The EGS 2016 Inside Scoop: Interview with Kieran O’Keeffe

The second annual EUROMAT Gaming Summit (EGS 2016) took place on the 26th of May, 2016 at the Majestic Hotel in Barcelona, Spain and had an excellent turnout. What makes this particular event unique is that it is the only industry event fully dedicated to the land-based gaming sector. This year’s programme covered a wide-range of interesting topics presented by nearly 30 industry leaders, providing the more than 100 participants with insight in regard to the land-based gaming industry’s latest challenges, commercial trends and opportunities.

We managed to score a brief interview with Kieran O’Keeffe, EUROMAT Secretary General, and obtained an inside look at the recent summit, learning just how successful it really was.

1. Was the summit successful?

We held a really successful gaming summit this year in Barcelona. It gathered 112 participants, 29 guest speakers and 10 sponsors from Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Montenegro, Netherlands, Spain, Romania and the United Kingdom. This year we had strong programme and interesting panel discussions with regulators from Spain, Italy, Belgium and the European Commission. It was surely a major event in gaming industry and it is an important event for all players in gaming fileds across not only Europe, but wider.

2. What were some of the important insights that were shared and discussed in the EUROMAT panels regarding player tracking?

On player tracking what came across very strongly from our panel of experts was that while it may be a useful tool, it is no silver bullet to solve the complex problem of problem gambling. This underlines that industry needs to be engaged in this area working collaboratively with regulators to tackle the issue using a number of different approaches. 

at this year’s EUROMAT a new industry initiative on social responsibility was launched

O’Keeffe also added at this year’s EUROMAT a new industry initiative on social responsibility was launched. From now until the end of the year, EUROMAT will be bringing together operators from across Europe to consider ways on how to improve industry best practices and work with authorities to identify targeted interventions that will benefit those who need it most.

3. What were some notable insights regarding the panels that discussed upcoming legal changes in Europe?

Our regulatory panels showed that while regulation is much needed there is a real desire from operators for simplicity and certainty. Constant regulatory change entails needless cost and discourages investment and innovation. It’s also the case that different approaches to land-based businesses compared to online, in particular in relation to stakes and prizes, seems to make very little practical sense. As these channels converge so should the regulatory approach.

euromat 2016

discussing coin-op & cash vs electronic payment [credit @EUROMAT_EU]

Other topics that were covered at the summit included coin-up and cash vs. electronic payment, convergence and what it means for Europe’s land-based gaming industry, the future of the AWP machine in Europe, and whether or not manufacturers or operators are driving Europe’s gaming machine market.

4. What are the expectations for EGS 2017?

We aim to double the numbers of participants and keep the event meaningful in terms of comprehensive programme and speakers. Next year we hope to welcome once again leading gaming industry representatives from all over the world. Our aim is to make EUROMAT’s voice and role heard and we believe the Summit is the best opportunity to achieve it.

O’Keeffe believes that EGS 2016 was an excellent opportunity to gather industry representatives from across Europe and allow them to share their experience, find solutions, and work toward creating a better image of the industry. Regulators who participated in the Summit included the Harrie Temmink (European Commission’s top official), Peter Naessens (Belgian Gaming Commission), Marta Espasa (Director General for Gaming in Catalonia), Carlos Hernández Rivera (Director General of Gaming, Spain), Fernando Prats (Madrid Regional Government, Spain) and Elisabetta Poso (Administration of State Monopolies, Italy).

Next year’s EUROMAT Gaming Summit 2017 will be held in Berlin, Germany.

About The Author

As both a player and a fan of strategy analysis in the area of online gambling, my goal is to share the latest information and news about online casinos and the games that they offer. My background was originally in writing guidebooks for the individual games, as well as for tournaments, but after a decade of that, I chose to expand my experience to writing honest, objective, and helpful articles.

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