According to writer James Walker, the conference "cemented its position as one of the leading European conferences to tackle issues surrounding both the land-based and online gambling industriesm," delivering "a dense, varied programme with an impressive speaker line-up consisting of more than 16 CEOs and many other key industry figures."
"Approximately 180 delegates attended GES, and although the conference seemed slightly less busy than rival gaming events BetMarkets and the European Gambling Briefing, which took place under the Clarion Gaming banner earlier this year, this was ultimately beneficial for the Madrid meeting, as the more intimate atmosphere encouraged a greater degree of interaction from the floor."
Regarding the online industry, Walker quoted Tom Hall, AsianLogic's executive chairman and founder, as saying that "Payment processing is the biggest barrier to entry. Every country needs a different payment processing solution. It is very difficult to enter Asia 'cold' and be successful."
GES also managed to gather together some top names in the online gambling world: Playtech chairman Roger Withers; Jim Ryan, CEO of Partygaming; 888 Holdings CEO Gigi Levy; Pureplay's Jason Kellerman; and Malcolm Graham, PKR CEO.
The lively panel session provided a great deal on insight into the future plans of each respective company. More interesting, however, was that it revealed several fundamental splits in opinion, particularly with regard to the future of online poker.
Defending PKR's interactive, 3D poker room, Graham said: "I do think that in the medium term the consumer will expect more than what is currently on offer. Not just in terms of the product, but what is wrapped around it."
Levy, however, said the graphic-rich experience of PKR does not accommodate the majority of "serious" online poker players, who instead opt for a stripped down, clean experience that lends itself to multiple-screen play.
"I love PKR – it is great for customer acquisition," he said. "But PKR has nothing to do with online poker. When we tried a 3D view we received around 5,000 calls at our support desk. Our customers complained that if they wanted 3D avatars they would play PlayStation."
"The majority of consumers that play poker seriously want the simplest of views with the best interface," Levy added.
Go to http://www.intergameonline.com/intergamingi/news/1535/ges-2008-strikes-industry-balance/ for the complete article.