- »ICE Asia Provides Australian iGaming Details
ICE Asia Provides Australian iGaming Details
ICE Asia Digital was the substitute virtual gaming conference, an undertaking to replace the annual ICE gathering. Since the coronavirus pandemic and its subsequent travel restrictions were the reasons for the conference going digital in 2020, it was no surprise that many of the panel discussions and much of the intelligence from experts pertained to gaming trends amidst the pandemic.
What is ICE Asia?
The most well-known gaming conference in the world, ICE hosts a massive endeavor each year in London. This is the primary ICE gathering for the global industry. But ICE Asia has become just as popular for countries in the Asia-Pacific region of the world. Considering its unique qualities and needs, ICE Asia attracts throngs of people each year.
When the pandemic swept the world, ICE did what so many entities have done in the past few months – took it online.
ICE Asia Digital wasn’t necessarily structured for networking opportunities because virtual conferences to have their limitations, but experts and industry leaders joined virtually to share gaming solutions, examine new technology, and follow trends in the gambling world.
Virtual Success in 2020
From Tokyo to Las Vegas, attendees and experts tuned in to virtual sessions from June 8-10, 2020. In all, more than 1,600 people participated in the 17 virtually organized sessions. ICE Asia partnered with SiGMA Digital Focus Asia, and the duo called it a success.
Organizers with Clarion Gaming said the migration to a digital forum was effective. It led to more than 5,000 individual discussions between viewers and more than 7,300 messages sent across the live streaming platform.
ICE Asia Event Director Greg Saint noted the positive feedback from participants. “I’m confident that people who joined us will have left knowing more and meeting more people, which is what all events are truly about,” he said.”
Days of Information
The first day of this year’s digital conference focused on Covid-19 presenting a new normal for the gaming industry, even when travel and businesses reopen.
Keynote speaker Andrew Domingo of PAGCOR talked about the future of gambling in the Philippines, and others joined to cover a more regional strategy that included Macau. Several discussions also tackled the topic of integrating iGaming with land-based casinos and operators. This highlighted the readiness or lack thereof of Asian operators to seamlessly move online.
The second day of ICE Asia Digital touched on topics like esports and more specific markets for gaming, how to reignite passions in operators in the Asian region.
One of the highlights of the kickoff day was an IMGL Masterclass, which was hosted by IMGL’s Jamie Nettleton. Michael Sarquis of the Australian Department of Justice and Attorney General spoke specifically about Australia. He disclosed the steps in order for Australia’s relaunch of gambling, as well as the future for operators as they focus on the health and safety of customers more than ever.
Sarquis disclosed that online gambling grew 140% during the pandemic shutdowns and quarantines. He noted some concerns, especially due to the fact that online gambling is not legal in Australia but unregulated sites soared in popularity in recent months.
“It remains to be seen if online arrangements are likely to continue at that (140%) level,” Sarquis said. “The rise will have a significant impact for how we regulate in the future, with online gambling advertisement regulations already strengthened.”
He noted that regulated online wagering for sports, for example, is growing, but offshore operators without licenses offer a wider range of games, such as casino table games, pokies, and online poker.
As for land-based operators, the pandemic moved them more quickly to cashless systems, according to Sarquis. This and other topics will evolve and progress over the months and years to come.
ICE Asia’s land-based exhibition and conference, the one originally scheduled for 2020, is rescheduled for 2021. It will partner with SiGMA Manila on May 27-28 next year.
Meanwhile, Clarion Gaming organized an iGB Live! online conference this summer. It is on the calendar for July 14-17, and Clarion notes it will “bring the iGaming industry’s greatest minds together to continue learning during this challenging period.”
With more time to prepare for iGB Live!, Clarion intends to conduct live sessions but also arrange for video meetups, chat rooms pertaining to specialized topics, and immersive virtual networking sessions.
The live version of that iGB conference is currently still scheduled for September 22-25 in Amsterdam, based on the hopes that Covid-19 will be under control and travel restrictions for most of the world will be lifted. The online event in July will hopefully be a precursor to the live option in September.