Future of the casino industry

ICE & ECA Summer Symposium discusses cashless and crypto technology, online and land-based convergence

From left: Per Jaldung, ECA chairman; Tracy Damestani, Ambassadeurs Group; Stuart Hunter, Clarion Gaming MD; Hermann Pamminger, Secretary General, ECA.
Reading time 3:01 min

The ICE London and European Casino Association (ECA)'s inaugural Summer Symposium, which took place on Wednesday, July 13 at Les Ambassadeurs Club in Mayfair, London, gathered industry stakeholders ahead of next year’s ICE23 exhibition to discuss the most important topics in the casino industry, with a focus on the future.

The Symposium's theme was 'Building a profitable and sustainable future for the casino industry,' and it comprised a series of C-Level discussions using the Open Space model, a format that's driven by the participants who determine the agenda to reflect the issues that are important to their businesses. The key topics discussed were the adoption of cashless technology including crypto and blockchain, online and land-based convergence, and casino digitization.

Clarion Gaming Managing Director Stuart Hunter believes the Symposium and the passion for the full return of ICE in February 2023 augur "extremely well" for the future. He stated: "On behalf of everyone associated with the ICE brand I would like to say how energizing it was to participate in an initiative alongside stakeholders who have such depth of knowledge and insight."

"I calculated that we had over 1,000 years of combined experience in the room all feeding ideas, opinions, and proposals into the discussions," he noted. "This was thought leadership of the highest level and all subject matter, ideas, and opportunities are already being fed into the final planning stages for ICE23. They will impact the product mix on the show floor, the customer experience, learning and engagement delivered at ICE VOX, new feature initiatives, and enhanced opportunities for hosted meetings."

"The passion for ICE and its importance to the industry was humbling as was the excitement regarding the return of the land-based brands that were not present earlier this year. I would like to place on the record my sincere thanks to Tracy Damestani and her team at Les A for quite a brilliant hosting and hospitality in a superb location," the Director said.

European Casino Association Chairman, Per Jaldung said the emphasis was firmly on the future. He said: "This was a really wonderful day and thanks are due to Clarion and to Les A as well as the industry leaders who took time out of extremely busy schedules. I think this illustrates how important an event the Symposium was. All of our conversations centered around the future of land-based casinos - what they will look like, what entertainment they will provide, and who their customers will be."

"Significantly there was a common focus on responsible gaming, anti-money laundering, and new opportunities for enhanced and seamless customer experience through technology and digitalization,"  Jaldung noted. "It was also great to see that diversity and inclusion were on the table throughout the day and regarded as being a critical aspect when we look at our business going forward."

"These are all fundamental discussions that we need to have ahead of ICE and for the industry to use the opportunity provided by ICE to navigate the route forward," the ECA Chairman added. "February will be the first full edition of ICE for three years and it's an opportunity not to be missed."

Tracy Damestani, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer for Ambassadeurs Group, commented: "It was a great honor for Les A to host the first ICE ECA Summer Symposium and for me to be able to show the international guests our stunning heritage premises which is a major architectural London landmark."

"In terms of the Symposium itself, I think it was an important and valuable undertaking made by Clarion Gaming and the ECA," Damestani added. "We talked at length about some of the macro issues and challenges that the casino sector faces and it was crucial to be able to get an international perspective in order to help us all prepare for ICE - the most international business event for our industry."

"This is about preparing for the future and I am delighted that the outcomes arising from our Open Space style discussions are being fed into the planning that's currently being undertaken by the ICE organizing team," she concluded.

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