1/27/2012 : Exhibitors in positive mood as last appearance at Earls Court ends
 
ICE 2012 closed its doors for the last time at Earls Court in London Thursday with most exhibitors making positive noises about the future and the commercial interest the show has brought to their doors.
 
With a new date and a new venue scheduled for 2013, most stand holders appeared keen to have an ICE presence again next year as workmen started to take down the elaborate and complex structures erected by the leading companies at this year’s expo.
 
Announcements of successful product launches and business deals continued to proliferate as the show wound down, with Microgaming’s Prima poker network revealing that it has been contracted to supply a range of Quickfire no-download online casino games to Media Providing S.rJ, a Milan-based operator of internet fixed odds betting, poker, skill games and bingo.
 
The visit of television celebrity and wrestling ace Hulk Hogan to the Openbet stand coincided with the launch of its Endemol-developed new online slot Hulkomania.
 
Openbet had other announcements, too – the imminent launch of a new slot and scratch card game themed on David ‘Knight Rider’ Hasselhoff in collaboration with MX Gaming, and an important agreement with the Australian land gambling supplier Aristocrat which will see the UK firm help develop its games for the internet, and distribute them through its wide network of licensees and that of subsidiary Electracade.
 
Future plans include two five reel, 20 pay-line slots dubbed Geisha and Wicked Winnings.
 
Philippines-based Inplay Matrix was showcasing its sports betting software at ICE for the first time, with director of operations Adrian Lee pleased with the response to his company’s product.
 
Inplay Matrix’s fully automated software covers the full spectrum of sports betting and is easily integrated into operators’ sites, covering 15 sports elements and including the betting process, events creation, pricing, risk management, bet acceptance and settlement.
 
WMS, a Chicago-based land gambling supplier that has been making an impression in the online industry over the past two years with its online casino Jackpot Party and a stream of original new online games, is looking for more action in the full service business-to-business field, says marketing chief Candace Lucas.
 
With its wide experience in land gambling compliance to strict standards, the group brings a particular understanding to the online sector and has started its own internet games development operation in Atlanta, with a presence in London, pushing out 45 games to date and with more on the way, although staff were tight-lipped about the next releases.
 
Nevertheless, multi-featured slots like I Love Lucy, The Wizard of Oz, Super Jackpot Party and Bruce Lee have developed positive perceptions among the internet playing public.
 
Another online casino games provider that has been noticeably active this year is the Eindhoven, Holland-based Sheriff Gaming, where sales director Stijn Flapper and around a hundred colleagues have been turning out a stream of quality and original 3D online games across all genres, licensing these to online casino operators.
 
Of the 50 games released so far, 20 have been pushed out in the last 6 weeks in preparation for ICE. The Flash technology powered slots have unique themes and remarkably detailed and deeply animated graphics, packaging a range of features that includes free spins, bonus rounds and fortune wheels.
 
Among Sheriff’s best sellers are the 20 pay-line slots Amsterdam Masterplan based on a land casino heist; the underwater exploration epic Atlantis; Dr. Magoo and Fortune Farm.
 
The Kahnawake Gaming Commission created a stir of approbation at the show with its latest dispute resolution figures, showing once again that players have benefited significantly from the intervention of the Commission on their behalf.
 
Over 80 percent of complaints were ruled in favour of the player, illustrating once again the transparency and commitment to fair play by this Canadian regulator.
 
With its open approach to dispute cases, the KGC has gone further than almost all other online gambling regulators, but the Commission went a step beyond that this week with the release of gambler self exclusion statistics and a reminder that it actively polices this critical aspect of its licensees’ operations.
 
Whilst 26 self-exclusions over a year is undoubtedly a very small percentage of the business transacted by KGC licensees over the twelve months, it is again an indication that this regulator is prepared to go further than most in its disclosure of important statistics, although for obvious reasons the privacy of individuals militates against any publication of detail.
 
ICE 2012 has been a well organised and smoothly run operation again this year, and it is to be hoped that the enthusiasm and optimism of exhibitors and visitors alike will translate to the new venue in 2013….see you at the ExCel Centre in London 5 to 7 February 2013!