An interview between Glyn Thomas and Kate Chambers, the managing director of Clarion Gaming, talks about bringing for the first time ever, one of the most ambitious casino events in Africa, the ICE Africa.
Ahead of ICE Africa 2018
Glyn Thomas asked Kate Chambers is ICE Africa the most ambitious Clarion Gaming event? She described that her response towards ICE Africa was exhilarating and after six months of preparations it has become tiring. She mentioned that this is the first time that they have taken the ICE brand outside of the UK. It is also the first time she ever traveled outside of London as well. They made huge investments with emotions being involved in order to nurture the ICE brand. Like many people already believe, ICE is the world’s most popular event brand in gaming.
Kate Chambers also said that bringing ICE to Africa is a calculated risk, first, it is worth taking and second, is that their stakeholders have asked them to pursue it. They won’t do anything, only when they have the support from the casino industry. Delivering a professional, world class business event for Africa is considered an great importance to the large number of their customers.
Kate Chambers believes that this is a vast opportunity like the continent itself. Africa is home to 52 nations and it has a population of 1,6 billion people, 68% of them are under the age of 27. Furthermore, Africa is the fastest growing population in the world and it is expected to increase. These demographics represent an opportunity for gaming brands to have a partnership with the progressive governments and to develop sustainable gaming economics and increase the tourism of Africa.
Areas of the Gaming Industry at ICE Africa
ICE Africa is an event where the industry can network, educate and grow all strategic and sustainable manner that covers: casino games like free slots and card games, bingo, mobile gaming, online gaming, social gaming and many more. The event was held for two days (24-25 October) at Sandton Convention Center, in South Africa and it showcased services and products of the industry. Besides that, an ICE VOX style conference programme was also present, where guests have learned about world class training and development modules for the staff. In addition, there was a sector of representation within the conference, where the entire spectrum of the gaming industry was present. ICE Africa targeted audiences of gaming influencers, which included the suppliers, operators, regulators, operators with both online and land based gaming portfolios which were looking for new markets, new key vendors, including new casino content with new technology solutions and legal services.
The Reaction of the Industry
Kate Chambers said that they had been encouraged by the responses from all the African sectors of the industry. The official news of launching ICE Africa happened in the opening day of ICE London in 2018 and it attracted over 300 gaming industry professionals and media. Even then, the energy of enthusiasm and the commitment of making an successful event was palpable. The casino industry views ICE Africa as a vehicle that will bring different aspects of the industry together. The operators have a chance to add a large number of employees and are able to train these employees in following courses at the Totally Gaming Academy.
Kate Chambers is immensely grateful to the many individuals and organisations that helped them, guided them and encouraged them. She especially was grateful to John Kamara, who is the Event Ambassador for ICE Africa, and to Roy Bannister, Publisher of Gaming for Africa Magazine. She mentioned that their help has been invaluable.
The Authenticity of ICE Africa Towards Visitors
The Event Ambassador, John Kamara, stated that the key objective was to showcase ICE Africa as the go-to event, which will help to develop a bridge towards Africa and the rest of the world in terms of gaming.
The event itself was a extensive learning agenda that brought network opportunities, which featured a strong representation of the operators, regulators and key figures from the continent. The level of support from both international and African regulators, as well as the key figures from across the gaming spectrum, made ICE Africa to be an unmissable event for any person that is interested in doing business in the region. ICE Africa has featured three unique streams – advanceAFRICA, microscopeAFRICA and networkAFRICA, which provides platforms for Africans and others that are interested in doing business in the region. These streams featured representatives from Botswana, Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa and Uganda, as well as international commercial and gaming professionals, which provided their guidance.
ICE Africa is a new region for many companies, both online and land-based operations, manufacturers and organisations. Everything was designed specially to showcase and to support the industry in Africa. That means that the template from ICE London wasn’t the same in ICE Africa. The platforms had been nuanced for African regulators, operators and suppliers needed to meet, network and explore the finer details of how gaming can develop in a strategic and sustainable manner. It is important for gaming economies to have a professional showcase and a network place. They have to meet and help shape the future as well as for non-gaming interested parties. ICE Africa has been created to fill that role.