Visitors to ICEi, the remote gaming sector within the 2009 International Gaming Expo, will be part of what is already certain to be a landmark event as record after record tumbles prior to the doors opening on 27th January at the Earls Court Exhibition Centre.
Over-subscribed as early as the summer, ICEi will feature more exhibitors (90) from more jurisdictions (25) and occupy more stand space (2 750 square metres) than at any time in the event's history. Indeed, spokesmen claim that the international b2b event will be 40 percent larger than in 2008 and 75 percent bigger than in 2007 – both of which were record years.
Charlotte Skinner, marketing manager for show organiser Clarion Gaming, believes that the heightened interest in online gaming will be manifest in the show's attendance figures, which in 2008 attracted 2 861 unique i-gaming professionals drawn from 68 jurisdictions. She explained: "Online is most certainly the gambling platform of the moment. Respected observers and analysts including the Financial Times, William Hill chief executive Ralph Topping and market intelligence provider, Key Note have all referred to online gambling as a strong driver of growth.
"Combined with the Google decision to allow online gambling adverts to be displayed in Britain as well as online's reputation for being part of the recession-resilient home entertainment package, I would anticipate strong levels of interest in the exhibition and our pre-registration figures are reflecting this. The attendance figure at ICEi 2008 was 21 percent up on 2007 and we are looking to build on that."
Billed as the fastest growing gaming exhibition in Europe, the roll call of exhibitors reads like an industry power list comprising remote gaming giants including Microgaming, Playtech, Cryptologic, Boss Media, WorldMatch, A Bet A, Ongame Network, Synot, Net Entertainment, Chartwell Games, Cyberarts Licensing, Partouche Interactive, Continent 8, Medialivecasino, Orbis Technology and Ivobank – all demonstrating a wide selection of new and innovative products and services on substantial showcases.
The 2009 edition will feature 35 ICEi debutantes, 39 percent of the exhibitor base, and includes AliQuantum, Antigua & Barbuda Directorate of Gaming, Connected Table, Cryptologic, CSB Group, Enetpulse, Esanda Recruitment, Global Betting Exchange, Global Collect, GoResponse, Hyperion Online, Imobgaming, Inside Poker Business, Ivobank, Lucky 8, Meridian Gaming, Mfuse, Mirada, NET4Uonline, Netrefer, Noble Gaming, Openlot Systems, Optimal Payments, Player2Players, Play'n GO, QAS, Reed Personnel Services Malta, SC Dollarobet, Search Focus, Synot, Technical Systems Testing, Teckpro, Visionary iGaming, Vodafone Malta and WorldMatch.
The number of jurisdictions that will have a stand presence in January is set to grow too. Following its approval by the UK's Department of Culture Media and Sport and subsequent inclusion on the UK government's White List, Antigua & Barbuda is the latest jurisdiction to confirm its presence. The Caribbean jurisdiction joins the Isle of Man, States of Alderney and the Malta Lotteries & Gaming Authority.