A look back at the first big conference week in the 2020 iGaming and betting calendar...
And there we have it. ICE London & LAC week has come and gone for another year; business cards are returning to desk drawers alongside branded pens, totebags, and notepads.
For a company in the business of knowing people and understanding our marketplace, ICE & LAC offer an unmissable platform for Betting Jobs to sit down with our global client base and discuss their priorities first-hand.
As expected from the busiest week in the international iGaming and Betting calendar, ICE & LAC London 2020 were enlightening and encouraging indicators of the year to come. Conversations were had with both long-standing contacts and exciting new partners regarding hiring strategy for 2020. ICE VOX offered a wide-ranging and illuminating panel of keynote speakers, delivering insights on some of the most pressing matters facing our industry at the start of a fresh decade. Of course, these long days treading the floors of the ExCeL are closely followed by dinners, events and parties of similar importance.
The engagements, updates, and guidance that we take from ICE & LAC week play a vital role in deciding our focus for the year ahead. Now that the dust has settled and daily routine is returning almost to normal, it has been possible to gather our team’s impressions and recruitment insights from the week.
- Betting Jobs has invested significant time, resource and effort in ensuring up-to-date market expertise with the evolving iGaming & betting picture in the USA. We are in regular conversation with our client base and contacts across multiple states, assisting in both post and pre-regulatory hiring strategy. Our North American vacancies cover a range of business areas, locations and levels of seniority – and we expect this to continue to expand in 2020. Having also attended ICE North America, Global Gaming Expo (G2E), Betting on Sports America and the Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association (OIGA) 2019 Conference in the last 12 months, we welcomed a number of familiar faces to our side of the Atlantic for continued recruitment discussions during ICE. A number of exciting plans to continue our strong work in North America are underway for 2020, stay tuned!
- An ever-increasing proportion of our ongoing engagements are drawn from developing gaming markets in Africa, Asia and Latin America. It was exciting, once again, to see such regular evidence of these markets continuing to take centre stage during the conference.
- Africa, in particular, has been a continual growth region for Betting Jobs with successful placements in a number of jurisdictions in 2019. A number of growing operators and market-entry projects were supported through our executive search capability. In addition, a strong end to 2019 in connecting multi-territory brands with local marketing and operations specialists has continued into the start of the new year. This recruitment requirement was certainly present in a number of our pre-arranged conference meetings during ICE, and several encouraging conversations with new contacts made during the week.
- In addition to the changing face of gaming regulation in the UK (as described by (Tom Watson during his keynote ICE VOX session), planning for the implications of Brexit has also had wide-reaching effects on hiring strategy with our European clients. Discussions with candidates and clients alike on the long term impact on Gibraltar have been particularly common, with South Spain continuing to grow in prevalence as a target location.
- Malta, long a key location for Betting Jobs and the industry as a whole, has continued to grow at a significant rate. As expected, our ICE & LAC conversations regarding new office locations or start-up plans were predominantly Malta-centred and we look forward to helping these brands grow over the course of 2020. As has been felt by many in recent years, the saturation of physical office and accommodation space (and subsequent pressure on access to international education, living costs etc) on the island was also a regular topic of discussion. The continual building and expansion to accommodate this business growth, both in iGaming and other sectors, is noted and watched with interest.
Regulation & Compliance
- The importance of ensuring continued compliance and awareness of the regulatory landscape has taken key importance with many of our clients, and this was reflected once again in the conversations taking place during the week.
- Consistently, compliance and legal vacancies represent our client’s key recruitment priority. At the time of writing, our recruitment team are engaged in specialist compliance and legal searches for clients in the UK, as well as Malta, Germany, Gibraltar to name only a few locations.
- Naturally, the US market post-repeal has also seen compliance and integrity as key priorities and we expect this to continue as the state landscape develops this year.
- ICE, as always, allows us to see the recruitment trends that we have identified over the previous year in real terms. The growth in suppliers of a particular product type, operators targeting specific markets, adapting payments providers and changing platform technologies are reflected in the floorspace and footfall of the week.
- A clear resurgence, in recruitment terms, for retail products played a significant part in our meeting schedules for the week. In the preceding 12 months, we have consistently worked with large-scale multi-region platform and product providers supporting retail brands across countries and continents alike. This has been particularly evident with our expanding client base in both Africa & Eastern Europe, successfully placing high-level operations, product and marketing professionals with businesses primarily active in the retail betting & gaming industry.
- Our client base in the field of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology continues to expand well, with a number of promising discussions and introductions taking place during both conferences. In the past 12 months, we have worked on executive search engagements as well as specialist marketing, operations, and technical hires for this space. Our continuing conversations with suppliers to the crypto/blockchain betting & gaming industry, as well as the brands operating on blockchain platforms, suggest that this specialism will continue throughout 2020.
Diversity & Inclusion
- Betting Jobs is proud to have been an early supporter of the All-In Diversity Project and the work that they do in encouraging diversity and inclusion across the gambling sector. Their impressive #OpenDoors initiative (#OpenDoors campaign 2020) launched pre-ICE, encouraging professionals across the sector to share in their successes publicly with those who made their career advancement possible. Interviewed during ICE, Kelly Kehn also spoke again of the benefits of unlocking all of the best talent and ideas available to the industry through increased diversity and hiring in staffing and people management.
- Talent availability lies at the heart of many key decisions made in our industry. We’re regularly trusted for our insight in recommending geographical locations, working culture, flexible arrangements and industries to target for transferable experience. Having enjoyed a week of productive discussions and consultation once again at the ExCeL last week, it’s clear to see the business case for an inclusive workplace and hiring policy in real terms – as Kelly describes.
There is no quiet period in iGaming and betting recruitment, but the week following ICE and LAC definitely represents a spike in new vacancies, clients and conversations to be had with our network of industry professionals. It helps to set the tone for the year ahead, and all signs are positive that 2020 will be another headline year.
To arrange a call with our team of experienced industry recruitment experts, you can contact us via www.bettingjobs.com, or register to apply directly for any of our currently live vacancies.