The Prague Gaming Summit 2017 was created by Zoltan "Hawkie" Tundik, Founder and Head of Business at EEGMedia/EEGEvents.
When: June 8-9, 2017
Where: Prague, Czech Republik
1. Tell us about the Prague Gaming Summit 2017 (PSG17) and what it has to offer.
Prague Gaming Summit has been especially designed to bring the newly regulated gambling market of the Czech Republic into the spotlight. While the current framework (which came into force on the 1st of January 2017) was created, the regulators have clearly made a point about the overwhelming taxes. The point was to bring an income to the state budget, but clearly these high taxing brackets and of course the lack of communication with the operators and b2b service providers created some sort of negative outcome of the well put together regulation. The aim of the Summit is to give a unique opportunity for the Czech regulators to discuss with other regulators and industry professionals (lawyers, operators and b2b service providers) about the current gambling law and see if there is room for amendments to create a better eco-system for the online gambling industry in the Czech Republic.
Attending delegates will get the opportunity to discuss with the already licensed operator and get the insights into how they can apply for a license to operate legally in the Czech Republic. The event will also focus on the regulatory updates of the Scandinavian and Baltic region, a special panel is planned to discuss the benefits for operators in regulated European markets and a special focus will be given on the online gambling affiliate industry as well. We planned a special panel which will discuss some of the aspects affiliates are facing when working in regulated markets.
Besides the obvious education sessions, the delegates will enjoy some great networking opportunities such as an official networking party held in one of the famous pubs in Prague, plus the second day is reserved for a special networking lunch which will take place during a boat trip on the world famous river of Prague. All and all, Prague Gaming Summit is a must attend event in Europe and will give way for series of similar events in Central and Eastern Europe.
2. Aside from being a beautiful place to visit, why Prague?
As you’ve said, Prague is a beautiful city to visit and has lots of history. The city has a great night life and offers a huge variety of activities, not to mention the greatest beers in the world can be found in the pubs. But these are only secondary reasons why we are organizing the event in Prague.
The main reason is because of the information we have, the Czech Republic’s gaming regulations offer the full range of licenses. Besides streaming online casinos (live casinos) all types of games licenses are available. There are no limited numbers of licenses and any company that fulfills the requirements will be granted a license.
However, the authorities haven’t been really clear about the technical requirements that operators should comply with and there has been many arguments about this topic.
Since the Czech Republic is a country in the region we are targeting (Central and Eastern European region), it makes sense for us to make the best out of having the largest online presence and try making the industry better for government officials, operators, b2b service suppliers and why not the budgets of these countries. Having a fairly regulated market with transparency and competition fairness can bring a wealth to the state’s budget from the taxes.
3. How did the VIGE conference go for the first time?
Vienna International Gaming Expo(VIGE) had kicked off with a great deal of positive and negative feedback. As we mentioned in our press releases, VIGE is not a project that is going to be huge success for the attending companies from the inaugural event. However it’s the start of a yearly event in the heart of Europe and we need all the support we can get to create this floor for the companies to network and start exhibiting their products in this side of Europe as well. As I’ve mentioned above, the event received positive and negative feedback, but we received 76% positive feedback from the +500 delegates who have attended the event. Overall we had 15 exhibitors and 504 delegates attending the inaugural VIGE and the VIGE Seminars was attended by +100 Power Delegates, which came to hear the regulatory updates, new technology talks and were witnesses of a new stage and method of doing things in the online gambling industry within the Central European demographic.
Setting everything aside from the event, we have learned a lot in the “setting up period” of VIGE(which was of approximately 6 months). We learned that there is lack of understanding when it comes to what large events are offering. This is especially reflected in the strategy/budgets of some of the companies that have decide to go “all-in” at the beginning of each year to exhibit at the biggest gaming show just for the sake of being seen by 1-2 prospects. During the discussions we had between September 2016 and March 2017, we were amazed to hear and see some stories that I can’t disclose. Some of these stories and happenings were really frightening to hear as an entrepreneur and business owner, but all I can say that we need to take action and bring the changes.
We are taking all feedbacks seriously and hearing the troubles in which some of the companies are in, thus we will plan VIGE 2018 accordingly. This year we have experimented with a larger space, with more open spaces, however the floor plan in 2018 will totally differ. The announcement of the new format for Vienna International Gaming Expo and dates for the 2018 edition will be announced shortly, so watch this space. You are going to be in for major shift.
4. Given how successful last year's CEEGC, what are you expecting for the upcoming show for 2017?
CEEGC 2016 was the kick-off event of the EEGEvents sub-division we have launched under EEGMedia, so we are pretty proud about that event. It was a “bombastic event” (the words belong to Amir Obralic – Marketing Manager at Nsoft, present at the event). We must also remind the readers that CEEGC 2016 was the first event in the history of online gambling related seminars which has been evacuated due to a bomb threat and has managed to create a unique atmosphere for the delegates to network. The almost 4 hours of evacuation made us do some harsh decisions and interfered with our plans of the CEEG Awards session, but we moved the awards session to the complimentary dinner session and we created a relaxed awarding program.
I think it was one of the most kick-back and enjoy type of award ceremonies ever organized and we received great feedback about this session. I must now give thanks for all the supporting sponsors of CEEGC and give a special thanks for my co-host during the awards ceremony, Tal Itzhak Ron, one of the greatest characters in the industry who excels in his profession as a lawyer but can easily have his own talk show.
The 2nd edition of the CEEGC Budapest and CEEG Awards is planned to be held between 19-20 September and we going for a 2 day event in Budapest as well. After successfully organizing the first edition of CEEGC we have conducted a survey which received a 98% positive reply from the 105 delegates that were present at the event.
The motto of the 2017 event is “Unfinished Business: Dare to attend” and it will focus on the Eastern and Central European market updates with a special focus on the Balkans. Compared to the last edition we are aiming to bring yet another opportunity to harvest a wealth of information about the hot topics and trends which shape the industry in 2017 and will look towards the future awaited regulation updates and technology implementation.
We estimate 150-200 delegates and we are thinking of the possibility to organizing it in a more luxurious conference hall which will enable us to have a small demo area as well and can host the 2017 CEEG Awards Dinner.
5. How would you say your shows different from other igaming conferences?
When we’ve decided to venture into this vertical of the industry, we didn’t have the slightest idea about how it will change the way we are thinking and I must mention that we’ve also got the unique opportunity to see some of our partners show their true face. The decision was made about 1 year ago(the announcement of CEEGC Budapest) and not even after successfully organizing two events and planning 2 more for these year we know what we are up against. We can’t complain, at least publicly about the competition we are up against on the European level, but doing things in our unique and different way is something that we have in our advantage. Before the decision to organize the first event in Budapest, we have carefully analyzed the information we received from the large volume of data given to us by our partners who are mostly operators, software suppliers and investors. Everything was pointing towards organizing a first event, even if it is a seminar type event, to see if there was really need for such events in the Central and Eastern European area. It seems that we were right about targeting this need. There is a lack of events in this area an given the fact that most of the companies (large igaming companies) have surfaces from this region of the European continent, we must help them reach their audience on home turf.
In regards to the difference between us and other igaming event organizers, we look at things in a different mater, especially from a different view point. The most important aspects is that EEGMedia/EEGEvents is privately held company and can make decisions much easier towards flexibility than its competitors, who have mostly commission boards making or voting decisions.
Second significant difference is the chasing of profits instead of offering a good experience. This is something that we’ve learned in the last year. Third important difference is the uniqueness of the format, which brings innovation in regards to how the event rolls out. While you can’t reinvent a seminar type event with its panels and presentations, you can certainly bring uniqueness in regards to the content and can approach things differently by inviting special speakers. We usually invite keynote speakers who are not always in the spotlight of the shows, but can offer some of the most interesting insights about hot topics, regulatory updates and technology.
And last but not least is the team effort and the heart which is put into organizing the events. The small details that count and sometimes are just passed by some of the other events that are organized in the online gambling industry. You must have heart and passion, you have to grind day-in day-out to give the best overall experience you can for the attending delegates. That is the main takeaway from any of the event. The experience!
6. For new people that want to learn more about the online gaming industry, what advice do you have for these people attending the show to learn about the industry and for networking?
The online gambling industry has many insights, information that you can’t hear or read about in the main stream. In this case, the main stream is the publication which are 100% dedicated to serving content from the industry.
Gaming industry events have the aim to bring together the wealth of people that serve a wealth of information, whenever that is during panel discussions or during the networking sessions.
Even if you are player that is engaged in gambling activities, you must find out how the industry works and how is that piece of content that you find when you place your bet, play your favorite slots game or raise the stakes in your poker game. You will surely see a different angle about the length it takes for the game you play daily to be legally loaded in your favorite internet browser or mobile device. It’s not just technology, it’s the regulations, compliance, technical requirements, all these steps that are taken by the operators to give you the possibility to play and gamble online.
You might find that you can make a sound investment in the industry by starting your own operation and becoming an operator. Industry suppliers have evolved so much these days that it takes just about 30 minutes to set up your own casino or sports book. The opportunities of the ever growing and expanding gambling industry are out there and you can only benefit from it by attending gambling related events.
7. What do you expect everyone to walk away from the PGS17 show?
The main walk away is a much clearer view about the gambling market in the Czech Republic, current situation and opportunities the Eastern European countries offer for operators. Insight into the “Dos and Don’ts” of the European Gambling Laws, opportunities in the Scandinavian and Baltic region, guide for affiliates when entering regulated markets for attracting players.
Beside these takeaways, the delegates will receive informational brochures from the supporting partners of the events and special gifts (surprise to be unveiled at the event).
But first things first, they have to attend to walk away with the information ☺ Interested delegates can register their set on www.praguegamingsummit.eu
List of iGaming conferences by EEGMedia/EEGEvents