iGB Live!/iGB Affiliate Amsterdam, Michael Caselli plots the prospects for industry
High five!: Industry expert Michael Caselli previews the hot topics and trends that will be debated at iGB Live!/iGB Affiliate Amsterdam.
Michael Caselli is Chairman of Clarion Gaming and a 24-year iGaming industry veteran. Considered one of the world’s leading experts on online gaming, he hosts, chairs, and speaks at international iGaming conferences and has provided insight to international news broadcasts including CNBC, MSNBC and the BBC. Ahead of iGaming Live!/iGaming Affiliate Amsterdam opening at the RAI Amsterdam (28 September – 1 October), he draws on his expertise to provide a thought leaders perspective on what he believes will be the hottest topics and trends dissected, discussed and debated when the industry meets at the RAI.
ACCELERATED DIGITALIZATION – “Technically, the ability for casinos, sports books and lotteries to go digital hasn’t changed much since pre-pandemic times. What has changed however is the focus of businesses who have realized that going digital isn’t just an option, but a safeguard to their very existence. Pre-pandemic, the majority of traditional gaming and betting businesses had focused on their historical core product – either the hotel/casino/resort, the lottery retailer or bets being placed on televised professional sports. The pandemic has shown us the vulnerability of that strategy and has forced land-based gaming groups to focus on their online presence and sportsbooks to look to new products that could be offered even when the stadia go dark. What next? A better experience for the online player. We now see a range of new products being offered by an increasing number of operators resulting in more consumer choice and a better consumer experience.”
ESPORTS – “Team and league owners are diversifying into eSport ownership as the huge fan numbers, 646 million by 2023, make an unignorably strong case for eSports as the next big thing. With betting revenues now exceeding $13bn annually, eSports is also on the radar of the betting industry, who are going to see Ryan Hart – aka Prodigal Son host an eSports tournament at iGB Live! this year. As more businesses offer eSports betting, I expect to see innovations that not only propel eSports betting to the next level, but foster the evolution of eSports itself.”
LAND BASED TO ONLINE – “The gaming sector is certainly big enough for online gaming and land-based gaming to exist side by side – but it’s not segmented enough for them not to. Top land-based operators are finding that to maintain their dominant market position, online gaming cannot be ignored. The pandemic, seeing casinos closed to help halt the spread of Covid-19, has made this argument very clear. But beyond safeguarding revenue in the case of physical plant closure, its’ also proven to the gaming giants that consumer behaviour and consumer lifestyles sometime demand the immediacy of iGaming, and sometimes demand the luxury and excitement of an amazing destination casino resort.”
NEW MARKETS – “Everyone is constantly looking for first mover advantage in identifying new markets to enter and develop and there will be lots of discussions at show surrounding ‘where’s next?’ The most exciting new markets of the moment are the Netherlands and neighbouring Germany. iGB Live! has two dedicated agenda sessions covering these markets.”
SLOT INNOVATION – “Slot game innovation is a perennial hot topic. It’s not only important to keep the games fresh for consumers, but as new jurisdictions open, new consumer preferences enter the market. As suppliers look to create deeper engagement, more personalized experiences and innovations that set their games apart from the rest, events like iGB Live! become more and more exciting as operators are presented the launches of the very latest game designs. From multiplayer games to tournaments, from branded games to new methods of gamification, the slot industry drives innovation in iGaming like no other.”
The number of industry professionals registering to attend iGB Live!/ iGB Affiliate Amsterdam increased by 40 percent week-on-week following confirmation by caretaker Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s cabinet that travellers who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 would not have to quarantine upon arrival in the Netherlands even if they have visited a country with high levels of coronavirus infection. Visitors will still need to check with their airline for confirmation of what additional documentation they need to fly. Those travellers who are not fully-vaccinated are also welcome to travel to Amsterdam, providing they have proof of a negative Covid test and an invitation letter that Clarion Gaming will provide them with. They can then test for free at the RAI before entering iGB Live!, with the results delivered in 15 minutes.
In a parallel development, the Netherlands government has also confirmed that it will not be enforcing the 1.5 metre social distancing regulation. Instead, the rule is being replaced with much wider use of the Coronavirus Access Passes where people wanting to gain entry to indoor venues, including hospitality, will be required to demonstrate either proof of vaccination, recovery from an infection of or a negative test for the infection within 24 hours. Coronavirus passes are generated in the form of QR codes in the CoronaCheck app.
To register for iGB Live!/iGB Affiliate Amsterdam.
GiocoNews is one of the media partner of the event.