Unlike other industry expos, ICE London includes gaming machines, table games, VLTs, online gaming, social gaming, sports betting and casino equipment as well as arcade/video games in its line-up of exhibitors. Thousands of exhibitors and managers from all segments of the industry attended the event as old and new companies showcased their latest products, innovative game developments, and product offerings.
Walter Bugno (CEO of IGT International) reported to attendees at an IGT event in Sydney this week that there is considerable discussion across the world regarding responsible gambling with many jurisdictions beginning to make legislative changes designed to limit the amounts of money players can lose. From cash limits and self-exclusion, to card use that locks out after a limit is reached within a month being trailed in many countries, on all forms of gambling. All these new policies were top of mind discussions at ICE 2019 with regulators around the world eagerly watching, evaluating and awaiting the results of the trials. A Consumer Protection Zone was set up at the expo and offered seminars on how to integrate responsible gambling into game design, and proactively manage customer monitoring, restricted and limited betting and self-exclusions.
Bugno also reported that the main focus of gaming machines this year at ICE was the size. The screen sizes are “maxed out” with some machine units now forming almost a room for the player. Over-height and extended-width machines were the order of the day, with one company displaying an integrated massive screen wall behind the machine that triggered during a feature to include characters from the game.
Online Gaming continues to be the growth sector in betting around the world with profits far out-striping other gambling formats now. Despite online casino gambling being illegal in Australia, Australian gamblers rank as the 7th highest group of users worldwide. Definitely something for the regulators here to consider.