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IMGL 2022 Autumn Conference

Wednesday, September 14

17:30
Registration
The Drawing Room (5:30 - 7:30 pm)
 

15:30-17:30
IMGL Member Meeting
Landmark 2&3 Meeting Space (2nd Floor)


17:30 – 19:30
Opening Reception
Drawing Room, Landmark Hotel


20:00 – 22:30
Next Gen Lawyer (Under 40) Event
Victoria Fight Club
**Our attendees who are "Under 40" are welcome to join in on some late night fun at the Victoria Fight Club! We will meet outside the Drawing Room following the Opening Reception and will carpool together to the Victoria Fight Club via Uber or Taxi. Plan on leaving the Landmark around 8:00 pm! It is approximately a 20 - 25 minute drive.


Thursday, September 15
Morning - Plenary Sessions: Grand Ballroom

8:00 - 9:30
Continental Breakfast
Marble Ballroom

 

9:00 – 9:10
Welcome and Conference Overview from IMGL President, Marc Ellinger & London Chair, Susan Breen

 

9:10 – 9:30
Keynote Speaker: Brigid Simmonds, Chairman, The Betting & Gaming Council, UK

 

9:30 – 10:30
Regulation vs innovation in the gaming industry

In light of recent significant initiatives to regulate online platforms and the gaming industry, notably in the form of the Digital Services Act and the Digital Markets Act, we will explore the important question: can a balance be successfully struck between regulation and innovation?  Undoubtedly online platforms are at the core of today’s new regulatory challenges. What exactly do these challenges look like for the gaming industry? What will be the position in the UK and the US? And ultimately what will be the consequences? The discussion will be framed by exploring the balance between the application of minimum standards to ensure consumer protection and attract investments whilst also recognizing the need to allow for a degree of freedom to foster innovation and realistic implementation.

Moderator: Quirino Mancini, Partner, Tonucci & Partners, Italy
Speakers: 
Ivo Bozukov, Chief Strategy Officer, SportPesa Group
Carl Brincat, Chief Executive Officer, Malta Gaming Authority, Malta
Gabrielle Angle, Manager Regulatory Compliance, 
GeoComply, United States
Ana-Maria Baciu, Managing Partner, Simion & Baciu, Romania

 

10:30 – 11:00
Networking Break
Marble Ballroom  

 

11:00 – 12:00
The Global Business perspective: Relationship building with key stakeholders in turbulent times

The panel will explore the relationship between the gambling industry and its key stakeholders across the business, finance and regulator communities. What lessons can be learned from recent instances of major regulatory enforcement, for example the impact of the Crown inquiries in Australia? Are there reasons why financial institutions may be increasingly reluctant to support the sector?  Where do opportunities lie for successful long-term growth, resilience and stability within the industry? The steady flow of eye catching M&A and SPAC deals is likely to continue with pace if the industry can successfully deal with challenges brought about by swings in the regulatory pendulum, navigate an increasingly competitive business marketplace and refresh its focus on ethical and sustainable business models.

Moderator: Susan Breen, Partner, Mishcon de Reya LLP, UK
Speakers:
Fredric Gushin, Managing Director, Spectrum Gaming Group, USA
James Scicluna, Co-Managing Partner, WH Partners, Malta
Jason Lane, Chief Executive, Jersey Gambling Commission, Jersey
Simon Planzer, Partner, PLANZER LAW AG, Switzerland 

 

12:10 – 13:20
IMGL Luncheon 
Marble Ballroom


Thursday, September 15
Afternoon - Plenary Sessions: Grand Ballroom


13:30 – 14:15
Emerging Markets: New Territories in LatAm, Africa, Eastern Europe

International operators are now more than ever eager to identify fresh business opportunities in grey/emerging markets across the world in order to improve their thin margins in the regulated markets that are due to the combined effect of an often-hefty taxation, spiraling costs associated to multiple compliance requirements and other heavy expenses associated to their licensed business. This panel will offer an overall view across the continents focusing on those jurisdictions that could potentially become the next destination for operators looking for lighter operational conditions and a more financially sustainable as well as profitable way of conducting their business.

Moderator: Ernest Matthews, President, ISI-Maritime/Islands, Ltd., USA
Speakers: 
Jaime Varela, Founder, ESTUDIO VARELA VIDAL ABOGADOS, Peru 
Tomas Enrique García Botta, Partner, MF Estudio, Argentina
Carlos Baeza, Founder, CARLOS BAEZA & CIA. ABOGADOS, Chile
Vojtech Chloupek, Partner, Bird & Bird, Czech Republic 
Caroline Kongwa, Chief Strategic Advisor, The National Gambling Board, South Africa

 

14:15 – 15:00
When culture needs to mingle with gaming

The different attitudes and approaches to gaming throughout the world are largely linked to the religious and cultural beliefs which form the basis of accepted norms. We will delve into the question: how does, and should, gaming mingle with culture? We will compare, notably, the position in the Middle East where gaming is for the most part illegal, as embedded in the notion of its shame and unacceptance according to Sharia law, to India’s more positive attitude, as reflected in the Mahabharata, one of India’s oldest mythological epics, in which “opponents were tested based on their skills at board and dice games rather than through wars”. How is culture a driver in the liberalization of markets and what role has gaming played in creating culture?

Moderator: Diane Mullenex, Partner, Head of Gaming and Gambling Practices, Pinsent Masons LLP, UK
Speakers:
Antony Gevisser, Senior Vice President Legal & Regulatory Affairs, SGHC (Super Group), UK
Ranjana Adhikari, Partner, Indus Law, India
Liran Barak, Partner, Herzog Fox & Neeman, Israel 


15:00 – 15:30
Networking Break
Marble Ballroom


15:30 – 16:15
US / Canada Updates

Much has happened in North America in the past year.  Ontario, Canada successfully launched online sports betting and casino. Numerous U.S. states launched land-based and online sports betting. There have been significant developments in tribal jurisdictions for land-based gaming and sports betting.  Esports is gaining traction.  However, iGaming as a product vertical is still slow to expand.  This panel will explore the recent successes in sports betting regulation, and the reasons for the lack of iGaming traction.  It will also debate whether the current trends in player acquisition – high CPA fees to affiliates and extreme player bonusing – is a sustainable business model in North America.

Moderator: Sean McGuinness, Partner, Butler Snow, USA
Speakers:
Niki Metzgar-Schall, Group Counsel, Head of Legal North America, USA
Saverio R. Scheri III, COO, Agua Caliente Casino, USA
Greg Giordano, Partner, McDonald Carano LLP, USA
Kate Lowenhar-Fisher, Chief Legal Officer, General Counsel, Everi, USA
Peter Czegledy, Partner, Aird & Berlis LLP, Canada

 

18:30 – 22:00
Gala Dinner
Marble Ballroom, The Landmark Hotel


Friday, September 16
Plenary Sessions: Grand Ballroom

8:00 – 9:30
Continental Breakfast


9:00 – 9:05
Welcome from Marc Ellinger, IMGL President

 

9:05 – 10:05
New technologies in the gambling industry: Blockchain/NFTs/Crypto and the Metaverse – what are we waiting for?

The panel will explore the opportunities and risks associated with blockchain-powered technologies in the sector, including the popularity of games integrating NFT’s and other blockchain-powered technologies. Will the Metaverse transform business models, revenue streams and customer engagement? Panellists will discuss recent trends and interest from industry participants in setting up NFT games and implementing their versions of the Metaverse, combining NFTs, digital assets, gaming, and gambling in both Web2 and Web3 environments. We will look at reasons behind the drive-in popularity of new tech and the strategic, technological, legal, and practical considerations for brands looking to explore the market.

Moderator: Andreas Glarner, Legal Partner, MME Legal | Tax | Compliance, Switzerland 
Speakers:
Joseph Borg, Head of Innovation, WH Partners, Malta
Frédéric Mancosu, General Counsel, Dacoco GmbH, Switzerland 
Zachary King, 
General Counsel, Frontrunner, USA

 

10:05 – 11:05
UK – Review of the Gambling Act 2005 – a sign of things to come for the global gaming industry?

The UK Government is in the final stages of undertaking a complete overhaul of the jurisdiction’s gambling laws. As one of the world’s most mature regulatory regimes updates its laws, one can’t help but see this as a blueprint for similar re-evaluations around the world. This panel will consider the main issues being considered by the Review and will seek to identify the threats and opportunities it presents.

Moderator: Stephen Ketteley, Partner, Wiggin LLP, UK
Speakers: 
John Hagan, Partner, Harris Hagan, UK
Simon Bernholt, Chief Legal and Regulatory Officer, Flutter, UK & Ireland
Niki Stephens, Partner, Mishcon, UK
Ian Ince, Chief Compliance Officer, Playtech, UK

 

11:05 – 11:20
Networking Break
Marble Ballroom

 

11:20 – 12:20
Gambling and geopolitics: the Ukraine crisis and its impact on the global gambling industry

Ukraine has a thriving gambling industry, a first-rate gambling services sector and a highly educated population dealing with the awful realities of a Russian invasion. The panel will consider the impact of the Russia-Ukraine conflict on the local gambling industry and any businesses with operational and supply-chain links to Ukraine (of which there are many), as well as the longer-term repercussions for the global gambling industry.

Moderator: Cosmina Simion, Managing Partner, Simion & Baciu, Romania
Speakers: 
Ian Ince, Chief Compliance Officer, Playtech, UK
Ievgeniia Derbal, Chief Legal Officer Parimatch Holding, Cyprus

 

12:20– 13:20
Single customer view – a realistic and deliverable harm reduction strategy?

Politicians, legislators, regulators, and operators are all looking for ways to protect consumers, but no one has come up with the perfect solution to keep all players from being harmed by gambling. There are many reasons why this may be the case.

When players gamble across a host of different operators' sites, harm protection becomes even more challenging. This panel will take a deep dive into the many stakeholder considerations and discuss current and potential Single Customer View (SCV) initiatives and expected impacts. Is it fair and realistic to ask operators to support SCV models, what are the technical aspects and could SCV solutions ultimately replace many of the well-known consumer protection standards that do not provide a full overview of cross gambling player behavior and hence do not readily identify a need for more focused responsible gaming support and/or intervention. 

Moderator: Birgitte Sand, CEO, Birgitte Sand & Associates ApS, Denmark
Speakers:
Rolf Sims, Head of Corporate Affairs Finland and Norway, Kindred Group, Norway
Wes Himes, Executive Director,  Betting and Gaming Council, UK
Rasmus Kjaergaard, CEO, Mindway AI, Greater Aarhus Area
Dan Waugh, Partner, Regulus Partners, UK

 

13:30 – 14:30
IMGL Luncheon
Marble Ballroom


18:00 – 19:30
Closing Reception
Home House; 20 Portman Square, London W1H 6LW, United Kingdom