The highly anticipated third edition of CasinoBeats Summit is back and has returned to Malta.
This year’s CasinoBeats Summit will welcome 2,000 senior executive delegates both in person at the InterContinental in St Julian’s Malta, and online in an innovative integrated physical-online format on 14 – 15th July.
The content has been carefully curated to provide valuable insight into the world of online slots, live casino and poker from top experts and industry pioneers with a heavy focus on product and game development. In view of the highly anticipated event, iGamingCapital.mt sat down with SBC CEO and Founder Rasmus Sojmark to understand what went into organising the event, and what attendees can expect.
Today’s CasinoBeats Summit by SBC, at the InterContinental Hotel in Malta, is the first big industry gathering since February 2020. What does it mean to you, as CEO, to be offering the industry the first big opportunity to network in a meaningful way since the onset of the pandemic?
I’m so excited to be back doing what SBC does best and staging an important industry conference. The last 16 months have been very difficult for everybody and people have spent a lot of time isolated from their friends in the industry, so it’s fantastic to be able to hold an event that brings people together.
We know that our friends at operators, affiliates and suppliers in Malta are really looking forward to the chance to network and socialise at CasinoBeats Malta, so it will be a great event.
The summit, focusing on suppliers and producers within the iGaming space, champions All-Inclusive Networking. What does this mean in practice and how much importance does the CasinoBeats Summit place on networking opportunities stemming from this week’s event?
One of how delegates get real value from events is making new contacts, whether that is suppliers and operators connecting, operators meeting new affiliates, or just meeting people in similar jobs at other companies to exchange ideas and discuss the market. Having high-quality networking available is a way of making sure everyone has the chance to meet the people they want to, which is why SBC puts a real emphasis on it.
In practice, All-Inclusive Networking means that networking events, food and drink are included with the ticket to CasinoBeats Summit. At the InterContinental, lunch and refreshments are available for all attendees, providing a setting for people to hold informal business meetings. There are also several networking dinners happening on Wednesday and Thursday evenings, which will be great opportunities for everyone to socialise with people from across the industry.
With Malta’s new rules limiting unvaccinated travellers to visit the country from Wednesday, the same day as the official start of talks at the summit, has there been a big impact on physical attendance?
We’ve been working closely with our contacts in Malta for months to ensure CasinoBeats Summit complies with all the relevant regulations. The latest updates have not really made an impact on attendance, as limits on gathering sizes were already in place and most people intending to travel from overseas were already fully vaccinated.
Overall, COVID restrictions do mean that the Summit is smaller than we had originally planned. However, we’ve always had great support from the iGaming community in Malta and we have plans to return in 2022 with what we hope will be a much bigger conference and exhibition.
2021 proves to be the year of game development, with an unprecedented number of games due to be released. The upcoming Summit focuses several panels on this area, such as slots, online casino games and gamification. What led CasinoBeats to delve so deeply into the various issues surrounding game development?
Games are what drive the growth of the online casino industry, as operators cannot succeed unless they have the right content to offer their customers.
Despite that, game development is a topic that is often overlooked at industry conferences. We’ve decided to change that by making innovation and development one of the pillars of the CasinoBeats Summit agenda, encouraging an exchange of information about what operators and players want from new games, and the advances that the studios are working on.
There’s nowhere better to have these conversations than Malta, which is the home of the international games development industry.
Thursday will see the winners announced of the Game Developer Awards. How does this awards programme serve to improve the game development industry within iGaming, and how does it compare to similar award shows in the industry?
The idea of the Game Developer Awards is to celebrate the creativity and innovation of the teams behind the games. Most industry awards focus predominantly on commercial performance and, while that is understandable, there are lots of elements that go into making a title successful and we wanted to dig a bit deeper into that process.
Looking at the categories for the Game Developer Awards, you can see that our judges will recognise excellence in art direction, soundtrack, retro-styling, gameplay innovation and marketing, as well as having a Slot of the Year award. The other thing we have done is ensure that emerging studios can compete against the big names, gain industry-wide recognition and have a genuine chance to win.
With Malta’s status as the iGaming jurisdiction of choice for companies in the sector, and the accompanying issue of a major skills shortage on the island, will the summit delve into finding, developing and maintaining the most qualified employees?
We know that finding and retaining the right talent is one of the biggest issues facing iGaming businesses in Malta. When there are so many job opportunities for the best people, keeping your team engaged and happy is crucial for a company’s growth plans.
As this is a crucial topic for our audience, we have a panel on the first day of the conference called ‘It’s All About the People’, focusing on staff training, retention, and finding creative team members. It features some great speakers, including Beatrice Svensson (Director of Employee Experience at Casumo) and Stefania Curmi (Head of HR at LeoVegas).
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