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IMGL 2020 Spring Conference

 

Conference Schedule

 

Wednesday, April 1

10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Registration
Hotel Grand Bretagne 
 

4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Member Meeting
Hotel Grand Bretagne
Golden Room B & C

 

6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Opening Reception
Hotel Grand Bretagne
Rooftop Restaurant

 


Thursday, April 2
MORNING SESSIONS
King George Hotel
Ballroom II + III

 

8:00 am - 4:45 pm
Registration
Ballroom Foyer
 

9:00 am – 9:10 am
Welcome and Conference Overview
Marc Ellinger, IMGL President
 

9:10 am – 9:30 am
Keynote Speaker
Kamil Ziegler, Executive Chairman, OPAP

 

9:30 am – 10:30 am
Greece and Cyprus: An Evolving Gaming market

Both jurisdictions are integrating the gaming industry in order to support their economy. World class casinos and online licenses are on track and will advance Greece and Cyprus into major European gaming locations. On the online sector finally after 8 years Greece has issued online licenses and VLTs have been deployed in the wide area. Cyprus has opened the online market and becomes gradually more popular introducing Kino in 2020. Regulators and major company representatives will go through the new era the will be important for the European market.

Moderator: Constantinos Couccoullis, Partner, Constantinos N. Couccoullis & Associates, Greece
Speakers:
Dimitrios Papadopoulos, Head of Directorate of Licensing and Compliance, Hellenic Gaming Commission, Greece
Fotis Zisimopoulos, Executive Director of Gaming, OPAP
, Greece
Spiros Tsakonitis, Legal Advisor, National Betting Authority of Cyprus, Cyprus
David Shollenberger, Director of Compliance and Policy, Cyprus Gaming & Casino Supervision Commission, Cyprus

 

10:30 am - 11:00 am
Networking Break
Ballroom I & Foyer

 

11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Greece and the Balkans: Opportunities Across Borders

Greece’s recent exit from its economic adjustment program has generated some long overdue welcome headlines for the country. But how can the country generate sustainable growth in the coming years? And what would a lasting Greek recovery mean for its neighbors throughout the Balkan region?

Moderator: TBD
Speakers:

Peter Zorin, Legal Counsel, Zorin in Zorin, Slovenia
Matevz Mazij, CEO, Oryx Gaming, USA

 

12:30 pm - 1:45 pm
IMGL Luncheon

King George Hotel
Tudor Hall


Keynote Speaker:
TBD

 

Thursday, April 2
AFTERNOON TRACKS
King George Hotel
Track 1 (Compliance Issues in the EU): Ballroom II
Track 2 (North American Topics): Ballroom III

 

2:00 pm - 2:45 pm
Track 1:  Enforcing Compliance

In the last twelve months, we have seen significant enforcement action in the UK, Spain, Sweden, Denmark and a number of other jurisdictions.  Is it a case of the industry simply not listening to their regulators and are regulators losing patience and, if so, with justification? Is it simply that compliance requirements have evolved in such a way where complying is becoming more and more difficult? Moreover, is enforcement the most effective way to get the industry to actually comply?  This session will look at the role that enforcement can play in improving the industry’s compliance and whether it is the right tool to use to ultimately ensure that consumers (and indeed society) are as protected as much as they should be.

Moderator: Jamie Nettleton, Partner, Addisons Lawyers, Australia
Speakers:
Dr. Simon Planzer, Founding Partner, PLANZER LAW, Switzerland
Ewa Lejman, Head of Polish Desk, WH Partners, Poland 
Antony Gevisser, Founding Partner, Gevisser Law, UK
Yanica Sant, Senior Counsel, Malta Gaming Authority, Malta


Track 2: Regulation, Ownership and Common Sense 

This panel will review complex ownership structures such as equity funds with many limited partners (some of which may be large foundations) or intricate family trusts with numerous  (passive) beneficiaries and the regulatory requirements of who or which entities or people must submit fingerprints and forms for regulatory review and investigation.  Given time and financial constraints of state agencies, including gaming, what makes sense when, for instance, dealing with investigations of video gaming locations.  How much investigative review is too much? How long should investigations take?  What should regulators be looking for in investigations – have corruption issues replaced “mob” connections?

Moderator: Donna More, Partner, Fox Rothschild LLP, USA

 

2:45 pm - 3:30 pm
Track 1: Gambling Advertising

We’re all very familiar now with the increasing restrictions on gambling advertising but most of these restrictions apply to linear distribution media such as broadcasting, the press and physical advertising hoardings. This session will look at the different, non-traditional, media by which gambling is now being promoted and advertised – whether digitally, via social media or as part of computer games. Should the same advertising restrictions apply to these media and, if so, how?

Moderator: Quirino Mancini, Partner, Tonucci & Partners, Italy
Speakers:
Jakub Kolomičenko, Head of Legal, Endorphina Limited, Malta
Carlos Pombo, Partner, Asensi Abogados, Spain 


Track 2: Two Years After the Repeal of PASPA, How is the US Sports Betting Market Doing? 

Which states have regulated? Which others are in the pipeline? How important are media partnerships? How important are online and in-play (where they are allowed)? Will the regulation of online sports betting lead to more states authorising online casino? Who will be the winners?

Moderator: John K. Maloney, Owner, The Law Offices of John K. Maloney, USA
Speakers:
Niki Metzgar-Schall, Corporate Counsel, Sportradar, USA
Elaine Alsén-Behr, COO, e-Management, Curacao
Britt Singletary, Partner, Singletary & Thrash, P.A., USA

 


3:30 pm - 3:45 pm
Networking Break

Ballroom I & Foyer
 


3:45 pm - 4:30 pm
Track 1: Identifying Problem Gambling and Interacting With Customers

What criteria should operators use to determine whether players may have a gambling problem – frequency of play, amounts staked, duration of play, other warning signs? How do these overlap with affordability, source of funds and anti-money laundering? Do players have no individual freedom of choice as to how they spend their money?

Moderator: Tamsin Blow, Partner, CMS, London
Speakers:
Dr. Monika Racek, CEO, ADMIRAL Casinos & Entertainment AG, Austria
Maria McDonald, Counsel, Nordic Gambling, Sweden
Claudia Wegner, Legal and Compliance Advisor, Rechtsanwältin Wegner, Malta
Petr Matejovsky, Chief Marketing Officer, OPAP, Greece


Track 2: Indian Country Overview

Covering internet poker and compact negotiations in Oklahoma or other states.  Indian gaming now has greater revenue than commercial gaming in the United States.

Moderator: Mike McBride, Chair, Crowe & Dunlevy, P.C., USA
Speakers:
Heidi McNeil Staudenmaier, Partner, Snell & Wilmer, LLP, USA
Daron Dorsey, General, Counsel, Ainsworth Game Technology, USA
Jason Giles, Executive Director, National Indian Gaming Association, USA

 

4:30 pm - 5:15 pm
Track 1: Developing and Maintaining a Compliance Led Culture

Whilst the gambling industry’s legal and compliance teams grapple on a day to day basis with the ever evolving regulatory requirements, regulators are also expecting more of senior management in the context of compliance and seeking to hold executives accountable for systemic failures within their wider businesses.  Where regulators expect gambling operators to place compliance ‘at the heart of their business’ and exhibit a ‘compliance-led culture’, this requires proper organization with training, communications, reporting and audits.  This session will assess the challenges of governance and consider the best ways to address them.

Moderator: Diane Mullenex, Partner, Head of Gaming and Gambling Practices, Pinsent Masons LLP, UK
Speakers: 
Nancy Verra, Chief Regulatory and Compliance Officer, OPAP, Greece
Morten Ronde, Managing Partner, Nordic Gambling, Denmark
Tina Kilmer, Senior Director, GLI, USA


Track 2: The Best Approach to Online Sports Betting 

State lottery monopoly (NH, OR) vs. unlimited online licenses (TN) vs. tied to land-based casinos (NJ, PA, IN, IA, IL, etc.).  Which model is the best from a regulatory point of view and from a state tax revenue perspective?

Moderator: TBD
Speakers:
Odysseas Christoforou, Deputy CEO​, OPAP, Greece



8:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Gala Dinner

Acropolis Museum
**Buses will be available to leave the hotel beginning at 7:30 pm and will begin departure times from the museum to take guests back to the hotel beginning at 10:30 pm.


Friday, April 3
MORNING SESSIONS
King Charles Hotel
Ballroom II + III

 

8:00 am - 4:45 pm
Registration

Ballroom Foyer
 

9:00 am – 9:10 am
Welcome

Marc Ellinger, IMGL President

 

9:10 am - 10:10 am
The Hellinikon Project: A Dream that Comes True

Being the flagship investment project for Greece, the Hellinikon project is much more than a real estate case study; a major casino, conference centers and many more are under construction with aim to change the financial crisis that Greece has gone through. Moreover it is expected that the casino will make Greece an international gaming destination.

Moderator: Alexia Couccoullis, Partner, Constantinos N. Couccoullis & Associates, Greece
 


10:10 am – 11:10 am
Has the Regulatory Pendulum Swung too Far Against Gambling?  What Can the Industry Do to Reverse This Trend? 

Throughout most of Europe, the regulatory pendulum has been swinging against gambling. Politicians, the media and campaign groups have combined in a moral crusade against gambling which has led to restrictions or bans on advertising, stake limits, licence limitation, fines and increased regulatory investigation. How can the industry reverse this trend? Are there any lessons which can be learned from the alcohol or tobacco industries?

Moderator: Stephen Kettleley, Partner, Wiggin, UK
Speakers:
Hilary Stewart-Jones, Consultant, Harris Hagan LLP, UK
Jamie Nettleton, Partner, Addisons Lawyers, Australia
Marie Jones, Partner, Fox Rothschild, USA 
Damian Cope, CEO, OPAP, Greece
James Scicluna, Co-Managing Partner, WH Partners, Malta

 

11:10 am - 11:45 am
Networking Break

Ballroom I & Foyer

 

11:45 am – 12:30 pm
Emerging Markets

The ever more regulated (and perhaps sometimes over-regulated), crowded, expensive and highly competitive markets across Europe and the rest of the world are making it imperative for international operators to look for new markets to enter and proactively explore fresh business opportunities across the globe.  This panel will discuss the predictable whats, whens and wheres in terms of regulatory and also business developments for the months and years ahead.  

Moderator: Michael Lipton, Senior Partner, Dickinson Wright LLP, Canada
Speakers:
Birgitte Sand, Director, Spillemyndigheden, Denmark
Antony Gevisser, Founding Partner, Gevisser Law, UK
Stefano Sbordoni, Attorney, Sbordoni & Partners, Italy
Luiz Felipe Maia, Partner, FYMSA Advogados, Brazil

 

12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
IMGL Luncheon

King Charles Hotel
Tudor Hall

 

Friday, April 3
AFTERNOON TRACKS
Track 1: Ballroom II
Track 2: Ballroom III


1:45 pm – 2:30 pm
Track 1: How Well Does an Operator Really Need to Know Their Customer?

With more and more data being captured and analyzed by the gambling industry to assist in its commercial objectives, so the industry is better equipped to better identify and manage compliance-related risks.  A significant development in gambling regulation is occurring in the UK with its focus on the concept of ‘affordability’.  A combination of player protection, responsible gambling and anti-money laundering, it requires operators to use the data that is available to them to mitigate consumer risks and begins to suggest an entirely different relationship between the industry and its customers for the future.  Yet, how far should the industry really be expected to go? Will consumer choice be trumped by consumer protection? This session will discuss the complexities around player protection and what realistically can be expected of the industry.

Moderator: Joe Kelly, Partner, A&L Goodbody, Ireland
Speakers:
Chris Elliott, Senior Associate, Wiggin, UK 


Track 2: Jurisdictional Risk – One Person’s Black Market is Another Person’s Grey Market

With the opening up of the US sports betting industry, numerous international operators and suppliers are seeking to enter the market and bring with them a legacy of trading into jurisdictions in which they or their licensees did not possess a local license (often because there was no such license available).  Many such stakeholders in the industry have taken significant steps to understand and mitigate the legal and regulatory risks associated with deriving revenues from ‘unregulated markets’.  Yet, is it clear whether all regulators accept the concept of the grey market? Must operators and suppliers seek “affirmative legality” and only trade into a market where local license is held.  How do industry participants assess jurisdictional risk and what are the best ways to mitigate it?

Moderator: Niki Stephens, Partner, Mishcon de Reya LLP, UK
Speakers:
David Shollenberger, Director of Compliance and Policy, Cyprus Gaming & Casino Supervision Commission, Cyprus
Cosmina Simion, Managing Partner, Simion & Baciu, Romania
Henrik Norsk Hoffmann, Partner, Nordic Gambling, Germany
Kevin Quigley, Indian Affairs & Gaming Business Counsel, Foley & Quigley PLC, USA

 

2:30 pm – 3:15 pm
Track 1: Should Computer Games Be Regulated as Gambling? 

In the last few years increasing attention has been paid to the overlap between computer games and gambling – in particular, whether the use of loot boxes brings computer games within the ambit of gambling regulation. Even where a country’s gambling regulations do not extend to loot boxes, regulators and politicians have been advocating that they should be extended. However, there is also a separate (but related) focus on the addictive nature of some computer games – particularly on their impact on children. Should (some) computer games be regulated? And, if so, should this be by a gambling regulator or some other body?

Moderator: David Zeffman, Partner/Head of Gambling and Sport, CMS Law, UK
Speakers:
Pieter Remmers, CEO, Assissa, Netherlands
Trevor De Giorgio, Chief Legal Officer, Greentube, UK
Alexander Haberl, Regulatory Development Manager, GLI, Austria


Track 2: Disparity in Discipline

Is a public casino company treated differently than a small route operator?  Is a CEO held to the same standard as dealer?  This panel will examine regulatory disparities in addressing wrong doing by various players in the industry.  Are licensees treated differently depending on who they are or their job title?  How do regulators appropriately utilize their discretion in policing the industry?

Moderator: Brigitte Sand, Director, Spillemyndigheden, Denmark
Speakers:
John Hagan, Co-Founder, Harris and Hagan, UK
Per Jaldung, Chair, European Casino Association, Sweden


 

3:15 pm – 3:30 pm
Networking Break
Ballroom I & Foyer

 

3:30 pm – 4:15 pm
Track 1: Gaming, Elected Officials and the Media

This panel will discuss the restrictions on gaming businesses in electoral activity and in media with a guide to how gaming businesses can participate in both and insure a continued vibrant gaming industry.

Moderator: Marc Dunbar, Shareholder, Dean Mead, USA


Track 2: Social Media Ethics for Millennial Lawyers

This panel will delve into the ethics and professionalism on how young attorneys in today’s world should and should not use social media in their daily lives. Discussions will include how to avoid ethical pitfalls in confidentiality and advertising.

Moderator: Stephanie Bell, Partner, Ellinger & Associates, USA
Speakers:
Jennifer Lamirand, Associate Attorney, Crowe & Dunlevy, PC, USA
Mikkel Taanum, Senior Associate, Bird & Bird, Denmark
Tomas Enrique Garcia Botta, Partner, Masot & Frettes Abogados, Argentina

 


AFTERNOON DISCUSSION GROUPS

ROUND 1 DISCUSSION GROUPS
4:15 pm – 5:00 pm

Track 1: Ballroom II
Track 2: Ballroom III


Track 1: Is the Relationship Between Sport and Betting a Healthy One? 

With the advent of sports betting in the US, tie- ups between betting companies and leagues/teams are all the rage through sponsorships, advertising and other partnerships. Both groups evangelise how betting can lead to greater fan engagement with sport. However, in Europe, there is a very different perspective with governments and regulators questioning the relationship between sport and betting and whether it “normalises” gambling – particularly as regards children. There is also concern about the risk which betting poses to a sport’s integrity. Who’s right? What’s the right balance?

Facilitators:
Dr. Matthias Spitz, Partner, MELCHERS Law Firm, Germany
Thanos Rigas, Executive Director of Sports, OPAP, Greece

 

Track 2: Supplying Sports Data – Should Bookmakers Have to Pay? 

The US and European experiences on this subject are very different with most European bookmakers accepting that they are legally obliged to pay to use sports data whereas most of their US counterparts regard this as an outrage. This is, in large part, due to their different treatment of intellectual property rights in data but also due to a philosophical difference about the role of data in protecting against a sport’s integrity being compromised. Ant-trust law also has a role to play in relation to the control of monopoly rights and the grant of exclusivity.

Facilitators:
Piotr Dynowski, Partner, Bird & Bird, Poland

 

ROUND 2 DISCUSSION GROUPS
5:00 pm – 5:45 pm


Track 1: Is the Relationship Between Sport and Betting a Healthy One? 

With the advent of sports betting in the US, tie- ups between betting companies and leagues/teams are all the rage through sponsorships, advertising and other partnerships. Both groups evangelise how betting can lead to greater fan engagement with sport. However, in Europe, there is a very different perspective with governments and regulators questioning the relationship between sport and betting and whether it “normalises” gambling – particularly as regards children. There is also concern about the risk which betting poses to a sport’s integrity. Who’s right? What’s the right balance?

Facilitators:
Dr. Matthias Spitz, Partner, MELCHERS Law Firm, Germany
Thanos Rigas, Executive Director of Sports, OPAP, Greece

 

Track 2: Supplying Sports Data – Should Bookmakers Have to Pay? 

The US and European experiences on this subject are very different with most European bookmakers accepting that they are legally obliged to pay to use sports data whereas most of their US counterparts regard this as an outrage. This is, in large part, due to their different treatment of intellectual property rights in data but also due to a philosophical difference about the role of data in protecting against a sport’s integrity being compromised. Ant-trust law also has a role to play in relation to the control of monopoly rights and the grant of exclusivity.

Facilitators:
Piotr Dynowski, Partner, Bird & Bird, Poland

 

5:45 pm - 7:45 pm
Closing Reception + President’s Closing Remarks

Penthouse Suite at King George Hotel