CE London 2020 kicked off Tuesday at the ExCeL Exhibition Centre in London’s Docklands with 73 first-time exhibitors from 37 jurisdictions. A delegation of VIPs representing the global reach of the ICE brand, officially opened the 2020 edition of the three-day show. The ribbon-cutting ceremony, attended by representatives of the gaming industry media corps, signalled the opening of the biggest ever edition of ICE London, which in 2020 comprised 633 exhibitor brands, from 67 nation countries, occupying 40 of the 44 halls at ExCeL London.
Kate Chambers, Managing Director of organisers Clarion Gaming, said: “We go into ICE London 2020 on the back of some significant and, most importantly, some consistent growth and this year is officially set to be the biggest edition on record.”
She continued: “In 2020 we have expanded a number of ICE London’s most popular features and added some new ones, not least the first ever ICE Esports Arena which is co-hosting a $250,000 US prize money tournament on the showfloor. This year’s edition features a significantly bigger Consumer Protection Zone which has raised £65,000 to be presented to the industry’s gambling charities. Add to this our Pitch ICE initiative for fledgling businesses alongside upwards of 70 first-time exhibitors and you have an incredibly exciting, vibrant and best-in-breed gaming technology proposition with the focus firmly on the future.”
The list of 37 states represented by debuting exhibitors in the event comprise Argentina; Armenia; Canada; Chile; China; Croatia; Curacao; Cyprus; England; Estonia; Germany; Greece; Hong Kong; India; Isle of Man; Israel; Italy; Lithuania; Malta; Mexico; Montenegro; Netherlands; Philippines; Portugal; Republic of Ireland; Russia; Scotland; Serbia; Seychelles; Singapore; Slovenia; South Korea; Spain; Sweden; Taiwan; Ukraine, and USA.
Under the event’s theme, “Step, Leap, Dive and Look ‘Into The Future’,” over 36,000 gaming professionals, more than 9,000 operators, 600+ solutions experts will attend ICE London, with 150+ countries represented. 85% of last year’s edition visitors said they were likely to return.
Companies drawn from the payments and securities sectors occupy a significant proportion of those exhibiting for the first time at ICE London. Commenting on the importance of the first-time exhibitor metric, Clarion Gaming’s Dan Stone said: “ICE London is experiencing the most successful period in its history. Despite the continued programme of mergers and acquisitions taking place in the industry, ICE continues to grow both in terms of the net floor space it occupies and the number of exhibiting companies which choose London as the place to launch products and services to an international audience.”
Strengthening their strategic relationship with the ICE brand, the Philippine Amusement & Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) has confirmed it will be bringing its largest ever delegation to this year’s ICE London following the association’s recent partnership with SiGMA and the inaugural ICE Asia, which takes place in Manila this June.
The cross industry strategic body, the Gambling Business Group (GBG), has confirmed that it will be hosting the gambling policy team from the UK government’s Department for Digital, Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) at ICE London. GBG Chief Executive Peter Hannibal will provide a guided tour of what is the world’s biggest gambling technology event for the members of the DCMS team led by Tom Oldfield on the final day of ICE.
“The DCMS team, many of whom are relatively new to the Department, is keen to develop a comprehensive and holistic understanding of the industry and where better to achieve that than at ICE London, the only business event in the world to represent every gambling vertical,” stated Hannibal. "All of the GBG membership will be at ICE London either as an exhibitor or a delegate and many of them will be part of the tour which has been tailored to meet the requests received from the DCMS. The tour will take in key areas such as ICE London’s Consumer Protection Zone, which illustrates the powerful work that’s being undertaken by the industry with regards to social responsibility, as well as the Esports Arena which is the first feature of its kind to be integrated as part of a B2B exhibition.”
Moreover, the industry renowned Totally Gaming Academy (TGA) will be launching a series of future focused taster courses from the TGA theatre located in S9-360. Showcasing a total of 15 practical and business relevant courses, the TGA offering has been split into three days, each with its own unique industry focus. On the opening day of ICE, the courses are based around Landbased, Casino and Lottery, while Wednesday will shine a light on Sportsbook, Online Gaming and Compliance. On the final day, TGA will be ‘leaping into the future’ with a full morning dedicated to ‘What’s New’, with a sharp focus on VIP management and AI.
Mark Israney and Marc Thomas are both newcomers to the TGA team of experts, with both set to explore the US sportsbook market in sessions entitled 'Sportsbook Stateside: How the repeal of PASPA has changed global sports betting products', and 'The Evolution of Cash-out and Bet Builders’. ICE London will also see Stasi Baran examine the future for online casinos in his new session 'Innovative Solutions in Gaming: How AI and other technologies can take your online terrestrial casino to the next level.'
“Efforts by the biggest gambling operators to talk up social responsibility efforts is welcome, but having the will to change is only half the battle” Neil McArthur Chief Executive of @GamRegGB in this morning’s #ICEVOX WrB session pic.twitter.com/9QEAk3pdLv— @ICE_London (@ICE_London_Talk) February 3, 2020
ICE VOX, widely regarded as the most influential learning and networking event on the international gaming industry calendar, secured Tom Watson, former Deputy Leader of the UK Labour Party to make a keynote speech. Watson, who stepped down from mainstream politics prior to the 2019 UK General Election, will provide an analysis of the regulatory landscape in a speech entitled Reforming Gambling Policy – Uniting Stakeholders For A Positive Change. The presentation, which is only open to ICE VOX pass holders, took place Monday in the Platinum Suite at the ExCeL Exhibition Centre.
In addition, ICE London has partnered with SPARK, a leading AR, CGI and VR agency, to deliver a unique treasure hunt across the 49,500 sqm net floor space the event will occupy at ExCeL London. All attendees will be able to take part in the AR experience by using their smartphones to interact with futuristic content as well as engage with an AI floorplan. Using themes from the ‘Step, Look, Dive and Leap into the Future’ creative, users will be able to interact with the ICE London dancer as well as futuristic robots, cars and even a spaceship in order to enhance their experience at ExCeL London and navigate what is the world’s largest gaming innovation exhibition.
There will be eight markers around the entire event allowing people to scan and experience interactive visuals as part of the treasure hunt and, when they’ve found all of them, they will be entered into a prize draw. There will also be a dedicated space on the show floor where users can interact with a large-scale animation of the ICE London ‘Step into the Future’ dancer who will guide them around the exhibition.
Furthermore, the Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) has been confirmed as the official sanctioning body for the ICE Esports Arena $250k CS:GO tournament which will take place and be broadcast live on the show floor, combining demonstrations, workshops, and world-class eSports players. This year’s ICE London will be the venue for Clarion Gaming and the ESIC to sign a strategic three-year partnership that will see both organisations collaborating across a broad range of issues and topics impacting the developing relationship between the eSports sector and the gambling industry.
As part of the sanctioning body's function, ESIC will be providing player education throughout the tournament on key competitive integrity risk areas including cheating, match fixing and doping. ESIC will also be providing external referee support to oversee tournament administration and ensure ESIC compliance during the operation of the tournament. ICE London 2020 will also see the ESIC become a Supporting Partner interfacing across Clarion’s portfolio of market leading events and services.
ICE London’s Esports Arena, which is being undertaken in partnership with GG.BET, will feature a custom-built stage for live matches, an educational auditorium, commentator ICE box, partner DATA.BET lounge, a themed bar and a betting hatch (Esportsbook) allowing players to ‘bet’ ICE and GG.BET chips in order to simulate eSports wagering.
Moreover, Clarion Gaming’s Director of Industry Insight and Engagement will be announcing the charity recipients of this year’s Consumer Protection Zone (CPZ) sponsorship fund at a special presentation taking place at 16.00 hs on Tuesday 4th February at the CPZ. The fund totals £65,000 – nearly twice last year’s total of £35,000 - and has been raised thanks to the support of a community of progressive brands comprising GVC, Kindred Group, Videoslots, Genting, 888, ALEA, LeoVegas, bet365, Aspers Casino, Gamesys, Sky Betting & Gaming, Microgaming, the Hippodrome Casino plus a donation from sponsorship of the WrB webinar series by Onfido.
Underlining its commitment to sustainability, ICE London has also confirmed that it will be supplying eco badges and lanyards for every one of the 36,000+ attendees. To ensure people are clearly aware of the reusable nature of the lanyards, organizers will continue their badge return points at every exit of ExCeL London where visitors will have the opportunity to select which gambling charity receives a donation at the end of the event by putting their lanyards into a specific slot. Everyone who attends ICE London 2020 will not only be enhancing the brand’s ecological footprint but also contributing to an important charity in the gambling space.