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Conferences in Europe

Malta in the focus at inaugural European Gaming Congress (EGC 2018) with Dr. Olga Finkel (Founder of WH Partners)

Zoltan Tundik

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Ljubljana – 15 August 2018 Although Malta is recently in the headlines for becoming “The Jurisdiction Of Choice For Blockchain Businesses”, we must not omit the fact a new Gaming Act has come into force starting August 1, 2018.

Approved by Maltese Parliament on 8 March 2018, together with the subsidiary legislation and Authority-issued binding instruments which establish the detailed processes and procedures constituting the holistic regulatory framework for the gaming sector, the Gaming Act came into force after undergoing the EU Technical Regulation Information System (TRIS) process, in line with European Union Directive 2015/1535.

The new framework elevates the jurisdictional profile of Malta from a regulatory perspective by strengthening the MGA’s supervisory role, specifically the Authority’s compliance and enforcement functions to better achieve its regulatory objectives. This is in line with concurrent developments relating to anti-money laundering and combating the funding of terrorism.

The new regulatory framework also empowers the Authority to be more agile in its decision-making, by removing unnecessary regulatory burdens not conducive to the regulatory objectives, whilst simultaneously strengthening supervision and focusing the regulator’s efforts on areas which present a higher risk profile.

Furthermore, the reform enhances consumer protection standards and responsible gaming measures, while promoting a risk-based approach towards regulation. It provides the MGA with wider powers in the fields of compliance and enforcement and establishes objective-oriented standards to encourage innovation and development.

During the inaugural edition of European Gaming Congress, Dr. Olga Finkel will share her insights and expert opinion about the latest developments which are the direct result of the new Gambling Act.

The Maltese market update is part of the “Market updates from Mediterranean Europe” panel discussion which will be presented by Quirino Mancini (Tonucci & Partners), Dr. Olga Finkel (WH Partners), Eduardo Morales-Hermo (iGamingCo & Ficom Leisure), Martin Stofler (OSM Solutions) and will focus on bringing insights into the following markets: France, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Malta.

About Dr. Olga Finkel

Dr. Olga Finkel (founder of WH Partners, a Malta-based law firm) has been practising law in the gaming, gambling and technology fields for over 18 years and is a widely regarded as a specialist in this field and a leading internet and e-commerce lawyer, being consistently top-ranked by the Chambers and Partners’ Global Gaming and Gambling legal guide, Legal 500 and Who’s Who Legal.

Olga’s specialisation includes regulatory frameworks for real money gambling, skill games and social gaming, blockchain and cryptocurrency regulation, as well as privacy, AML and corporate transactions. In addition to advising a range of gaming companies on regulatory, compliance, strategic and commercial matters, Dr Finkel assisted the Malta Gaming Authority in a complete redesign of the regulatory framework for gaming in Malta, both in land-based and remove verticals.

Olga holds a Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Malta as well as a Master of Science degree in Computer Science and Economics from the Academy of Economics, Kharkov, Ukraine.  She is a member of the International Masters of Gaming Law since 2003 and lectures gaming law at the University of Malta.

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!

After starting out as an affiliate in 2009 and developing some recognized review portals, I have moved deeper into journalism and media. My experience has lead me to move into the B2B sector and write about compliance updates and report around the happenings of the online and land based gaming sector.

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Conferences in Europe

Spanish and Portuguese gambling industry in focus at EGC Milan 2019 experts from Grupo R. FRANCO and Rato, Ling, Lei & Cortés Law Firm

Zoltan Tundik

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Major gambling industry markets such as Spain and Portugal to be analyzed by leading experts at EGC Milan 2019!

 

News about the gambling industry in Spain and Portugal has been trending on all gaming media outlets and in the past 4 years, the industry has been booming in these two jurisdictions.

A study, conducted by The Portuguese Association of Gambling and Online Games (APAJO), has revealed that there are between 400 and 600 thousand individual bettors online in Portugal, which represents between 4.6% and 6.9 % of the adult population in the country.

The study titled “Online Gambling in Portugal – The Best Bet for the National Regulatory System” prepared at the request of APAJO by Winning Scientific Management has shown that the Portuguese market had grown in a balanced way and in line with the European markets analyzed. It cautions, however, that licensed operators need more protection at the level of unlicensed game combat mechanisms and the information provided on the sector would be more detailed and comprehensive.

Online gambling has only been available in the country for a few years, but it has quickly grown to become very popular.

The statistics from the Serviço Regulação e Inspeção de Jogos do Turismo de Portugal have revealed that the country’s online gambling market enjoyed its best-ever quarterly performance at the start of this year, generating revenues of more than €47 million in the three-month period which ended on March 31st.

The online gambling market appears to be thriving in Europe at the moment and these new figures concerning Portugal only seem to reinforce that fact. Revenues in the country have seen a significant jump in the past 12 months and all eyes will be on whether it can ultimately keep up this pace in the months and years ahead. It is undoubtedly an intriguing time for the industry and it will be interesting to see just what comes next.

More than half of the revenue was specifically generated by betting, with football accounting for almost 75 percent of online wagering. This put the sport well ahead of its nearest rivals including basketball and tennis. In terms of gaming, revenues were up to €22.6 million with gaming machines – or slots – accounting for more than 63 percent of that. Trailing behind were other games such as online roulette and blackjack.

The gambling industry in Spain is also an increasingly attractive market for operators and suppliers alike; with bright forecasts for the market’s future following its regulation in 2012.

Spain’s current expansion is unprecedented and records show a 20.10% increase in terms of GGR, mostly due to the ever-growing popularity of sports betting online, which is currently above 25% in GGR.

Of course, there’s an increase in new customers, but we’re also seeing an exponential trend of players becoming ambassadors for the transition to online, which is, in turn, the catalyst for a very interesting multiplier effect within their own social circles, with more of their friends signing up to the digital world as a consequence. This is definitely indicative of the new generation of players getting involved in iGaming – and represents fantastic potential beyond the traditional bastion of sports betting.

Read: Spain: A new bull market? Exclusive interview with Ruben Loeches, CMO at R. Franco Group

At European Gaming Congress (EGC) we are bringing together key industry experts from Spain and Portugal in order to have a quality discussion about what operators need to know when entering the market or if they are already active in the region, what they should do in order to improve their presence.

The discussion will take place in Milan on the 8th of November at Radisson Blu Hotel Milan.

You can register here or view the agenda here!

The Spanish and Portuguese gambling industry will be discussed during the “Highlights from South West Europe” compliance panel discussion which is moderated by Andrius Gabnys (Attorney At Law – Gabnys Law Firm)

The Spanish gambling industry update will be presented from two angles by leading local experts Javier Sacristán (Digital & Operations Director at Grupo R. FRANCO) and the already announced Willem van Oort (Founder of Gaming in Holland / Gaming in Spain)

The Portuguese gambling industry update will be presented by Óscar Madureira (Senior Associate at Rato, Ling, Lei & Cortés).

Make sure you take advantage of this unique opportunity of learning and networking with the gambling industry in Europe via the EGC platform every year.

Register here!

About Andrius Gabnys – Attorney At Law – Gabnys Law Firm (panel moderator)

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 extensive experience dealing with the gambling authorities in Europe, CIS countries, Africa and South America.

About Óscar Madureira – Senior Associate at Rato, Ling, Lei & Cortés

Óscar is a Senior Associate at Rato, Ling, Lei & Cortés in charge of the Portuguese office, and is a member of the Macau Lawyers Association, the Portuguese Bar Association and the Hong Kong Institute of Arbitrators (HKIA).

Before joining the firm, he was a Senior Legal Counsel for Melco Resorts and other law firms in Macau.  He was also a Legal Consultant for Porto City Hall, for the Portuguese National Traffic and Transportation Department and for the Honorary Consulate of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau in Portugal.

He is a member of the Scientific Council of the Rui Cunha Foundation, a lecturer and consultant at the Centre for Reflection, Study and Dissemination of Macau SAR Law (CRED-MD) and a guest lecturer at the University of Saint Joseph, Macau.

About Javier Sacristán – Digital & Operations Director at Grupo R. FRANCO

Javier Sacristán has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Management from the University of Southern California. Throughout his career he has held different key positions in the start-up arena and in consolidated gaming companies, contributing his digital expertise. At present, he is Digital & Operations Director at R. Franco Group.

For more details browse the official event website here:  www.europeangamingcongress.com

 

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Conferences in Europe

High representatives of the Cyprus National Betting Authority, Malta Gaming Authority and EGBA will join the IMGL MasterClass™ at EGC2019 Milan

Zoltan Tundik

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Industry leaders, regulators, and provider representatives gather for a highly informative IMGL MasterClass™ at EGC2019 Milan!

 

We are honored to announce that this year’s European Gaming Congress (EGC) will once again include an official IMGL MasterClass™ which will focus on the ideal connection and communication between regulators and the industry.

An important panel discussion highlighting some of the main aspects that operators are facing when communicating with regulators and of course discussing whenever this is the right time to introduce lobbying in Europe.

European Gaming Congress (EGC) will take place on the 8th of November at Radisson Blu Hotel Milan and is gearing up to one of the most important editions of the conference.

You can register here or view the agenda here!

As mentioned above, the title of the IMGL MasterClass™ is “Ideal connection and communication between regulators and the industry” and will be joined by Ioanna Fiakkou (Chairwoman of the National Betting Authority Cyprus), Michele Magro (Chief Counsel – Policy & International Affairs for the Malta Gaming Authority), Maarten Haijer (Secretary-General of the European Gaming and Betting Association – EGBA), Quirino Mancini (Partner at Tonucci & Partners) and last but not least Andrew Cochrane (Chief Development Officer at SBTech).

The MasterClass will be moderated by the best person to guide this discussion who comes in the form of Dr. Joerg Hofmann (Partner at MELCHERS LAW).

Make sure you take advantage of this unique opportunity of learning and networking with the gambling industry in Europe via the EGC platform every year.

Register here!

 

About Dr. Joerg Hofmann – Partner at MELCHERS LAW (panel moderator)

Dr. Joerg Hofmann is a Past President of the International Masters of Gaming Law (“IMGL”) and group leader of the Gaming & Betting Law Practice Group of Melchers Law Firm.  He has been practicing gaming law since the mid-90s and Melchers’ legal advice is highly valued by global market leaders in all sectors of the gaming industry.  A highly recognized expert in the field, Joerg has been consistently ranked as a leading individual and expert in gaming law by prestigious legal directories including Chambers Global and Best Lawyers for many years.

About Ioanna Fiakkou – Chairwoman of the National Betting Authority Cyprus

Mrs. Ioanna Fiakkou is the chairwoman of the National Betting Authority, the public independent authority for the regulation, supervision, and control of betting activities in Cyprus.  During her term at NBA, she has worked with all stakeholders in the Cypriot betting industry and has managed to apply rigorous enforcement and monitoring measures.  Furthermore, she is responsible for launching the online betting market by granting the first licenses for companies offering online betting services.  She is now working on a draft bill whose aim is to modernize and update the betting market in Cyprus and takes into consideration the latest local and European trends and developments in the betting industry.

About Michele Magro – Chief Counsel – Policy & International Affairs for the Malta Gaming Authority

Michele is the Chief Counsel – Policy & International Affairs for the Malta Gaming Authority. He is a lawyer by profession and has worked at the regulator for over 7 years, principally within the Legal Directorate. Michele is the Chairman of the MGA’s Supervisory Council and a member of the Executive Committee. Michele is also Secretary to the Board of the Gaming Regulators European Forum (GREF).

 

About Maarten Haijer – Secretary-General of the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA)

Maarten Haijer is the Secretary-General of the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA), the Brussels-based trade association representing leading online gambling operators licensed and regulated in the EU. EGBA works together with national and EU authorities and other stakeholders towards a well-regulated online betting market in Europe which provides a high level of consumer protection and takes into account the reality of the digital economy and consumer demand. Before joining the EGBA, Maarten worked as the internal market and consumer protection counselor at the Netherlands Permanent Representation to the EU.

About Quirino Mancini – Partner at Tonucci & Partners

Quirino is one of the leading Italian gaming and gambling lawyers with a specialist practice of almost 20 years.  He acts for Italian and foreign-based online and land-based companies operating in the Italian gaming market, advising them on legal, licensing, regulatory, day-to-day compliance and any other operational aspects connected to their activities.  He also runs a bespoke matchmaking and business strategy service to provide clients with a customised type of assistance that includes also introduction and facilitation of dealings with the local regulatory authorities, banks as well as scouting and suitability checks on potential business partners.

Quirino is a regular speaker at most international gaming conferences and sits in the editorial board of various sector reviews and magazines.

Co-founder and editor of www.gaminglaw.eu, a pan-European information and commentary portal focusing on legal and regulatory issues under European and national gaming laws.

Secretary and fellow member of the Leadership Committee of the International Masters of Gaming Law (IMGL), a worldwide organization gathering regulators, lawyers and advisors, in-house counsels and educators engaged in the gaming business.  Fellow member of the International Association of Gaming Advisors (IAGA).

About Andrew Cochrane – Chief Development Officer at SBTech

Andrew Cochrane is Chief Development Officer for SBTech, the leading platform solutions provider to the sports betting and iGaming industry. He has worked across retail gaming, iGaming and sports betting sectors and has a proven track record of managing top-tier omni-channel operators in regulated markets. In his role at SBTech, he is responsible for cementing the company’s preeminent position in the industry by defining strategic objectives, identifying opportunities for further growth and maximizing revenues across the board, contributing to SBTech’s ongoing global expansion. He is leading SBTech’s U.S. go-to-market strategy.

For more details, browse the official event website here:  www.europeangamingcongress.com

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Conferences in Europe

Willem van Oort (Founder of Gaming in Holland – Gaming in Spain) to give gambling industry briefings in two panel discussions at EGC2019 Milan

Zoltan Tundik

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Veteran gaming consultant, active in the iGaming industry since 2005 to present insider information about Netherlands and Spain at EGC Milan 2019!

 

It has been reported earlier this year, that in the Netherlands, a total of 125 companies have told the country’s gambling regulator that they are interested to obtain the online gambling license, once it becomes legal in 2021.

Two-thirds of the requests come from outside the Netherlands and include big names such as Bwin, Unibet, and Pokerstars.

Earlier this year, the Senate voted to open up the market to other companies. Holland Casino is the only state-regulated gambling establishment in the Netherlands.

The new law is restrictive and contains a number of elements to try to combat addiction. Players have to register and state their limits and will be periodically reminded of the risk of addiction on screen.

The gambling firms will also have to appoint an addiction expert and pay gambling taxes of 29%, which is one of the highest in Europe.

Without any doubt, the Netherlands will be among the most interesting subjects in the second edition of the European Gaming Congress (EGC) which will take place on the 8th of November at Radisson Blu Hotel Milan.

Willem van Oort (Founder of Gaming in Holland / Gaming in Spain) will bring the key information about the Netherlands in the “Benelux Market Update” panel discussion where he will join Marko Jankovic (Head Of Business Development at G-Core Labs S.A.).

Given the extensive experience Willem has across multiple markets, we have also invited him to join “Highlights from Southwest Europe (Spain, Portugal)” compliance panel discussion, and as the founder of Gaming in Spain to talk about the inside information he has on the Spanish jurisdiction.

You can register here or view the agenda here!

Willem van Oort is a gaming consultant, active in the iGaming industry since 2005. He services international companies for market access, marketing and strategic business matters for Spain and the Netherlands.

Willem is also the founder of Gaming in Holland / Gaming in Spain, which are business communities for the iGaming sector, servicing its members with Newsletters, Magazines, and Events. On November 21-22 the next edition of the Spain event will take place in Madrid at the Bernabeu Stadium.

Make sure you take advantage of this unique opportunity of learning and networking with the gambling industry in Europe via the EGC platform every year.

Register here!

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

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