„The busiest three days in the Association’s history“ is how Wes Himes, Secretary of the interactive Gaming, Gambling and Betting Association (iGGBA) chose to preview January’s International Casino Exhibition, which takes place at London’s Earls Court Exhibition Centre.
iGGBA, one of 162 ICE exhibitors, will be taking centre stage within the ICEi section of the show, an 800sqm (8,600sq.ft) area of the show dedicated to all aspects of remote gaming. „Along with our Annual General Meeting, we will be using our exhibition presence at ICE to unveil our 2005 programme of activity which will include our continued interaction on the UK‘s Draft Gambling Bill, the Gaming Board and EU policy development,“ explained Himes. „In the process we hope to build on our membership which now stands at over 50 companies and organisations.“
iGGBA believes that the proposed legislation in the home market could provide an opportunity which will allow the remote betting and interactive gaming industry to grow as UK consumers feel more secure using online gambling services which are regulated by a UK licence.
Himes added: „By January we could be just months away from a regulatory framework hopefully offering remote gaming industry operators and suppliers a viable option when choosing a licensing jurisdiction. ICE 2005, and in particular our presence at ICEi, will allow us to communicate with all of the key players in the interactive market.“
Show organisers, ATE revealed at the beginning of November that ICEi will comprise no fewer than 29 exhibitors drawn from 11 different jurisdictions, offering the very latest products and services covering every conceivable facet of the business from content to consultancy, hosting to hardware, payment processing to platform provision and sports books to security systems.
At least a dozen i-gaming specialists will be exhibiting at ICE for the very first time in 2005. The 12 debutants include four UK-based companies (192.com, Betfair.com, Hitwise and OpenBet from Orbis) and two each from Canada (CasinoBlasters.com and Citadel Commerce) and Sweden (24h Bet and Poker Network). The other first-timers are from Cyprus (Universal Betting Solutions), Finland (EGET), Israel (Playtech) and Norway (Nordic Lottery Systems). The show will also welcome back two companies following an absence from the 2004 show – Microgaming Software Systems and Tain – whilst two companies have significantly increased their year-on-year presence: Net Entertainment is expanding the size of its stand by over 370 per cent to 42.5sqm (457sq.ft.) with RealTime Gaming growing by a third to 40sqm (430sq.ft.).
Standing out amongst the crowd will be Boss Media, whose 80sqm (861sq.ft.) display takes pole position in the stand size stakes, closely followed by Cirsa Interactive with 70sqm (753sq.ft.) and first-time exhibitor Playtech with 64sqm (689sq.ft.). Two more newcomers – Betfair.com (59.5sqm / 640sq.ft.) and OpenBet from Orbis (51sqm / 549sq.ft.) – enter the ICEi big league in fourth and fifth place respectively. Three companies – Chartwell Games, Microgaming Software Systems and Net Entertainment – share sixth place, each with a 42.5sqm (457sq.ft) stand.
Julian Graves, ATE Marketing & Commercial Director commented: „i-gaming is well established as a vibrant, significant and integral sector of the London Show, where operators from every jurisdiction worldwide meet annually to see the latest products and discuss the hottest issues concerning gaming and gambling in every shape and form. As such, it represents the single most important opportunity of the year for gaming professionals and with such a strong line-up of the industry’s very best interactive suppliers ICEi 2005 is simply a ‘must-do’ event for anyone involved in this sector.“