KPMG eSummit heralds a new era for gaming in Gibraltar

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With its sights set firmly on the future, this year’s KPMG Gibraltar eSummit will be held at the Sunborn Hotel on Thursday 9 May with a focus on the opportunities ahead for Gibraltar’s successful eGaming and technology sectors.

The eSummit, the ninth to be held in Gibraltar, draws together key movers and shakers in the eGaming industry and is likely to attract nearly 300 delegates. Themed around “A new era for gaming in Gibraltar,” the event will stimulate debate on hot industry topics and provide a platform for key operators, regulators and thought leaders to share their knowledge.

After the traditional welcome by the Hon Albert Isola, Gibraltar’s Minister for Financial Services and Gaming, the eSummit will begin with an address from Wes Himes, who was recently appointed Interim CEO of the Remote Gambling Association.

Delegates will be keen to hear about Mr Himes’ initial views of the sector and whether this change at the top signposts a new direction for the RGA following their merger with the Association of British Bookmakers.

This will be, no doubt, one point of discussion in the following panel debate on “Responsible Gambling the Gibraltar Way” which will be led by KPMG Director and economist Adam Rivers, and another will be the UKGC’s National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms, launched on 25 April.

However Gibraltar’s own strategy to maximise the safety of players will also be examined by an exceptionally strong panel including operators, the Senet Group, YGAM and the University of Gibraltar.

Moving on to look at the markets, Vaughan Lewis, group director of Investor Relations and Corporate Communications at Sky Betting and Gaming, will give an update on the US opportunity then Stephen Little of Goldman Sachs will analyse the current state of play in the markets closer to home. Mr Little will then lead a panel discussion on M&A activity in the sector which will include representatives from some of the operators involved in recent M&A as well as legal advisors.

Delegates will then enjoy a chance to network over lunch on the Sunborn before re-assembling for the afternoon session. This will kick off with a panel discussion on the B2B market moderated by Simon Bernholt of Wiggin LLP.

As Brexit continues to play out with new twists and turns, KPMG’s Brexit specialist Mark Essex will provide his latest thoughts on the situation – which may well have changed again by the time of the eSummit – and how it may impact Gibraltar businesses.

Returning to the more predictable but equally significant arena of regulation, Gibraltar’s chief gaming regulator, Andrew Lyman, will then take part in a fireside chat on future licensing and legislation with Peter Isola, Senior Partner at Isola, and Peter Montegriffo QC, Partner at Hassans.

Also looking ahead will be Tom Grogan from Mischon de Reya who will give a presentation on emerging technologies and how to create an environment for innovation and investment. KPMG’s James Bentley and Seamus McGowan will then provide insights into the latest insights on customer behaviour and propensity for gambling.

As usual, the afternoon in the main room will be rounded off by the highly popular Operators’ Panel moderated by Managing Director of KPMG Gibraltar, Jon Tricker, who will lead a distinguished panel of C-suite operators to consider the evolution of eGaming in Gibraltar and provide an insight into the matters that are occupying some of those at the top of their field.

Another regular feature of the Gibraltar eSummit is the opportunity to participate in Masterclasses and this year there are three Masterclass sessions running alongside the main programme. These allow delegates to take an in-depth look at taxation, regulation and start-ups.

Commenting on the event, Micky Swindale, KPMG Director for the eSummit programmes, said the day promised to be wide-reaching and varied with topics of relevance to everyone no matter what their role in the eGaming industry.

“The eSummits have gained a solid reputation for discussing the things that matter, and for looking ahead at the opportunities and threats to those working in the sector,” she said. “We are fortunate to have the support of so many key players and subject experts who gladly give their time to provide their own insights and experience to help shape the future of the industry.”

Will Hawkley, KPMG’s Global Head of Leisure and Hospitality, added: “The eGaming sector in Gibraltar stands on the verge of a new era, and the pace of regulatory and technological change remains fast moving. While some parts of the future will depend on circumstances outside the jurisdiction’s control, such as Brexit, there is much to be done by Gibraltar-based operators to identify opportunities and create resilient businesses that have strong and clear benefits to their customers.”

A report on the eSummit, kindly sponsored by Continent 8 Technologies, will be produced after the event and available later in the summer.

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