As the New Year kicks in, I wish to send this brief personal message to the many old-time friends and other distinguished colleagues from all over the world who are part of that big family called the IMGL, an association to whose birth, growth and further expansion across the globe I have proudly and loyally been contributing ever since day 1 of its establishment.
After having served in various hierarchical positions and operational roles within the Executive Committee let alone having spoken to several dozens of our conferences and other international shows and events where the IMGL flag was flying, I am now charged with the most prestigious and also onerous of all tasks that is, steering the organisation for the next couple of years: quite a big challenge given the stunning leadership and great legacy of all my predecessors, all of whom left an important footprint and from all of whom I have indeed learnt something that hopefully will make my job a bit easier and safer for purposes of keeping the performance standards high during my presidential tenure.
In terms of top priorities I aim to tackle, I would shortlist the following: (i) establishing (or expanding, as the case may be) our presence in the emerging gaming jurisdictions worldwide, particularly but not exclusively in the Asian and African continents, (ii) recruiting ever more in-house counsels and other industry advisors, (iii) working more closely and effectively with regulators and policymakers, (iv) further enhancing the IMGL’s educational mission so that in a not too distant future gaming & gambling law will be generally recognised at all levels and in all circles as a proper and autonomous specialist practice, and last but not least, (v) working with the media and other stakeholders to redress the often negative image and reputation of our industry.
I appreciate the above manifesto may seem a tad too ambitious and challenging in scope, yet I am well confident about its actual deliverability as I can rely on an amazing Executive Committee that will hopefully support me throughout the journey. Furthermore, not only will I be able to continue to draw from the huge competence and experience of all my predecessors (the immediate past President in particular) but will also be able to promptly call upon our very qualified and diverse Membership (young members in particular) if, as and when needed.
I cannot close this short address without urging all of our members (and why not, some of their clients too), to definitely make the trip to Napa Valley, CA for our 2023 Spring Conference in April (more details can be found on our website) and then double-down in Zurich, CH for our Autumn 2023 conference in September. I can assure you it will absolutely worth the while (and the pennies) because the respective Conference Committees are staffed with an extremely well assorted bunch of members who have spared no time nor efforts to deliver the best experience one could possibly expect in terms of fresh conference content, top speakers, highly selected venues, Parker-style winelist, entertaining social & fringe events and more.
My very last word and thought goes to what in my view has always made the IMGL a very unique club, and that’s the special atmosphere, natural inclusivity and collegial spirit that facilitates making new friends as well as key business acquaintances with no (or very little) risk of ever getting bored.
That all being said, I know send you all my warmest greetings for a most healthy and smashing New Year.