Stuart Hunter, managing director of Clarion Gaming looks ahead to what will be the biggest edition of ICE on record
Every year Casino Inside magazine brings you its traditional interview with the managing director of Clarion Gaming about what this year’s ICE London is expected to be like. And the news is great news for all of us, the largest exhibition dedicated to the gaming industry in the world is set to be the biggest ICE ever. there’s not a square mm of space left in ExCeL London…
First question which appear on our mind when we discuss in generally about ICE is “what should expect at the exhibition this year”?
The first point to inform all of your readers is that the 2023 edition of ICE London will be the biggest ever occupying 51,466 square metres (sqm) of net space, exceeding the previous high of 49,690 sqm set in 2020. In total ICE will occupy 41 halls of its ExCeL London home with sister show iGB Affiliate London occupying the remaining three halls. The industry in its broadest sense will be occupying all of the North and South side exhibition halls, every meeting room and all of the International Conference Centre at ExCeL which will host ICE VOX, the World Regulatory Briefing and the International Casino Conference. In very simple terms there’s not a square mm of space left.
Whilst ICE London 2022 was a tremendous success nothing compares with the return of a full-scale edition of ICE featuring all of the major supplier brands to the land-based sector. Having ExCeL bursting with the creativity and the energy which drives the international gaming industry is a fantastic prospect. A full size, dynamic ICE on its traditional dates is something that all sectors of the industry are looking forward to participating in.
As well as providing a professional home for the industry’s major brands, Clarion Gaming’s Pitch ICE programme offers up to 14 start-ups the opportunity to showcase their solutions and innovative approaches in front of investors and visitors attending ICE London. Successful companies secure a free of charge pod on the Pitch ICE Pavilion for the duration of the show and the opportunity to take to the ICE stage and pitch to potential investors. ICE visitors will also have access to the award-winning Consumer Protection Zone, the ICE Esports Arena, the International Casino Conference, World Regulatory Briefing, the ICE VOX Masterclass programme and the High Street Hub, a dynamic new show floor feature developed in partnership with the Gambling Business Group and dedicated to licensed street gaming.
This edition of ICE is first exhibition without pandemic restriction. Could be this edition of ICE with the highest number of visitors ever? What are your expectations in this matter?
I’ve been involved in the Event’s Industry long enough to know that it’s never a wise move to start predicting attendance figures! What I can say is that the space at ExCeL is totally sold out, that every meeting room is booked and that every metric that we use to measure a show is in positive territory. However, the real measure for us is the response of our stakeholder community comprising exhibitors, visitors and delegates. If they are happy and pleased with the experience then so are we!
Each in every year people who came at ICE want to see at your show something revolutionary. In which area could be the most surprising things for attendees to see?
A fantastic and I would say unique feature of ICE is that it brings together all sectors of the gaming and gambling world, from all global jurisdictions represented by exhibitors both large and small including start-ups. When you have such a dynamic on the show floor you maximise the opportunity for visitors to source and experience products which are seriously game-changing. We are anticipating that somewhere in the region of 3,000 products will be launched at ICE and if there is a revolutionary game-changing product on the market it’s almost certainly going to be found at ICE London.
Safer Gambling is definitely a trend and most of the companies, professional associations and authorities will be more careful with this. Please tell us more about the Consumer Protection Zone (CPZ)?
One of the most visited features on the ICE show floor is the Consumer Protection Zone (CPZ) which this year will comprise a record 20 stands, up from the 2022 figure of 14. The CPZ is a blend of providers of responsible gambling tools and solutions and leading not for profit organisations to whom we have gifted space. Brands featured on the CPZ include the Gambling Commission, Focal Research, Casino Guru, Future Anthem, Department of Trust, Mindway AI, Intuita Consulting, Rightlander, IGT, SG:Certified, W2, Crucial Compliance, LexisNexis, GamCare, YGAM, Gordon Moody, Gamstop, BetKnowmore, Responsible Gaming Council and the National Center for Problem Gaming. The CPZ, which was recognised by the industry at the recent Global Regulatory Awards where it won the Responsible Approach to Advertising/Marketing category is one of the many success stories to have originated at ICE. Thanks to the generosity of industry supporters and sponsors the CPZ has succeeded in raising £146,000 for gambling industry charities over the last three editions of ICE London and we are looking to build on that really impressive total
Can you explain a little more about the ICE VOX conferences?
ICE VOX is made up of our two flagship, world-leading conferences – the World Regulatory Briefing (WRB) and the International Casino Conference (ICC) as well as four in-depth masterclasses. The new masterclass format was introduced in 2022 and has been enhanced in 2023 to offer exclusive content and a more comprehensive ICE experience. The masterclasses are targeted events which are participatory in nature, restricted in size and focused on the segments they represent. The Masterclass topics comprise ‘Modernising Lotteries’, ‘Enhancing the iGaming Customer Journey’, ‘Entering New Markets’ and ‘The Evolution of Safer Gambling’. Tickets and more information can be found here: https://www.icelondon.uk.com/ice-vox
In the end of this interview what is your message for all who want to come at ICE 2023?
Visitors know that when they make the investment to be part of the ICE experience, they do so safe in the knowledge that their week in London will be pivotal to their year. The common denominator whether they are an operator from South America, a machine developer from Europe, a regulator from Australia or a safer gambling charity working out of London is the power that ICE has to help stakeholders make the connections that power the industry which is why the return of a full-sized ICE is so exciting and so compelling. ICE visitors will have access to a dynamic schedule of events delivering opportunities to connect and engage as soon as they make that short walk from the Elizabeth line at Custom House and through the doors at ExCeL London. It’s set to be a wonderful and I think an emotionally charged celebration of the global industry and an experience that’s not to be missed!
ICE London, 7th – 9th February, ExCeL London, is the biggest b2b gambling industry event in the world and features games creators, distributors, operators, retailers, innovators, trade associations, strategic bodies and regulators – representing every gaming vertical. To join the global gaming community and gather ideas, connect with like-minded industry peers and identify new opportunities visit: www.icelondon.uk.com.