Initiated and organised by the unique relationships between Counting House, the Isle of Man Government and several Island service providers, the conference room at the Hilton Hotel, Tel-Aviv, Israel, was bulging at the seams for the 2014 Global Lottery Messenger Forum on 20th May.
Over 75 delegates representing 30 Lottery Messenger brands, including the absolute largest in the industry, travelled from 16 countries to participate in the Lottery Messenger industry’s first ever global conference; an event that will be carved in stone in the industry’s history books as a catalyst for both the industry’s growth and for driving future regulation.
Following an official welcome by The Hon Leonard Singer, MHK, the agenda balanced diverse presentations and a compelling Industry Panel consisting of senior representatives of the Lottery Messenger industry, with powerful and informative presentations from Peter Greenhill, (CEO, e-Gaming Development), Nedbank, Continent 8 Technologies, SMP Partners, ILS Fiduciaries, and the emerging Lottery Export Association; all from the Isle of Man.
Yet the event was far more than formalities. Ample networking time, both during the day and throughout the evening, became the platform for the “real questions” to be asked and answered on a one to one basis. Cooperations were identified, business cards exchanged, and as day turned to night, full glasses emptied.
The Lottery Messenger industry, which enables the global public to participate online in non-local National Lotteries, is currently undergoing significant growth, following the path of the more mature gaming, Forex and binary options industries, of moving from proprietary platforms to B2B platforms and, as importantly, to regulation. It’s not clear today when regulation will kick-in, but what was clear from the Forum was that to compliment the Isle of Man’s formal presentations on the value of the IoM and related regulation, the industry itself talked openly about the need for regulation, why it’s needed, and how it will add value.
For the second time in 5 months, the Isle of Man was ahead of the “others” in proactively joining Counting House in Israel to educate an emerging market on the need for, and value of, regulation and, as importantly, how and why the industry should choose the Isle of Man to meet future licensing needs, strengthened by the “one stop shop” offered by the complimentary service providers.
There are conferences that people show up to mid-morning, stay for a far too generous lunch, and disappear for personal shopping, to enjoy the beach, or to take a tour. The Global Lottery Messenger Forum was absolutely not such a conference. With the conference room “bulging at the seams” from the opening presentation to the end of the formalities, and with standing room only at 5pm as Paul Davis, Managing Director of Counting House, drew the winning ball for the first prize of an all expense paid trip to the Isle of Man, many attendees will return to their 16 countries without a suntan! We also congratulate Rashmi Patel from London as the winner of the first prize, and you can look forward to meeting him on the Isle of Man very soon.
Stuart Ballan, Head of Middle East at Counting House, who recently visited the Island and is based in Israel, commented: “Analogous to Douglas, where no meeting is more than a 5 minute walk away, Israel is a small country with significant, global business activity focused in very condensed areas. Everyone knows everyone and this event, and the Isle of Man’s participation, is likely to be the ‘talk of the town’ for many months to come. Both Counting House and the Isle of Man can take pride in the knowledge that today’s event will be a catalyst for changing the global Lottery Messenger industry.”
As the sun set over the sea in Tel-Aviv, many attendees talked about when, not if, next year’s Global Lottery Messenger Conference should be. Nobody asked “Where?”!
It’s clear that the first Global Lottery Messenger conference will not be the last and the door is already open for the Isle of Man to participate again, in Israel, in 2015.
“Both Counting House and the Isle of Man are extremely pro-active”, continued Ballan. “With Counting House having permanent representation on both the Island and in Israel, we have a vehicle; a channel, for promoting the Isle of Man’s value in Israel. We did it successfully in December 2013, again in May 2014, and we’ve already identified a number of relevant industries for future conferences in Israel over the next year and beyond. The cooperation of the Isle of Man + Counting House working together is a text book example of “one plus one = three”.
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