Eventus International met and exceeded all expectations for their recently concluded inaugural Sports Betting & Gaming India (SBGI) summit which was held at the Park Hyatt Goa Resort & Spa on February 27 and 28.
The event opened to a full house with Silver Heritage Group co-founder, Tim Shepherd speaking about the growth of global gaming and tying it into the rising middle class of India, their desire to participate, and ways for industry delegates to participate. The country is grappling with the question of whether or not to legalize more forms of gambling, bring millions of participants out of the black markets, and into a regulated environment that would also capture revenues currently being lost offshore with no accountability.
The future of lotteries in India, legalized sports betting, and the casinos of India were discussed next in three panel-discussions variously attended and contributed to by regulators, market advisors, legal professionals, and operators.
The subject of analytics was covered by Andrew Pearson of Intelligencia Limited; Sports integrity by Kevin Carpenter and responsible gaming by Nandan Kamath – both of LawNK, a boutique law firm based in Bengaluru. The first day wrapped up with energy and high spirits thanks to a poker tournament held on the Deltin Royale.
Day two saw the intense pace of the first continue and strengthen with myriad presentations for industry experts on some of the most important growth markets and opportunities in India by Christina Thakor-Rankin of 1710 Gaming and a presentation by the All India Gaming Federation, before daily fantasy sports were under the spotlight with Harsh Jain of Dream 11.
The afternoon saw four panel-discussions take place which focused on DFS, mobile gaming, horse racing, poker, and rummy in India. Each panel was staffed with key people in the betting and gaming industry from legal advisors to Australasian sportsbook operators.
Managing Director of Eventus International, Yudi Soetjiptadi said of the unprecedented support that SBGI received from the industry: “India is definitely the next big thing, with an online gambling being estimated worth as much as US$1.5 billion, but could rise to as much as $4.6 billion – or more – in the years to come, it’s time for a change. Regulating online gambling would create jobs, bring in foreign investment, open up a new source of tax income, and protect consumers [from] the risks of an unregulated market and [see the] deployment of [a] responsible gambling awareness campaign.”
Jay Sayta, founder of Glaws.in and prominent proponent of gambling regulation in the country said, “The event was a well-organized one and saw participation from gaming companies across the world.” He added, “In the years to come, I hope SBGI will become the flagship event for the gaming industry in India.”
The first new thing announced for next year was a rebranding of the event to SPICE 2019 (Strategic Platform for iGaming Conference & Exhibition). The analogy given was that blending of premium informational elements of the betting and gaming industry resembles the masalas and other spice blends of India.
SPICE is scheduled to be held in Goa on February 26 and 27, 2019 and joins a host of other gambling industry events organized by Eventus International in Asia and Africa each year. For more information please visit http://www.eventus-international.com/