Julian Graves, who recently set up his own consultancy business, has joined GamCrowd as an adviser and we caught up with him after this year’s Pitch ICE show to talk about the plans for GamCrowd’s Tech Week, taking place later this year at the same time as LondonTech Week (LTW). The GamCrowdTech Week builds on our successful contribution to last year’s LTW when we hosted a one-day conference at London’s Hippodrome Casino. The aim of GamCrowd Tech Week is to establish a date in the diary for the gamtech sector to bring tech teams together giving them the chance to see what other tech sectors are doing in terms of technology and innovation..
GamCrowd: How do you think GamCrowd can help with the issues the gambling industry faces with adapting to technological change?
Julian Graves: Whilst gambling is a technology business already some would say it’s been slow to adapt and adopt new technology. We’re already in the midst of the fourth industrial revolution and technology is moving at such a pace now that being behind the curve won’t work anymore. It’s inevitable that new entrants, unencumbered with huge legacy systems, will enter the market using new tech and those suppliers and operators without the knowledge and talent to face these challengers will find themselves at a disadvantage. I also think technology can solve some of the biggest issues in the industry - combatting fraud, developing anti-money laundering (AML) processes and building powerful social responsibility tools. So GamCrowd’s appeal is not just for the industry per se but for those who legislate and regulate the market. GamCrowd has a single focus: to understand the tech. To look outside the industry and see how it’s transforming other sectors, to find the talent that’s practising it and bring this knowledge and insight into our industry so that it’s informed and on the front foot. No one else is doing this, certainly not with the single-mindedness and evangelical zeal of GamCrowd.
GamCrowd: What are your thoughts on GamCrowdTech Week? What are the opportunities there?
Julian Graves: I think it's a great initiative. The gambling industry in the UK is already a significant employer of talented tech people and some would say is the centre for gamtech globally. But it doesn't get the recognition it deserves and needs unlike other leading tech sectors GamCrowdtech Week is one way of doing this whilst at the same time giving the industry the opportunity to hear about and explore new tech with experts in their fields who are literally transforming the way other sectors are working.
I also think holding GamCrowdtech Week at the same time as London Tech Week gives the industry a fresh date in the diary to focus on their tech teams by bringing them together to attend the GamCrowd conference and other sessions whilst giving them the chance to explore and collaborate with other tech sectors.
GamCrowd: Where do you see the opportunities with regard to technology in gambling generally?
Julian Graves: Really. As I've just read in this week’s newsletter we could be talking about huge upheaval (or opportunity depending on your starting point). Betting without bookmakers. Blockchain lotteries. AI-player recognition. Trustless transactions. It’s almost endless.
GamCrowd: How can GamCrowdTechWeek help the industry when it comes to technology?
Julian Graves: The gaming industry is competing with the likes of Google and Facebook for the best talent and needs to raise its profile as a great sector to work in and GamCrowd can help with that, not just through GTW but the other partnerships it has created, and will create, not just in the UK but globally.