The Summit of iGaming Malta (SIGMA), commences on the 31st of October, and promises to be the most important new igaming conference in the 2014 igaming conference calendar.
SIGMA will put to the forefront of its agenda, key operational and marketing issues effecting igaming operators and business suppliers. SIGMA is the first major igaming summit to be hosted in Malta, and has been supported by the Maltese governance and economic development authorities.
Team SBC caught up with SIGMA Director of Relationships Dennis Dyhr-Hansen and Eman Pulis Director of Marketing to discuss the SIGMA program, Malta’s role in the igaming industry and planned SIGMA summit highlights.
SBC: Eman, Dennis great to catch up, what drove you to create the Summit of Igaming in Malta, and can you give our readers more insight into the planned summit and it’s leading context?
Eman: It’s no news that Malta is fast becoming the ‘silicon valley’ of the igaming industry. This little island is home to some 300 gaming companies, 500 gaming licenses, with a strong 9,000 workforce directly employed in igaming. The country is also host to the Lotteries and Gaming Authority, what`s arguably the leading remote gaming jurisdiction worldwide.
Taking all this into consideration, it was only a matter of time to host a summit that showcases the vibrant industry in Malta to the rest of the world. From affiliates and operators through to regulators and vendors, the spotlight is on Malta.
SBC: AS SIGMA summit organiser where does Malta stand in today’s igaming arc? What key factors challenge its future growth and value and how will these factors be discussed at SIGMA?
Dennis: This is a very hot topic and the launch of SiGMA could not happen at a more pertinent moment for the igaming industry. On behalf of the Maltese government, Honourable Jose Herrera, Parliamentary Secretary responsible for igaming, is currently lobbying with the rest of the EU member states to ensure that the European spirit of free movement and a free market, values on which the European Union is built, remain intact.
Eman: Looking at where Malta stands from a holistic point of view, our beliefs are that Malta has become the natural host for gaming entrepreneurs, with so much to offer, including:
- An industrious, multilingual workforce with a Nordic work ethic. The recent economic crisis, for instance, hit most southern European states, but not Malta.
- An unrivalled quality of life, weather and leisure opportunities, as well as a safe environment where young families have the peace of mind they require to raise children.
- A solid jurisdiction, optimal tax benefits and a supportive government with an ‘open door policy’. Malta Enterprise (Digital Games), the LGA, the Malta Tourism Authority, the Malta Financial Services Authority: they all work in the same direction to ensure that brand Malta stays on top of the game.
- The remote gaming community based in Malta is intensive, thus creating endless networking and recruiting opportunities.
SBC: You have worked closely with the Maltese Government with regards to the context of the show, how have they helped you as organisers and what competencies do they wish to showcase with regards to Malta’s business infrastructure?
Eman: Yes, the government, more than ever before, feels it is the right time to showcase Malta and the iGaming industry by providing an annual platform where legislators, c-level executives, affiliates and operators can meet and do business.
To this extent we have been able to invite some of the world’s most grizzled veterans in the industry as well as super affiliates who are sure to generate some interest amongst the many operators exhibiting.
SBC: You seem to have lined up a stellar cast of Keynote speakers; can you tell us more about these conference headliners? Also as a team what do you look at when selecting your keynote speakers?
Eman: That is pretty much spot on. We believe that these are our three cherries on the cake: three conferences that are sure to quench anyone’s appetite. We left no stone unturned, with conference one focusing on remote gaming global regulation, the legal landscape, best practices in operations and marketing and the convergence between interactive and land-based gaming. The second conference will be focused on remote gaming acquisition and will feature SEO professionals, latest e-marketing techniques, industry trends, affiliate, social media marketing tactics and more. The third and last conference will focus on digital games, an industry that is dominating Maltese shores, thanks also to the impetus by Malta Enterprise.
We have secured some of the world`s best speakers, including the likes of Nick Nocton (Russel Green Law, UK), Joseph Cuschieri (Gaming Authority, Malta), as well as directors and C-level executives from Amaya, NetEnt, EveryMatrix, XLMedia, LeoVegas and much more to share their insights in a number of presentations and panel discussions.
SBC: SIGMA has placed a significant emphasis on marketing and player acquisition, why did you choose this topic as headline content. What new marketing trends and themes will be discussed at the summit?
Dennis: Player acquisition is what ultimately keeps the industy afloat. By understanding that each player has a unique set of attributes, companies can better retain existing players and attract new first time deposits. Glocalisation, to use Thomas Friedman’s term, has become quintessential in the remote gaming industry. Maximising the data available about each player, without burning out is important more than ever before.
Furthermore, what characterises today’s industry is the permeability of change, i.e. the fast rate with which new products, updates and ideas are being unleashed into the market. With Google shifting its algorithm goalposts once more, for instance, SEO and affiliate specialists must keep a watchful eye on their daily exercises.
All this and much, much more will be tackled at all of the three conferences.
SBC: Finally what do you want delegates to take away from the SIGMA summit?
Eman: We want delegates to network! Network! Network! Today, thanks also to the LGA, we have created a community of like-minded people where business concepts and ideas flourish. All the ingredients are there: the timing, the facilities, the summit, the networking events.
We’re looking forward to cut the summit’s opening ribbon this coming fall and making sure that everyone in the sector walks out with better connections and business leads.
Summit of Igaming in Malta (Oct 31 – Nov 1)