Central and Eastern Europe in focus at European Gaming Congress VE (Virtual Edition).
#EGC2020ve – The CEE gaming industry has been in the highlights of many media outlets and believe it or not there is always something big happening in this region.
In the Czech Republic: Just one week ago, Czech Lawmakers have voted in favor of new decree to ban all electronic and mechanical gaming machines in the Czech capital. The decree awaits nod from the city council.
If it gets the council’s approval, it will mean the end of all legal slot machines and video lottery terminals in the Czech capital once the the current licensing period completes in 2024.
In Austria: The Austrian Financial Police have carried out a total of 278 inspections on suspected black market gambling venues since January, resulting in the confiscation of over 660 gaming machines. Over half of the seized machines were found in Vienna, the capital city of Austria.
In a statement issued on July 28, Austria’s financial police set out the progress it has made this year towards a reduction in illegal gambling in the country. It made clear that the majority of illegal gambling activity is taking place in larger urban centres such as Vienna and Linz.
In rural areas, illegal gambling has been largely reduced – for example, in the states of Burgenland, Styria and Vorarlberg combined, only two devices have been found since January.
In Poland: The new figures published by Poland’s finance ministry have revealed that while the gambling revenue decline for the year to date, newly regulated products helped mitigate the falls in online betting and land-based gaming.
The gross gaming yield projections provided by H2 Gambling Capital revealed that the total for the year to June 11 is expected to fall 9.5% from 2019’s figures. This is significantly lower than the 19.6% decline projected across all EU markets.
Poland’s lower projected decline was due to the development of newly regulated verticals such as online casinos and land-based arcades. Online casino revenue grew 96.7% for the year to June 11, aided by growth from Totalizator Sportowy’s Total Casino site.
Also in Poland, ace football striker Robert Lewandowski has signed an investment deal with Movie Games, in a Polish manufacturer of sports-related video games, which has gained publicity during the coronavirus lockdown.
According to Movie Games, Lewandowski will become a shareholder in a company that is going to be started in launched by September to develop sports video games.
Lewandowski said in a statement released by Movie Games: “I see a huge potential in this segment.”
In Bulgaria: The National Revenue Agency (NRA) has officially assumed the power of regulating the gambling industry in Bulgaria. The country’s National Assembly passed a resolution to this effect last month. It replaces the State Commission on Gambling (SCG).
NRA Director Galya Dimitrova, who has the option to nominate a deputy to oversee the regulated gaming market, will be in charge of all proceedings.
The previous licenses will remain valid till they expire. NRA will process license applications and renewals within six months.
SGC was dismantled from the gambling regulation responsibility following several scandals, leading to the resignation of Chairman Alexander Georgiev in February after he was questioned in connection to an investigation into Vasil Bozhkov, owner of Bulgaria’s oldest betting operator, Eurofootball.
The is plenty of news to share about the Hungarian, Slovakian and Romanian gambling industry as well, but we will leave that to the professionals who will join the 3 special panel discussions at the virtual edition of European Gaming Congress 2020.
The virtual edition of European Gaming Congress 2020 is taking place between 6-7 October and gathers top names of the gaming industry who will present their insights to create Europe’s largest gaming compliance gathering.
The conference covers which cover +28 jurisdictions you have the opportunity to dive into quality information about the CEE region via 3 special panels.
The “GAMING REPORT: CENTRAL EUROPE (PART ONE)” panel discussion will focus on the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Poland. The discussion will be moderated by Jakub Kolomicenko (Head of the legal department at Endorphina) and will be joined by Jan Rehola (Director at IFGR and Partner at PS Legal), Ewa Lejman-Widz (Head of Polish Desk at WH Partners), Anna Wietrzyńska-Ciołkowska (Legal advisor, Local Partner at DWF Poland), Jakub Myszkorowski (Chief Commercial Officer at STATSCORE) and Dr. Robert Skalina (Senior Advisor at WH Partners).
The “GAMING REPORT: CENTRAL EUROPE (PART TWO)” panel discussion will focus on Hungary and Slovenia under the moderation of Dr. Robert Skalina (Senior Advisor at WH Partners).
The discussion will be joined by Helembai Gabor (Attorney-at-law at Bird & Bird Hungary) and Jaka Repansek (Media and Gaming Expert, Partner at Hipther Agency).
The third panel discussion is going to focus on the updates from Romania and Bulgari and is titled “GAMING REPORT: EASTERN EUROPE”.
The discussion will be moderated by Ana-Maria Baciu (Managing Partner Simion & Baciu Law Firm) and will be joined by Dan Iliovici (Vice President of ROMBET – Romanian Gambling Organizers’ Association) and Georgi Dimitrov (Legal counsel at EGT Interactive Ltd).
You can find more details about the speakers’ and moderator bios below.
The HIPTHER FESTIVAL includes a full week of conferences that are designed to bring together innovation with compliance via several talks and discussions in multiple industries and will run between 5-9 October.
The festival includes the following conferences:
- PICANTE Marketing Summit (#MS2020ve) – 5 October
- European Gaming Congress (#EGC2020ve) – 6-7 October
- PICANTE TECH Conference Europe (#TCE2020AutumnVE) – 8-9 October
The registration is free and you can attend all three conferences with just one registration!
For further inquiries about the speaking/sponsoring options, make sure to send an e-mail to Andrada Marginean (B2B Sales Executive at Hipther Agency) or subscribe to the weekly newsletter on the following link.
For media-related inquiries, please contact Alexandru Marginean (Marketing Specialist at Hipther Agency).
Ana-Maria Baciu – Managing Partner Simion & Baciu Law Firm
Ana-Maria Baciu is a regulatory and intellectual property lawyer, assisting clients in various industries, including gambling, IT, e-commerce or pharmaceuticals, for more than 20 years.
In the gaming field, Ana-Maria has been guiding betting & gaming companies, solution providers, marketing affiliates, other companies with an interest in this sector and industry-relevant associations, on the full range of regulatory and operational gaming aspects.
Ewa Lejman-Widz – Head of Polish Desk at WH Partners
Ewa is heading the Polish Desk of WH Partners as part of the strategic partnership under the WH Partners brand with Izabella Żyglicka and Partners, a very well reputed full-service law firm in Poland and a member of Ally Law.
Ewa is a business lawyer with over 12 years of experience. She assists clients on matters related to gaming and gambling, contract law, M&A and IT service market law.
Anna Wietrzyńska-Ciołkowska – Legal advisor, Local Partner at DWF Poland
Anna Wietrzyńska-Ciołkowska is a corporate lawyer dealing with M&A transactions focused on the gambling and insurance sectors.
She advises clients from the gambling sector on setting up a business and obtaining a permit to run a gambling business in Poland, providing gambling services to Polish residents from other jurisdictions, organising promotional lotteries, organising betting transactions, distributing gaming machines, gambling components in computer games or lotteries, acquiring gambling companies and structuring cooperation between partners in such companies, outsourcing of gambling functions, restrictions on making payments or advertising activities in gambling, as well as matters related to gambling tax.
Jan Řehola – Director at IFGR and Partner at PS Legal
Jan Řehola has over eight years of experience in the gambling field, both from the public and private sector.
He holds a Master’s of Law from Charles University in Prague. Jan worked for four years for the Ministry of Finance – the Czech gambling regulator; firstly, as a Head of the Legal Unit and later, as a Director of Gambling Department. In his work for the Czech gambling regulator, Jan was responsible for all gambling policy issues, including the drafting of new legislation, the issuing of gambling licenses and cooperation with other European regulators as a member of the European Commission Expert Group on Online Gambling.
After leaving the Ministry of Finance in 2014, Jan became a member of Petroš Sedláčková Legal and co-founder of the consultancy company BetOnSkill Consulting, a full-service international gaming consultancy.
Georgi Dimitrov – Legal Counsel / Compliance Manager at EGT Interactive
Georgi Dimitrov is a legal counsel at EGT Interactive Ltd., with a focus on legal, regulatory and technical compliance matters related to the iGaming industry. He specializes in international gambling regulation and provides guidance on licensing and certification frameworks, policy drafting, and compliance processes. His line of work involves communication with focal stakeholders in the business such as testing labs, regulators and operators.
Gábor Helembai – Senior Associate at Bird & Bird Budapest
Gábor is a Senior Associate in the Corporate and Commercial teams in the Budapest office of Bird & Bird. He advises on both domestic and cross-border transactions and investments in various industries. He has a special sector focus on gaming/betting, advising major online and land-based operators, and slot machine manufacturers on regulatory matters.
Dan Iliovici – Vice President of ROMBET – Romanian Gambling Organizers’ Association
Dan Iliovici is the Vice President of ROMBET – Romanian Gambling Organizers’ Association, one of the most important associations of the industry.
With rich experience in the gambling industry, former President of the Romanian gambling regulator – The National Gambling Office.
Dr. Robert Skalina – Senior Advisor at WH Partners
Robert Skalina is a Czech Advocate as well as a Registered European Lawyer in Malta. He is based in Prague and works in Malta regularly.
He is a financial service and corporate lawyer and provides advice to a wide range of investment managers, advisors and funds, including private equity and hedge funds. Robert also regularly advises clients in the gaming/gambling industries and has vast experience in the area of mergers and acquisitions and complex cross border transactions.
Jakub Myszkorowski – Chief Commercial Officer at STATSCORE
With more than 10 years of experience in the professional sport and betting industries, Jakub is now leading the Sales and Marketing operations at STATSCORE, a Polish company aiming at becoming the Biggest Sports Data Center in the world.
As a former football UEFA A coach and soccer performance analyst, he merges the best sports practices into managing the staff.
Jaka Repanšek – Media and Gaming Expert, Partner at Hipther Agency
Jaka has worked for various TIME (Telecom, Internet, Media, Entertainment) companies since 1996. He is recognized as one of the leading experts on gaming, media and digital law in Slovenia. Jaka graduated from the Faculty of Law at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia and gained his graduate degree from Cambridge University in England and Faculty of Law in Ljubljana (Diploma in European Community Law) and completed two-year MBA graduate studies at the University of Kansas in the USA.
Jakub Kolomicenko – Head of the legal department at Endorphina
Jakub Kolomicenko started his practice as a corporate lawyer and member of the Czech Bar Association but then he changed his focus and as an in-house counsel specializes in IP law and all aspects of gaming law
He is currently the Head of the legal department at Endorphina and works with a team that consists of highly qualified international professionals with many years of experience in online casino games creation.
About European Gaming Congress
The speaker lineup at European Gaming Congress is well-known for its colorfulness that includes the presence of regulators, industry experts and industry representatives.
As mentioned above, Altenar is supporting the conference as Registration Sponsor and here are few things you should know about them:
Altenar is a provider of sportsbook services to licensed gaming operators. Ranging from “software-only” product offers to the provision of a fully managed sports betting platform stack, Altenar offers proven stability coupled with flexible and personalized service.
Their software is developed and operated in-house, whilst being powered by premium quality data feeds.
You can view their latest video on the following link: https://youtu.be/a6OTTDWiSrU
Browse the official event website here: www.europeangamingcongress.com
Here are a few of the testimonials that have left by the attending delegates of the 2019 edition of European Gaming Congress, which was held in Milan:
“The best way to describe EGC in Milan is with Paul J. Meyers quote: ‘Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.’ Thanks again to Zoltan for another great event with high-quality attendees.” – Melanie Hainzer – Marketing Manager at Wildz
“Once again, European Gaming Events put together a quality, boutique event that brought together people from different, but interconnected sectors of the iGaming industry. It was the most beneficial learning and networking experience!” – Maria E. Arnidou – Marketing & Communications Management at Fantasy Sports Interactive
“Nice mingle between regulators and the industry. A great chance to share views with key players and have a grasp on the most recent developments of the industry.” – Michalis Karamanlis – Legal Counsel at Betano