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Looking back at the 2018 GiH Conference

George Miller

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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/gaminginholland.com

George Miller (Gyorgy Molnar) 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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CEEGC 2018

Insights of the Hungarian gambling industry with Gábor Helembai (Bird&Bird) at CEEGC2018 Budapest

Zoltan Tundik

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Budapest – 17 July 2018 – The online gambling industry in Central Europe is the subject of many restrictions. This is the situation especially when it comes to regulation the market and creating a fair licensing law.

For years operators have been struggling to enter the market, but not many have succeeded as under Hungary’s gambling regulations, only operators of land-based casinos across the country are able to obtain licenses from local regulators to provide online casino games. CJEU ruled against Hungary this year that the particular provision in the country’s gambling law represents a “radical restriction” of EU treaties for the free movement of services across Member States.

If we take a look on the service provider side, it hasn’t been subject of such restrictions. Earlier this year, Scientific Games Corporation (NASDAQ: SGMS) (“Scientific Games” or the “Company”) announced that it has successfully launched an online sports betting channel for Szerencsejáték Zrt., the largest gaming service provider in Hungary. Szerencsejáték Zrt. is fully owned by the Hungarian State, has the exclusive right to sell sport games as well as instant and draw-based lottery games.

If we take a look at the land based industry, things are also positive. Just recently, EGT has launched its T-Line touch table live roulette multiplayer in Hungary. This is the first time this model is installed in the country.

There are some rumors floating in the local media that 2018-2019 might be the season when a new online gambling related legislation is drafted which might reshape the industry in the region.

The Hungarian industry update will be part of the “Focus on Central Europe – Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland” panel discussion and will be presented by local industry expert Gábor Helembai.

About Gábor

Gábor is an experienced specialist in corporate, commercial and real estate matters, and has an in-depth understanding of the gambling sector

As a Senior Associate in the Corporate and Commercial teams at Bird & Bird Budapest, Gábor advises on both domestic and cross-border transactions and investments in various industries.

Gábor provides regulatory advice and support to clients with (international) restructuring, insolvency and winding-up cases. He also assists clients (including foreign corporations, the Hungarian businesses of multinational companies and medium to large Hungarian companies) on general corporate housekeeping matters, and provides legal assistance to the operation of business associations’ different commercial and real estate matters.

He has a special sector focus on gaming/betting, advising major online and land-based operators, and slot machine manufacturers on regulatory matters. Gábor has represented clients in negotiating a concession agreement with the Hungarian State, assisted different clients from non-gaming industries in their gaming related matters (e.g. promotional games), and supported clients in transaction matters in the gaming sector.

Gábor regularly speaks in prominent international gambling conferences and his articles and opinions can often be found in well-known gambling journals and/or websites.

He graduated from the Faculty of Law at Károli Gáspár Protestant University and completed post graduate coursework at Eötvös Loránd University. Gábor is a member of the Budapest Bar.

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

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

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.”

 

Register here!

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Conferences in Europe

Portuguese Gambling Market Update, presented by Eduardo Morales-Hermo at European Gaming Congress (EGC) 2018

Zoltan Tundik

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Ljubljana – 11 July 2018 – Portugal is famous for many things, it is the birthplace of Cristiano Ronaldo, has great wine and a rich history. Being a medium-small size market with an estimate population of 10 million people, the gambling industry has always been a quality driver of Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR).

Also read:

The GGR in Portugal is around 110 million Euros and the markets has interesting areas that is important to be discussed, as to what not to do in a regulatory framework regarding taxation.

Online gaming and betting generated €122.5 million in 2017 from 800,000 registered players on sites in Portugal. The information was revealed in February this year by the Gaming Regulation and Inspection Service.

The “Online gaming activity in Portugal” report for the last quarter of 2017 also showed that 17,600 players had self-excluded themselves from gambling, 4,600 more than in the third quarter of the year.

At the end of last year, 61.3 percent of gamblers were aged between 35 and 44, followed by 25 to 34-year-olds (39.3 percent) and 18 to 24-year-olds (27.8 percent).

More than half of the gamblers live in or around Porto (22 percent), Lisbon (19.5 percent) and Braga (9.7 percent).

The tax regime imposed by Portugal’s three-year-old gambling law seems to be a hindrance for new gambling companies. As per the law, remote gambling operators need to get a license from the country’s gambling regulator Serviço de Regulação e Inspeção de Jogos (SRIJ).

During the inaugural edition of European Gaming Congress, gaming expert Eduardo Morales-Hermo, will share the latest insights he has about the market and experiences he encountered while working with the Portuguese and Spanish market regulations.

About Eduardo

A businessman with 45 years of experience, having worked as executive in corporation management, product development and, for the last ten years, as advisor and consultant in the gaming industry, both in-person and via interactive channels.

He graduated in MANAGEMENT STUDIES; Marketing and organization behavior; Quantitative Methods and Operations Management; Economics and Finance, by Emmanuel College (University of Cambridge); MBA/JD JOIN PROGRAM DEGREE (LMBA) by the University of Maryland, USA; New Technologies applied to Gaming and Entertainment; by the UNLV University of Nevada, Las Vegas, USA.

Eduardo has more than 15-year experience in online gaming, strategy planning, product and business development, implementation and restructuration of gaming corporations; regulations making for in-person and online gaming via interactive channels.

He was CEO, General Director and stockholder of gaming corporations in several European countries, and currently he works as advisor and consultant at Intelligent Gaming Company, and has participated in more than 30 projects.

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 will also focus on shedding light upon the industry and its main topics.

The European Gaming Congress (EGC) is expected to bring together industry expert 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

IMGL MasterClass™ – US Market – Gold Rush or Opposite for European Operations – panel discussion at CEEGC2018

Zoltan Tundik

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Budapest – 9 July 2018 There is, without any doubt, a large dumping of news and articles that focus on the US gambling market and the possibilities it might offer.

All these news have been circling around the industry and even mainstream media starting from May, when sports betting has been given the go-ahead by the US Supreme Court.

With the legalization of sports betting, many European companies are feeling a “gold rush” and hope to take advantage of one the biggest markets on the planet.

We are seeing and reading daily news about a large number of partnerships between European and US companies. Large European operators that already had a presence in the US market are already lining up for their comeback and relaunching old collaboration. Other operators and software providers are juggling events and focusing on how to enter and market their brand on US soil.

The opportunity for some is bigger than any other previous market opening and the figures are shown daily about the potential market size which are certainly impressive.

However, is this going to be a success story for European operations that have not really even been compliant with the currently in force regulations in European countries? There is no denying the fact that some of the operations haven’t even taken steps to learn more about how to be compliant in regulated European markets and are now looking to fulfill the “American Dream”.

The third edition of Central and Eastern European Gaming Conference will feature a special IMGL MasterClass™ which will focus on delivering vital information about the.

The panel discussion is titled “US Market – Gold Rush or Opposite for European Operations” and will feature industry experts from Europe and USA.

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

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

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.”

Register here!

 

About the IMGL MasterClass™

The IMGL Masterclass is a conference format offered by the IMGL at international gaming events, including trade shows and conferences organized by others. IMGL provides the content and the expertise of our esteemed members and invited panelists – who share their knowledge with participants of the conference, network with each other, and enter into discussions on how to shape the future of gaming law on an international scale.

The IMGL Masterclass panelists include gaming experts — regulators, attorneys, industry executives, and educators — providing guidance regarding evolving issues in the gaming industry that are of interest to legislators, regulators, and others in the industry. Effectively, the IMGL Masterclass provides a platform beyond the yearly IMGL conferences for bringing together leading experts in the industry, legal advisers, and regulators in our global network.

IMGL Masterclasses stand for high-level discussions and interchange among experts. They strive to present only the best quality speakers and moderators — and the most up-to-date and relevant content in the IMGL Masterclass panels.

More details about IMGL can be found on the following website: https://www.imgl.org/

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