The ECA Summer Meeting is a two day annual social event, surrounding the second ECA General Assembly of the year, which nurtures the community atmosphere of the association. It is an opportunity for members of ECA to come together and enjoy each others' company in a relaxed environment. The location of the event rotates providing the opportunity for members to become familiar with each others' home environments and operations.
The European Casino Association’s Members and Associate Members met for their 2016 Summer Meeting at Casinò di Venezia, in the city affectionately known as the città lagunare.
Located in one of Italy’s best-known cities, Casinò di Venezia and its umbrella association Federgioco organised a two-day event that brought together more than 40 representatives of all key branches of the casino sector. The Summer Meeting was preceded by a guided tour of the city, giving delegates the opportunity to visit some of Venice’s most famous landmarks. The meeting itself was held in Casinò di Venezia, a casino which is owned by the Community of Venice and is housed in a historic building constructed in 1638. The building was the home of Riccardo (Richard) Wagner and also hosts a museum dedicated to the late composer.
The President of Casinò Venezia, Maurizio Salvalaio, welcomed the delegates to the meeting and said in his welcome address that it was “a great occasion for the representatives of the European casino industry not only to get to know each other better but also to help each other better understand the depth of the challenges inherent to the European themes relevant to gaming and with specific relevance to my own country, Italy. This event takes place at a historic time, not least in face of the newest challenge, namely ‘BREXIT’. The outcome of this referendum has had an impact on all sectors, not least, the gambling sector.”
Per Jaldung, Chair of the ECA, in turn noted “that this is a time where not only the gaming industry, but Europe as a whole, needs to show unity. We should not forget how important the gaming sector is for all of Europe, in driving business, tourism and work opportunities. As the ECA, we have the opportunity to bring the casino community together and discuss the important questions of tomorrow.”
Both the Chair and President thanked Federgioco’s Secretary General, Ivo Collè and President, Carlo Pagan for their efforts in helping bring the Summer Meeting to Italy, highlighting their appreciation for the excellent contributions they provide to the European Casino Association and the casino community in general. The ECA's Chair expressed his specific thanks to both Maurizio Salvalaio as the Casinò di Venezia's Board Member Adriana Baso for providing the excellent setting and for all the preparations made to host the Summer Meeting.
The topics and issues discussed during the ECA General Assembly included the UN Global Compact and the Sustainable Development Goals issued by the United Nations. The ECA has been a member of the UN Global Compact since September 2015. Also up for discussion were the latest developments in EU directives and their possible impact on the licensed European casino industry. The latest addition to the agenda was a discussion of the possible consequences of ‘Brexit' for the ECA. In this regard, Tracy Damestani, ECA Vice Chair and Representative of Great Britain in the ECA confirmed that the UK’s casino association – the National Casino Forum, which is the sole trade association for land-based casinos in the UK – had decided to remain a member of the ECA.
The Summer Meeting also set the scene for a new Associate Member to join the European Casino Association. The General Assembly voted unanimously and as such welcomed Aristocrat Leisure Limited as an Associated Members to the ever growing community under the ECA umbrella. As one of the leading providers of gaming solutions, Aristocrat is licensed in 240 gaming jurisdictions, operates in 90 countries with a team of over 3000 employees. The ECA’s Chair stated that: “Aristocrat joining the ECA will certainly strengthen our community and we will have a lot to learn from each other. I speak on behalf of the membership, especially in light of the unanimous vote that we look forward to our future cooperation.”