November 2018 President’s Message

November 2, 2018

The last couple of months have been a very intensive period for IMGL.

With IMGL MasterClasses being held in various countries, including Australia, Malta, USA, Denmark, Hungary and Slovenia, numerous IMGL members have presented on key topics and demonstrated the leadership of IMGL in the gambling law field. This is illustrated by the topics addressed at each of the IMGL 2018 Autumn conference in Prague and the full day IMGL MasterClass at G2E, but more about those events later.

The challenges and opportunities facing the gambling sector globally are becoming more extreme, and diverse. With the expansion of licensed gambling in Asia ( with new casinos being opened and plans being put in place for new integrated resorts in Japan, Vietnam, the Philippines), in the United States ( with sports betting regulations being introduced in numerous states) and Africa, the necessity for considered regulation is paramount. On the other hands, mature gambling markets, like Great Britain, Italy and Australia are putting in place stricter controls which necessitate clear and concise advice to ensure compliance.

Both of these developments, and many others, illustrate the requirement for expertise in gambling law which is being provided by IMGL members throughout the world. In the last 12 months, this has been recognized with new members from countries like the United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Australia, and the United States joining IMGL.

IMGL’s presence in new markets was illustrated by the attendees at IMGL 2018 Autumn conference in Prague. Numerous attendees from around the globe, including from Macau, Mexico, Colombia, Singapore, Nigeria and South Africa participated. Social events included a welcome reception hosted by CMS in the Zofin Gardens and a gala dinner sponsored by the SAZKA group in the Lobkowicz Palace.

The sessions included a keynote presentation from the CEO of SAZKA, Robert Chvatal, as well as some fascinating discussion groups concerning topics ranging from loot boxes to diversity to social responsibility.

Similarly, the topics of the panels held at IMGL’s Masterclass at G2E were just as stimulating – they ranged from a discussion about how lotteries are changing to face the challenges posed by historical limitations and disruption to how Tribal Gaming will take advantage of the opportunities posed by the Murphy case.

Our special thanks to all of those IMGL members who helped arrange and moderate each of the sessions and panels at these events and other IMGL MasterClasses.

Also, at both Prague and our G2E reception, I was pleased to present plaques to a number of the recipients of awards for the IMGL Regulator of the Year for 2018. Recipients so far have been:

Outstanding Achievement Award – Americas

A.G. Burnett

McDonald Carano, Reno, NV

Regulator of the Year – Americas

Sara Gonso Tait

Executive Director, Indiana Gaming Commission

Regulator of the Year – Indian Country

Gordon Dickie

Executive Director, Seminole Tribal Gaming Commission

Regulator of the Year – Europe

Juan Espinosa Garcia

Director General de Ordenación del Juego, Spain

We were very pleased that each of these recipients could join us.  The remaining awards to each of Mike Sarquis (Gaming Regulator of the Year – Australasia) and Joseph Cushieri (Lifetime Achievement Award – Europe) will be made at IMGL’s 2019 ICE Reception, London on 5 February 2019.

Plans are well underway for IMGL’s 2019 events.

Please insert the following in your diaries:

5 February 2019                      ICE Reception, London

27-29 March 2019                   IMGL 2019 Spring Conference, New Orleans

11-13 September 2019            IMGL 2019 Autumn Conference, Munich, Germany

Finally, I would like to thank the Executive Committee Marc Dunbar, Marc Ellinger, Justin Franssen Marie Jones, Mike McBride, Mancini Quirino, Mike Zatezalo, the IMGL Leadership, our Interim Executive Director, Brien Van Dyke and our European Director of Education, Morten Ronde for their ongoing support.

Best wishes,

Jamie Nettleton