As the delegates left The Brewery in Old London Town they were left with one lasting impression. The future of the gambling industry is mobile. Over 200-faces from companies ranging from William Hill, Weve, Paddy Power, McClaren F1 and the newly crowned Premiership Champions Manchester United were in attendance at the mGaming Summit, to listen to the specialists who are knee deep in the trenches trying to create a mobile gambling product for the consumer.
The one-day event was divided into two separate rooms, with the mGaming Summit being joined for the first time by the mSport Summit. Two different groups of speakers, but one united message. How do we create a mobile gambling device that is catered for a specific individual?
The lady holding the conductors baton was iGambling Consultant Aideen Shortt, and she had a star-studded group of individuals to manage; and manage them she did. Shortt using all of her experience, talent and obvious love for the gambling industry to prod and poke some of the most adroitly accomplished and artistic men and women you are ever likely to meet.
Shortt started the event by delivering a short presentation on the current state of mobile gaming. This was quickly followed by a passionate speech delivered by Marcus Wareham, a man who was recently recognized by EGR Magazine as being one of the top 100 influential people in gaming, and you could see why. Wareham told the goggle-eyed crowd that there is enough data available in the industry to create a purpose built mobile app for every single gambling user. His speech was all about individualism, loyalty and care for the consumer. It was also desperation that nobody had yet come forward to grab the bull by the horns and create what he believes is just sat there…waiting.
David Price of Weve was the next man to take center stage, and maybe answer Wareham’s prayers, as he demonstrated the opportunities available to the joint venture that counts O2, Vodafone and Everything-Everywhere as its shareholders. Not bad considering that between them they represent 80% of all UK mobile customers. Price was precise and punchy as he showed the group how Big Brother is watching, and luckily for us he is, as Weve have the ability to provide each customer with the custom built mobile offering that Wareham said was out there.
Coffee and cupcakes were consumed before the first panel of Rob Anderson (Alchemybet), Tony Plaskow (Bally Technologies) and Jamie Reeve (PaddyPower) discussed the various optimization strategies for the mobile phone. It was a great combination with Plaskow particularly honest as he discussed the difficulties a behemoth like Bally’s is finding migrating to a mobile offering. From optimization to mobile marketing as Bruce Bale (Facebook), Marie Despringhere (Google), Neil Fairweather (Latitude) and Joshua Morris (Consultant) got everybody’s cranium buzzing with a multitude of funky words all designed to sell, sell, sell.
A very healthy lunch was served and devoured before getting money in and out because the focus of everyone’s attention. Siamac Rezaiezadeh (Open Market), David Hunter (Ukash), Simon Wilson (mFortune) and Rory Maguire (rmcommerce) delving into the murky waters of mobile payments. It was an interesting debate that covered the difficulties of trying to convince the mobile users that their banks will not be raided should they impart with their credit/debit card details on a mobile network. The one thing to come out of this lively session was there is more than one way to skin a cat when it comes to getting money on and off in the UK; in fact, there are so many we could probably skin a rhino!
Christian Raiter (Mobenga), Pall Paulson (Betware), Rob Smith (Odobo) and Gerald Tan (Plumbee) decided to resurrect the age-old battle between web browsers and apps in the HTML5 v Native Apps debate. It was seemingly Tan against the world as the gaming expert poured out his heart for his love of the Native Apps whilst Smith and Paulson showed their much love for the variety that HTML5 has to offer across the network. Raiter was the devils advocate and to be fair he never had to jab anyone with his pitchfork. A great debate that showed that both have strengths and weaknesses and not one drop of blood was spilt.
The final act was left for an expert panel to air their thoughts on the future. The star of the show was Shaz Mirza (Spielo G2) who was brimming full of insights, but still couldn’t convince Shortt that implementing android technology into a washing machine was a seller. The panel was unanimous that the future was about being truly mobile in everyway.
That’s a wrap for a day that was chocked full of wonderful snippets of mobile information and we will be bringing you a more up to date report in the next few days.