By Julien Sasaran – EEG Team
After a long series of planning and preparations, we finally made it to the first edition of the CEEGC 2016 conference presented by East European Gaming (EEG) Romania.
The conference lasted for one day, one day that kept us busy from the very beginning until the end. The atmosphere was beautiful, the staff was nice: these were the ingredients that made CEEGC, a conference that began early at 9AM and lasted late until after dinner, when the prizes were revealed. But let’s see how things worked out.
After the official opening, made by Zoltan Tundik, the speakers were up and ready, on the schedule.
Then, moderated by Rita Gyaraki, the first panel that referred to the opportunities of online gambling in Serbia, was explained by Mirjana Acimovic. She managed to show the weak points that the legislation in Serbia has, but also the strong points that allow this industry to grow in the hands of any person that has knowledge about this domain and wants to be a part of it. After that, the situation in Bosnia and Hertegovina was widely presented by Stjepko Corda.
Next, the most important panel with “Hot topics of the online gaming industry in Eastern Europe”, moderated by Mihnea Paul Popescu-Grisogono, President of Casino Life & business Magazine. The first speaker, Nadya Hambach, has showed us the huge number of possibilities that come out to every investor that wishes to come to Bulgaria and invest in this industry. Not only it has potential, but Nadya also pointed out some elements that make the Bulgarian market a unique one, capable of taking the industry to the next level. Iryna Sergineko has talked about the tough legislation of Ukraine, legislation that on one side is killing the industry, and on the other side has a huge potential that is waiting law regulation. Only in time will we be able to see where things are heading to, in Ukraine, and how this market will prosper.
In the end of the panel, Odeta Nestor came with clarifications regarding the institution that she is in charge of (ONJN Romania). She also brought arguments on why Romania is one of the top countries (example, when it comes to internet speed, which is vital to online-gambling) and also in the gambling industry, attracting not only potential customers but also investors that enjoy the advantages.
The panel was not finished, due to an unexpected evacuation of the hotel after a bomb threat.
Even though a suspect package was taken (which later proved to be a false alarm) the delegation, the guests, the hotel personnel, had to wait 4 hours. But the wait was not in vain. The guests took advantage of this moment, of this “surprise” break to socialize, some choosing to have lunch together, others going out for a coffee. In all this time, even though the situation was really serious, the people kept their trust that “all will be good” and chose to continue their day in a very productive way. And in the end, it really was. People felt good, and better after this incident brought them closer and the result was a few hours of socialization. We continued the conference without other problems or interference.
Moving on, more subjects were discussed. Subjects like Brexit were brought up by Paul Reilly and Paul Davis and how this is affecting the industry. Artificial intelligence, and how it can make our lives better and bring a huge bonus to the industry. And even though opinions are separated, the people had the chance to speak out their minds, thus starting a very interesting debate, also showing us diverse statistics and evaluations.
Virtual reality and online transactions.
Even though they are two different things, they were presented as the same component of the gambling industry. graphics and situations were presented, to sustain the idea that these things are also useful for the ordinary players.
So in conclusion, we understood that both these things stand firmly at the base of every jackpot or investment.
Bitcoin was also in the center of attention. Apparently, this virtual currency, not only got more and more popularity over time, but it also managed to get in certain industries, playing an ever growing role of importance in their customer service relationships.
Thus, the speakers have managed to point out the potential of this currency.
A hot topic and a very popular one also, at least for the Romanian gamblers, was the sports-betting one. Demo games were presented to us, mechanisms were explained in order to understand why some apparent games with bots competing against other bots, have managed to get in the top of the industry. Tom Light talked about how Euro 2016 managed to affect the markets, and also showed us the long-term results of betting.
Customer-service was also a very important subject, brought up by Vahe Baloulian, probably the most important thing between investor and player. The way gamblers need to be treated, the way their problems need to be managed, the different situations of withdrawing and depositing money, all of this were hot topics of this panel, and the people loved it.
The guests had the opportunity, after each panel, to ask the speakers anything they wished, to find out the answers to their curiosities or to clarify specific things. Overall the communication was very good, all the guests understood the topics and managed to communicate in a very efficient way. Bird&Bird along with Counting House offered the guests a very pleasant surprise after the end of the conference. The speakers, the guests and all the people from the conference were given the chance to participate at a small wine-tasting event which took place right in front of the place were the conference was attended. Guests had to choose between types of wine, and at the end they even received a small gift from the sponsors that made the wine-tasting possible.
In the end we managed to get to dinner, after the wine-tasting.
The dinner was sponsored by Vige, and with this opportunity, EEG has offered some prizes to the participants. They received their prizes with joy, and even the people that for some reason couldn’t make it to dinner.
As a conclusion to all of this, the conference enjoyed a real success.
We said it, our guests also did. Ideas were exchanged, opinions and points were made along with important aspects of the online gambling industry.
The SECOND CEEGC conference is already planned for 2017, and shortly we will start preparations for this.
Hope to see each other again, in an even bigger number, AT CEEGC2017!