Roy Student, Event Ambassador for ICE North America and Founder and President of Applied Management Strategies (AMS), sets out the key objectives of the inaugural event in Boston (May 13-15), the cyclical nature of trends and why the next few years will see the US industry move away from gaming as we know it…
Obviously, sports wagering is a key focus at this time, but where else do you see growth within US gaming in both land-based and online sectors in the coming years?
Last year was a landmark development in the US market, but in terms of looking forward, I believe the future for land-based will be moving away from gaming and towards hospitality and entertainment as the main event. Sports Betting will continue to dominate the sector for a while as it’s still flavor of the month, but it will then shift to esports and iLottery and esports in particular will have a much higher growth pattern once it has established itself in the industry. If we look at the landscape now, esports represents the largest growth factor with huge potential across land-based sites, which will strengthen the industry’s focus on entertainment divisions, away from traditional casinos and more towards the Disney and Universal resort brands. Sports Betting and Social Gaming are both surging as millions of people are switching onto new forms of betting and playing. You see it on the street, in airports, in cafes, just everywhere people using their devices to join these growing trends and I don’t think that will change for the foreseeable future.
The speaker line-up for the conference element of the event, ICE VOX North America, includes representatives from across the stakeholder community, including policy makers, legislators, sports governing bodies as well as the gaming verticals. How important is it that every relevant voice in the region’s ecosystem is involved in this?
It’s extremely important, ICE North America is THE gateway to discuss different opinions from both sides of the industry, so to provide a space to determine how regulatory changes or technological advances is very relevant. Based on my experience with seminars I’ve run at UNLV and G2E, conferences are only successful when they combine an interactive environment with vocal speakers providing differing views, while at the same time delivering unique ideas and progressive direction for the industry. ICE VOX North America is set to bring in speakers and moderators that have strong opinions and are vocal about unique views on the various issues across differing states, sectors, etc. to determine which way the industry’s going and what are the various factors that will come into play. I am confident the event will deliver this and more.
With Clarion Gaming’s decision to consolidate its US events into ICE North America, what are your thoughts on this and your hopes for the future of this brand going forward?
I wholeheartedly concur with Clarion Gaming, it was the right decision to consolidate. Attendees were sometimes torn between events across North America, but it’s important to remember they all had the same thing in common, gaming, so to bring all the segments together is prescient. The Clarion Gaming brand is becoming globally recognised and their events are a household name for the industry. If it’s gaming, Clarion comes to mind because it delivers all the right ingredients through the events, conference agendas and networking in one dominant source. Going forward, I believe Clarion Gaming’s ICE North America can become the main event in the minds of the US industry – I’m also very much looking forward to seeing all the latest innovations in terms of the plethora of product and service solutions on show as part of the exhibition element of the event. In talking with Kate Chambers and the ICE team, it’s clear to see they’re tuned into the right trends and topics which will strengthen their events and, in doing so, support the industry and provide stability in the future.
ICE North America will bring together Clarion’s US assets, GiGse and ICE Sports Betting USA, covering the key areas of sports betting, interactive gaming, iLottery, esports and affiliate marketing, to create a single large-scale business event. To find out more about ICE North America, go to icenorthamerica.com.
Image: Roy Student, Event Ambassador for ICE North America and Founder and President of Applied Management Strategies (AMS)