SBC Summit Tbilisi 2024 marks groundbreaking success

SBC Summit Tbilisi’s second edition, hosted at Sheraton Grand Tbilisi Metechi Palace from June 25 to 26, saw a record-breaking turnout of over 1,500 attendees.

Organised by SBC in partnership with Georgia-based company SMH, and supported by presenting partners EGT Digital and Amusnet Georgia, the sports betting and igaming event offered a thorough exploration of Eastern European and Central Asian markets, spotlighting Georgia, Ukraine, Armenia, Bulgaria and Romania, among other markets. 

Speaking of what sets SBC Summit Tbilisi apart from other industry events, Denis Karpovich, CTO/Technical Director at EGT, commented: “It’s the unique blend of regional focus and international scope. The event effectively addresses the specific needs and challenges of the region while also providing a broader industry context. This dual focus enhances its value for industry professionals by offering both local relevance and global perspectives.”

Davit Nozadze, Head of CRM at Leader-bet.com also noted that while there may be larger summits elsewhere, none are as regionally focused as SBC Summit Tbilisi.

Vagelis Bairlis, Sales Manager at Alternar, affirmed that the event effectively educated attendees about the intricacies of the markets, particularly beneficial for companies new to the region, stating: “You get a feel for the industry across all of Eastern Europe. We’ve been around and know the area quite well, but it’s always beneficial to have a local event to further promote the local markets. For us, it’s particularly important because we’ve just officially entered the market and want to establish ourselves.”

Notable guests at the event included Chris Bird, former Manchester City COO and founder of EQ Esports and Gaming, who kicked off the event with an opening keynote address, delving into his career in football and recent foray into esports.

“Attending this summit provided a great educational opportunity. It allowed me to meet more people and understand the perspectives of different brands and their visions for the future. Additionally, coming to a place like Georgia made me realise its immense potential. It’s very vibrant, youthful, and ambitious—exactly the kind of place I enjoy being,” he commented.

The conference programme, boasting over 60 industry experts, included a host of C-Level executives from leading regional and global brands. The opening session featured CEOs Simon Westbury (CEO, Sports Generate) and Savo Bakmaz (CEO and CFO, MaxBet) as they discussed the socio-economic impact of igaming in the region.

Reflecting on his experience speaking on several panels at the event, Westbury said: “This conference serves not just Georgia, but also Armenia, the Caucasus, Eastern Europe, and the Baltics. It’s a very different dynamic from what we are used to in Western Europe. Speaking to this market and discussing its specifics with very interesting industry speakers has been very insightful to me.”

Commenting on the diverse perspectives of leading industry voices presented at the event, Vasilii Gamov, CEO at PeakyAds, remarked: “I know many operators from both Eastern and Western Europe. With events like this, we can gain more insights into different cultures because gambling markets are deeply connected to culture. You need to understand the audience, their pains, and their feelings, and implement this understanding into your marketing strategies.”

Like many other attendees, Irakli Zenaishvili, Head of Risk, Fraud, and RG at Avento MT, attended the summit to reconnect with familiar faces, network, and focus on processes often overlooked in daily operations. “Seeing how they (the gambling markets examined) are tackling challenges from both regulatory and market viewpoints was really interesting. I am very happy with what I learned,” he said.

Nozadze also highlighted the event’s ‘matchmaking’ aspect and its approach to fostering productive business connections, saying: “The summit brings in companies from different fields, and this is an opportunity for us to see what our options in these fields are and how we can improve our connections with them. I have found four different companies that I was looking for, and they are meeting all my needs at the moment.”

For Maia Odishelidze, CEO of Port:80, this was her second time attending the SBC Summit Tbilisi. “I don’t recall any other summits held in Georgia, or even in the region, where you can find such a high concentration of industry professionals,” she said.

The CEO praised the conference for covering critical topics from data analysis to payment systems and user acquisition, offering valuable insights from local and global industry experts.

“I also want to highlight the work done by the organisers. As attendees, we had the opportunity to plan meetings in advance with other participants and panel speakers, allowing us to schedule meetings ahead of time and meet them at the venue. The atmosphere here is very relaxed, with networking areas where you can approach stands and start discussions with the people you want to meet,” Odishelidze said.

Gary Sonyak, Founder of GamerPro, echoed the sentiment: “What we are looking for at these kinds of events is building partnerships with industry stakeholders. SBC conferences, including SBC Summit Tbilisi, are the best conferences to achieve those goals.”

Stay tuned for more information on the upcoming edition of SBC Summit Tbilisi.