The online casino industry’s top executives have come together for this year’s European i-Gaming Congress (EiG) which is being held in Copenhagen at the Bella Centre.
The Expo has already brought us some interesting information from the horses’ mouths, so to speak. With no less than seven of the top Internet gambling companies represented here, many important reflections and insights have been discussed by the panel of experts regarding present and future developments within the industry.
The panel includes some of online gambling’s biggest names. Gigi Levy, CEO of 888 is joined by Jim Ryan, CEO of Party Gaming, along with David Yu from Betfair, Henry Birch from William Hill, Ed Andrewes from Ladbrokes, Norbert Teufelberger from Bwin and Petter Nylander from Unibet,
Gigi Levy has an optimistic view on the future of online gambling, bringing up the fact that a mere 8% of the huge $350 billion the industry generates actually derives from online activities meaning there is still a huge amount of scope for growth within the Zodiac casino and Internet gambling industry. He also reflected that the new European trade regulations, including the ECJ verdict that came about recently may cause some changes to come about, although the industry is robust enough to cope.
Norbert Teufelberger added that while the new regulations may cause some changes in the way his company does business, on the whole, there have been some improvement especially by benefiting local operators while making it tougher for the illegally operating pirates to stay in business.
Jim Ryan spoke about the benefits that the latest deal with Harrahs and 888 is just the beginning for more partnerships to flourish with the potential re-opening of the US online gambling market getting closer to becoming a reality. Party Gaming was sure to be back in that market despite the recent legal problems and from the mood of the panel, it appears that all of the major online gaming companies are similarly looking to return to the US.
David Yu said that Betfair is currently busy in the US with a lucrative horse racing deal brokered with TVG. Betfair is approaching the US legal system with caution, although the demand was certainly present in that market.
Overall the mood was buoyant that the industry was still growing worldwide. The US represented the next big step in that growth and the general consensus is that it will not be long before we see that side of the industry opening up to those companies that are in a heightened state of readiness to so business.