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Post Event – The second edition of Prague Gaming Summit brings the event to the next level

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Prague – 17 April 2018 – The curtains have closed three week for the second edition of Prague Gaming Summit and the organizers are delighted to announce that the growth of the event was noticeable.

The second edition of Prague Gaming Summit was held at Vienna House Prague on the 29th of March and it was a sold out event. The initial plan included seating of 100 top level delegates, however due to the high demand, the event was extended to 120 delegates.

Click to view slideshow.

View the full 2018 gallery here….

The organizing team would once again like to thank the supporting sponsors of the event:

 

The main highlights of the day

The event started smoothly with delegates starting to network straight away and eagerly waiting for the information to be shared by expert speakers. The delegates were greeted by Betty, Tereza and Christina, who handled the smooth registration and made sure everyone has all the information about the program that has commenced at 9:30 AM (Prague local time).

“Prague Gaming Summit is definitely the most important event when it comes to learning and networking with the experts of the industry from Central European countries. NetEnt is always interested in finding partners that comply with local laws and we have dedicated ongoing efforts in order to provide the best solutions in regulated markets. Being among the delegates who also attended the inaugural edition in 2017, I can say that this year’s event has doubled in participant numbers and has taken the event’s experience to the next level.”

Nadiya Attard – Head of New Sales at NetEnt

 

“The 2nd edition of Prague Gaming Summit was really an amazing one. In comparison with the first year there was visible improvement and I hope it will continue next year as well. Perfectly organized, nice place for conference and also good panels to discuss. Always good to be here and meet the right persons from industry. See you next year in Prague”

Vladimir Horak – Business Development Manager at Betgenius

 


The first panel of the event was dedicated for the local market and highlighted the main developments of the Czech Gambling Market. The panel was moderated by Dr. Joerg Hofmann (Melchers Law Germany) who introduced the speakers of the panel. Dr. Hofmann was joined by Jan Rehola (PS Legal), Jakub Kolomicenko (Endorphina), Ivan Sagál (Bird&Bird), Tal Zamstein (Fortuna Group).

Dr. Hofmann started by saying that “30 years ago it was fun to be a regulator, it was fun to be a legislator, because there was no internet. Regulating the gaming industry or supervising the gaming industry was land based only. If something happens, you walk around the corner, you call the police and everything is fine. Than in the 90s, something came up which is now part of our lives. Imagine not having your mobile phone with you or your computer. It is unthinkable how our days are different. There are so many challenges being a regulator today and generations have to learn, have to be ahead of technology, ahead of development.

Click to view slideshow.

He pointed out that regulators have to take into consideration the fast development of internet gaming and create the legislations accordingly.

The panel discussion stressed on legal advice, regulatory advice, supplier perspective and operators perspective about the market in Czechia.

Ivan Sagál (Bird&Bird) has continued with introducing the history of online gambling in Czechia and the new law which has changed the regulatory landscape. He stressed on the fact that the new regulation has brought the online sector into focus which is important for the developments of combating the grey area. The news law also gives a chance for international companies to apply for licenses as the state realized it’s better to liberalize and tax the industry. He also added that the new law is much more modern and captures a much wider scope of services than the previous one by also setting a fair rule.

The new law is an improvement to the old law, but there is still a long way to go until it’s actually we will be able to say that the new law has brought an improvement of the business environment. So far it is an improvement of the regulatory environment.” added Ivan.

Jan Rehola (PS Legal) has added to the discussion and highlighted the fact that the regulation looks good on paper compared to other EU countries and the regulation of online gambling is very complex.

However, when speaking about practice, according to the new law there are 81 licenses which were issued to 41 entities. Meaning that many of these companies own several licenses. When it comes to online, there are 16 licenses from which 8 were issued for online technical games, 3 online sports betting, 3 online lottery and 2 for online live gaming. The concern is that there is only one foreign operator among the licensed companies (PokerStars) and this should change in the future.

Jan also added that he thinks that the issues is “the way how the regulation is interpreted and how the things that are in the regulatory framework are needed to meet by the operators. The licensing procedure is very formal and it’s not substance oriented and for many operators it’s very hard to meet the requirements. There are unique and the operators are not used to having them there. Some of the large operator don’t understand the terms.

Tal Zamstein (Fortuna Group) has added his view about the market. He highlighted the operations of Fortuna in Czechia and also pointed out the fact that as they operate on several regulated markets in Europe, he can make a good comparison.

Tal pointed out the fact that his company is not challenging the law and that it was a bit difficult at the beginning, but once the audience understood the verification of the players it important and the hard days were over.

Later on he added that his feeling about the current regulatory framework is that “the law is very conservative compared to other jurisdictions and he is not predicting any changes or amendments in the upcoming year.”

The technical requirements for the suppliers was commented by Jakub Kolomicenko (Endorphina), who added that “the biggest issue the suppliers are facing is the limitation of the maximum win”.

He also pointed out that in order to comply with this rule, they have to make the game worse and limit the winnings. Amendments and changes are needed in order to make it attractive for foreign operator, not to mention the hardness of the licensing process.

The current legislation, from the supplier’s point of view, is that they are not protecting the players, and they are forcing them work from other jurisdictions.”

The audio recording of the panel is available for the registered delegates, who attended the event.


The discussions continued with the second panel which was also moderated by Dr. Joerg Hofmann, who invited Dr. Robert Skalina (WH Partners), Jaka Repansek (Republis Slovenia), Dr. Mag. Klaus Christian Vögl (Fachgruppe Wien der Freizeit- und Sportbetriebe) and Dr. Simon Planzer (PLANZER LAW) to the stage. The second panel discussion focused on the state of the gambling industry in Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland and Austria.

Click to view slideshow.

The discussion was initiated by Dr. Robert Skalina (WH Partners) who gave presentation about the Slovakian gambling market. He pointed out that some positive changes are expected this year in Slovakia. Many companies are reaching out to the government to ask about licensing after the blacklisting of unlicensed operators started.

The interesting compare between the Czech and Slovakian market is while both of them are pretty much close for foreign operators on paper and in practice. The only difference is that the Czech law is complaint with EU law and this a general acceptance. The Slovakian law is not considered compliant with EU laws. This is why the Ministry is preparing a new law or amendment to comply. The question is what the basis will be for this new law.

The discussion continued with Jaka Repansek’s (Republis Slovenia) exciting news about Slovenia who has brought fresh news in regards to the gaming regulation.

It’s about a new amendment which was passed in the government which liberalizes the market with unlimited number of licenses that have some entry criteria. The amendment only tackles the betting sector.

The amendment was vetoed by the Upper Chairman of the Parliament, so the House of Representatives are obligated to pass it again in maximum 30 days.

This is a huge step for the Slovenian market and it might see the end of the monopoly in the country. Most important that it comes during the time of elections.

(The European Gaming Congress which will be held on the 16th of October in Ljubljana is specially designed to also focus on the local market. You can read more about the event here.)

The conversation continued with a report on Austria, by Dr. Mag. Klaus Christian Vögl (Fachgruppe Wien der Freizeit- und Sportbetriebe) who said that he could not recommend applying for a gambling license in Vienna or almost anywhere else in Austria. The demand is high, however the commercial gambling operation laws are so restrictive that you can’t obtain a license.

Dr. Mag. Vögl also added that he receives questions about the market daily, but “To be honest, I must tell people, please forget about this in Austria. Open a sports business, or become a tour guide.

Dr. Simon Planzer (PLANZER LAW) continued the conversation and gave the insights of the Swiss gambling market, which is currently at an important turning point.

He started mentioning the fact that, Switzerland is a country takes pride in modern democracy and according to their laws, any law passed by Parliament can be challenged by the people in collecting signatures against it. This is because the ultimate legislator in Switzerland is not the Parliament, it’s the voters.

He was referencing about the gaming act which was passed in October 2017 by the Swiss Parliament and was challenged by the people. Thus, the coming into force of this act will be decided by referendum on the 10th of June by the voters. Either the results, it will be a vote of major significance for the online gambling market.

The audio recording of the panel is available for the registered delegates, who attended the event.

One of the rare moment where you can discuss about Regulation in Eastern part of Europe.

Catherine CHAUVIN – Area manager at PMU

This event is characterised by a very personal atmosphere. Always worth to attend.

Dr. Joerg Hofmann – Senior Partner MELCHERS law firm and former President of IMGL

 


The event continued with the first networking break of day, during which all delegates engaged into discussions and enjoyed a 30 minutes break from learning.

The 3rd panel of the day focused on the gambling industry in Poland and Bogdan Coman (ROMBET) has managed to get all the insights from Piotr Dynowski (Bird&Bird), Zdenek Lang (Superbet Poland) and Kamil Popiołek (Kancelaria Popiolek).

Click to view slideshow.

The panel discussion highlighted the most important challenges operators are facing when entering the market.

The audio recording of the panel is available for the registered delegates, who attended the event.

Prague Gaming Summit always provides an interesting insight into the gaming licensing submissions, how the situation is now and what to expect for the future. Dynamic, interesting, rewarding and the most important ‘not heavy to digest’ ;). Thanks to all the assistances for the great contributions and of course to Zoltan for the awesome organization and care. Really worth to attend!

Juan Martin – Sales Manager at Greentube Internet Entertainment Solutions GmbH

 


The panel was followed by a Complimentary Networking Lunch which was sponsored by PLANZER LAW.

Click to view slideshow.

All delegates got the chance to take a one hour break from the learning and enjoy a selected meal while also keeping up with the information shared by attending delegates.


The second part of the day started with the “Innovation Talks Live” panel, which focused on the role of cryptocurrency in the gambling industry and was moderated by Konrad Gill (ViARSys & iGamingRadio)

The panel was shared by Tom Light (SBTech), who started with a clear presentation of understanding what the role of Bitcoin is in the online gambling industry and continued with a shared discussion among the panelist, Max Krupyshev(Cubits) and Bernhard Blaha (Herocoin.io & Herosphere.gg).

The very informative panel which highlighted some important aspects of smart contracts and the use of cryptocurrencies in the gambling industry was follow by a short “fire side” discussion between Dan Illiovici (President of the National Gambling Office, Romania) and Dr. Simon Planzer (PLANZER LAW).

Click to view slideshow.

The short panel focused on an important topic, which was titled as “How NOT to do it – Avoiding regulatory failure

Dan Iliovici pointed out that there are many lessons to be learned from national efforts to regulate gaming, in Europe and beyond. All too often, similar mistakes happen along the road. The session pointed out some of the major legislative and regulatory mistakes the regulators often make.


As most of the regulatory related panels have been exhausted, the education continued with a panel dedicated to Conversion and Retention which was titled “From Conversion to Retention – how do you make a successful gaming operation profit

The panel was moderated by Tal Itzhak Ron (Tal Ron, Drihem and Co. Law Firm), who was joined by Quirino Mancini (Tonucci & Partners), Jon Peters (Theomobex), Tal Miller (Fibonatix).

Tal Itzhak Ron (Tal Ron, Drihem and Co. Law Firm) also moderated the “Effective Marketing and Communications in the Sports Betting Industry” panel discussion where he has invited marketing and communication experts Michal Shinitzky (Pangea Localization Services), Assaf Stieglitz (odds1x2.com), Tom Light (SBTech) on stage.

Click to view slideshow.

The panelists emphasized on the fact that it is vital that all marketing campaigns need to be clear, fair and most important optimized with localization.

We had a great time at the Prague Gaming Summit! Not only were the discussions very insightful and informative, the schedule was always on point. There were no delays, they were right on time and the sponsors were at the top of their game. We would definitely consider attending the next one!

Michal Shinitzky – Managing Director at Pangea Localization Services

The agenda continued with the final Networking Break of the day and has finalized with the awaited panel which discussed Responsible Gambling, AML and Gambling Licensing Procedures in the European Union.

The panel was moderated by Pieter Remmers (Assissa), who has unparalleled knowledge of Responsible Gambling implementation and was joined by expert speakers Martin Arendts (ARENDTS ANWÄLTE), Alex Henderson (The Ritz Hotel Casino London), Dan Iliovici(Romanian National Gambling Office – ONJN) and Tom Edmonds (Harris Hagan).

Click to view slideshow.

The discussion pointed out some of the main challenges companies are facing when combating AML and also trying to keep track of their Responsible Gambling Programs.

The event finalized at 18:00 and it was declared and the delegates have managed to gain access to quality content which focused on compliance, marketing and responsible gambling.

However, the program wasn’t over at 18:00 as the delegates were invited to join a final networking session, “The Official Networking Party”.

Click to view slideshow.

The networking party was held at one of the most popular venue Prague has to offer, NEBE Kremencova, where delegates got the chance to engage in a final networking session in a much more relaxed manner. Not to mention, enjoyed some of the finest beer in the world.

 

Prague Gaming Summit 2018 was an excellent event with renowned speakers, interesting content and an impressive number of delegates who represented variety of industry players. There were lots of networking opportunities, both during formal and informal parts of the conference. I am already looking forward to the next year event in which I will surely participate.

Bartosz Andruszaniec – Legal Advisor at RM Legal Kancelaria Radców Prawnych

 

 

The organizing team would like to once again thank each delegate for attending the second edition of Prague Gaming Summit and would also like to let you know that based on the feedback received from the event survey, preparations for Prague Gaming Summit 2019 are already under way.

Make sure you follow the social media channels of Prague Gaming Summit and European Gaming Media to get the latest information about upcoming events and announcements.


Source: European Gaming Media and Events

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Macau Legislative Assembly passed new gaming bill

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Macau Legislative Assembly passed new gaming billReading Time: 1 minute

Macau’s Legislative Assembly has approved a draft bill banning local casino workers from entering Macau casinos outside of working hours.

The bill, which will now head to committee for further deliberations and refining of policy details, is aimed at curbing problem gambling among casino employees. It was revealed by the Deputy Director of Macau’s Social Affairs Bureau, Hoi Wa Pou, earlier this year that around 30% of all individuals who ask for assistance in dealing with a gambling problem work in the casino industry.

Initially only barring gaming tables and machine workers, the proposed ban added workers who perform functions less directly connected to gaming such as in the cashier’s offices, public relations areas, restoration, cleaning and security in casinos.

According to the DICJ director, Paulo Martins Chan, the scope of the ban was increased after the gaming industry was consulted.

The only exception would be for the first three days of the Lunar New Year and in situations justified for entry to the casinos, such as training or associative activities.

The proposed regulations also establish a possible fine of between MOP1,000 (US$125) and MOP10,000 for workers caught infringing the law.


Source: European Gaming Media Latest News

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Russia’s first master’s degree programme in cryptography launched

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Russia’s first master’s degree programme in cryptography launchedReading Time: 1 minute

Russia’s  Novosibirsk State University will start the specialized master’s degree programme in the field of cryptography. The teaching will be carried out in English. Students will study all aspects of blockchain technology, as well as encryption techniques.

The Univesristy’s press-office already announced the enrollment of 15 students for a two-years “Master in Cryptography” master’s degree programme.

“The main goal [of this programme] is to attract bright students from all over the world and give them the profound theoretical and practical knowledge in all the aspects of contemporary cryptography for the purpose of their further involvement in research and development activity in this field,” – stated the announcement posted on the university’s official website.

The program begins in September this year.


Source: European Gaming Media Latest News

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South Africa gambling operators react to new casino bill

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South Africa gambling operators react to new casino billReading Time: 2 minutes

South African legislators are about to relocate the country’s casinos to Trade Bay, much to the sadness of many local gambling operators.

The move was opposed by the local gambling operators, which would be an enactment of the Western Cape Nineteenth Gambling and Racing Amendment Bill, 2018, and this would lead to a serious downfal in revenue as jobs as well.

The bill was intended to amend the existing Western Cape Gambling and Racing Act, 1996 (Act 4 of 1996), giving the Western Cape government the authority to compel existing casinos in five district municipal regions of the province to transfer to other areas.

While the bill has yet to be tabled before the legislative committee, South Africa-based casino operators like Sun International and Tsogo Sun Holdings Ltd. have expressed mixed opinions over the possible impact of the proposed bill to their operations.

Tsogo Sun CEO Jacques Booysen said the company would support the proposed relocations of casinos in Western Cape, as long as it “is done in a manner that makes commercial sense” for them.

South Africa’s biggest hotel and casino operator had been under pressure lately to temper its mounting debt by putting the brakes on acquisitions and business expansion. Tsogo Sun also reduced its spending in the most previous fiscal year by 8%, dropping it down to $261.5 million.

Tsogo Sun planned to submit its comments on the proposed bill before July 31 after seeing the draft legislation, according to Booysen.

Sun International, which operates the GrandWest Casino, was up in arms over the proposed relocation of their competitors, saying it might lead to lower profits and more layoffs in the future. The company’s chief executive, Anthony Leeming, estimated that GrandWest could see a gross gambling revenue decline of 24 percent while “headcount” will drop by 15 to 20 percent.

“The majority of job losses will be from the casino, but a drop in footfall will result in additional and similar job losses in the supporting… operations at GrandWest, as many of these businesses are entirely dependent on footfall generated by the casino,” Leeming said, according to the news outlet.

 

Source: CalvinAyre.com


Source: European Gaming Media Latest News

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