The Cyprus Gaming Show (CGS), the first gaming event bringing the online and offline gaming sectors together has successfully taken place in Nicosia at the Hilton Hotel on 20 and 21 September. The two-day conference and exhibition focused on Cyprus as a prospective regional gaming centre. CGS is the first gaming industry event on the island and, given the excellent turnout, is set to become a regular feature in the B2B occasions calendar of Cyprus.
The event was chaired by Christina Thakor-Rankin, the Principal Consultant for 1710 GAMING. The start of CGS was reflective of the ample support the event received from the local Governmental, as well as independent and non-profitable business-facilitating bodies on the island. Day one saw speeches and presentations from representatives of the following:
• Invest Cyprus, Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency (CIPA),
• Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry,
• Treasury of the Republic of Cyprus,
• Cyprus National Gaming and Casino Supervision Commission,
• National Betting Authority of Cyprus (NBA).
It is safe to say that the island has put infrastructure in place to create a hospitable environment for the industry, ensuring that international ‘best practice’ policies are put in place.
The panel discussion on the future of the new Integrated Casino Resort (ICR), which is set to be the biggest in the EU was a lively one. Mr Andy Choy (Melco Resorts & Entertainment) was well prepared in answering the myriad of questions on the planned operations, including the impact of the ICR in creating employment opportunities.
The casino itself is an opportunity for many local industries, some of which have not even been developed yet.
For instance, the operational issues of running a casino is something only foreign professionals could cover, such as details of the product mix and ways to optimise the casino floor, as covered by Mr Robert Brassai of Kerzner International. Furthermore, delegates could learn about the evolution of the specifications of roulette machines, as described by Mr Andrew Cammegh of Cammegh Ltd.
The representatives of The Training and Development Unit of the University of Nicosia took careful notes. After all, the specific exhibitor is charged with developing ‘homegrown’ talent to fill casino vacancies and that does indeed include maintenance staff.
The license given to the physical casino has sparked various reactions among the locals. Many are optimistic that Cyprus is en route to become the next regional hub for the offline and online gaming industries. Others are concerned that the expansion of gaming is a threat. The opportunities, the drawbacks and the current legislation, as well as various regulatory bodies were discussed in depth at various panel discussions, including one led by an industry connoisseur, Mr Graham Martin (Cardinal International Group).
No B2B event escapes ‘tech talk’ and CGS was no exception. Panel discussions on tech and innovation, topped with a comprehensive guide on use of cryptocurrencies in gaming, as well as the introduction to VR as part of a gaming experience, were vigorously discussed.
Regulation was another hot topic. This ranged from the key attributes of the privatisation of the National Lottery to the dangers of disregarding EU Personal Data Protection Laws and furthermore drew attention to the importance of the European Unfair Commercial Practices Directive (UCPD).
By the end of day two it was clear that gaming has a bright and promising future in Cyprus and seasoned professionals are more than happy to share ‘know-how’ and insights. It was evident that the local authorities are supportive of responsible gaming practices.
Lastly, service providers, instrumental to the industry, are ready to offer a comprehensive list of tools and processes to make the industry flourish. Exhibitors of CGS included: ECommPay, BetConstruct, Prospectacy, SB Betting Software, SBTech, Sunobel, UNIC Training and Development Unit.
CGS would not be the glorious success it has been without the support and key offerings from the sponsors: ECommPay, BetConstruct, Denitza Demitrova Consultus, Healys LLP, BtoBet, Prospectacy, PlayPearls, NBA and CIPA.
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