ICE London 2018
If gaming industry is your life, London is where you should have been from 6th to 8th February 2018. The international, award-winning show, ICE Totally Gaming 2018, was held at London’s ExCel Center, occupying 43,500 sqm of net space. Everyone who is anyone in the gaming world came to share their latest achievements in the industry.
ICE 2018 broke many records quite expectedly. There were 33,536 attendees from more than 153 countries, which was 11% more than the previous record-breaking attendance in 2017. What is also noteworthy is that there were more visitors from key regions, such as North America, South East Asia, and Africa.
Day one highlights included two seminars, International Casino Conference and World Regulatory Briefing, which featured an interesting “Future Tech and Regulations” roundtable session about Blockchain technology, among other exciting topics.
The moderator of the Blockchain and crypto-table was Juan Espinosa Garcia of Spain’s Ministry of Finance and Civil Service. He expressed his firm belief in the Blockchain, stating that the technology is up-and-coming and could quickly become the backbone of gaming systems and such platforms. The gaming sector could benefit from some of the more obvious inherently advantageous properties of Blockchain, such as transparency, but also from those lesser obvious, for example, its ability to be used a non-predictive random number generator.
There were, however, concerns about the Blockchain being used as a sort of a privacy tool to go around regulators and regulations. That’s why there is still much work ahead of the community to be done regarding setting up the rules of the game before the technology is finally adopted within an estimated period of 2-3 years.
Day two is usually reserved for exclusive reveals and announcements and this year it was no different. Following the merger of Scientific Games and NYX in September 2017, the launch of SG Digital was announced at ICE. It will unify the four comprising companies under its wing and offer content related to lottery, sports gaming, and betting.
A game called “Live Beyond Live” caused the most interest. It is an immersive virtual studio experience described as “larger than life”, which comes as a result of the partnership between NetEnt’s Live Casino and Mister Green. NetEnt also revealed two new slots which will appeal to the TV fanatics- Narcos and Vikings.
On the third day, the visitors were impressed by Blue Print Gaming’s announcement of a new game called “Flames of the Phoenix” which is a live multi-play, and Pragmatic Play’s Mexican themed “Chili Heat” who even held a chili-eating contest to promote their new slot game.
If you need something like Uber for gaming, think no further than Pay ‘N Play, Trustly’s latest solution. It changes the payment experience for both people and companies by placing the payment part itself on top of the chain of events on the site. It also makes registration unnecessary to start placing bets on a site.
However, ICE Totally Gaming 2018 made headlines for all the wrong reasons as well. Due to similar incidents happening earlier, the chief executive of the UK Gambling Commission, Sarah Harrison, urged the exhibitors to refrain both from using models wearing a little more than swimming suits and such blatant examples of sexism as well. Nevertheless, guests could see pole-dancers, a Playboy-themed show, and some hostesses reported having been sexually harassed. Let’s hope history does not repeat itself at ICE 2019.