VIGE 2017, Vienna International Gaming Expo, has successfully achieved a massive reunion among representatives of the global gaming industry.
Austria.- With two weeks past the closing of the doors at the inaugural Vienna International Gaming Expo, the organisers would like to thank all exhibitors, sponsors, speakers and delegates for their attendance. The three-day expo was organised by EEGEvents and designed to bring together gambling professionals working for the online and land based sides of the industry with a special focus on Central Europe.
The time of the event has flown by really fast and there was plenty to see and hear during the 3 days of VIGE Seminars, which ran in parallel with the exhibition. The exhibition floor has seen a large space where delegates enjoyed an open networking area with catering on site and free beers sponsored by Lotto Hero.
The first edition of the yearly event was organised in a rather large hall with a total of 15 exhibitors coming from various sides of the industry. The organisers mentioned that they have experimented with the large open space with the possibility of organising a more crowded area next year. All these facts were found in the results of the survey conducted prior to the event.
Day one of ViGE featured a networking expo floor and VIGE Seminars have highlighted some of the recent regulatory topics in Central Europe with special focus on the challenges operators, suppliers and affiliates face when working in such regulated markets. Some of the most known gaming lawyers of the industry have spoken about the current situation of the online gambling market in Austria, Croatia, Slovenia, Hungary, Germany and the recently regulated Czech Republic. The keynote speakers of the regulatory briefings which have been held in the first part of day 1 were: Dr. Arthur Stadler(Austrian Association for Betting and Gaming), Mag. Claus Retschitzegger(Austrian Association for Betting and Gaming/CEO at Bet-at-home), Hrvoje Vincetic(Casino Adriatic), Jaka Repansek(RePublis d.o.o), Arendts Martin(Arendts Anwaelte), Jan Rehola(PS Legal) and Gabor Helembai(Bird & Bird).
The first day seminars have turned even more exciting in the second part of the day when an IMGL Masterclass was held in a special panel which covered the subject of the risks and challenges for affiliates, operators and platforms working in regulated markets. Keynote speakers have addressed their direct questions to the only regulator which was present in the panel, Ms. Odeta Nestor(Romanian National Office of Gambling). The keynote speakers of the Masterclass were: Robert Skalina(WH Partners), Assaf Dor(CELLXPERT), Yoav Dotan(Genesis Global/Affiliatecruise.com), Tal Itzhak Ron(Tal Ron, Drihem and Co., Law Firm), Morten Ronde(IMGL / Danish Online Gaming Association) and the panel was moderate by expert Dr. Joerg Hofmann(IMGL / MELCHERS LAW FIRM).
Day one at the Austria Center Vienna concluded with a special panel which was moderated and put together by Tal Itzhak Ron(Tal Ron, Drihem and Co., Law Firm) and focused on the recent marketing trends of the gaming industry(Recent Trends in Online Marketing) with interesting topics discussed by Maayan M. Dana(Tal Ron, Drihem and Co., Law Firm), Assaf Stieglitz(Odds1x2.com) and Boaz Gam(PaynetEasy).
The day has ended or for some started with the Networking Party organised by EEGEvents and sponsored by Prague Gaming Summit. The party was held in a “chill out” atmosphere in a Viennese local lounge with great music, lots of networking and drinks+snacks covered by the sponsors.
The second day of the event got up to a slower start due to the extended partying and networking of the official party and the seminars turned their focus on more serious topics such as Responsible Gambling and Innovations of the industry. The first part of the day was mainly focusing on the recent developments of the Responsible Gambling projects and their implementation process. The discussion extended in two panels where the experts of the Responsible Gambling project have addressed their concerns about the future of the industry. Keynote speakers of the first Responsible Gambling panel were: Roman Nesshold(Institute Gambling and Addiction, Austria), Dan Iliovici(Rombet), Malcolm Bruce(Gambling Integrity) and the panel was moderated by Pieter Remmers(Assissa Consultancy).
The second panel was moderated by Zoltan Tundik(EEGMedia/EEGEvents) and featured keynote speakers such as Pieter Remmers(Assissa), Nikos Roumnakis(EOGL) and Zoran Puhac(EOGL). After the two very packed panels the delegates got the chance to attend two panels which have highlighted some of the most talked about innovation of the online gaming industry. The first “Innovation Talks” panel was moderated by Konrad Gill, founder at ViARSys. ViARSys was one of the most frequented exhibitor during the exhibiton. The company created a special VR cage where you got the opportunity to test the real Virtual Reality games and most of the delegates were delighted about the experience. The keynote speakers of the panel discussed the importance of using Big Data in DFS, using Artificial Intelligence(AI) in the online gambling industry and a recent innovation of the online sports betting industry called Snap Screen(an innovative app that he described as the “Shazam for Sports Betting”).
The opening remarks in the panel which has intrigued the audience were spoken by Valery Bollier, who described DFS as a threat to the gambling industry as we know it, but also as an opportunity. The recently appointed CEO of BtoBet, Kostandina Zafirovska, who has 17 years of experience in Computer Science Engineering said that it was an obvious move for their company to bring over technology such as AI that is already being used in other industries. She also said the gaming industry is a bit slow in adapting to new technology but that the innovation in AI is here and being delivered to the players now.
Angelo Dalli gave an insight into their newly launched Lottery software, called Lotto Hero. Dalli spoke about his innovation in lottery, a sector of the gambling industry that he said has been called “a dinosaur on the brink of extinction”. As someone who is always on top of the latest technology and challenges, Dalli decided to launch a “V.2” of lottery in the form of LottoHero.
The seasoned panel has been well attended by the audience on the event and the experts who gave speech were: Valery Bollier(Oulala Games), Angelo Dalli(Bit8), Kostandina Zafirovska(BtoBet) and Thomas Willomitzer(Snap Screen). The second panel dedicated to the innovations of the industry also saw big names and some emerging companies that will soon shape the industry. Keynote speakers of the second “Innovation Talks” panel focused on the deliverabilty of e-mails, VR/AR, casino software innovations and Virtual Sports. The names lived up to the title of the panel and here are the names of the panelists: Martin Cagalinec(1SpinMillionaire), Sebastiaan de Vos(MailMike), Potapenko Vadim(Slotegrator), Kostandina Zafirovska(BtoBet), Konrad Gill(ViARsys) and Domagoj Marić(NSoft). The panel was moderated by Mihnea Paul Popescu-Grisogono of Casino Life and Business Magazine.
Konrad Gill, one of the industry’s biggest supporters of Virtual Reality (VR) technology comes from a land based background and is familiar with the suffering arcade gaming scene due to Austrian regulations. He founded ViARSys with the intent of providing the only turnkey solution for operators who wish to enter the arcade environment with a VR offering. Gill believes his solution will help revive the arcade scene in Austria and bring customers back to empty properties that are already fitted out for arcade and gaming use.
Domagoj Marić(NSoft) spoker about Virtual Games demands which are still on the rise and fairness of the industry when it comes to Virtual Games. His explanations shed light across this highly debated niche within the online gambling industry. Day two concluded with a large takeaway of informations and business card for all attending delegates.
Day 3 was dedicated for the Austrian gaming industry where the agenda was dedicated exclusively to the regulatory climate in Austria. To put it in the words of Rebecca Liggero from CalvinAyre.com: “When it comes to gambling operations, essentially a big mess complicated by politicians trying to protect a monopoly.” Helmut Kafka, President of Automatenverband.at, told CalvinAyre.com of the pending gambling court cases addressing if the Austrian gambling monopoly infringes upon EU law. He also mentioned his association’s 60 years of service as of 2017 and said there have been consistent ups and downs within the gambling industry in Austria for all these years. While he’s a big supporter of expanding gambling operator opportunities in the country, he cannot predict with certainty where regulations will end up in the near future.
The organisers released some of the partial results of the survey which was sent to +450 delegates and show some interesting facts. Here are some of the percentages and feedback received by the organisers. Based on this feedback, the organisers are already planning the 2nd edition of the Vienna International Gaming Expo and promise a much greater show by learning from the essential feedbacks and suggestions of the attending companies and individuals.