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Post release 2017

Riga Gaming Congress 2017

On October 12, the Latvian capital hosted the innovative event in the world of gambling called Riga Gaming Congress, attended by around 200 market players.

About the conference

The conference featured 12 presentations from experts of 11 countries. Speakers from Latvia, the UK, Italy, Spain, Germany, Malta, the Czech Republic, Poland, Russia, Belarus, and Panama shared their experience.

The headline presentation of the RGCongress was given by Steve Donoughue, a gambling consultant that has been working with the British parliament, the government of Turks and Caicos Islands, the Dutch Ministry of Finance, and major British gambling operators. Based on his experience, the expert compared the gambling industry regulation in Latvia and the UK.

He contrasted the national markets in terms of the audience, the number of casinos, betting houses, and slot machines, as well as gambling revenues. The figures represent the situation in 2016.

 

The UK

Latvia

Audience, million people

65.6

1.95

Casinos

148

6

Slot machines

167 839

8900

Betting houses

8709

57

Licensed online resources

791

7

Total annual revenue

$18 billion

$30.7 million

Further, Steve Donoughue provided insights into the history of gambling in Latvia and the UK, explaining the huge difference in figures. The main reason is the longer existence of the British market and its stability.

He continued with the comparison of popular gambling services, as well as licensing fees and taxes. In the end, the expert spoke about the obstacles that hinder the growth of both markets and made the following conclusions:

  • in terms of most of characteristics, the gambling legislation and taxes are similar in both countries;
  • Latvian laws imply more restrictions on advertising and offer a more clearly defined policy towards the gambling addiction;
  • the Latvian market is more focused on slots;
  • the British market is more open;
  • public opinion and politics greatly influence the British market.

Panel discussion highlighted the same questions while comparing the situations in Malta and Latvia. Its participants included Guntars Pupelis (Exante.eu), Jakub Kolomičenko (Endorphina), Eman Pulis (Affiliate Grand Slam), and Max Krupyshev (Cubits).

Apart from presentations related to the gambling regulation, RGCongress offered more field-specific reports. For instance, topics ranged from the efficient integration of cryptocurrencies (Aleksandra Fetisova, Max Krupyshev, Viktor Romaniuk Wanli, Ilya Mikov) to the development of fantasy and e-sports markets (Benjamin Carlotti, Francesco Baranca), etc.

Exhibition area

Overall, fifteen booths were presented at Riga Gaming Congress exhibition. Most of them belonged to reputed online casino software manufacturers (CASEXE, Slotegrator) and game developers (Tom Horn Gaming, Active Games, Hash Rush).

GoStation’s booth was the most popular among attendees, allowing them to test the capabilities of the virtual reality technology.

And that was not the end!

After the exhibition and conference ended, attendees of RGCongress went to a party, sponsored by the Baltics’ largest entertainment complex Royal Casino SPA & Hotel Resort. The afterparty with drinks, disco, live music, cake, as well as blackjack and roulette tournament lasted until two o'clock after midnight.

Despite the fact that Riga Gaming Congress has been held for the first time this year, it generated lots of hype. In many respects, that is the merit of the media partner of the event – Dukascopy TV channel.

Event organizer, international exhibition company Smile-Expo, will continue to facilitate the development of the gambling market in Latvia. There will be a rigorous selection of presentations for the second congress and the exhibition will impress attendees with even bigger assortment of gambling products!

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