Innovation, technology and the role of advertising were the key topics discussed at the annual Industry Forum organised by the European Casino Association and hosted by the JOA Royal Casino in Cannes- Mandelieu.
Members and partners of the European Casino Association (ECA) gathered for two days in the exceptional JOA Royal Casino on the French Riviera. The Forum represented a unique opportunity to share best practices and discuss crucial issues common to the industry across Europe.
“This year, the Industry Forum has been more relevant than ever. Our industry is gathering momentum in tackling the key issues ahead of us, while maintaining a clear path towards a sustainable future,” said Per Jaldung, ECA chairman. “I am more than pleased to be chairman of an association that is important to the industry and constantly evolving, as we welcome Casino Malta as the thirtieth member country. I would also like to compliment the JOA Royal Casino for hosting the event in of the most fantastic casino resort locations in Europe,” he continued.
Several high-level experts from within and outside the industry enriched the conversation with precious insights.
Seminars focused on innovation with regard to the application of technologies likely to shape the industry in the future, such as Artificial Intelligence, blockchain, and virtual reality. An area highlighted was the positive role of technology, such as the use of Artificial Intelligence in further improving the prevention and detection of problem gambling.
Sustainability of modern casinos, and their development in respect of the environment, were on the agenda too with casino projects in Venlo by Holland Casino (The Netherlands) and Tampere by Veikkaus (Finland) putting corporate citizenship front-and-centre. Dr Nadejda Popova, global project manager on Travel at Euromonitor International presented the latest trends in the tourism and experience industry, showing how consumer values are changing and reshaping tourism.
“The tourism industry is forecasted to increase over the coming decades. The key trend is consumers being in the driving seat and looking for experiences that excite and engage, while recognising the shift in values towards environmental factors,” she stated.
A panel of responsible gambling experts, lawyers, regulators and operators extensively discussed the role of national regulation of gambling advertising. Panellists agreed on the necessity of gambling advertising to be responsible and be able to channel the demand toward legal operators. In the discussion Pieter Remmers, Secretary-General of the European Association for the Study of Gambling (EASG) highlighted the need for policy-making to be based on evidence and take into account academic research that is currently lacking in the area of gambling advertising.
“There is a need to develop a cooperative approach between operators, regulators and legislators in the interest of protecting the consumer. There should be a long-term perspective towards clear cooperation in areas including gambling advertising and the prevention of harm,” said Jorn Starck, chair of the Gambling Regulators European Forum (GREF).
During the General Assembly, the ECA welcomed a new member, Casino Malta, part of the Olympic Entertainment Group (OEG). The 30th member of the ECA will represent the licensed land-based casino industry on Malta and further position the association in its discussions with regulators and stakeholders around the key issues facing the industry, ranging from gambling advertising to illegal gambling. An economic impact study of the licensed land-based casino industry was also presented, which shows the ECA member casinos creating direct employment for over 100,000 people and overall for 340,000 people and generating an economic impact of EUR23m per casino each year.
“We were delighted to welcome the leaders of the licensed landbased casino industry to Cannes-Mandelieu for the annual gathering of the ECA,” said Laurent Lassiaz, president and CEO of JOA Group.
“The quality of the seminars, together with the high-level speakers, made the event a formidable experience. We are also pleased to continue the cooperation between the French and the European industry on relevant issues and we look forward to engage on our common goals,” he concluded.