The eyes of the global gaming industry were fixed firmly on London’s Docklands this month as the ExCeL Centre played host to the world’s largest iGaming expo, ICE Totally Gaming 2018. With a record 589 exhibitors across 43,500 square metres of floor space, it was a chance for the world’s gaming innovators to connect, network and discuss the future for the industry.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the major talking points and announcements to come out of ICE 2018 to determine the direction for iGaming as a whole for the next 12 months.
Scientific Games and NYX unveil brand launch
Last September, Scientific Games and NYX confirmed their merger, with the deal eventually ratified at the turn of the New Year. The company used ICE Totally Gaming 2018 to announce the launch of a new fourth brand operating within the Scientific Games umbrella, SG Digital. The company has sought to formally separate its B2C and B2B operations, with SG Social now focusing firmly on the B2C market and SG Digital focused on the B2B sector. Matt Davey, CEO of SG Digital said at the event that by combining everything under one banner for B2B clients, this move would allow them to offer gaming, sport betting and lottery content all under one brand. Davey added that with 2,000-plus games supplied worldwide, SG Digital’s global footprint will become one of the biggest in the iGaming sector.
iGaming brands looking to crack the Italian market
There was plenty of discussion about iGaming suppliers looking to expand their offering throughout the most regulated gaming markets in Western Europe. The Italian market is notoriously the most regulated market in Europe at present and the indications are that a number of suppliers are keen to target Italy from a compliance perspective to expand into mainland Europe. Habanero was the first high-profile slots and table games provider to announce its intentions to expand into Italy last month.
The launch of “Live Beyond Live”
Several hundred onlookers crowded round NetEnt’s exhibition stand on Day Two of the event to hear of some very exciting developments. The most significant was the launch of the next generation of online live casino games which are managed by human dealers in real time via online streaming technologies. NetEnt CEO Per Eriksson revealed “Live Beyond Live”, which will take the personalization and engagement of live streamed table games to a whole new level. Online casinos will be able to offer a fully immersive 3D live casino, attempting to break down the physical limitations of iGaming and creating larger-than-life gaming experiences.
“Pay ‘N Play” innovation for iGaming payments
One of the industry’s major disrupters of iGaming payments, Trustly, marked its 10-year anniversary by announcing its newest solution at ICE 2018, “Pay ‘N Play”. Registering as a new customer on an online casino has historically required players to fill out lengthy and time consuming registration forms and complete an identification verification process. With “Pay ‘N Play”, players can make a single deposit via their online bank account and start playing their favourite casino games right away. Trustly retrieves all necessary data on new customers via their bank account, simplifying and accelerating the sign-up process while allowing iGaming brands to remain KYC-compliant.
With more than 30,000 attendees to this month’s exhibition, spanning from over 150 nations, it’s clear that ICE Totally Gaming is the only event on the planet that truly brings together the best talent in online and offline gaming sectors.