6 May, 2022


Gambling Insider Editor Tim Poole reflects on ICE London 2022, and the debut of live GI Huddles at the ExCel

At ICE London this April, Clarion Gaming’s slogan was simple yet effective. ‘Back together again’ was an instantly memorable message – and one that delivered on its promise. Despite a slew of land-based absences at the ExCel (which we all knew about in advance), the show was better attended than many expected, with the iGaming segment of the industry in particular out in force. No surprise there, given its success in recent years.

And, naturally, this was something many of our guests picked up on, on the GI Huddle. Except, for the Huddle itself, this was something completely new. Lights, camera, action. No retakes, no edits – it’s only live once, as Sky Sports have been pointing out as part of a nationwide UK campaign recently.

Indeed, at ICE London, the GI Huddle was making its tradeshow debut – live, uncut and ready for immediate consumption. We kicked the week off with a subject particularly close to home for our very first guest: Canadian Gaming Association CEO Paul Burns. Alongside Burns, GeoComply CEO Anna Sainsbury, a fellow Canadian, also beamed with pride as we evaluated the launch of Ontario’s regulated iGaming market – which was hot off the press in terms of timing.

But other markets were less straightforward. New York, while boasting incredible wagering numbers for Q1 of this year, was the subject of an impassioned plea from easily our most vocal guest, Bill Pascrell III (or Bp3). Granted, lobbying is part of Pascrell’s day job. His message on the GI Huddle, however, was clear: the Empire State’s 51% sports betting tax rate will eventually become ‘unsustainable’ for operators. Even the market’s dominant force of FanDuel, perhaps?

Several European markets became the subject of heavy discussion across the week at our booth, too, with regular contributors of this magazine closely scrutinising the latest regulatory developments across the Netherlands and Germany. Willem van Oort, Mathias Spitz and Peter-Paul De Gooij walked us through advertising quandaries in the Netherlands and a lack of regulatory clarity – or revenue-share affiliate marketing – in neighbouring Germany. Over in Sweden, though, Gustaf Hoffstedt finally brought us some positive news for the gaming industry. Who could have predicted that a year ago!?

Throughout the week, plenty of fantastic industry names joined us for our live interviews; and we would like to thank them all, whether it’s Brandon Walker of sponsor Amelco, Pascal Camia, Ranjana Adhikari, Stephen Crystal, IBIA CEO Khalid Ali, Nick Hill, or Anna Jein and Maris Catania of Kindred Group. Another double of note was Betsson AB CEO Pontus Lindwall and Betsson Group CEO Jesper Svensson joining us for a simultaneous interview, as well as KPMG’s Adam Silver and Micky Swindale.

Paf’s Sverker Skogberg discussed loss limits, Lee Richardson talked UK lottery licences (see our cover feature) and we were even joined by Gaming America’s Cameron Saunders... Don’t worry, you can find all our Huddles on demand across YouTube, LinkedIn and the Gambling Insider website. As Clarion Managing Director Stuart Hunter commented during the last interview of the week, the concept of a live Huddle studio was a success, so expect to see us again – this definitely won’t be the last iteration of its kind. Stay tuned for more, and thanks for watching the GI Huddle