hy did you choose South America to hold your Autumn Conference this year? Why Peru?
Being the pre-eminent international gambling law networking and educational organization it is important to the International Masters of Gaming Law (IMGL) to be at the forefront of international developments in the gaming industry. Central/South America – and especially Peru – has undergone some interesting developments in gaming and the regulation of gaming in recent years, which have not gone unnoticed. They make for interesting points of discussion and a suitable atmosphere to have these discussions in. By hosting our IMGL Autumn Conference in Lima/Peru we are actively reaching out to Central/South America and hope to act as a door-opener for experts in these emerging markets to share and exchange their expertise and knowledge with gambling law experts, regulators, industry players from all over the world. Obviously, Lima provides all the necessary prerequisites for these international discussions and is located ideally in terms of accessibility from Central/South America and the rest of the world to ensure a successful and well-attended international conference.
What role do Latin American markets play in IMGL's areas of influence? How do you see the region, compared to Germany and other international major markets?
The IMGL has over 350 members in over 43 countries as well 34 states and territories in the United States. Our five major publications, one of them published in Spanish language, have global outreach and IMGL conferences are hosted all over the world. The IMGL therefore understands itself to be an international organisation with a global influence. We pride ourselves on taking a cross-border view when talking about the regulation of gambling by promoting a sensible and trustful dialogue between regulators, representatives of the gaming law practice and the gaming industry. Every market or jurisdiction brings some interesting aspects to the international discussion on the most sensible way to regulate gambling. The Latin American gaming markets are characterised by a significant gambling tradition and people in Latin American tend to be fairly open towards gambling. This has to be accounted for in the regulation of gambling and Peru has done a model job at doing so. Surely other jurisdictions will be able to benefit from the positive experiences made in Peru. My own country – Germany – which has one of the most attractive gambling markets worldwide but has so far failed to come up with an adequate gambling regulation to go with it also provides for some lessons to be learned with regard to regulation. Seeing as gambling regulation often raises similar questions and markets will continue to become increasingly international – we notice globalisation on operator side in land based operations and online markets which are technology driven make it impossible to take a restricted view – it is important not to merely focus on individual states or markets or compare them to each, but to discuss common problems and work together in promoting the regulation of gambling by learning from mistakes made and successes achieved in other jurisdictions.
For the first time, the IAGR Annual Conference will be a back-to-back conference with IMGL. How would you describe the experience of working hand in hand with IAGR? How will the two audience interact?
The International Masters of Gaming Law (IMGL) Autumn Conference and the International Association of Gaming Regulators (IAGR) Annual Conference will not only be back-to-back conferences but will in large parts – for the first time ever - be hosted together. Both organizations have been involved in the planning and the organization of the conference and joint sessions and panel discussions will be held. Our joint conference thereby brings together what should never be thought to be categorically separate from each other to begin with: regulation and the market. Representatives and consultants of the international gambling industry, the legal community and regulators from all over the world will be given the unparalleled and invaluable opportunity to get to know each other and to engage in open, constructive and trusting talks and discussions. They will learn that sharing information, experiences and different point of views in a lobby-free environment is possible and that it is important to share know-how and expertise in order to work towards satisfying results that are compatible with both, the regulatory goals and the goals of the industry. I trust that our conference will succeed in tearing down some barriers that exist between regulators and stake holders of the industry and will play a part in building up bridges to foster the international dialogue and will help form future gambling regulation globally.
You will be speaking alongside Birgitte Sand, President of the IAGR and Manuel San Roman, the Peruvian Gambling Authority at the event. What can attendees expect from the presentations?
As already pointed out, the IMGL Autumn Conference and IAGR Annual Conference will be held jointly. With regard to what the three of us will bring to the table, let me say this: Basically, we are of course all routed in the regulation of our own jurisdictions but at the same time, being an integral part of an international organization, we can provide our cross-border view and thereby support one of IAGR’s and IMGL’s goals to increase horizons to the best of our abilities. We will therefore contribute to the discussions by reporting about the experiences made with our respective jurisdictions and will at the same time play an active role in the process of learning more about how other jurisdiction deal with the same or similar issues.
What are your main goals in terms of participation?
For our Autumn Conference I particularly hope to meet and get to know many of the leading gaming law experts in Central/South America, potentially make many new friends and to find suitable new members for our organizations.
You have another big event coming up. What are your expectations for the IMGL Masterclass at G2E 2015?
The IMGL Masterclass is a fairly new conference format. It was first introduced at ICE in London in 2014. Unlike our two yearly IMGL Conferences, the IMGL Masterclasses take place at other existing major worldwide industry events and trade shows. This gives us the opportunity to get even more people involved in the global discussion . At G2E – undoubtedly one of the most important exhibitions and trade shows of the industry – our Masterclass will provide an excellent opportunity for industry players, regulators, legal advisory and consultants to engage in discussions on up-to-date topics presented by top-level experts of the industry for an entire day. I trust that our G2E Masterclass will be just as well attended and received as preceding IMGL events, particularly as the IMGL constantly ensures a high level of quality. Being the pre-eminent gambling law educational organization we enjoy the luxury of being able to select our speakers based on quality. Persons cannot pay to act as a speaker on our panels. This is something our attendees cherish. The IMGL is therefore recognized as being capable of moderating the international legal debate on gambling-related issues and renowned for its expertise. Leading stake holders of the industry meet at our Masterclasses in order to engage in the excellent opportunity to use the resources the IMGL provides.
What are you preparing for the IMGL's Member Reception?
Be it in Lima, Las Vegas or anywhere else in the world – the IMGL receptions always have the following in common: They provide an informal and relaxed ambience for a get together of interesting people at spectacular venues. They are networking events in the best sense of the word. People can meet, talk, reconnect and simply get to know each other without there being any plan or agenda. In my opinion there simply cannot be enough time for these things.