So the CasinoBeats Summit keeps cropping up on LinkedIn and a few other places. What is it, in a sentence?
It is the first staging of a new international online casino conference, taking place over two days – September 19/20 – within the larger (and established) Betting on Sports Week at Olympia London.
Where did this Summit come from?
It’s a natural extension to this very portal! Our owner SBC has developed a very hard-won reputation for delivering high-quality business events in the sports betting space which complement the sports betting news portals SBCNews.co.uk and SBCAmericas.com.
Given that there is a big crossover between gaming and betting, it made sense to launch a gaming-focused conference to run alongside Betting on Sports and cater for the CasinoBeats audience.
Great, another gaming media portal. How’s that going?
Ha! It’s going well, thanks. With CasinoBeats we have worked hard to offer the industry something a little different and you’re right, it’s not always easy to differentiate one offering from another. We have managed to do that in a number of ways. Our news content is free and fast – there’s no paywall and no throttling of content. Once we have the news, it goes live as soon as possible.
In addition, we work hard to develop meaningful original content – interviews, comment pieces, blogs, and more. We don’t hold the good stuff back for a magazine. We have a daily newsletter and qualified for Google News a few months back.
The work is far from done, of course. We will continue to grow CasinoBeats and respond to feedback. One way to do that is through the Summit – another differentiator for the brand – and also through the inaugural CasinoBeats awards, which will form part of the SBC Awards event in December.
What’s so ‘high level’ about the Summit?
SBC has a lot of experience in staging conferences like this and, as a company, is very well connected. Consequently, we have been able to assemble a really strong line-up of speakers and panellists from both operators and suppliers. We have speakers from operators including LeoVegas, Betsson, Paf, SlotsMillion, Ladbrokes Coral and Royal Panda, along with panellists from leading suppliers like Play’n Go and EveryMatrix. We even have C-level representatives from operators as moderators, specifically Luckia and BetOlimp.
The sessions too are a mixture of the familiar and the new, and with each one we are seeking to move the conversation forward. So we look at blockchain, slots, opportunities in the US, live casino, the profile of the future player and at gender diversity, to name just a few. With each topic and each session, we are not simply assessing the state of that part of the industry but asking ‘What comes next’?
Are you talking about betting at all, given SBC’s deep experience in that field?
We do not have any betting panels or presentations as such – these are being covered in detail elsewhere during Betting on Sports Week. However, the CasinoBeats brand was largely born from an overlap between betting and the casino gaming sector. So when we talk about the US, for example, we cannot expect to do so without referencing the dramatic fall of PASPA.
We also have to acknowledge the high value the betting sector brings to the whole gaming industry. On the US panel, we have a speaker from Hard Rock’s online gaming division. Hard Rock’s recent deal with Kindred is about the latter building both a betting and an online casino footprint in the US. The two pillars of gambling – betting and casino – are intertwined.
What has the industry response been to the event, especially at a time when some gaming exhibitions and conferences have fallen off the calendar or been merged with others?
It’s a good question and something that occupied our thoughts a lot at the outset. We needn’t have worried – the response from the sector has been fantastic. We’ve been amazed at people’s willingness to contribute and by their enthusiasm. It’s humbling, really.
People are being so positive and working really hard to help us deliver a landmark event. Our marketing team developed these ‘I will be speaking at the CasinoBeats Summit’ banners for speakers to use on their social media channels. And they really like to use them, popping up in our LinkedIn timeline a couple of times a day.
“It’s now up to us to make good on the promise.
So should we presume there’ll be another CasinoBeats Summit in 2019?
At least one, yes.
Sounds interesting – can I come?
Sure. You can get a ticket here.