On Thursday, February 25, Tbilisi hosted Georgia Gaming Congress, a professional event for representatives of the gambling industry. The Congress brought together twice more participants than last year (200 people) and became an informal platform for the exchange of ideas.
Twelve speakers delivered their reports at the conference. Their overall idea is that Georgia is attractive for business and glad to foreign investors. Tourists from neighbouring countries spend here $ 1.7 billion each year, visiting casinos and slot halls. This sum amounts to 6% of the national GDP. While the majority of the CIS countries prohibits or strictly controls the scope of gambling, Georgia introduces tax incentives for new operators.
What did the speakers discussed?
Georgian taxation and market characteristics. The representative of the State Tax Service of Georgia Teona Shiukashvili spoke about the tax system of the country, the head of Global Retail Consultancy Mike Nuttall shared his vision of investment opportunities, and the representative of Casinos Austria International answered the questions about doing business in Batumi.
On-line gambling: games in social media and virtual sports. Within this direction, the following speakers made their presentations: Archil Kakhizde, the representative of Adjarabet.com, Carlos Silva, the Sales Director at Vermantia and Mariam Talakhadze, the brand manager at Singular.
Payment services and security in the network. The head of Counting House Paul Davis described payment solutions for online players, and the representative of FEXCO Roger Mechri discussed how to simplify the payment process for customers from other countries and generate revenues from the currency conversion.
Marketing. Edgar Isaakyan, who represented Storm Group, shared his marketing secrets: how to attract and keep customers.
Legal protection of the gambling business. The founder of PLANZER LAW Simon Plantser introduced different approaches to the legal regulation of gambling business.
Potential of gambling business in Georgia. This topic was discussed by the Director General of BetConstuct Vahe Baloulian. The company, which he heads, was the general sponsor of the congress.
The demo area became a platform where suppliers of equipment and software demonstrated their new developments for land-based and online casinos. The Congress guests learned about new software and were able to select equipment for poker clubs and slot halls.
Judging by the lively dialogue, there was something to see for the representatives of casinos and something to offer by the developers.
The wine tasting was a sign that the Congress took place in the Georgian capital. Each participant was able to taste several local wines free and learn more about these drinks from the presentation.
The Sponsor of the wine tasting was Counting House Group, a Canadian developer of payment services for gambling business.
The party in Tsiskvili, a restaurant located on the bank of the river with a waterfall, finished the informal part of the Congress. The restaurant welcomed visitors with its authentic cuisine and performances of folk groups.
Tsiskvili (Mill) has won "Golden Brand of Georgia" award eight times. They say that not to visit Tsiskvili means the same thing as not to see the Rustaveli Avenue.
The sponsor of the party was Ftoros, a supplier of games for online casinos and gaming clubs. Operators from Russia, CIS and Western Europe are familiar with its developments.
The informal part provided the participants with an opportunity to discuss the "Not for press" topics and exchange contacts. This is the feature of Georgia Gaming Congress: to organize not just a conference, but also a platform for meetings, where business is combined with the rest.
The Organizer of the event, Smile-Expo Exhibition Company, is glad to see you at its events dedicated to gambling. Please refer to our next events:
Betting Trends Forum, Moscow, March 17. All about betting business: legislation, marketing, fantasy and e-Sports.
Russian Gaming Week, Moscow, June 2-3. Russian gambling business in the light of recent developments (launch of online bets transfer accounting centres and new legislation).
Casino Forum Batumi, Batumi, August 18-19. Development of gambling business in Georgia: technologies and trends.
Full list of the event can be found on the web site of Smile-Expo.