The superstar CEOs might have stayed away but the World Gaming Executive Summit in Barcelona still has plenty to offer.
Amaya chief executive David Baazov, Intertain CEO John FitzGerald and 888 chief operating officer Itai Frieberger were all scheduled to appear at various stages during the planning of this event. In recent years, bwin.party chief Norbert Teufelberger has been a regular attendee. With this morning's announcement on the bwin.party sale, it seems all were too busy to come to Barcelona.
Against that backdrop, it was not surprising that M&A dominated proceedings with almost every panellist being asked how consolidation affected their particular part of the market.
It was perhaps appropriate then, that one of the kings of online gaming M&A was first on the stage to deliver his take on the current state of play. Playtech’s Mor Weizer predicted a future where five or ten operators will dominate each and every market.
“Based on conversations I have had with bankers in London, as soon as Ladbrokes and Gala Coral happens, the other bookmakers will appoint their own bankers and lawyers,” said Weizer. “It will be a domino effect.”