By Roman Frymer, Content Manager, G&M News.
“People / People who need people / are the luckiest people / in the world.” This is not only the beginning of a wonderful 1964 Barbra Streisand’s song. It is the reality of the gaming industry, and of life in general. Operators need providers. Providers need great team works. People need places to be entertained. We all need each other. After two years of absence that seemed two centurie, this long-awaited 2022 ICE London edition is proving how much did we miss an in-person celebration like this.
The first two days of the event were hugely successful. We had the beginning of the incredible ICE VOX sessions on Monday, with very interesting issues and recognized and respected leaders speaking at the World Regulatory Briefing and the International Casino Conference: Paris Smith (CEO, Pinnacle), Pontus Lindwall (CEO, Betsson), Simon Thomas (CEO, Hippodrome), Scott Sibella (CEO, Resorts World, in a video conference, since he couldn’t attend), Per Jaldung (CEO, European Casino Association), and more. We also had (on Tuesday) amazing roundtables and masterclasses, with the participation of LatAm referents: Luiz Felipe Maia, Itamar Pereira and Waldir Marques (Brazil); Tomas Garcia Botta and Ida Lopez (Argentina); Esmeralda Britton (Costa Rica); Cesar Valencia (Colombia), and Miguel Angel Ochoa (Mexico), among others.
Yesterday, it was the official exhibition floor inauguration: there were music (beautiful, classic one), silver-coloured pieces of paper that filled the air with joy and, at the bottom, those living legends that have make (and are still making) the ICE fair what it really is: the biggest show in the industry. Emotion was there too, with executives such as Kate Chambers, Stuart Hunter, Evert Montero, Bruno Omori, the above-mentioned Ochoa and other experienced businessmen/women we admire so much.
And what to say about the booths? From the biggest and most-crowded ones, such as Pragmatic Play, BetConstruct, WorldMatch, Soft2Bet, Pinnacle Solution, Pronet Gaming, Digitain, Sportradar and GiG to others that offer products, solutions and services you must look at, such as Skywind Group, Jada Gaming, Symplify, END2END, Aspire Global, Pariplay, Altenar, Vibra Gaming, SIS, EGT Interactive, GameArt, Amigo Gaming, Damex.io, and Evolution, to lots of companies that provide different payment methods, and those stands of relevant associations and show organizers, like Malta Gaming Authority, SiGMA, G2E, AGEM, EUROMAT, the European Casino Association and UNLV. All have been toured by countless executives who filled the corridors of the gigantic North and South pavilions of ExCeL London.
The amount of activities Clarion Gaming has prepared and presented for this fair is certainly awesome. You must come with a 10 people team or (if not) clone yourself just to be able to check what’s going on at the same time at the Consumer Protection Zone, the Pitch ICE, the Hosted Buyer Lounge, the ICE Esports Arena, the ICE London Sports Bar, the Gaming Lounge, the VIP Lounge, Ampersand and, again, the conferences that occur at the third floor.
Networking is also key to this sector, and ICE represents a great chance to gather with friends and colleagues to enjoy chatting, eating, drinking and, why not, doing business. During these first days, there were reunions like the ICE VOX Mixer, the World Regulatory Assembly, very cool parties like those of Altenar and Pariplay, and other opportunities to have fun and applaud this return to face-to-face meetings.
What’s left for today, Wednesday, and tomorrow, Thursday? There’s a lot of ICE ahead, but I want to highlight iGB Affiliate London, with booths to be visited: Codere, Hero Gaming, 888, Bet365, Betcris, Betsson, Betway, Entain, Gaming1, GGPoker, Pinnacle, William Hill and Yajuego Colombia, among others. Finally, don’t forget to pass by the LatAm Zone on the third floor for the masterclasses, where you will have the chance to listen and learn about latest opportunities to enter exciting LatAm gambling market. In short, after two difficult years, with suffering, distance and losses, let’s enjoy being alive, doing business and celebrating this new edition of ICE, thanks to Clarion Gaming and to all the people in an entertainment industry so necessary yesterday, today and always.