Recap of IGamingNEXT Valletta 2022
My name is Liga Tarasova. I have a history of teaching English, as well as experience in leading a team of 100 people in an outsourcing company.
Currently, I am working remotely as an Editor in Chief for Onlinegamblers.com. I stand for fair and safe gambling for people in the USA.
Not long ago, I lived in Malta, the global iGaming hub, and worked at an iGaming company, GiG (Gaming Innovation Group).
In this article, I will share insights from the iGamingNEXT Valletta 2022 conference. Continue reading if you want to know how it went!
Overall, the conference was a success. I traveled 1,5k miles from Latvia to attend the event in Malta, and it was more than worth it. People across the globe managed to gather, brainstorm, align ideas, discuss and have fun together. I was honored to meet and share opinions with some of the most inspiring personalities in our industry.
Meeting inspiring leaders from Europe
Co-Founder and Managing Director, Pierre Lindh, was at the event. Pierre gave an opening speech and met people around the business. His career in the gambling industry started at the age of 17, during the early days of the online poker boom. Pierre Co-founded the event management company Ambassadör Events in 2013 with Martin Pettersson.
Pierre and Martin’s company specializes in B2B & B2C event concepts, targeting the gaming sector. Currently, they have more than 600 successful projects behind them for most of the major organizations within the industry.
In 2016, the team Co-Founded the primary award show of the gaming industry, iGaming IDOL, followed by the content-driven conference, iGaming NEXT, in 2018. Since then, iGaming NEXT has expanded to North America with their new flagship conference in New York that went live in 2022.
One of the highlights of the event was meeting Robin Eirik Reed. He has been an inspiration since I worked at GiG some years ago. Reed has more than 15 years of experience in senior management in private and listed entities within digital entertainment and Sports. He has a strong experience in Strategy, M&A, Marketing, and Product Development.
Now, Reed is the CEO of happyhour.io. HappyHour.io provides capital, technology, network, and access to their partners, to ensure the companies and products they invest in will have an outstanding launch and durable future.
Meeting U.S. representatives
During the conference, it was an honor to meet William J. Pascrell III (BP3). A person who passed the first-in-the-Nation Online Gaming Act in New Jersey by leading a successful multi-year campaign. In short, Bill Pascrell III is a lobbyist for the US with PPAG–Princeton Public Affairs Group.
He works extensively in various industries, particularly gambling and cannabis. BP3 has been a lawyer, strategic advisor, and consultant in the gaming sector throughout the U.S., Canada, Israel, Europe, South America, and Australia.
Bill also led the successful 10-year campaign to legalize sports betting in the United States.
Another important moment in the event was meeting the Executive Director of the National Council on Problem Gambling, Keith Scott Whyte.
He is a national policy analyst who advocates extensive broadcast media experience. He helps to revolutionize the problem gambling field. This is done through meaningful improvements in the services available for problem gamblers and their families.
Whyte has deep knowledge of gambling and problem gambling history, policy, statistics, and issues. He has built relationships with gambling and problem gambling professionals in over 30 countries.
Together with Sweta Maheshwari, Whyte has also written a publication, ”Steps to Reduce Underage Access to Lottery Products: Synar Compliance and Suggestions,” that you can read here.
Director of Community Marketing at OnlineGamblers.com Catie Di Stefano
Of course, throughout the event, I was with my partner in crime, Catie Di Stefano. She is an inspiration for a safer and more responsible gambling future and more protected players. She took part in two panels. The first one was about operators and suppliers trying to find a way into the US and the possibility of regulators cracking down on RG to mirror the UK. What problems will this cause? It was interesting to hear opinions on the topic and understand that the road to safer gambling is a burning topic.
Another panel was called ”Enter the Metaverse – the future of our digital lives!” This was a discussion about the futuristic reality – Metaverse. This panel was held on the HR Track, which targeted the HR community in the gambling industry and how they can adapt for the digitalisation. Catie was interviewed on stage by Elizabeth Smits from iGamingNext together with Emily Micallef from HappyHour.
From the agenda and topics mentioned, it was clear that the event would bring up some underwater rocks, fears of the industry, and hopes for a better future. And even though the panel topics were well-planned, they surprised me with some great discussions and left participants brainstorming. The event brought together operators, payment providers, affiliates, and many more business verticals.
I can’t wait for the NYC23, the next iGamingNEXT event in New York in 2023.
Read about iGamingNEXT Valletta 2022 Day 1 here!
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