Eman Pulis is an expert with fifteen years of experience in organizing exhibitions, summits and conferences. His projects include the largest international gambling forum SiGMA in Malta. The first SiGMA gathered several thousands of participants; with every year, their number increases. At Riga Gaming Congress, Eman Pulis will tell how the work on such a large-scale event is conducted, present the SiGMA-2017 announce and take part in the discussion session concerning gambling legal aspects. We asked the expert to answer some questions about his personality and activity.
– You often refer to yourself as a “startup-romantic”. What does it mean for you and how does it describe your business approach?
EP: I have been a start-up all my life, trying new things, often failing because I didn’t know better and also because I could have used a little more support and mentoring. I still consider my projects to be at the start-up level, but with a very solid proof of concept. The business, be it events (SiGMA, Affiliate Grand Slam), software development (SMSwarriors) or affiliation (BonusVikings), is growing healthily.
As a result, thanks to the SiGMA platform, I’m using this show as a launchpad for other start-ups to network, get the necessary mentoring and support, not only from us (our knowledge is limited), but especially from dedicated mentors and investors, who are attending the show for this purpose. We launched the SiGMA startup pitch last year and feedback this year is phenomenal with over 80 startups having applied already and some of the best gaming venture capitalists worldwide attending. We are giving startups around 20,000 Eur worth of goodies, from a booth at SiGMA to free office space in our Gaming Hub in Malta and much more. All of this is free!
– Tell us briefly about the results of the last SiGMA summit. How many participants, speakers, and presentations have been involved? What about the feedback? What was implemented for the first time?
EP: SiGMA is literally doubling in size every year for the past four years. What started as a humble show with 1,300 delegates is this year anticipating 250 sponsors and exhibitors, 150 speakers and 6-7,000 delegates – including affiliates, operators, vendors, startups, investors and regulators. The floor plan is sold out six months before the show – which is unprecedented in this industry.
– You are known as a founder and organizer of SiGMA, but you also have other gambling projects. Could you say a few words about them?
EP: I actually made it clear to myself that I would never do business in gambling outside SiGMA. I have been unofficially blessed with the privilege of putting the spotlight on Malta thanks to this event called SiGMA and I want to carry this project with no conflicting interests.
Imagine me, as the CEO of SiGMA, trying to sell a sponsorship to a games developer if I have vested interests in another games development company? Or trying to sell an operator a booth whilst at the same time competing for traffic with that casino with my own casino brand. Would these companies trust their brands with me and with SiGMA? No.
As a result of this line of thinking I have respectfully declined offers for shares in a number of companies, even when I saw that the profits were lucrative. I take the time to explain that my neutrality in the show is what made them approach me in the first place and, in all cases, they have their mind at rest that I would never have vested interests in any other gaming company.
This, I must say, is an intangible asset that I hold very dear.
– What could be considered as the most challenging in preparation to the event of such scale?
EP: Oh my! So many challenges! Thankfully I’m a bit of an OCD (ha!) so I strive for perfection in every little step we make as a team – be it content writing, manning of stands, customer service – the biggest challenge is managing a team of around 200 employees on the two days of the show – from securities, ticketing staff, cleaning, speakers, booth builders – it needs to run as smooth as an orchestra.
Thankfully, I’ve been in the business of organising events for fifteen long years – be it parties, concerts, conferences or expos.
The bigger the show gets the more I realize on the need to delegate and resist micro-managing everything. To this extent, surrounding yourself with the best talent is paramount.
– Who is involved in the team of SiGMA organizers? How many people are necessary to get the massive event ready in one year?
EP: WE are only around five people in total, working full time all year round. Closer to the show we beef up those numbers obviously.
– What is planned for SiGMA-2017 participants? Something special for the fourth congress?
EP: After three years, we felt the time was right to shift to a bigger venue that meets the needs of a growing show. This year SiGMA will be situated a stone-throw away from the old charming city of Mdina. The focus by day will be at the Malta Fairs and Convention Centre (MFCC), then once the sun sets down, the focus will shift back to the official hotel, Corinthia San Gorg, and the surrounding restaurants in the city that seldom sleeps, St. Julian’s.
This year there’s something new, quite literally, for everyone:
- IMGL are officially endorsing this show for the very first time with two regulatory panel discussions;
- The GPI European Poker Conference shifted to Malta within SiGMA;
- Gaming Malta partnered with SiGMA to launch the very first DFS conference;
- A new, dedicated conference on Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies;
- A new, dedicated conference on Bingo;
- A new top-tier SEO masterclass for the very advanced;
- KPMG strengthened their partnership with their e-Summits;
- New world-class investors have joined last year’s lot, including Mark Blandfort, Simon Collins, Walker Parker, Julie Meyer and many more;
- The line-up of start-ups shot up from a humble eight last year to over fifty this year;
- The number of delegates shot up from 3,800 to a staggering 7,000 delegates;
- The number of affiliates shot up from 1,200 to a staggering 2,600 (check graphs so I tally);
- The foot print of our expo as well as the number of exhibitors tripled;
- World class brands are gracing our floor plan for the first time – Bet365, William Hill, Ladbrokes, PokerStars, Processing.com, Kindred, iGaming Platform, NetRefer, MyAffiliates, Twin, Casino Cruise, White Hat Gaming, Ikibu, Viarsys, Authentic Gaming, Blexr, Booming Games, Gambling Affiliation, Af2Af and many more first time exhibitors;
- The Malta Gaming Awards have been upgraded to recognise emerging trends in the industry;
- Our careers convention will welcome over 1,000 recruits, all hoping to land the career of a lifetime;
- We kept in close contact with all stakeholders throughout the year with a series of lavish dinners called iGatherings;
- We launched Affiliate Grand Slam; Tallinn in April, then Bucharest in September, flying a whopping 200 affiliates to each destination on an all-inclusive treat, saving no shillings along the way;
- Our publications grew bigger, slicker and reached more corners around the world;
- We persuaded the industry to ditch the vodka red bull; and started a new whiskey & cigar culture!
- 1,000 top level delegates benefited from our VIP Program.
– Are you aiming to expand the event geography and organize it in Europe, Asia, America? Or perhaps Malta and SiGMA are together forever?
EP: Only time will tell whether we expand the show further – for the time being SiGMA belongs in Malta and there is little scope for us to relocate elsewhere. Malta has been very kind to us and we feel right at home with the show in this charming Mediterranean state.
Pragmatic Play Grows in Paraguay and Brazil with Giro Win
Pragmatic Play, a leading content supplier to the iGaming industry, is achieving further expansion in Paraguay and Brazil after signing a multi-vertical deal with Giro Win.
The deal encompasses the supplier’s Slots, Live Casino and Virtual Sports products, bringing its portfolio to an even greater LatAm audience.
Pragmatic Play’s Slots portfolio has seen numerous player-favourite additions in recent weeks that will soon be available for Giro Win’s costumers, including new titles in the iconic Big Bass franchise as well as the renowned John Hunter series. The agreement also includes award-winning staples such as Sugar Rush and Gates of Olympus.
The supplier’s Live Casino content stretches from casino classics such as roulette and blackjack to captivating live game shows such as Sweet Bonanza CandyLand and Snakes & Ladders Live that are also part of the agreement.
Also included is Pragmatic Play’s Virtual Sports, powered by a real-time physics engine and providing life-like renditions of popular sports such as Formula 1, greyhound racing and horse racing, on-demand to sports bettors.
As it further expands across LatAm, Pragmatic Play continues its commercial trajectory and ambitions of delivering fresh content to even more players than ever before.
Victor Arias, Vice President of Latin American Operations at ARRISE powering Pragmatic Play, said: “With LatAm remaining a source of commercial growth for Pragmatic Play, its latest partnership with Giro Win underpins its ongoing commitment to bringing a dynamic entertainment offering to more consumers in the region.
“Giro Win is an esteemed operator in the Latin American market and Pragmatic Play is proud of this new partnership that will see its Slots, Live Casino and Virtual Sports soon integrated to its platform.”
Hélio Cuevas, Director of Giro Win, said: “Pragmatic Play’s portfolio boasts some of the best games in the industry and it will be a welcome addition to our offering. We have no doubt the response to the large quantity of Slots, Live Casino and Virtual Sports titles that Pragmatic Play offers will match the overwhelming reception they have already experienced worldwide.
“Giro Win and Pragmatic Play share a vision of powering up new possibilities for players and delivering an unmatched experience and we are delighted to now count them as a partner.”
Pragmatic Play to Have Significant Presence at SBC Summit Latinoamérica
Pragmatic Play, a leading content supplier to the iGaming industry, is set to be in attendance at the upcoming SBC Summit Latinoamérica.
Exhibiting at stands G40 and H40, Pragmatic Play’s leading portfolio of multi-product content will be on display to cement its standing as the leading supplier to the Latin American market.
Pragmatic Play will be a Gold Headline Sponsor of the event, where the team will join attendees at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Miami from the 31st of October to the 2nd of November.
The conference forms part of its LatAm Mission Itinerary, a campaign to inform delegates across leading industry events how Pragmatic Play can twist, transform, and elevate gaming experiences. Marking Mission #12, the provider’s attendance will be figure-headed by its Spaceman, the main character from its market-leading crash game title.
The Pragmatic Play team will be on hand at its stands to greet both current and potential clients and detail the advancements it has made in the realms of Slots, Live Casino, Virtual Sports, and Bingo.
Victor Arias, Vice President of Latin American Operations at ARRISE powering Pragmatic Play, said: “Pragmatic Play is thrilled to announce its attendance at the upcoming SBC Summit Latinoamérica and looks forward to welcoming attendees and gaining a deeper understanding of the lively Latin American market.
As Mission #12 in Pragmatic Play’s LatAm itinerary, it has a lot in store for the conference and will reaffirm its commitment to providing new dynamic experiences that allow its partners to excel.”
Pragmatic Play Partners with Starkbet
Pragmatic Play, a leading content provider to the iGaming industry, is celebrating the signing of a new partnership with Starkbet, enhancing its standing across Latin America.
Like many partnerships in the region, this latest tie-up with Starkbet includes three of Pragmatic Play’s popular verticals. Its Slot provision will see players able to enjoy recent releases including Rocket Blast Megaways and Diamond Cascade, as well as a host of award-winning popular hits like Sugar Rush and Gates of Olympus among 300+ quality titles.
The operator’s Live Casino offering will be significantly stronger once the deal goes live, with consistent top-performing titles such as Sweet Bonanza CandyLand and Mega Wheel being available for players along with a comprehensive collection of classic games such as roulette and blackjack.
Pragmatic Play’s Virtual Sports titles which offer a wide range of realistic games to complement real-life sporting schedules also form part of the new deal. Products like Force 1 and Horse and Greyhound Racing are among the sports soon to be available, giving bettors on-demand opportunities to enjoy a large selection of bet markets.
Victor Arias, Vice President of Latin American Operations at ARRISE powering Pragmatic Play, said: “It’s a pleasure to welcome the Starkbet team on board as Pragmatic Play’s latest partner in Latin America. It’s another fantastically strong brand that we’re delighted to see Pragmatic Play bringing its content to and we’re sure the relationship is going to work out incredibly well for both parties.”
Henry Berger, CEO at Starkbet, said: “Starkbet has always been a popular choice for LatAm players and that will be even more true now we will have content from Pragmatic Play in our portfolio. Its games are among the most requested among our players and we’re going to able to offer them so much more as a result of this agreement.”
West Virginia signs up to multistate poker compact
EveryMatrix partners with Caesars Digital
Lion Gaming Named Finalist in Four Categories at International Gaming Awards 2024
PIN-UP Global Launches New Business Line Named PIN-UP.INVESTMENTS
BetMakers Introduces New Wagering Terminal Monitoring Solution, OneWatch
PrizePicks Announces Inaugural World Championship Featuring Celebrities, Athletes and Fantasy Sports Enthusiasts
80% Bets Made Mobile: SOFTSWISS Sportsbook Q3’23 Overview
BETBY crowned best Mobile Sportsbook Provider at the 2023 SiGMA Europe Awards
Six Major Affiliates Form RGAA to Protect Consumers and Advocate Responsible Gambling
LIGHTNING BOX™ TAKES A JOURNEY TO THE JUNGLE WITH LIGHTNING TIGER™
News6 years ago
Softbroke collaborates with Asia Live Tech for the expansion of the service line in the igaming market
EEG iGaming Directory7 years ago
iSoftBet continues to grow with new release Forest Mania
News5 years ago
Super Bowl LIII: NFL Fans Can Bet on the #1 Sportsbook Review Site Betting-Super-Bowl.com, Providing Free Unbiased and Trusted News, Picks and Predictions
iGaming Industry6 years ago
Rick Meitzler appointed to the Indian Gaming Magazine Advisory Board for 2018
News5 years ago
REVEALED: Top eSports players set to earn $3.2 million in 2019
iGaming Industry6 years ago
French Senator raises Loot Boxes to France’s Gambling Regulator
News6 years ago
Exclusive Interview with Miklos Handa (Founder of the email marketing solutions, “MailMike.net”), speaker at Vienna International Gaming Expo 2018
News5 years ago
iGaming experts Bojoko analyse female representation in film