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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 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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Baltics

Nominations are open for the Baltic and Scandinavian Gaming Awards (BSG Awards 2019 Vilnius)

George Miller

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We are honored to announce the launch of the inaugural BSG Awards. The BSG Awards stands for Baltic and Scandinavian Gaming Awards and recognizes highly ranked, trustworthy, hard-working companies for their respective field of activity in the online gambling industry. The awards will be held yearly from 2019 onwards.

To be considered for the award, companies must nominate their brands on the following link between 19 November 2018 and 22 February 2019.

This unique award will recognize the most outstanding gambling companies in the Baltics and Nordics. The broad category scope of the award will make it more interesting and will reveal emerging companies that are often overlook. Thus, we are delighted to be launching this award which epitomizes our commitment to recognizing and enhancing brand awareness for companies in the region,” said Zoltán Tűndik, Founder, Co-Owner and Head of Business at European Gaming Media and Events.

The award category winners will be selected after two voting session. The first voting session is going to be held online between 1 March and 31 March, 2019. The top 5 most voted companies per each category will advance to the shortlist. The final vote, which will decided the winners, will be casted by the attending audience of MARE BALTICUM Gaming Summit (The Baltic and Scandinavian Gaming Summit) which will be held on the 9th of May at Radisson Blu Royal Astorija Hotel in Vilnius.

Here are the categories which will recognized at BSG Awards 2019:

Baltics – Operators

Best Online Casino in the Baltics 2019
Best Sports Betting Operator in the Baltics 2019

Baltics – B2B

Best eSports Service Provider in the Baltics 2019
Best Fantasy Sports Provider in the Baltics 2019
Best Virtual Sports Provider in the Baltics 2019
Rising Star in Baltic Sports Betting Technology 2019
Best Sports Betting Innovation in the Baltics 2019
Best Sports Betting Provider in the Baltics 2019
Best Cryptocurrency Gaming Platform Provider in the Baltics 2019
Best Online Casino Provider in the Baltics 2019
Best Online Casino Innovator in the Baltics 2019
Rising Star in Baltic Online Casino Technology 2019
Best Lottery Service Provider in the Baltics 2019
Best Payment Service Provider in the Baltics 2019

Nordics – Operators

Best Online Casino in the Nordics 2019
Best Sports Betting Operator in the Nordics 2019

Nordics – B2B

B2B- Select category in the Nordics</h3>
Best eSports Service Provider in the Nordics 2019
Best Fantasy Sports Provider in the Nordics 2019
Best Virtual Sports Provider in the Nordics 2019
Rising Star in Nordic Sports Betting Technology 2019
Best Sports Betting Innovation in the Nordics 2019
Best Sports Betting Provider in the Nordics 2019
Best Cryptocurrency Gaming Platform Provider in the Nordics 2019
Best Online Casino Provider in the Nordics 2019
Best Online Casino Innovator in the Nordics 2019
Rising Star in Nordic Online Casino Technology 2019
Best Lottery Service Provider in the Nordics 2019
Best Payment Service Provider in the Nordics 2019

The awards ceremony is part of the conference agenda and the winners will be revealed in the final session of the event.

You can find more details about the awards on the following link.

Would you like to attend MARE BALTICUM? Register here!

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Baltics

European Gaming announces Andrius Gabnys (Gabnys Law Firm) as ambassador for MARE BALTICUM

George Miller

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We are proud to announce that Andrius Gabnys (Gabnys Law Firm) will join us as event Ambassador at the second edition of MARE BALTICUM Gaming Summit, which will be held in Vilnius, Lithuania on the 9th of May, 2019 at Radisson Blu Royal Astorija Hotel.

Finally, Vilnius has been given an opportunity to host the first full-fledged international gambling forum. It deserves one and it will be an honour to contribute in making it the top quality gathering for the gaming industry professionals.

It is the second edition of the Mare Balticum Gaming Summit, which European Gaming Media and Events brought into the map of annual European gaming conferences. Last year’s event in Riga and the subsequent developments in the region proved that the Baltics and Nordics need the dedicated forum. Let’s meet in Vilnius this Spring 2019! We have a lot to discuss!stated Andrius Gabnys (Attorney at Gabnys Law Firm).

Zoltán Tűndik, Founder, Co-Owner and Head of Business at European Gaming Media and Events added: “We are happy to welcome Andrius as an ambassador for MARE BALTICUM and look forward to working with him once again as we did with the inaugural event. Andrius is a well-known and respected attorney in the region and we are lucky that we can work with him. Andrius has extensive experience dealing with the gambling authorities in Europe, CIS countries, Africa and South America which makes him a leading figure of the industry in the Baltic and Scandinavian region for industry development.

MARE BALTICUM 2 will once again bring together the leading companies in the Baltic and Scandinavian region for a full day of quality learning and networking with local regulators and industry experts.

You can Register here!

Browse the official event website here: www.marebalticumgaming.com

You can view the photo gallery from the inaugural event on the follow this link.

About Andrius Gabnys

Andrius Gabnys is an attorney-at-law and a managing partner at Gabnys Law Firm, a legal boutique based in Vilnius, Lithuania and Tallinn, Estonia. The Firm specializes in entertainment (gambling, media, arts) and technology (IT, cybersecurity) legal aspects. Andrius Gabnys has been working in the online gambling sector for over 10 years, and focuses on the multijurisdictional licensing, IP and related matters. He has an extensive experience dealing with the gambling authorities in Europe, CIS countries, Africa and South America.

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Baltics

Save the date for MARE BALTICUM 2 – The Baltic and Scandinavian Gaming Summit and Awards 2019

Zoltan Tundik

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We are honored to announce that the registrations are open for the second edition of MARE BALTICUM – The Baltic and Scandinavian Gaming Summit which will be held in Vilnius, Lithuania on the 9th of May, 2019 at Radisson Blu Royal Astorija Hotel.

The new location of the event is based on the survey results which was sent out after the inaugural event in 2018, which was held in Riga.

MARE BALTICUM 2 will once again bring together the leading companies in the Baltic and Scandinavian region for a full day of quality learning and networking with local regulators and industry experts.

Already confirmed officials are Lolita Sumskaite (Ministry of Finance, Lithuania), Signe Birne (Lotteries and Gambling Supervisory Inspection of the Republic of Latvia), Taivo Põrk (Ministry of Finance, Estonia) and Brigitte Sand (Director, Danish Gambling Authority). More officials will be announced by the end of 2018.

You can Register here.

In addition to the regulatory reports and trending topics about Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Denmark and Sweden, the summit will bring the latest information about the Belarusian market.

Besides the market focusing panel discussion, we are adding two important topics to the agenda, Safe Gambling and Industry Innovations.

As in 2018, MARE BALTICUM will feature a special IMGL MASTERCLASS™.

New in 2019: Awards Ceremony for the Baltic and Scandinavian Industry

We are delighted to announce that we are adding an industry awards ceremony which will reward the hard work of companies in the region.

Titled as “The Baltic and Scandinavian Gaming Awards” (BSG Awards), the awards will be given to the top companies in their respective fields in an independent, fair and representative awards ceremony.

More details about the nominations phase, voting and categories will be revealed soon! For early enquiries, please contact zoltan.tundik@europeangaming.eu or betty.tundik@europeangaming.eu

You can view the photo gallery from the  inaugural event on the follow this link.

Testimonials from the attendees of the inaugural summit in Riga:

Satenik Danielyan (Head of Spring BME operations at BetConstruct): “Everything was just fine! The ambiance was very nice, the moderators were very highly qualified and engaging people, very suportive!”

Marjan Branko (Account Director at SBTech): “Another nice and productive event. Keep up the good job, guys!”

Taivo Põrk (Ministry of Finance, Estonia): “Looking forward to the next one! I will be back next year as well!”

Sissel Weitzhandler (Group Compliance Manager at Play’n Go): “It was an honor to take part at Mare Balticum Gaming Summit in Riga last week. The agenda and topics were extremely relevant, as demonstrated by the high level of interest and the entire event was very well organised. It was an absolute pleasure to take part in the forum so well attended by regulators, legal experts, industry representatives and operators where ideas and lessons can be shared and learned. I would like to thank the organisers, the individual panels including my distinguished fellow panelists. I hope to be back again as I believe this is an event one should not miss.”

Andrius Gabnys (Managing partner, Attorney-at-Law at Gabnys Law Firm): “I strongly believe that the region – Baltic States and beyond – has been an unfortunate gap in the industry media and events coverage for quite a long time. Zoltan and Betty were bold enough to make the first true dedicated gambling forum in the region and from my experience at Mare Balticum Gaming Summit it turned out to be a very good idea. Smooth organization, accurately selected panels, convenient and cozy venue. A very strong foundation for another successful series of events for European Gaming Media and Events.”

Pieter Remmers (Assissa): “A very good industry focused event with lots of attention to the individual participant.”

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