iGB Diary : EIG Special
EIG was full of the usual corporate speak, included a few nuggets and US execs getting fully into igaming (a good thing) and dodgy food (a very bad thing, get your priorities straight!). Same again in '14?
One of the show’s presenters must be wishing he’d never asked the audience for questions. Upon finishing his slideshow on the success of his mobile platform, a fellow Scandinavian asked: “That’s great that you’ve managed to generate €5m in deposits in just over a year, but it’s all from Norway and Finland where online payments are blocked.” The poor chap was slightly stunned, replying, “er… you’d need to talk to my payments manager about the details, we have solutions that we use to get round those issues…” A few seconds later, he was nowhere to be seen.
Off the chuff
Fair enough it’s a gambling show, but when someone bets that they can insert a comedy phrase into a question during one of the panel sessions you’d think it would stand out a mile. But no, one brave soul, quite probably rewarded with a crisp €20 note for his efforts, managed to sneak in the not often used word ‘chuffnuts’ when asking the 9.25am social gaming panel the last question of the session. Luckily, it went completely over their heads. This was largely because everyone was so hungover from the previous night’s party, with one panellist standing in for a no-show at the last minute.
Stars in their eyes
Even when they’re not there PokerStars are on everyone’s minds. And so it was at EIG’s US/California breakfast roundtable on Thursday morning (more en EIG’s culinary delights below). As New Jersey lobbyist Bill Pascrell lauded the Garden State’s regulatory framework and upcoming launch, he made pointed comments about the American Gaming Association’s anti-Stars stance (bad actor clause etc.), saying it just wanted to keep the competition out. The AGA for its part talks about fairness issues and its members’ agreement on the issue. But the clearest statement was made by Victor Rocha, on behalf Pechanga.net in California: “We’ve seen what PokerStars has done to the casino industry in Europe and there’s no way we will allow it to happen in California.” That cleared things up at least.
You're so mobile
Playtech boss Mor Weizer got straight to the point when talking about innovation, or lack thereof, and the current obsession with all things mobile, when he said: "I've got 18 sports betting apps on my iPhone and when Apple released their iOS7, only three of them were updated. And everyone keeps talking about mobile."
Smack my Pitch up
Many congrats to user-engagement and CRM platform Element Wave for winning the EIG Start-up Launchpad and commiserations to Btwiice, who were somewhat skewered by some of the judges. After six short pitches Element Wave received more than 50% of the vote. It was also good to see many great new ideas, intelligent technology and innovative companies at the EIG Pitch, with the likes of Genii, Totelfootball (who won it) and Yobetit the most impressive.
Two pints of orange juice and a stale doughnut
It was a close run thing when judging the best tweet of #EIG13 but seeing as only about five individuals bothered tweeting in the first place – not the best advert for an online industry – it was perhaps inevitable that the organisers’ 140 character comments would come away with this year’s coveted prize. The only thing is, whoever put this, er… delightful spread together (don't get us started on the lunch food on days 1 and 3) should perhaps think again before attempting to persuade 600 hungover delegates to come and join them for breakie. Really appetising eh... Anyone fancy a full English back at mine?
Finally to our own trade. There’s no love lost between gaming publications. Sure, we all get on individually but deep down the competition is fierce. So much so that when Gaming Intelligence got wind of eGaming Review’s imminent launch of its new paywall mag/site EGR Mobile Intelligence, it couldn’t resist sending out a sarcastic email to its subscribers titled: “They say imitation is the greatest form of flattery. Well ok, we're flattered!”
We’re not sure if it had much of an effect, but here are some of the best/funniest bits anyway: “Today, many of the same "status quo publishers" have resorted to copying our brand and image, but they can't replicate our professionalism, content or industry insight.”
Our personal favourite: “So, remember, it may say "Intelligence" on the outside (even using our exact logotype!), but that's no assurance of finding any intelligence on the inside.”
And for good measure: “Don't be deceived by expensive imitations. Gaming Intelligence and GIQ magazine – The industry's leading source of global intelligence for all things gaming - be it social, mobile or otherwise! (And all within one single subscription)”
It’s a ballsy and, er..., intelligent reply. Damn it did we say intelligent?! Call the lawyers!