6 November, 2023

Clarion Gaming: More, more, more

Stuart Hunter, Managing Director of Clarion Gaming, tells Gambling Insider the last ICE to take place in London will deliver “more connections, inspiration and learning”

What are the main industry trends ICE London 2024 will focus on? With esports taking up a lot of real estate in recent years, will there be more of a focus on AI this year?

What’s shown at ICE is determined by the international community of stakeholder organisations. Our role is to serve as a facilitator of opportunity which means providing a platform for the industry’s most exciting innovators to present their latest thinking and interpretation of trends including developments such as AI and of course esports, where we have led the way, in terms of representing the business opportunities which exist for companies within this space.

Off the show floor, ICE VOX, our learning programme, also draws its inspiration from the industry. The ICE VOX programme is the result of extensive and in-depth research consulting with the industry and understanding the key macro issues impacting business across verticals and across jurisdictions.

The VOX programme is curated to meet those needs and we leverage the strength of the ICE brand to secure sector-leading speakers to share their knowledge with the industry professionals who look to the show for insight and inspiration.

As an example, we have recently secured the Labour MP Carolyn Harris to speak at WrB. Ms Harris has played a central role in the safer gambling debate and her views will be illuminating set against the backdrop of the UK Government’s White Paper on gambling reform which was published in April and is currently undergoing consultation.


Can you explain the MORE creative initiative you’ve launched in support of ICE 2024?

Every year we undertake extensive post-show research among attendees and a consistent theme in their feedback is the sheer scale of the ICE experience measured both in a quantitative and a qualitative sense.

What this refers to is the opportunity ICE delivers to engage with the huge number of exhibitors who choose to show at ICE as well as the quality of the business enhancing opportunities arising from those connections.

MORE: is a proud statement, a pledge to the entire industry to deliver in a way that only ICE can by connecting the entire gaming community of suppliers, operators, legislators and regulators.

Our mission is to provide the industry with the most professional, authentic and business-centric environment fuelled by MORE: connections, MORE: inspiration and MORE: learning.


ICE 2025’s move to Barcelona has naturally received plenty of coverage. But how do you guys intend to celebrate the last ICE London: will there be any different themes based on this being a ‘goodbye’ to London?

London has a special place in the hearts of those companies and individuals who have been part of the ICE success story over the years. The first ICE to take place at ExCeL London was in 2013 and since then the show has grown exponentially.

ExCeL has provided the chassis and environment for growth which will be applied to sister brand iGB L!VE when it moves to London in July 2025. The team is finalising plans to make ICE 2024 a spectacular celebration of the brand which will comprise a toast to London and a prologue to the next chapter of ICE opening in Barcelona.


What are your plans for the Consumer Protection Zone (CPZ) this year, given its success?

I think everyone connected with the Consumer Protection Zone can look back on its development with huge pride. We should pay credit to Tim Miller, Executive Director at the Gambling Commission,  whose idea it was and who worked with Ewa Bakun, Clarion Gaming’s Director of Industry Insight and Engagement who helped shape the vision and turn a great idea into reality.

Since the first CPZ was launched in 2018 the feature has grown in size, status and prominence. In 2024 it will comprise two feature areas, one for the safer gambling organisations including the SR charities and nonprofits to whom we gift the space and an adjacent theatre area.

London has a special place in the hearts of those companies and individuals who have been part of the ICE success story over the years

This area will be where the presentations and speeches will take place including one from Gambling Commission CEO, Andrew Rhodes. Following the UK Government’s White Paper on gambling reform which was published April 2023 there will be a sharp focus on the consultation process and the timetable for, and implications of, the proposed reforms.

These and many other issues will be debated at the CPZ which of course takes place against the backdrop of the world’s biggest gambling show. I’m extremely proud that ICE was the first live event to introduce a feature dedicated to consumer protection and safer gambling and that the CPZ has set the benchmark for other industry events.

In so many ways the CPZ is a text book example of what can be achieved when an industry-leading exhibition works in partnership with its stakeholders.


How are numbers looking for this year’s event (at the time of writing)?

We time registration to go live immediately, following the completion of G2E, on the basis that we respect that the market needs to process one major show at a time.

As such I can only talk anecdotally and the conversations that I’ve been having following the Barcelona announcement. We made the announcement at the beginning of August.

Firstly, the move is being seen as a positive for the development of both ICE and its sister show iGB Affiliate and that secondly the international stakeholder community want to say thank-you to London and in particular to ExCeL, London for helping to nurture a fantastic event.

This plays such an important role in the business year. With those issues sitting at the top of everyone’s business agenda I’m very optimistic that ICE 2024 – the last edition to be held in London – will be a huge celebration of everything that makes the international industry so compelling and such fun to be involved with.


Strategically, how does Clarion Gaming approach the fact that there are an increasing number of industry events in the modern day?

We have always been conscious of the demands placed on the industry by having an over-supply of events and exhibitions. An over-crowded marketplace causes confusion and a drain on resources both for exhibitors and for visitors.

Our strategy has always been to work with our customers and to deliver what the market wants. Whether that’s a jurisdiction specific event or in the case of ICE, the co-located iGB Affiliate, or iGB L!VE – to deliver really dynamic, front-foot, holistic events which cover the totality of the industry both from sector and geographical/jurisdictional perspectives.

As an example, visitors making the journey to ICE 2024 do so safe in the knowledge that they will have access to the very last technology-driven gaming innovations and services covering every single vertical and every global jurisdiction.

Add to this an array of international thought leaders presenting at ICE VOX – and it’s a potent and powerful proposition – which explains why ICE is so consistently popular with visitors drawn from across the international gaming space.

Ultimately though it will be the market that decides the number of industry events that it wants to support.


Is moving back to London in the future a realistic possibility?

The relocation to Barcelona was driven by requests from our customers and stakeholders who asked us to explore alternatives to London.

We employed an expert consultancy to oversee the process and the outcome as everyone knows was the move to Barcelona which provides us with the opportunity to really scale both ICE and sister show iGB Affiliate at pace.

Our focus is on making ICE Barcelona a success, working with the city and continuing the ICE success story.


ICE 2024 and sister show iGB Affiliate, the last to be held in London prior to their relocation to Barcelona in January 2025, will feature circa 750 exhibitors occupying the entirety of ExCeL London.