In the 24 hours that elapsed between MiGS Day One and MiGS Day Two, plenty of activity took place. We had everything from the inaugural iGaming Idol to an after party at Club 22 lasting until 6am while shocking presidential election results came out of America at about the same time.
Regardless, the show must go on and MiGS was just as busy today as it was yesterday, with plenty of chatter surrounding Trump’s victory and tying back into the unexpected Brexit vote.
Today’s keynote speaker was chosen with care – we were treated to an analysis of America’s presidential election results by John Andrews of The Economist. Andrews confirmed Trump’s victory will have a huge impact across the globe because no one really expected it and most people were expecting Clinton, a known quantity.
“Trump is an unknown and has said provocative things”, said Andrews. “The rest of the world is in shock, wondering how to react…it willl be tricky”, he said.
Andrews went on to explain several European leaders have been overtly critical of Trump, but will now have to backtrack. He is confident leaders will do their best to calm things down and said any “megaphone diplomacy problems” will come from the media.
“Fox News will crow with triumphs, CNN will be a little upset and in Europe there will almost universally be disappointment”, he said.
On a more positive note, Andrews pointed out we are still growing as economies on a global scale, although not terribly fast. He said as a population we’re living longer, we’re making medical and scientific discoveries and advances. “If there is a problem, we’ll find a solution. One of the things I’ve always admired about Americans is a tendency to always find a solution to a problem”, he said.
Wes Himes, Managing Partner of Instinctif Partners EU Office took the stage next, leading a mini IMGL Master Class focusing on New and Changing Markets. Himes took some time to point out how a lot of progress has been made in the EU when it comes to online gaming regulations. He said the markets are moving closer to an open multi-licensing regime, a sign the market is maturing.
Threats to progress and maturation within the EU market include the requirements coming along with the Anti-Money Laundering Directive and increasing impediments to free flow of data, according to Himes.
In terms of promising markets to watch and get involved in, Himes mentioned Greece as it represents the largest per capita spend in the Euro Market. Asia continues to be a “pioneer in play” and within South and Central America, Brazil and Columbia are the obvious winners, he said.
The Malta Gambling Authority (MGA) had a strong presence at MiGS 2016 and Chairman Joseph Cuschieri emphasized the importance of transparency and availability of the MGA to talk with licensees and potential licensees. Cuschieri praised MiGS organizers for bringing together senior level professionals from across the iGaming industry in Malta and said he’s delighted to support the event in any way he can.
Cuschieri told CalvinAyre.com of the MGA’s proud sponsorship of iGaming Idol, the first industry awards ceremony dedicated to recognizing individuals working in the industry rather than the companies that employ them. He said one of the main reasons why Malta is an ideal location to base an iGaming business is because of the outstanding talent residing on the island.
Winners of iGaming Idol 2016 were as follows:
Data and Business – Valery Bollier (Oulala Games)
Marketing – Ismael Diagne (Cherry)
Tech – Jurgen Grech (Gamesys Network Limited)
HR – Omar Bitar (Pokerstars)
Design – Mattias Sundberg (Mr. Green)
Fraud and Risk – Tania Johannisson (Evolution Gaming)
Live Casino – Disa Stigh (Evolution Gaming)
Customer – Jessica Portelli Melkersson (Videoslots)
Product – Alexander Stevendahl (videoslots.com)
Compliance and Regulations – Nicholas Gatt (NG Igaming Consultancy)
Oustanding Contribution to the Industry – Raphael Arnold (NetRefer)
Before closing out for the day, CalvinAyre.com caught up with one of the main MiGS orgnaizers, Jeff Buttigieg of REMAX. Buttigieg confirmed the success of iGaming Idol and explained how the session topics this year were hand-picked to cater to the senior-level audience MiGS is known to attract. He also touched on the many networking opportunities MiGS provided for its delegates, purposely taking place an upscale venue and providing intimate environments for professionals to connect and have some fun.