IGAMING NEXT Valletta 2021

The igaming next event in a historical city

This year the iGaming NEXT team will “Disrupt the Status Quo”!

Scheduled to take place at the picturesque location of the Mediterranean Conference Centre where some of the biggest brands and influencers will descend in Valletta on the 20th and 21st of October 2021.

Surrounded by bastions, numerous historical buildings and rainbow gardens, iGaming NEXT will allow you to experience Malta’s unique history and culture throughout two days of insightful and informative content.

Networking will play an even more important role than ever before as the industry convenes post-pandemic to build relationships and form new friendships. All this can be done at our amazing rooftop views across the Grand Harbour.

Get ready to connect, explore and experience at iGaming NEXT Valletta ‘21.

Media Partners

Who's Attending

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Operators
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Suppliers
startups-icon
Startups
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Media
investors-icon
Investors
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VCs
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Regulators

A safe event to take part in

Agenda

Don’t Miss a Thing! Check agendas for 20-21 October.

09.30 CEST
Welcome to iGaming NEXT Valletta 2021!
Speaker
Oisin Lunny
Podcast Host, Journalist
09.40 CEST
Keynote address
Speaker
Todd Haushalter
Chief Product Officer
10.15 CEST
Bull or Bear: Investments, trends and instability

As 2021 comes to a near close, and the industry begins to shift its’ gaze towards 2022 will we see greater prudent focus on individual iGaming companies, their cultures and business models or will the market continue to follow market trends. We take a frank look at the numbers and expected winners and losers in 2022.

Moderator
Michael Caselli
Founder
Speaker
Julian Buhagiar
Co-Founder
Speaker
Richard Carter
Group CEO
10.50 CEST
At the crossroads of iGaming Regulation

As the online sector has reversed the pandemic trend and continued to grow, outstripping industry predictions, regulations have followed suit but at a more un-unified offering. With the liberalisation of the US market on the up and the more established markets, such as, EU showing greater restriction how can the industry operate in such a labyrinth of regulations.

Speaker
Rob Procter
SciContent Specialist Director
11.20 CEST
Ready Player ONE: Re-engineering or inventing new games of the future?

In its quest for change Apple re-thought and re-imagined the end user experience. We discuss with game leaders what needs to be done to engage the attention of the NEXT Generation? What and why does it matter? Do we really need to reinvent the wheel and what is wrong with the traditional games?

Panelist
Andy Rogers
Founder
Panelist
Amy Casson-Hughes
Director of Customer Experience
Panelist
Ciara Nic Liam
Commercial Director - Gaming
Panelist
Simon Hammon
CPO
12.00 CEST
Nurturing Diversity: Building Success

Focusing too much on a lack of diversity instead of a lack of access increases the risk of creating further barriers for people. We need to invest in creating more inclusive organizations. Inclusivity is critical to creating and maintaining a diverse workforce, and this session will explore the tools and methods to implement across your organisation.

Speaker
Sandra Lindberg
Chief People Officer
13.00 CEST
Fast Track presentation
Speaker
Simon Lidzén
Co-Founder
14.00 CEST
Changing the axis of reputation: A view from the outside IN

There is no question that businesses today face mounting and significant regulatory, social and market pressures to align their interests with the interests of society. This session will ask key funds and other taboo industries what we can learn from them and how to apply it to our own.

Moderator
Oisin Lunny
Podcast Host, Journalist
Panelist
Liesbeth Oost
Sustainability Manager
14.35 CEST
The liberalization of Technology & Gaming: Empowering businesses with Choice
Speaker
James King
CEO
15.00 CEST
Presentation

Presentation title and speaker To Be Confirmed

15.25 CEST
Dissecting the dynamic US M&A activity

With companies constantly looking for aggressive expansion and consolidation and the rapid growth in demand across the United States in the last five years, mergers and acquisitions have come thick and fast. As we see brands taking over promising new players and the big brands themselves getting involved with each other what next for the US?

Moderator
Oisin Lunny
Podcast Host, Journalist
Panelist
Martin Collins
Director of Sales & Business Development
Panelist
Martin Lycka
SVP American Regulatory Affairs & RG
Panelist
Max Meltzer
CEO
16.05 CEST
The Angels and Devils Cocktail  

A thought leads to an action and the sum of all actions in an organization is the receipt of success or failure. Learning how to control your thoughts is the definition of self-leadership. But there are many variants of self-leadership. This keynote will give many of the participants an insight they didn’t know they could get accompanied with tools they never knew existed.

Speaker
Alex Jarlung
Head of International Business
16.30 CEST
Up close and personal with the new style of CEO

With the immediate dislocation of company culture – supply chains – client behaviour and business performance we have seen even the most experienced CEOs shift, expedite, and evolve into a new role. But what is it that you really want to know of a CEO and their role?

We want you – the attendees – to shape this session and ask direct, challenging and quirky questions which will help shape the session and its’ direction.

Moderator
Lahcene Merzoug
CEO
Panelist
Maarja Pärt
CEO
Panelist
Jesper Svensson
CEO
17.01 CEST
Day 1 Closing remarks
Moderator
Oisin Lunny
Podcast Host, Journalist
10.00 CEST
Welcome Address
Moderator
Oisin Lunny
Podcast Host, Journalist
10.05 CEST
Accelerating into the future

Understanding the value of customization to gain the competitive edge.

10.15 CEST
Made just for Me!

If you try to appeal to everyone, you’ll appeal to no one. Key is to customize your product to be specifically perfect to every different segment of user. With todays’ customer having grown up with “customisation”, engagement and gamification mean that customisation needs to be at the heart of category trends.

10.40 CEST
Evolution Presentation
Speaker
Tania Johannisson
Director of Game Integrity & Risk
11.05 CEST
Debate: Do affiliates build trust or hinder exposure to your brand?

With integrity and reputation taking a more central role we look at the role of the affiliate and ask what role does the future hold? With winnings sometimes not honoured and incentives and pressure tactics on problem gamblers are they bad for business or can affiliates help ensure a safe and sustainable market?

Moderator
Shona ODonnell
Head of strategic events
Speaker
Will Barnes
Co-Founder
11.35 CEST
The complex quest to find customer loyalty

Screening over 15,000 advertising messages per week takes its’ toll on even the savviest customer. How do you attract the attention in the new social world and above all convert them to loyal customers? Is it all about diversification or just designing the sexiest advert and the rest will follow?

Speaker
Mikael Hansson
Founder and CEO
12.05 CEST
Ichiban Ventures

The Online Casino industry has gone through waves of innovation over the past decade. HappyHour.io believes the next wave of innovation lies in social experiences and has developed a potentially disruptive product that unites operators, supplier and creators alike: LiveSpins™️. It will be showcased for the first time in this presentation.

Speaker
Robin Eirik Reed
CEO
12.45 CEST
The shift to an experiential first approach

Historically we have seen the industry look to compete and gain the competitive edge on gambling and its’ related products. But is “gambling” now becoming secondary to the consumer and should we now focus on the experience and community engagement to truly have trust in the brand and customer loyalty?

Moderator
Fiona Hickey
Head of Sales
Speaker
Per Hellberg
CEO
Speaker
Daniel Graetzer
Founder / CEO
Speaker
Karolina Pelc
Gaming Consultant, Founder and CEO
13.45 CEST
Coming of Age – Is total reliable identity verification possible?

For some it has just been a tick-box exercise to show compliance. But with focus on more end user protection and the convergence between gaming and iGaming becoming ever more commonplace the responsibilities are becoming deeper and more sensitive to the provision of preventing minors gambling. Should the industry have a more unified and comprehensive framework in place and what is the global outlook for protection across the various verticals.

Moderator
Alastair Graham
CEO
14.15 CEST
Show Me the MONEY!

The ever challenging and demanding Gen Z are experiencing fast seamless and easy experiences with their retail counterparts. With several options available to them how is the industry pushing the boundaries; providing a competitive edge and mitigating the AML risks to ensure and equally smooth journey?

Moderator
Rhi Burns
Chief Commercial Officer
14.50 CEST
Crypto or Kryptonite? and NFTs? – WTF is all the hype all about and why should we take note?!?

Crypto is gaining popularity day by day. NFTs are seeing prices soar to exponential levels and it is only a matter of time before we all start using blockchain in everyday life. But are we really close to seeing this all become reality and what can we expect to see in the next 18mths?

Moderator
Oisin Lunny
Podcast Host, Journalist
Speaker
Roman German
Speaker
Lloyd Purser
Chief Operating Officer
15.25 CEST
Ensuring a progressive regulatory revolution

Our industry is moving at a faster pace than ever before. But regulation is often considered a hinderance to pace. Why then do we have it and could it mean the end of an innovative industry? Will the many multi-layered complex laws make iGaming less attractive to investment or is regulation a necessity to provide players with access to more and better gaming platforms?

Moderator
Oisin Lunny
Podcast Host, Journalist
Panelist
Claudio Caruana
General Counsel
Panelist
Jade Zorab
Managing Director
Panelist
Victoria Reed
Co-Founder
Panelist
Phil Pearson
COO & Head of Sales
16.05 CEST
Esports & Sports Betting: A marriage made or a marriage hindered? 

Aside from the Premier League, for most sports betting operators, the recently aired Euros was the biggest betting event of the year.  A whole month packed with topflight international matches to keep the punters buzzing and engaged. But what happens when the football’s over?

The opportunity to create an evergreen calendar of top tier sports events is bigger than ever. Operators no longer have to rely on seasonal peaks to make it through the year. Esports tournaments provide a unique opportunity to spread the risk and maintain a steady rate of betting activity at any given point across a calendar year.

Panelist
Flavien Guillocheau
CEO
Panelist
Mark Thorne
CMO
16.35 CEST
Time to Tame the Beast - Will Asia suffer from lack of regulation clarity?

Online operators in Asia have seen a huge increase in online activity over its’ land-based counterparts but governments have continued to chase the operators’ coattails as they take hold of differing rules, requirements, and allowances.

Whilst it is an attractive revenue opportunity, can the complex and non-compliant nature of Asia begin to hinder the opportunity for operators as the sector looks to a more sustainable industry and investor demands? Will this spark a hunger for greater regulation from all parties and commitment to increased operational due diligence?

Moderator
Oisin Lunny
Podcast Host, Journalist
17.05 CEST
Closing Remarks: iGamingNEXT 2021
Moderator
Oisin Lunny
Podcast Host, Journalist

Speakers

Hosts
Oisin Lunny
Click to see Bio
Oisin Lunny
Event MC
Podcast Host, Journalist

Oisin Lunny is an award-winning marketer, webinar and podcast host, MC, public speaker, virtual event consultant and journalist. His work has been read over half a million times as a senior contributor to Forbes, The Guardian and others. Oisin has spoken at over 250 conferences in every corner of the world, including TEDx and six times at SXSW, and he has worked in a series of leading global technology firms over the past 20 years.

Pierre Lindh
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Pierre Lindh
iGaming NEXT
Co-Founder | Managing Director

Originally spawning from an iGaming career that started at the age of 17 during the early days of the online poker boom, Pierre Co-founded the event management company Ambassadör Events in 2013. The company specialises in B2B & B2C event concepts targeting the gaming sector with more than 600 successful projects behind them for most of the major organisations within the industry. In 2016, Pierre Co-Founded the primary award show of the gaming industry, iGaming IDOL followed by the content driven conference, iGaming NEXT in 2018.

Keynote Speakers
Todd Haushalter
Click to see Bio
Todd Haushalter
Evolution
Chief Product Officer

Todd Haushalter has one of the most expansive resumes in the gaming industry. He is currently the Chief Product Officer at Evolution Gaming, the biggest live dealer online casino in the world with over 9,000 employees. He is the inventor of many of the biggest casino games in the world including Crazy Time, Lightning Roulette, Monopoly Live, Mega Ball, Deal or No Deal Live, Infinite Blackjack, Instant Roulette, and numerous other industry-shaping games. He has also lived in Macau and Las Vegas and has held senior leadership positions in the operations, supplier, and internet sectors of the gaming industry, working directly with over 300 casinos across 45 countries on five continents and over 200 online casinos. Prior to his current role, Todd was Corporate Vice President of Gaming Operations for MGM Resorts International, responsible for all slots and table games at 15 properties globally. He also held roles at Shuffle Master as Vice President of Business Strategy, Director of Product Development, and Product Director – Asia. In addition, Todd spent almost five years at Wynn Resorts where he was focused on identifying and implementing new ways to increase casino profitability.

Presenters
Robin Eirik Reed
Click to see Bio
Robin Eirik Reed
HappyHour.io
CEO

Robin Eirik Reed Co-founded GiG 10 years ago and successfully grew the company to €150m revenue. In 2019, Robin became an inductee in the iGaming IDOL Hall of Fame. Robin is the CEO of HappyHours.io, a company that seeks to connect online gaming through social technology and is an investor and chairman in a number of companies.

James King
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James King
Flows
CEO

James King is the CEO of Flows, an integration platform that empowers your entire organisation to connect apps, innovate and drive digital automation, without code.

With over 10 year’s experience in the iGaming space, King joined industry entrepreneur Robin Reed to launch Flows earlier this year after previously serving as the director  of sales at leading industry tech and media powerhouse Gaming Innovation Group. Flows will make innovation accessible to everyone, by delivering API-led agnostic connectivity that liberates resources, delivers freedom of choice and which allows its partners to build and to move quickly.

Tania Johannisson
Click to see Bio
Tania Johannisson
Evolution
Director of Game Integrity & Risk

Tania Johannisson, Head of Game Integrity & Risk at Evolution, heads up Evolution’s Game Integrity and Risk operations across multiple remote studios and on-premise land-based live studios. She also initiated and developed a tailor-made Anti-Fraud department and has managed the respective unit, which now consists of around 200 risk related employees. Johannisson is also a driving force behind the EG (Evolution Gaming) Integrity Alliance. The alliance brings together key personnel responsible for game integrity and risk management from Evolution’s larger licensees.

Simon Lidzén
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Simon Lidzén
FastTrack
Co-Founder

Simon is a specialist in technology, product development, innovation and organisational scalability, with over 15 years of experience in iGaming. Having held senior positions at Betfair and within the Betsson Group, he co-founded Fast Track in 2016 as a direct response to the challenges that operators face in running an efficient, scalable business. He is now on a mission to digitalise the iGaming industry.

Edo Haitin
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Edo Haitin
Playtech
Managing Director, Live Casino

With nearly a decade of experience across various gaming technology companies, Edo joined Playtech as the CEO of Euro Live Technologies in 2016 at a transformational time for the live entertainment product. During the last 5 years, Edo has been driving innovation and pioneering the technological changes along side the physical studios expansion to new territories within the Live Casino vertical.

Edo’s vision for Playtech Live is to deliver the best possible entertainment-led experience to leading operators across the world. It is clear from the continued growth and variety of games offered across an ever increasing number of studios worldwide that under Edo’s management, Playtech Live has cemented itself as a global leader of next level entertainment live products and services.

Rob Procter
Click to see Bio
Rob Procter
Scientific Games
SciContent Specialist Director
Speakers
Ciara Nic Liam
Click to see Bio
Ciara Nic Liam
Betsson Group
Commercial Director - Gaming
Victoria Reed
Click to see Bio
Victoria Reed
Better Change
Co-Founder

After more than 6 years working for Gala Coral Interactive, Betfred and GentingBet, Victoria saw first-hand the devastation caused by gambling addiction and decided she had to act. As a recent alumna of Harvard Business School, she teamed up with her fellow classmate and together, they started, Better Change. By challenging the status quo and truly partnering with operators to help them raise standards through improved compliance, innovative social responsibility strategies and robust safer gambling tools designed to maximise player protection, she is determined to sustain the industry and deliver clear, sustainable and progressive results for their partners and their players.

Amy Casson-Hughes
Click to see Bio
Amy Casson-Hughes
Eyas Gaming
Director of Customer Experience

Amy Casson-Hughes, Founding Director of Eyas Gaming, developer turned Customer Experience and Product Management specialist, has over 17 years’ experience leading and scaling global digital teams for tech and gaming giants.

Roman German
Click to see Bio
Roman German
Heathmont
Claudia Lama
Click to see Bio
Claudia Lama
Coingaming
Head of Brand Communications
Phil Pearson
Click to see Bio
Phil Pearson
iGaming Group
COO & Head of Sales
Shona ODonnell
Click to see Bio
Shona ODonnell
Better Collective
Head of strategic events

Shona is the Head of Strategic Events for the leading sports betting affiliate Better Collective.  With over a decade of experience in the iGaming sector, much of that focussed on the affiliate market, Shona has been responsible for the creation and development of some of the industry’s biggest events, including iGB Live!, LAC, Sports Betting USA and ICE.
A passionate advocate of the events industry and its ability to bring people and businesses together to make meaningful value-based connections.  The current pandemic has only confirmed the importance of human connections and the importance of face to face meetings.
In her spare time she can be found indulging her biggest love; food, eating it, writing about it, photographing it and planning what to eat next.

Maarja Pärt
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Maarja Pärt
Yolo Group
CEO

CEO of Yolo Group Maarja Pärt is CEO of Yolo Group and a member of the board at venture capital firm Yolo Investments. Pärt has been an integral part of the Yolo Group’s remarkable growth story, having previously served as the company’s CFO and COO. She now oversees a team of more than 600 members, and a diverse portfolio of brands and products which span B2C and B2B gaming, including Yolo Entertainment that houses Sportsbet.io and Bitcasino. Having strategically supervised Yolo Group’s growth from an operation of six people to a globally recognised leader in crypto entertainment, Pärt is now focused on the next part of Yolo’s journey – to the moon.

Sandra Lindberg
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Sandra Lindberg
QuickSpin
Chief People Officer

Sandra is the Chief People Officer at Quickspin, by being curious and caring, she is integrated in all parts of the organization enabling being very pro-active, supportive, and innovative in finding new ways.

Sandra is part of the management team where she pushes strategic work forward, she has a drive for finding better ways of doing things – and she is not afraid to fight for what she believes in. In little over three years, Sandra has changed how we view and work with everything from company culture and corporate values, feedback culture & communication, leadership, personal career development, mentorship and age-, gender- and ethnic diversity.

Flavien Guillocheau
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Flavien Guillocheau
PandaScore
CEO

Flavien Guillocheau is the Founder and CEO of PandaScore, the world’s AI-powered hub of esports data, whose odds feed is the main product serving the esports betting industry.

Built from a small group’s passion for esports, Jonathan and Flavien created PandaScore in 2016 with the goal to help esports’ growth through data.

Now numbering over 60 people, PandaScore has a distribution partnership with Scientific Games and serves clients including Entain Australia which runs the Ladbrokes and Neds brands, Betcris, LOOT.BET and Pixel.bet.

Andy Rogers
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Andy Rogers
Rokker Network
Founder

Andy is the Founder of Rokker and The Rokker Network, an ecosystem of wholly owned, design-led professional service businesses. Specialising in iGaming and Financial Services, The Rokker Network is made up of Rokker, a Design-led Management Consultancy, Pretty Technical, which provides curated iGaming Software, Operations and Consulting, Skull Mountain, experts in Digital Product Management and Random Colour Animal, our agency business, specialising in Creative, Brand, Design Execution and Digital all who work with a wide range of Global gaming clients, operating in almost every major jurisdiction.

Martin Lycka
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Martin Lycka
Entain
SVP American Regulatory Affairs & RG

Martin Lycka is SVP for American Regulatory Affairs and Responsible Gambling at Entain, overseeing growth of the business across both new U.S. states and into other parts of the Americas, notably LATAM and Canada. He joined the business in April 2018, as Director of Regulatory Affairs.

Martin also serves on the boards of the Entain Foundation, the Entain Foundation US, the German Online Casino Association and the Advisory Boards to the National Council on Problem Gambling as well as RG247, a responsible gaming training provider. In the past, Martin has been a board member of the European Gaming and Betting Association, JDigital and the European Sports Security Association. In total, Martin has been a senior legal, regulatory and RG advisor to listed gambling businesses for over 11 years.

Previously, Martin worked amongst others with Salans Europe LLP, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic and the Senate of the Czech Republic.

He obtained law degrees from the Charles University, Prague, the College of Europe, Bruges, and the University of Law, London, qualifying as UK solicitor.

Martin is a regular conference speaker and has (co-)authored more than 80 academic articles and three books on gambling law and other legal matters. He is the 2019 Global Regulatory Awards Head of Regulatory Affairs of the Year as well as a member of the2020/2021 Emerging Gambling Leaders 40 Under 40 Class (a Judge’s Choice).

Mark Thorne
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Mark Thorne
Esports Technologies
CMO
James Marshall
Click to see Bio
James Marshall
Push Gaming
CEO and Co-Founder
Max Meltzer
Click to see Bio
Max Meltzer
Strive Gaming
CEO
Richard Carter
Click to see Bio
Richard Carter
Bragg Gaming
Group CEO
Will Barnes
Click to see Bio
Will Barnes
Hideous Slots
Co-Founder
Simon Hammon
Click to see Bio
Simon Hammon
Relax Gaming
CPO

Simon Hammon, CPO of Relax Gaming since 2018, has been instrumental to the success of the company’s aggregation services and proprietary content portfolio. Under his leadership, Relax’s casino proposition has cemented a strong reputation for driving studio and partner growth, delivering unmatched speed to market along with rapid, simple integration.

Alastair Graham
Click to see Bio
Alastair Graham
AgeChecked
CEO
Michael Caselli
Click to see Bio
Michael Caselli
iGaming Business
Founder
Lloyd Purser
Click to see Bio
Lloyd Purser
FunFair Technologies
Chief Operating Officer
Claudio Caruana
Click to see Bio
Claudio Caruana
Gaming Innovation Group
General Counsel

Claudio Caruana has been active in the gaming industry for over ten years, starting his career in a full-service law firm specialising in gambling regulation, privacy, and corporate law. Throughout his career, he has been involved in and led the legal process of several M&A transactions spanning various industries. Claudio has been representing GiG since 2013, and in 2017 joined the company to lead and expand the legal, compliance and regulatory affairs department in the face of an ever-evolving risk environment. He holds a doctorate in law from the University of Malta and a masters’ degree in Internet, Telecommunications Law and Policy from the University of Strathclyde.

Martin Collins
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Martin Collins
Gaming Innovation Group 
Director of Sales & Business Development

With 2 decades of experience in digital markets, Martin has a passion and drive to help organizations flourish. Through both internal and external strategic analysis, he can drive positive improvement in performance, as well as help identify new business opportunities. Always remaining one step ahead, Martin empowers organizations to truly perform and drive revenue and growth.

Daniel Graetzer
Click to see Bio
Daniel Graetzer
Carousel Group & MaximBet
Founder / CEO

Daniel Graetzer is the Founder and CEO of Carousel Group, the owner and operator of SportsBetting.com, a US and European regulated online sportsbook and casino. With over 20 years of experience in digital, Graetzer created Carousel Group in 2017 after previously serving as director at leading Spanish provider Mediatech Solutions (acquired by R. Franco Group in 2017). Carousel Group is operational in Colorado and recently signed a market access deal for New Jersey, Indiana, and Iowa.

Per Hellberg
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Per Hellberg
PlayStar Casino
CEO

Per is an industry veteran with extensive corporate experience, most recently he served as the CEO of the NasdaqOMX-listed affiliate powerhouse Catena Media.

Former CEO and Chairman of Readly, Per joined the business in the start-up phase and prepared it to be listed on NasdaqOMX.

Per also had an exponential impact on the business growth at Nordic Gaming Group (NordicBet) as CEO, positioning it to be acquired by the Betsson Group in 2012.

Per has extensive experience in working with and within European, American and Asian countries.

David Mann
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David Mann
Swinnt
CCO

David Mann is Chief Commercial Officer at Swintt, the rapidly-growing supplier offering slots, live dealer, land-based content and specialist games powered by gamification. David has worked in the industry since 2008 in a number of roles and brings a wealth of knowledge across multiple verticals and markets.

Alex Jarlung
Click to see Bio
Alex Jarlung
David JP Phillips
Head of International Business

— THE YES, MORE THAN NO MAN —
Born in south of Sweden back in the early ’80s, He came from a loving family, with two siblings and with a caring father and loving mother. Everything that he is today he learnt from his parents and his mentors. His goal in life is now to give that knowledge to the rest of the planet.

Life for Alex has not been easy even if it may seem to be that on the outside, he has struggled with dark demons on the inside through his childhood, and even when he became an adult. The stories are many and the takeaway will optimize your life if you choose to accept the honest truth. Everything started with one YES, and if Alex can do it, so can YOU.

Communication is the key to all success in the world, be a part of the movement!

Scott Longley
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Scott Longley
Clear Concise Media
Director

Scott Longley has been a journalist since the early noughties covering personal finance, sport and the gambling industry. He has worked for a number of publications including Investor’s Week, Bloomberg Money, Football First, EGR and GamblingCompliance.com. He now writes for online and print titles across a wide range of sectors.

 

Julian Buhagiar
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Julian Buhagiar
RB Capital
Co-Founder

Julian is co-founder of RB Capital. He is an investor & board director to multiple ventures in the gaming, fintech & music industries. He has managed investments, M&As and exits to date in excess of $500m.

Jade Zorab
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Jade Zorab
Amber Gaming
Managing Director

Jade is the Managing Director of Amber Gaming and is responsible for the strategic development, growth, and performance of the business. 

Her experience includes advising clients on the complex multi-jurisdictional regulatory landscape, including corporate structuring, licencing applications, and relocation assignments. She is immersed in the gaming industry and has worked across a breadth of Amber Gaming’s product and service sectors, playing a key role in its internationalisation, rebrand and commercial development.  

Jade holds a Bachelor of Laws degree issued by the University of South Africa and a Diploma in International Marketing Management.  

 

Liesbeth Oost
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Liesbeth Oost
Aspire Global
Sustainability Manager

Liesbeth Oost is the Sustainability Manager at Aspire Global, the leading B2B-provider of iGaming solutions. She focuses on the sustainability strategy, at the heart of which is responsible gambling. Liesbeth has a Master’s degree in International Political Economy from the University of Groningen, and is a Certified Investor Relations professional (CIR®). Before her career in online gaming she worked at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Rhi Burns
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Rhi Burns
Zimpler
Chief Commercial Officer
Jesper Svensson
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Jesper Svensson
Betsson Group
CEO

Jesper Svensson has been in the gaming industry since the mid-2000s. Over the years he worked in senior positions in several gaming companies in Europe and Asia.

He joined Betsson in 2013 as the managing director of its flagship brand, betsson.com. In 2015 he became Betsson’s Chief Commercial Officer and was then made acting CEO in September 2017. Just three months later, he was appointed as CEO for Betsson Operations.

Jesper holds a Master in International Business from EAE Business School (Barcelona) and a Bachelor in Marketing from BI Norwegian Business School (Oslo). Jesper is passionate about sports and gaming. 

Mikael Hansson
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Mikael Hansson
Enteractive
Founder and CEO

Mikael Hansson is the Founder and CEO of Enteractive, the leading player reactivation company driving revenues for iGaming brands across the world. He graduated from LIU, Sweden, with a Masters of Science in Industrial Engineering and Management, and previously held the position of CFO for a large Swedish company.  He has been living in Malta since 2009, when he set up the Enteractive brand to support player retention and reactivation for the growing iGaming sector.  Leading Enteractive’s unique ability to connect with players directly on a one-to-one level, Mikael is passionate about increasing the level of personalisation between iGaming brands and their players. As a champion for sustainability and longevity in the sector, he is instrumental in promoting growth and player retention alongside responsible gambling measures for players.

Fiona Hickey
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Fiona Hickey
Push Gaming
Head of Sales

Fiona Hickey has over 10 years in the iGaming space, starting her career in the industry with leading headhunting firm, Bettingjobs before joining slots provider Push Gaming to head up Sales and New Business. Having partnered with the largest and most influential companies in the industry as well as start-ups and service providers, she has gained extensive Commercial knowledge that sees her well placed to drive business growth.

Lahcene Merzoug
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Lahcene Merzoug
Betpoint Group
CEO

Lahcene Merzoug, is the CEO of Betpoint Group and is primarily responsible for spearheading the company’s aggressive growth strategy whilst also overseeing the company’s flagship brands’ expansion into new markets. Prior to his role as CEO of Betpoint Group, Merzoug spent two years as the CEO of ComeOn Group and was Chief Marketing Officer at Green Media, Mr Green’s internal media agency. He has also held senior roles at Evoke Gaming, Bonnier Gaming and Red Bet, bringing a wealth of expertise and experience to Betpoint Group.

Karolina Pelc
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Karolina Pelc
SharedPlay
Gaming Consultant, Founder and CEO

Founder and CEO of SharedPlay, new B2B venture providing technology for multiplayer real-money gaming.
Igaming Next podcast host featuring prominent industry guests.

Over 15 years of experience in gambling in global markets online and offline, including leadership roles for LeoVegas, Betsson and SG Digital as well as interim executive placements for tier 1s via her consultancy firm, Basic Strategy. Specialising in P&L management, product development and commercial strategy as well as start-up and M&A advisory. Author published in EGR and IGB magazines, voted  IGB 2019 Top 10 Most Influential Women and featured by Facebook in their #shetalksgames video campaign. Vocal gender diversity ambassador and above all, passionate about the product.

Advisory Board

Sarah Blackburn

Managing Director at GameOn

Sarah Blackburn is Managing Director of GameOn, a PR agency that creates digital PR and marketing strategies on behalf of a wide variety of iGaming clients. Sarah has been working across the B2B and affiliate sectors for more than 15 years and has represented some of the biggest names in gaming.

Fiona Hickey

Head of Sales at Push Gaming

Fiona Hickey has 10 years in the iGaming space, starting her career in the industry with leading headhunting firm, Bettingjobs before joining slots provider Push Gaming to head up Sales and New Business. Having partnered with the largest and most influential companies in the industry as well as start-ups and service providers, she has gained extensive Commercial knowledge that sees her well placed to drive business growth.

Shona ODonnell

Head of strategic events at Better Collective

Shona is the Head of Strategic Events for the leading sports betting affiliate Better Collective.  With over a decade of experience in the iGaming sector, much of that focussed on the affiliate market, Shona has been responsible for the creation and development of some of the industry’s biggest events, including iGB Live!, LAC, Sports Betting USA and ICE.
A passionate advocate of the events industry and its ability to bring people and businesses together to make meaningful value-based connections.  The current pandemic has only confirmed the importance of human connections and the importance of face to face meetings.
In her spare time she can be found indulging her biggest love; food, eating it, writing about it, photographing it and planning what to eat next.

Julian Buhagiar

Co-Founder at RB Capital

Julian is co-founder of RB Capital, a boutique investment and M&A advisory, as well as General Partner of Yolo Investments, the leading Venture Capital business in gaming and fintech funds. He is an investor & board director to multiple ventures in the gaming, fintech & music industries and has managed investments, M&As and company exits to date in excess of $650m.

COVID-19 Safety Disclaimer

At iGaming NEXT, the health and well-being of our guests and team have always been at the forefront of our decision making. As we embark to organise our October Valletta’ 21 event, we continue to monitor Government guidelines and we are preparing a Covid-19 Safe Event Plan to protect both our Guests and team.

More information around covid-19 rules and requirements will be posted closer to the event!

iGaming NEXT Valletta 2021