ue Schneider, CEO of Clarion Gaming US, noted: "We were extremely pleased with the level of hospitality evident in Malta. It made for not only some memorable networking events, but we also got a chance to see why businesses in this industry are gravitating to the island".
The week kicked off with the second annual collocated InDepth Skill Games & Bingo conference sessions. Delegates participated in presentations and panel discussions on each sector, which focused on monetizing these games and player development among other pertinent topics.
While the sessions looked at global initiatives in both sectors, a particularly incisive session was presented by U.S.-based tax attorney Rob Bossart, who argued that several i-gaming regulatory bills currently before the US Congress required significant emendation if they are to be sensibly implemented.
Bridging both events was a spectacular evening of networking at the just-opened Sky Bar. The party sponsored by the Malta Lotteries & Gaming Authority was the first event held at the Sky Bar. Feedback from delegates about the arranged networking activities was widely hailed as one of the most attractive aspects of these boutique events.
The second annual World Poker Congress, initiated to bring the online and land-based poker industries together to discuss crossover potential and learn from each other, opened with a lively presentation by World Poker Tour co-founder, Steven Lipscomb who represented Jeffrey Pollack, who intended to participate in the keynote discussion but was regrettably unable to attend at the last minute and instead provided a videotaped presentation.
Said Lipscomb commented: "The growth of the World Poker Conference is a testament to the essential maturation of our industry - and helps us all believe in a robust future for poker enterprises around the world. I simply can’t say enough about what Sue and her team are doing to bring us together. I enjoyed the conference, saw old friends, made new friends and had a fantastic time. People should participate in this dialogue - it will help us create the future together."
Another well-received speaker was this year’s fifth-place World Series of Poker finalist and UK-based professional poker player, Jon Kalmar, who offered an in-depth look at the rapidly developing Internet poker industry from the player’s perspective.
Delegates of WPC were then treated to a festive boat trip to the Casino di Venezia, courtesy of BMIT, where they were provided with dinner and a chance to watch some of the industry’s own participate in the Ongame Network-hosted poker tournament.
The organizers, Clarion Gaming, were pleased with the turnout at both events and plan to hold these events in some type of collocated fashion again in 2008. "These events were aided in large part by our local partners eBusinessMalta.com and we would like to sincerely thank them and the Malta LGA for their efforts in drumming up support. We’ll certainly be back in Malta in some capacity in 2008," noted Schneider.