Industry leaders, government figures and delegates from across the eGaming world visited the Mount Murray Hotel on Thursday 22nd November to attend what is swiftly becoming one of the most anticipated and celebrated events in the eGaming industry calendar. This year’s KPMG eGaming Summit was the fifth in a series which now spans both the Isle of Man and Gibraltar and aims to bring key stakeholders and decision makers together to consider and debate current tidings as well as the future of the industry.
The event was attended by close to 200 delegates representing locally based operators as well as a selection of complementary industries ranging from telecoms and data hosting specialists to corporate service providers, law firms and payment facilitators. Speakers ranged from key Government figures from the Department of Economic Development and representatives from the Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission to operator chairmen and KPMG’s eGaming specialists.
Highlights of the day’s events included a welcomed presentation by Roger Withers of Playtech who, as Chairman of one of the world’s largest publically listed gaming operators, spoke on the subject of capital markets and their relationship with online gaming. Also presenting was Pierre Tournier of the Remote Gambling Association, or RGA, who outlined the European Commission’s plans towards creating an EU regulatory framework for online gambling. Pierre’s presentation was met with an enlivened response from the floor and formed part of the afternoon session which focused predominantly upon tax and regulatory matters, with the morning’s focusing on sector updates and market forecasts.
This year, the KPMG Isle of Man summit also featured a series of new innovations, most notably a selection of ‘breakout sessions’ held in additional rooms and which ran parallel to the main event. Delegates were encouraged to take advantage of the more interactive and intimate setting and enjoy a series of presentations ranging from mobile ‘Pay-Per-Click’ advertising trends and network licensing from an operator’s perspective to the risks of being a decision maker in the eGaming sector.
Following a closing business card prize draw sponsored by Callcredit Information Group, which saw Mr John Corteen of Infinity take home a brand new iPad, delegates were treated to an evening’s entertainment in the form of a casino challenge courtesy of Experian. Delegates were each given £20 worth of virtual currency with which they could bet on Roulette, Poker or Blackjack tables. A series of prizes were awarded to those who earned the most from their allocated funds.
Some closing words from the Hon John Shimmin, Minister for the Department of Economic Development, featured an announcement highlighting plans for a post-graduate eGaming qualification that, as the Minister stated: “we believe will be the world’s first bespoke, fully accredited qualification in eGaming, demonstrating again that the Isle of Man is establishing itself as a centre of excellence in eGaming.” Although further details have yet to be confirmed, the break-through qualification is set to be taught at the Isle of Man College and will be accredited in partnership with the University of Chester.
Commenting on the day’s proceedings, Russell Kelly, Director for eGaming Services at KPMG, stated: “One of the greatest challenges when putting together a conference of this scale and calibre lies in finding new and relevant topics for our speakers and fresh ways with which to encourage our delegates to interact throughout the day’s proceedings. We are extremely lucky in this regard with eGaming, which remains one of the most exciting, fast paced and innovative sectors globally. The day itself was a great success, attracting a wide range of delegates, all of whom are intimately involved in our industry. Its continued growth and appeal is testament not just to the increasing importance of the eGaming sector to the Isle of Man but also to the growing sentiment amongst our industry that collaboration and discourse represent shared goals which can only further our solidarity.”