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The ICE party mayhem kicked off in fine style last night with the industry’s great and good turning out to celebrate the very first Gaming Intelligence Hot 50.
A champagne reception was held for the winners and their friends and colleagues in the Garden Room of the Imperial College London.
A diverse crowd reflected the diversity of the Hot 50 and indeed the industry. The Hot 50 features talented marketeers, chief executives, technologists, lawyers and many more from all over the world.
Sweden was well-represented with 12 per cent of the Hot 50 hailing from the birthplace of online gambling but many different accents were heard as Americans, Brits, Canadians, Danes, Israelis, Italians and others were celebrated.
The organisers of the ICE conference were expecting 20,000 visitors at the Earls Court conference in London and yesterday certainly felt like ICE was shaping up to be the busiest yet. Last year the event did not really get going until Wednesday but this year the floor felt full almost as soon as doors opened.
Plenty of new products and partnerships were unveiled with Playtech leading the way with its blockbuster announcement of the acquisition of Geneity, twin B2B deals in Germany and South Africa and the dismantling of the Sciplay JV. Oh, it also had some pretty healthy financials to show off.
Following that avalanche of news it was fitting that Playtech had so many representatives in the Hot 50. CEO Mor Weizer was joined by COO Shay Shegev, Videobet CEO Shmuel Weiss, GTS and Virtue Fusion CEO Aaron Johnson and Mobenga CTO Lars Widmark.
But Playtech was not the only company with news. Net Entertainment unveiled its new Scarface slot with some fanfare. Hot 50 winner Fredrik Lantz, the Swedish developer’s game art manager, was suitably proud of his new creation, which was built following a licensing agreement with Universal.
And so to Wednesday... The parties were great but there are meetings to attend and work to be done. Hopefully the hangovers are not too bad.