move far more quickly.”

Onkenhout also said that once the Remote Gaming Bill is enacted, Nederlandse Loterij expects to receive a remote license “with priority.”

Gaming Brand Awareness in the Dutch Market

Jeffrey Kruk, Research Director at media agency Wavemaker, shared the results of a study on the strength and vitality of gaming brands in the Netherlands. With the exception of Staatsloterij and Postcode Loterij, most gaming brands are relatively unknown and lack relevance to most consumers.

Surprisingly, 52% and 38% of Dutch consumers, respectively, are aware of the Unibet and PokerStars brands, despite being unlicensed in the Netherlands. Both brands, moreover, are perceived as offering something completely new and potentially relevant to consumers. These brands are thus well-positioned for strong growth:

See You Next Year?

While the last year has been rather quiet for the Dutch gaming industry, it now appears that we are moving forward again. The last details of the Remote Gaming Bill and its accompanying secondary legislation might soon be finalized, allowing the political process to continue at last.

Even now, other reforms are already on the agenda: the privatization of Holland Casino, a further restructuring of the Dutch lottery system, and, finally, a new regulatory framework for the arcade hall sector.

In the mean time, Gaming in Holland continues to build the infrastructure for the industry to meet, to network, and to stay informed. And also, of course, to celebrate its achievements.


Source: Willem van Oort/

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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Conferences in Europe

#PragueGamingSummit3 Speaker Profiles – Dr. Alexandra Körner, Zlatan Omerspahić, Martin Arendts and Dr. Christian Rapani

Zoltan Tundik



Reading Time: 4 minutes


There are just about 2 weeks left and the attendees of Prague Gaming Summit can finally get their hands on the latest information about the most interesting topics of the gambling industry and hear about the regulatory updates/investment possibilities in Central Europe and the DACH region.

Juan Martin – Sales Manager at Greentube Internet Entertainment Solutions GmbH said it best: “Prague Gaming Summit always provides an interesting insight into the gaming licensing submissions, how the situation is now and what to expect for the future. Dynamic, interesting, rewarding and the most important ‘not heavy to digest’ ;). Thanks to all the assistance for the great contributions and of course to Zoltan and Betty for the awesome organization and care. Really worth to attend!

You may have guessed it, Juan is already registered and he will join 125 delegates that attend the third edition of Prague Gaming Summit, which will take place on the 12th of March at Vienna House Andel’s Prague.

You can Register here or View the Agenda

We are honored to present more speaker profiles from the 40 experts that will share the quality content in Prague.

Dr. Alexandra Körner (Senior Legal Associate, MME Legal) and Dr. Christian Rapani (Attorney at Law at Dr. Christian Rapani) will join Dr. Raffaela Zillner, LL.M (Secretary General, Austrian Association for Betting and Gambling) and Dr. Matthias Spitz (Senior Partner, MELCHERS LAW, under the guidance of Dr. Simon Planzer (Partner at PLANZER LAW) for a DACH region oriented regulatory and compliance related panel discussion.

About Dr. Alexandra Körner

Dr. Alexandra Körner is specialized in compliance and regulatory matters in the field of Swiss Gaming Law. Furthermore, she renders advice and represents domestic and international clients in Corporate Law and Contract Drafting. She represents the interests of her clients in state courts, primarily in the fields of the Swiss Code of Obligations, especially Corporate Law and Business Law as well as Insurance and Liability Law. In addition, she published many articles in her specialized practice areas.


About Dr. Christian Rapani

Dr. Christian Rapani founded his law firm in Graz in 2013 specializing in business and corporate law. Dr. Christian Rapani is the author of numerous publications in these areas of practice. He possesses extensive experience in advising Austrian and international clients on all aspects of business law. One of his key topics of consultancy are issues regarding gaming and betting law with a special focus on B2B and B2C online gaming and betting offer. He provides guidance in various licensing procedures and advises clients on Austrian regulatory requirements and developments affecting their business activities.


We are honored to announce that Zlatan Omerspahić (Data Protection and Compliance Lawyer at NSoft) and Martin Arendts (Founder of ARENDTS ANWAELTE) will join Russell Mifsud (Gaming industry specialist – Associate Director at KPMG Malta), Jaka Repanšek (Media and Gaming Expert), Quirino Mancini (Global Head of the Gaming and Gambling Practice at Tonucci & Partners) and Charmaine Hogan (Regulatory & Public Affairs, International Relations, Policy Development Expert) in the IMGL MasterClass at Prague Gaming Summit 2019 under the guidance of Dr. Matthias Spitz (Senior Partner, MELCHERS LAW).

The IMGL MasterClass at Prague Gaming Summit 2019 will feature several topics which focus on the current developments in the industry, with an emphasis on advertisement banning trends in the European Union and the Balkans.

You can Register here or View the Agenda

About Zlatan Omerspahić

Zlatan Omerspahić has a Phd in Commercial law, Corporate governance, Contract law, Regulatory issues and is currently serving the role of Data Protection Officer at NSoft.

He has graduated the Faculty of Law at the University of Zenica and has held several compliance-related roles at Sberbank and Hypo Alpe-Adria-Bank.

He is responsible, loyal, dedicated and eager to learn about innovative things.


About Martin Arendts

Martin Arendts is an expert in gaming law, EU law and securities regulation. He studied law at the universities of Passau, Hamburg, Speyer and St Gallen. In 1995, Arendts founded ARENDTS ANWAELTE, now one of the leading law firms for gaming and betting law in Germany ( Clients include many private bookmakers and remote gaming operators, licensed in the UK, Austria, Malta or Gibraltar, as well as affiliates and media companies in Germany. Recently, Martin Arendts dealt with several administrative law, constitutional law, criminal law, unfair competition law, trademark and licensing proceedings in connection with sports betting, lotteries and poker.

Martin Arendts regularly writes for national and international legal publications and speaks at conferences. His work has appeared in a variety of publications, including Internet Gambling Report, World Online Gambling Law Report, European Gaming Lawyer, Zeitschrift für Wett- und Glücksspielrecht/European Journal of Gambling Law, MultiMedia und Recht (MMR), Gewerbearchiv, Casino & Gaming International and ISA Casinos.

Do not miss this opportunity to attend the leading conference in the region which offers the option for both new companies and veterans, to learn about industry insights and compliance updates, while also take part in several industry related discussions with the leading groups that are at the forefront of the gambling industry in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Austria, Switzerland, and Germany.

You can Register here or View the Agenda

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Conferences in Europe

Charmaine Hogan, International Gaming Policy and Regulatory Expert, to join the IMGL MasterClass at Prague Gaming Summit 3

Zoltan Tundik



Reading Time: 2 minutes


With less than 20 days to go until the 3rd edition of Prague Gaming Summit opens its doors, we are honored to announce that Charmaine Hogan (International Gaming Policy and Regulatory Expert), will join the IMGL MasterClass.

The IMGL MasterClass at Prague Gaming Summit will feature several topics which focus on the current developments in the industry, with an emphasis on advertisement banning trends in the European Union and the Balkans.

You can Register here or View the Agenda

Charmaine Hogan has been involved in online gambling (policy/regulatory) for over twelve years, advocating for Malta’s gambling laws, a first in Europe, representing the government amongst EU Institutions and the Member States. (Permanent Representation to the EU, Brussels).

She was later contracted to the European Commission, helping to bring European regulators and the industry to one table and elaborating policy on consumer protection, technical standards etc., as well as country-specific legislative assessments.

More recently she worked at bet365 in a regulatory/international development role.

Charmaine will join expert, Russell Mifsud (Gaming industry specialist – Associate Director at KPMG Malta), Jaka Repanšek (Media and Gaming Expert), Zlatan Omerspahić (Data Protection and Compliance Lawyer at NSoft), Martin Arendts (Founder of ARENDTS ANWAELTE) and Quirino Mancini (Global Head of the Gaming and Gambling Practice at Tonucci & Partners), under the communication guidance of Dr. Matthias Spitz (Senior Partner, MELCHERS LAW) (the moderator of the panel.

Do not miss this opportunity to attend the leading conference in the region which offers the option for both new companies and veterans, to learn about industry insights and compliance updates, while also take part in several industry related discussions with the leading groups that are at the forefront of the gambling industry in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Austria, Switzerland, and Germany.

You can Register here or View the Agenda

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Conferences in Europe

#PragueGamingSummit3 announces Alina B Gleiss (Zendesk), Dr. Manfred Galdes (ARQ Group Malta), Francesco Baranca (Federbet), and Martin Stöfler(OSM Solutions)

Zoltan Tundik



Reading Time: 5 minutes


As announced earlier this week, we are honored to host an important panel discussion which focuses on several topics that include IT Security, Safe Gambling, AML, KYC, CRM, Match-fixing and the use of AI in Responsible Gambling.

For such an interesting topic selection, a seasoned speaker lineup has been added in order to best achieve the goal of debating with the best in the verticals.

You can read more about the speakers of the “(Horus Session) Safe Gambling – IT security and AML / KYC” panel discussion below. They will join Kim Mouridsen (Professor at Aarhus University, Founder and Managing Director Cercare Medical, Founder at Mindway AI) and Pieter Remmers (CEO, Assissa), the moderator of the panel.

Picking the right CRM for Responsible Gambling with Alina B Gleiss (EMEA Sales Manager at Zendesk)

Alina has 10 years of experience in SAS Sales Leadership and International Team Management, and she aims to excel in the delivery of Zendesk’s Customer Service Solution to the Central EMEA Market.

One of her main drivers is the successful implementation of one of the Garter Magic Quadrant leading CRM & Customer Support Software solutions. This success is key to making the Customer Service domain a far better and customer-centric driven environment for all, setting up all companies for growth and success through better and innovative customer experience.

IT Security with Martin Stöfler (Co-Founder, OSM Solutions)

Martin has worked in the IT Security and Compliance field since 2001. He has excelled in a wide variety of roles ranging from penetration testing to heading up the security and compliance teams for major international B2B and B2C iGaming providers. Having been on the forefront of entering newly regulated markets in Europe and the US, he has accumulated a vast amount of experience in the practical aspects of online gaming regulations from an operator and platform provider perspective.

In 2017 Martin co-founded the Austrian Startup OSM Solutions, which focuses on iGaming security and compliance and is about to launch a revolutionary compliance product which will support operators and regulators through the often very complex processes of audit and certification management.

Martin is a former IT Security & Compliance Manager at NYX Interactive (Currently SG Digital) and has also worked with Amaya Gaming Gaming Group.

Combating Match-fixing with Francesco Baranca (Chairman of Committee on Ethics and Fair Play of Football Federation of Ukraine, Secretary General at FederBet Austria & Belgium)

Francesco Baranca is an expert in detecting fixed matches, who has revealed hundreds of matches featuring unfair players and teams over the years of his work.

Francesco is an Italian national who is the Secretary-General of FederBet, an anti-match-fixing organization based in Brussels.

He was head of the legal department of Stanleybet Malta Ltd. from 2001 to 2006, GoldBet Sportwetten GmbH from 2006 to 2009, and SKS365 GmbH from 2009 to 2013.

He has a Masters Degree in Law from Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, in Milan.

He speaks Italian, English, French, Spanish and German.

Francesco has been newly elected as Chairman of the Committee for Ethics and Fair Play of the Football Federation of Ukraine.

AML / KYC with Dr. Manfred Galdes (Partner at ARQ Group Malta)

Until two years ago Manfred held the position of Director of the FIAU, Malta’s financial intelligence unit. During his eight-year tenure, he acted as the operational head of the FIAU, which besides being the country’s FIU is also the body responsible for the supervision of all obliged entities (both financial entities and DNFBPs) under Maltese law. He also previously held the position of Manager, Legal and International Affairs Unit at the Malta Financial Services Authority, the single regulator responsible for the supervision of all banks, financial institutions and other entities providing financial services operating in or from Malta.

During his tenure at the FIAU, Manfred spearheaded the development of an effective risk-based supervisory framework and dedicated himself to refining Malta’s capabilities in fighting financial crime both through his efforts within the FIAU but also through his involvement in other high-level domestic committees. He was also entrusted with the coordination of Malta’s first AML/CFT national risk assessment.

Over the years he represented Malta on international bodies and expert groups such as the EU Expert Group on the Prevention of Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism, the EU FIUs Platform and the Egmont Group. He was also a member of Malta’s delegation to MONEYVAL for several years and Malta’s delegation to the Conference of the Parties set up for the purpose of assessing adherence to the Council of Europe Convention on Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of the Proceeds from Crime and on the Financing of Terrorism (CETS no°198) for two years.

In September 2016 Manfred joined the ARQ Group, a multi-disciplinary professional firm, as Managing Director of ARQ Risk & Compliance, leading a team of professionals providing specialist advisory and support services to private and public entities in the field of financial crime compliance. He is also a partner of Fenech Farrugia Fiott Legal, a Malta-based law firm with offices in Valletta and Birkirkara.

Today he advises a number of banks, financial institutions, and top-tier gaming companies and assists them with strengthening their compliance structures and systems. He also leads a team of international experts that provide advisory services to governments and public institutions involved in the prevention, supervision, detection, and investigation of financial crime.

In July 2018 Manfred was appointed Chairman of the ARQ Group.

Do not miss this opportunity to attend the leading conference in the region which offers the option for both new companies and veterans, to learn about industry insights and compliance updates, while also take part in several industry related discussions with the leading groups that are at the forefront of the gambling industry in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Austria, Switzerland, and Germany.

You can Register here or View the Agenda

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