This year’s event saw record attendance as SiGMA brought four shows together for a mammoth conference in Malta.
Malta.- Last week saw the return of the SiGMA Europe conference in Malta, and the event cemented SiGMA’s place as the igaming meetup of the year. Combining four shows in one, it attracted a record 25,000 delegates, showing that while SiGMA’s branched out to new territories, its European event remains the jewel in the crown.
This year saw four shows combine: SiGMA and the Affiliate Grand Slam (AGS) at the MFCC on November 15, 16 and 17, followed by the AI and blockchain conference AIBC along with Med-Tech World at the Hilton on November 17 and 18.
The range of products and solutions on the expo floor presented the industry on a global scale, including niche areas. With the presence of operators, suppliers, payments providers, affiliates, media, investors and more, the conference offered maximum opportunities for networking and brand exposure.
Startups gained exposure at the Startup Village, each receiving a free booth on the expo floor, while 10 fledgling businesses took their ideas to the stage for the SiGMA Pitch, battling for a prize pool including mentorship, investment, and media opportunities. Surfer Penguin was crowned 2022 champion.
SiGMA Group founder Eman Pulis reflected on just how much the event has evolved. “Never in my wildest dreams would I have foreseen that SiGMA in 2014 would become the international show that it is today,” he said.
SiGMA itself was packed with enlightening panels and keynotes, networking events and the ever-growing expo floor. It drew policymakers, thought leaders and executives from the gaming and affiliation space across the globe. Government entities and ministers also attended, along with the prime minister of Malta Robert Abela.
Abela noted that “events such as SiGMA celebrate the spirit of Malta’s economic vision and Malta’s entrepreneurial drive. Eman and his team are living proof of this and I commend their can-do attitude. By working together we will be able to ensure more successful years of this already thriving gaming industry.”
He stressed the government’s commitment to bolster Malta’s gaming sector even further, saying it remains a top priority. “This is an industry which we are very very proud of. Malta is the home of choice for over 300 gaming firms providing over 10,000 gaming-related opportunities for jobs. Many of the companies are listed on the major stock exchanges boasting a superior level of governance.”
Regulators were also represented. Speaking on a panel on the first day, CEO of Malta Gaming Authority Carl Brincat said that the regulator had learned of the importance of groundwork before taking steps to innovate.
Meanwhile, in a keynote speech, Curaçao finance minister Javier Fransisco Antonio Silvania said his presence at the conference signalled the territory’s commitment to ensure it is an “important player in the online gaming industry.” Silvania is overseeing a major revamp of the Dutch-Caribbean island’s gaming industry to ensure proper regulation and supervision, with new regulations are expected to take effect from the second quarter of 2023.
Ian Smith, head of the eSports Integrity Commission, in his keynote address outlines concerns in the sector, noting that the “market potential is huge, but there is a considerable amount of danger. It’s like FIFA deciding to make the goal wider, or the pitch narrower just ahead of the World Cup.”
What did the exhibitors say about SiGMA 2022?
Some companies shared their thoughts about the show with Focus Gaming News.
Maria Bashkevich, Head of Marketing at Uplatform, said: “Once again, SiGMA Malta proved to us that Malta is still the heart of iGaming and has vital importance in its development. And we, as a young, dynamic brand, are more than proud to exhibit at sigma together with the industry’s top leaders.
“It’s encouraging to see how SiGMA Malta is expanding and improving each year, along with the number of attendees.
“SiGMA Europe 2022 was absolutely incredible and productive for us. I’m truly proud to see how our product is developing, the increasing client base, and how our brand is getting more well-deserved recognition.
“As usual, along with participating in key industrial discussions and showcasing our product, our team at the stand engaged visitors with various fun activities, ensuring that Uplatform was imprinted on everyone’s heart. From playing the thrilling buzz-wire game at Uplatform’s stand to win amazing prizes to treating themselves to freshly made coffee and specially made cocktails from skilled bartenders, there were loads of fun activities for everyone to have a good time.”
“SiGMA Europe 2022 was absolutely incredible and productive for us. I’m truly proud to see how our product is developing, the increasing client base, and how our brand is getting more well-deserved recognition.”Maria Bashkevich, Head of Marketing at Uplatform
And she finally added: “This year has been a marathon for Uplatform, but I won’t be lying by saying that it’s just the beginning. The team would use this “calmer” time to plan and devise new ways to improve client satisfaction and operations. We are excited to come back next year with new products and services, loads of new ideas, and contribute more to the iGaming world.”
On the other hand, Max Sevostianov, Chief Commercial Officer at Betbazar, commented: “SiGMA Europe was a resounding triumph. It was pleasing to witness a packed event that attracted the movers and shakers of the iGaming industry.
“There was significant interest in the exciting esports space and it was a privilege to share insight about best execution and the importance of authenticity within the sector. It is clear that esports will play a major role in driving long-term and sustainable success for progressive operators,” he stated.
“It is clear that esports will play a major role in driving long-term and sustainable success for progressive operators.”Max Sevostianov, Chief Commercial Officer at Betbazar
“From a company perspective, it proved a perfect platform to conduct many productive meetings with potential clients and consolidate existing relationships. As Betbazar COO, I had the opportunity to feature on an esteemed panel discussing the best way to do business with esports.
The inaugural SiGMA Awards
The debut SiGMA Awards raised a record-breaking 91k for charity and culminated in a gala awards evening on the first night of the conference. Hosted by Jon Thompson and Elisa Martinotti, the event recognised luminaries from the gaming, emerging tech and affiliation industries with 15 awards for new technologies and tools. Focus Gaming News was named online gaming media of the year.
SiGMA satellite events
From networking drinks in standout locations to a poker tournament, football, golf, a run and a closing night featuring Rick Ross, there was plenty of time for informal social connections too. The Steamers Gala shone a spotlight on emerging talent in this new digital space, with an inaugural Streamers Awards presentation. In attendance were streamers including Mr-Gamble, Haddzy, Doddy, Bonkku, Big Daddy, MaximZockt and Juicyspins.
At the Sky Club, the LCB Awards celebrated exemplary service and achievements in the industry with an aim to promote transparency and responsible gaming in the community. Meanwhile, Centurion-FC put on display of MMA prowess, presenting prominent European MMA athletes.