“Highly topical, socially enjoyable and of great commercial benefit,” is how Hermann Pamminger, head of Corporate Relations at Casinos Austria International described this year’s European Casino Summit, which took place at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Thessaloniki, Greece across 8th and 9th May.
Mr Pamminger was one of nearly 100 industry professionals who participated in the two-day Summit, drawn from 18 different nations including Austria, Bulgaria, Canada, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom and the USA.
Topics covering nearly every facet of the casino business were discussed from marketing and customer trends to legislative changes and social responsibility issues, from casino layout and design to payment systems and processing, from slot trends and game development to testing and technological changes, and from racinos and new openings to brand protection and online development. Country-specific case studies were used to illustrate many of the issues, with analyses from Switzerland, Lithuania, Germany, Spain, Austria, Norway, UK, Greece, USA, Netherlands and Italy used to highlight the arguments.
Following a programme more specifically targeted at operational issues, feedback from the delegates present suggested that the Summit has now become a serious talking shop for the European industry. “Events such as this provide those at the sharp end of the business with an ideal opportunity to meet up with their counterparts, discuss the burning issues and gain some great tips on ways to improve earnings,” stated Pamminger. “The Summit is no longer simply a conference, but a fantastic networking event where operators are the real beneficiaries.”
Heather Turner, marketing manager for ATE, who organise the Summit, commented: “Feedback from the delegates points to a strong vote of confidence in the direction that ECS is taking. We have received some very useful ideas and suggestions on further enhancements which can be made, which will help make next year’s Summit even more valuable to the industry.” She added: “Our special thanks must go out to the Hyatt Regency Casinos, for providing such a superb stage for the event; to the sponsors, Atronic International, Austrian Gaming Industries, IGT Europe and Mikohn Europe; to the speakers, whose knowledge and expertise proved invaluable; and to the delegates, for their enthusiasm and keen input.”