The gambling industry opens its doors to London Technology Week. At London Technology Week GamCrowd will showcase which tech drives the industry and will be learning what tech is being developed in other sectors which could be applied to the industry.
GamCrowd, the home of ideas and innovation for the industry, will bring together leading tech people and companies from all sectors to discuss the various tech challenges and developments that impact today’s and tomorrow gambling world. The event is being held at the Hippodrome, London’s coolest Casino.
Check out the agenda, speakers and all the latest news from the nav bar above.
What is London Technology Week?
London Technology Week is a festival of live events taking place throughout the UK’s capital. It celebrates and cultivates London as a global powerhouse of tech innovation by connecting the entire ecosystem both within London and beyond. This week of face to face networking, discovery and learning creates an inclusive and sustainable growth environment for organisations and social enterprises of all shapes and sizes.
To see what else is on at London Technology Week please click here.
Companies involved in the GamCrowd London Technology week day:
Registration and Welcome coffee.
Welcome and intro from Chris North, Founder and CEO GamCrowd.
Simon Thomas, Founder and CEO of Hippodrome Casino welcomes us all to his casino.
Panel. Gambling – More Innovative than you realise?
David Sargeant, Igaming Ideas. Moderator
Phill Graham, CTO Gamesys.
Dominic Hawken, Co Founder and CTO Grand Parade.
George Constantinou, Director of Online, Hippodrome Casino.
Will Mace, Head of Innovation at Unibet.
Presentation. Containerisation – A journey
Juan Cervera, Chief Technical Architect, Gamesys.
Networking and Coffee Break
Panel. How is Block Chain technology impacting the gambling industry?
Hans Lombardo, Director of Chain-Finance. Moderator
Eddy Travia, CEO Coinsilium
Adam Vaziri, Partner, Diacle
Nick Garner, Founder Oshi Casino
Presentation. Diversity of tech at Gamesys.
Melanie Munden and Jonny Andrews - Development Managers at Gamesys
Presentation. Tech and the legal landscape.
Phil Hails-Smith, Partner, Joelson.
Panel. How do I attract Tech Talent to come and join my team?
Rick Brownlow, Geektastic. Moderator.
James Murry, HR, Gamesys.
Alastair Cleland, CEO Pentasia
Presentation. I’ve got a great idea. How do I get started and what do I think it about?
Helen Walton, Founder Gamevy. Looks at the challenges of setting up in London.
Helen and Paul, winners of “Pitch ICE” 2015 will share the journey they made as a start -up focusing on the key obstacles they faced and how they overcame them… This is a warts-and-all story with plenty or mistakes to counter the triumphs and a peek into the future!
Presentation. Got my idea up and running. What were the challenges with operating, scaling and looking at ways to exit?
James Oakes from Zeal Networks brings his own experience from founding and then exiting London Lottery tech business Geonomics.
Presentation. The gaming industry leads the world in tech and innovation, outstripping music, film and media. Can the gambling industry do the same?
Dominic Hawken, Co Founder Grand Parade.
Panel. What are the drivers for disruption in the payment and banking sectors and what could be the impact on the gambling industry?
Scott Longley, GamCrowd, Moderator
John Campbell, Business development director, PaymentCompliance. Moderator
Sarah Francis, Polymath Consulting.
March Wood, Gambler Analytics Ltd.
Brian Gordon, Telefonica
Presentation. SAAS when customers really want bespoke – a case study from a casino supplier.
Ian Hogg, Shopworks.
According to Shopworks “Investors only seem to look at pure SAAS companies, whilst arge organisations want SAAS prices but still expect a bespoke development”. As one of the Gambling Industry’s eading SAAS suppliers, providing services to Rank, Paddy Power, Sportech, Bet Fred and many others, Shopworks discuss the technical challenges they had to overcome to provide their customers with a espoke SAAS service.”
Presentation. From Dumb to Smart – how the sports betting industry is embracing personalisation.
Sarah McChesney, Commercial Manager at Fresh 8 Gaming, describes how the sports betting industry is adapting to the world of dynamic personalisation.
The Sports betting industry deals with a product set that is large, complex, and ever changing. It has not been a trivial journey for betting companies to move from a static product with dumb acquisition based marketing, to dynamic personalised products and unique customer marketing messaging.
Networking Drinks sponsored by GamCrowd in Lola’s Casino at the Hippodrome.
Phill is the CTO at Gamesys. Over the last 10 years Phill has worked across the core transactional and gaming products at Gamesys and has seen it grow into the award winning multi-jurisdictional online gaming company it is today. Phill’s background is computer science combined with a focus on the strong leadership needed for talented teams to deliver the best products in this highly competitive industry.
Multi-million selling songwriter turned CTO and co-owner of gaming technology specialists Gand Parade, Dominic Hawken switched from the music industry in 1997 to found The Bunker, the world’s first ultra-secure hosting facility housed in a 60,000 sq. ft. nuclear bunker purchased from the MOD. After a varied second career in media, banking and telecommunications, Grand Parade was formed in 2006 and has undergone phenomenal growth with a wide range of core products for tier one bookmakers and casino operators multinationally.
Ian has had a number of high profile jobs in the Gambling industry, most recently he was COO of Sportech Plc from 2010 to 2014 where he was responsible for the Football Pools and initiated the strategy that has seen the business move from decline to growth. Ian has significant experience as an entrepreneur and was a founding shareholder and Managing Director of Betting Shop Services Ltd t/a Better, the UK retail and online business, which he built up to an estate of 44 shops and then sold to the Jenningsbet chain. Ian was also a founding shareholder and Chairman of Fox Poker Club which was sold to Genting Plc in 2011. From 1998 to 2004, he was Director of Online and Gaming at Arena Leisure PLC and Managing Director of At The Races. Ian is a founding shareholder and Chairman of GamCrowd. He has also recently joined Shopworks, a cloud based work force management company that specialises in the Gambling sector.
Juan is the Chief Technical Architect for the Games Platform at Gamesys. Juan has been with Gamesys since 2012 and has worked on their poker and remote gaming platforms and new product vertical programmes, focusing on continuous delivery, scalability, high availability and spearheading the migration towards cloud native solutions. Previously, Juan worked in the card payments and financial services industries and even had a go at lecturing computer science at University.
Helen is a writer and marketing manager who enjoys solving problems, trying out ideas and making things happen. She started out in Unilever, (back in the glory days when advertising budgets meant long, boozy lunches) and has worked with Boots, Frucor, The National Trust, Tate Britain, P Z Cussons and dozens of brands. Her work has included a column in the Daily Mail, naming lipsticks, saving literature (a game that won a NIBBIE) and writing an IT course. In your house there will be at least one product that Helen has worked on.
Paul started his first business at 9, selling ink cartridges to kids with fountain pens – a strange beginning for someone who would go on to work in the tech industry and found a search engine company in his early 20s. Since then he’s worked with Gap, Pearson, John Lewis and Barclays helping to launch innovative brands and products. He’s also an award- winning private investor. When not doing that stuff, he’s playing games and watching gameshows.
David is at the forefront of sports betting and iGaming product. He advises some of the biggest gaming brands in the world, works with award winning startups, and drives commercial success across the gambling sector. David founded iGaming Ideas (www.igamingideas.com) a product and innovation consultancy and a gaming startup incubator and seed fund. David has 14 years in the sports betting and iGaming sectors. David has taken new ideas to market both directly with operators, and indirectly with startups and suppliers. He has hand-held businesses from idea conception, through fundraise, to revenue, and exit. His experience blends product strategy, and product innovation, with vast commercial experience and a technical background. This gives David a truly unique perspective on iGaming innovation.
Hans has 16 years of executive management experience in provision of information, research and events regarding disruptive technology . Currently he manages Chain-Finance.com, an platform providing intelligence, research, and events on blockchain technology applications for financial services. From 2003, Hans developed a boutique research firm focused on new and high tech industries in China and secured its sale in 2013. During the Internet boom, he gained tech journalist credentials at internet.com, Internet World and Mecklermedia, interviewing Jack Ma, Jerry Yang, Vint Cerf & various other Internet luminaries. In 1997 - the year of handover, Hans earned a Ph.D. from the University of Hong Kong.
Serial entrepreneur, tech evangelist and geek who can’t write a line of code. After 10 years in the insurance industry in the 1990’s, risk-managing everything from tigers in TV commercials to million pound online lotteries Rick founded Chimaera Games in 2002, a mobile casino and games start up (right product, five years too early). Rick then joined the founding team at mobile tech start-up Mfuse, who quickly became the leading provider of mobile software to most of the UK’s betting operators. In 2010, Rick jumped the fence to work on a new role within Sportingbet Plc as their Head of Mobile, quickly taking the vertical from zero to 20% of their business before going back to what he likes best – fast moving start ups, founding Bonza Gaming, a JV between Unibet and Plumbee; disrupting the online gambling industry with a Facebook integrated real money app Bonza Slots. Unibet acquired 100% of the business in early 2015 leaving Rick to focus on building Geektastic.
Sarah McChesney is Fresh8 Gaming’s Commercial Manager, responsible for the expansion of Fresh8’s global network of sports publishers and sports betting operators. Before joining Fresh8, Sarah was Perform Group’s Betting Commercial Manager, responsible for Perform’s global betting advertising revenue, affiliate sales and betting product development. Sarah started her career in the industry at 188BET, managing key sponsorship accounts, before moving in to a role launching 188BET’s Affiliate programme in the UK.
Eddy is a pioneer investor in blockchain technologies and the CEO of Coinsilium, the first blockchain investment firm to join a recognized stock exchange via an IPO. Eddy has co-founded the world’s first global startup incubator of digital currency startups in 2013 and was recognized one year later as one of the top three Most Influential Investors in the industry. Coinsilium has invested in a dozen of cutting-edge blockchain startups world-wide to date including Factom, RSK Labs, SatoshiPay and Fuzo. Coinsilium is a leading provider of blockchain courses and technical training in the UK. Prior to Coinsilium, Eddy was leading private equity investment funds in China and Hong Kong. An early believer in the profound impact blockchain technologies will have on IT infrastructure, industries and the society at large, Eddy advises entrepreneurs and corporate leaders on blockchain strategy.
He is a blockchain lawyer and set up Diacle to assist blockchain & fintech projects with compliance. Diacle is based in London and Hong Kong. He is a tireless blockchain entrepreneur and labelled a ‘bitcoin pioneer’ by Bitcoin Magazine. It is now his third term as director of UKDCA, which lobbied and achieved the most favourable regulatory environment for cryptocurrency in the world. Adam runs bitlegal.io a global tracker for blockchain law since 2014 and featured by CNN and Washington Post. Adam ran first suite of blockchain hackathons across the world: UK, India (read Economic Times article), HK and Malaysia under HackCoin. Adam formulated the first open-source ISDA for cryptocurrency trading: aperta. Adam is a member of Chain-Finance which provides dedicated news/events for the blockchain financial services industry. Recently Adam has been engrossed with blockchain IoT and co-founded a global blockchain IoT lab Chain of Things to investigate the role of blockchain tech in securing IoT. Diacle means ‘compass’ - clear direction for innovative blockchain businesses.
Experienced senior sales and recruitment leader within the recruitment & professional services industry, with 16 years managing large single or multi-locations, teams and individuals across many sectors. Highly skilled in temporary, permanent & executive search recruitment within SME & large corporate accounts. A track record of growing & delivering high consistent levels of revenue and gross profit through strong strategic leadership, effective people management, a passion for results, emphasis on new business development, excellent customer account management & consistent coaching/training. Currently leading the recruitment teams across Pentasia who recruit both Technical/IT and Non-Technical professionals across iGaming, Digital & E-commerce sectors globally.
John has helped clients in 35 countries to grow revenue and profitability from their payments businesses. He has over 20 years experience and insights honed from a breadth of senior commercial development roles within Visa, NatWest and GE. He has served as one of the industry judges of the Card and Payments Awards and advises Coleman Research and Gerson Lehrman’s private equity clients on opportunities in the sector. He recently joined Payments Compliance after operating as an independent consultant to the financial services, media, health and well-being sectors. He identified the need for a new service to help companies cope more effectively with the increasing regulatory burdens they face. In his role as Business Development Director, he intends to assist payments companies throughout the world to manage and mitigate their risks more successfully. Born and brought up in Scotland, he has a degree in Business Studies from Napier University, Edinburgh. A keen sportsman and intrepid traveller, John has backpacked through 50 countries and uses his advanced personal training qualification to help friends and family stay fit.
Will Mace is responsible for helping Unibet to develop its long term vision and to identify and develop key strategic options and opportunities. Will has several years strategy and product experience in the customer facing digital and mobile space. Prior to joining Unibet, he worked for Barclays Bank and the British Army. He lives with his family in London.
James started life as an economic forecaster before developing a statistical arbitrage equity trading model that led to a life in front of far too many screens. Relief came in the form of a chance conversation with his brother Henry when they stumbled upon the fact that the $250bn lottery market was only 3% online and that everyone was still just pulling balls out of glorified tumble dryers. That led to the formation of Geonomics and an adventure that would lead to the creation of an entirely new class of lottery draw game, 4 funding rounds, numerous industry partnerships, swings between being valued at £50m and being 1 week from insolvency, and an eventual exit to ZEAL Network SE. James now runs ZEAL Investments and is learning to enjoy sitting on the other side of the funding table.
Nick has worked within Internet marketing for over 17 years. He originally worked agency side, then became a marketing manager for Betfair and subsequently senior marketing manager for Unibet. In 2012 he set up 90 Digital in , the successful iGaming marketing agency. He then passed responsibility for running the agency to Aferdita Pacrami He then launched up a Bitcoin casino, using his agency 90 Digital as the marketing provider and SoftSwiss as the platform provider. He collaborated with technologist, Tom Finlayson, (ex development lead Unibet ) who is now Oshi CTO to evolve the casino player experience by completely rebuilding the ‘front-end’ of the casino to make it easier for customers to find and play the games they want. In turn, this has given Oshi surprisingly good acquisition, deposit and retention rates.
Hippodrome Casino employee for over 5 years now, originally brought in to build an online brand and business, subsequently was instrumental in building relationships with key partners such as Pokerstars and Microgaming. Continues to work with the online casino and build new partnerships that can help add commercial and functional value to the ever growing land and online business.
Phil has extensive experience in advising on all types of corporate and commercial transactional matters. The clay pigeons are safe now as he prefers to spend his spare time cycling, playing tennis and visiting his native France.
Phil’s main practice areas include mergers and acquisitions, acting for private equity and venture capital backed businesses, acting for management teams on private equity transactions, acting for entrepreneurs and start-ups in respect of owner-managed businesses and seed capital fundraisings through to pre-IPO, joint ventures and advising on a various intellectual property matters.
He has also developed a practice acting for AIM listed clients in relation to IPOs, placings and reverse takeovers.
Phil has acted for a number of successful start-up companies, advising on initial funding rounds, development capital and also exit. He has extensive experience of negotiating commercial contracts (such as distribution and agency agreements) on behalf of clients in the UK and looking to expand internationally.
Phil frequently advises on acquisition finance facilities as part of the team’s overall M&A services.
Key transactions include
Sarah works as an advisor and trouble-shooter globally for both those involved and those getting involved in the payments supply chain.
Having worked in roles as diverse as Issuer Compliance Director, Fraud Product Manager, Group Fraud Prevention Officer, Market Development and Sales Director Sarah has covered the scope of 'business regulation' and 'business development'.
Over 16 years working in the payments industry with e-money licensees, card issuers, acquirers, PSP's, schemes, operators and mobile companies. Sarah's experience covers 200 countries, 28 currencies and payments including cash, cards, cheques, mobile, wallets, contactless and bank transfers.
Sarah works with mobile companies, ecommerce companies, retailers and E-money issuers to form the framework of cost effective payments which maximise the opportunity for sale, whilst minimising fraud.
Marc is the owner and CEO of London-based Gambler Analytics providing leading edge socio demographic profiling systems, services and data to the gaming industry.
Prior to establishing GA in 2015 Marc spent 6 years setting up a risk management payments and analytics Gaming Vertical for Experian Plc.
Previously MD of Wagerworks, the B2B white label gaming operator acquired by IGT.
Marc first entered the online gaming market in 2000 as CEO of DataCash Plc the online payments service provider for the gaming sector.
Simon Thomas is Chief Executive of Hippodrome Casino Limited, the extensive leisure casino complex at the former Hippodrome Theatre in Leicester Square, which opened in July 2012. The investment of £40 million in the theatre building and adjacent Cranbourn Mansions, both Grade 2 listed, has created one of the West End’s premier entertainment venues, with 3 floors of casino, 6 bars, restaurant, private dining rooms, dedicated cabaret and conference centre and a Pokerstars live poker deck. It employs more than 600 people – one of the largest single-site employers in the area.
He is a Director of a number of other companies, including Next Generation Australia (Health and Tennis Clubs), World Bingo Tech (who operate Electronic Bingo terminals in the UK), EAG (a trade exhibitions company) a trustee of Gamcare, the UK’s foremost problem gambling charity, a Director of the Heart of London Business Alliance, a patron of the OPPO foundation and was also a Commissioner on the West End Commission.
Career predominantly in Financial Services/payments including LloydsTSB,Barclaycard.HSBC in product marketing roles.
Current role is to lead the Product team within Commerce in Telefonica UK Digital with responsibility for payment products.
Development Manager at Gamesys, leading teams who create our fantastic games! With 15 years experience, she has spent the majority of her career as a Java web developer. Getting a fantastic opportunity in 2011 to move into the gaming industry, she was a Team Lead for Electronic Arts Playfish, developing The Sims Social. She moved to Gamesys three years ago, creating Bingo games, before becoming the Development Manager for the Games Studios, working on Slots, Casino and Bingo games.
Development Manager at Gamesys, with a passion for digital content that makes people smile. Beginning as a self taught games developer working in an attic at a startup, he moved on to variety of different sectors in the digital industries. Including interactive installations for an MIT spin off and UX and technical consultancy for world leading brands in telecoms, pharmaceutical & media. Before returning to his first love, the online gaming industry.
Before joining Gamesys back in 2007 I previously worked for the BBC in Manchester in their HR team learning a lot about specialist technical recruitment in TV, web and wider technologies like live satellite broadcasting (not much use now!). Since joining Gamesys I have been responsible for the setting up of the HR function within the business and also recruitment across the group. In the 9 years he has been with Gamesys myself and my team have recruited over 2750 people (mostly technical) and helped Gamesys grow to over 1000 staff worldwide. In my time with Gamesys I have also become a bit of a behind the scenes geek, often sitting down with the developers to hear what new things they are doing and how the new technology we adopt works.
I also enjoy playing in the Gamesys football team as the goalkeeper affectionately nicknamed ‘The Cat’ for my lightening fast reactions . . . . sometimes!
My current favourite things in the tech world that I’m watching developments in are OLED’s (organic light-emitting diodes) and where we will find practical uses for grapheme.
CalvinAyre.com is the most trafficked gambling industry news site with an average of over 100k unique users and 300k page views a month. We cover the global gambling industry from Las Vegas to Macau to Australia and everywhere in between. Our readers are a unique mix industry professionals, gamblers and media looking to stay on top of this fast moving industry. If you’re interested in raising your brands awareness in the global gambling industry, please contact us and we’ll customise a package suited to your needs.
CHAIN-FINANCE is to examine different blockchains and distributed ledger technologies can enable and disrupt the global financial services industry. The team at CHAIN-FINANCE accomplishes this by providing intelligence and information on the development of blockchain technologies for financial services, and producing events that bring stakeholders together, inform and educate about these new technologies, and encourage constructive discussions on how they can enhance financial services. Areas of our coverage include corporate and retail banking, cross-border remittance, securities and derivatives trading, exchange traded funds, insurance and credit industries, mortgages and lending, management consultancy and accounting, and financial services in the Developing World.