27– 29 September 2022
The ECA Casino Industry Forum takes place in the picturesque Austrian town of Baden from September 27-30, 2022. It is the gathering place for Europe’s leading casino operators to discuss the challenges, opportunities, trends, and developments in land-based and online casino gaming.
Casino Baden plays host to over 60 guests at this year’s event, marking the return of the ECA Casino Industry Forum after a two-year absence due to the pandemic. In addition to the formal ECA member General Assembly, this year’s event programme is both wide and diverse, covering a host of exclusive presentations from European casino operators, internationally recognised speakers, and social activities exploring the historic, culinary, and modern delights of both Baden and Vienna.
The speaker roster at this year’s Forum is exceptional, drawing together both casino operators discussing the most pressing topics facing the sector, in addition to trend spotters and futurologists exploring the wider context of what life, society and business might look like in the future. ‘The Best Deal Forward’ educational programme includes keynotes from internationally lauded Futurist, Magnus Lindkvist, University of Nevada’s Bo Bernhard and Kelly Vero, whose Metaverse analysis is keenly observed and bookends the speaker line-up at the Forum this year.
Representing the ECA member speakers list, Per Jaldung, Tiina Siltanen, Simon Thomas, Erwin van Lambaart, Pascal Camia and Laurent Lassiaz will discuss their future visions for the casino sector in Europe. Pieter Boers will dissect the building of Holland Casino’s new Venlo Casino. A presentation from Europol will reveal the latest money laundering threats in Europe, while a speaker from Yield Sec will reveal the scale of illegal gambling in Europe and what can be done about it from a technological perspective.
A special social itinerary is planned for the three-day event, including a guided tour of the stables of the Vienna Spanish Riding School, a walking dinner at Casino Wien and a Reading Room tour of the Austrian National Library, in addition to the traditional ECA Casino Industry Forum Gala Dinner hosted in spectacular style at Casino Baden.
Opportunities for ECA partners to demonstrate their latest products have also been incorporated into the Forum programme, with suppliers given ample time to discuss their latest developments with the CEOs of over 40+ European casino operations. ECA partners are permitted to attend each of the social and conference programme events in addition to having the opportunity to display their products during the Forum in dedicated allocated spaces. Interested parties in the ECA partnership program should contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Welcome by Erwin van Lambaart, CEO of Casinos Austria/Austrian Lotteries and the Director of Casino Baden, Harald Brandstätter
09.00 – 11.00
For ECA Board Members – Board Meeting at Casino Baden Salon 1&2 (Level 3, left from the “Festsaal” entrance)
11.30 – 12.15
Lunch at the Badener Saal
12.30 – 13.45
General Assembly Part I – Presentation of ECA Partners – at Badener Saal
13.45 – 14.00
14.00 – 15.30
General Assembly Part II – Formal association subjects and approvals – at Badener Saal
Bus transport to the city of Vienna
17.00 – 18.00
Visit and guided tour of the stables of the Vienna Spanish Riding School
18.00 – 18.15
Walk over to the Austrian National Library – Reception in the Augustinian Reading Room with the Director of the Library, Dr. Johanna Rachinger
Scenic walk-through Vienna’s first district to Casino Wien
Welcome by Casino Director, Reinhard Deiring, followed by a walking dinner with a culinary tour through Austrian cuisine.
Live Music and guided tours of Casino Wien.
Opening Keynote – Looking to the future with Magnus Lindkvist – Futurist
Panel discussion moderated by Bo Bernhard, University of Las Vegas Nevada
Keynote by Bo Bernhard – Dr. Bernhard has recently trademarked “The Fun Economy” to convey the ways in which gaming and casinos fit into a larger and very impressive global economic phenomenon. While often underreported, the rise of the global middle class has very important implications for those who lead businesses in the fun economy, and this keynote will explore the implications for gambling-related businesses.
12.00 – 13.00
Lunch Break at the Badener Saal
13.00 – 13.30
Europol presentation – Claudi Zarazaga – Expertise and Stakeholder Management Unit, European Financial and Economic Crime Centre. Latest trends in crime and money laundering related to the gaming industry.
13.30 – 14.00
Ismail Vali, Founder & CEO of Yield Sec, will be delivering unparalleled insights on the topic of Marketplace Protection: Legal versus Illegal, exploring how best to combat the $1.7 trillion consumers unknowingly spend each year with illegal online operators.
14.00 – 14.30
Sven Rudolf Thorstensen – Lawyer. Overview of current regulatory and legal developments in the Austrian gaming market with a focus on illegal gambling.
14.30 – 15.30
The future of Responsible Gaming and Corporate Social Responsibility in the casino sector Tiina Siltanen, Veikkaus – Responsible gaming at the heart of casino concept Know Your Game-customer program was introduced to Finnish casinos, and with 100% carded play, it provides a unique portfolio of responsible gaming measures available for all customers. An introduction to the journey Finnish casinos took to meet the new regulation standards and how CSR is part of the daily operations.
Pieter Boers, Holland Casino – Casino Venlo, a corporate social responsibility story Our 14 Holland Casino venues are major consumers of energy. Government-owned companies, like Holland Casino, must set an example. With the opportunity to build a new venue in Venlo, a landmark has been born within the framework of sustainability, with high demands. Holland Casino has made logical, sustainable choices that fit its casino operation.
Followed by a panel discussion
15.30 – 16.00
16.00 – 17.00
Online casino gaming – a separate industry or a further distribution channel for landbased casinos
Wolfgang Bliem, GM Grand Casino Luzern, mycasino.ch
Georg Wawer, Managing Director win2day
Gilbert den Hertog, Chief Marketing Officer, Holland Casino
Followed by a panel discussion
17.00 – 17 45
Kelly Vero – Betting on the Metaverse – Why the future of Casinos is Web3
Reception at the Foyer of the Casineum
Gala Dinner at the Casineum – first floor
Video message from the Governor of Lower Austria, Ms. Johanna Mikl-Leitner, to the participants of the ECA Casino Industry Forum, followed by the welcome of the official representative for Lower Austria.
Summary of the event by the ECA Chairman, Per Jaldung.
Live entertainment – open end
Breakfast and airport transfers.
Kelly Vero is a futurist, a game developer, and an architect of the metaverse. She has shipped several very successful AAA video games with mass market appeal for adult and children’s franchises and household name IPs. Before creating and refining characters in the Transformers continuous universe, Kelly was already hooked into the possibilities of technology where humans meet everything from robots and autonomous vehicles to fashion, wearables, and food.
Influenced by the world around her, Kelly is also a bestselling novelist and science fiction writer, she has even developed and published children’s books to expand her audience beyond video games. Guided by pop culture, and covering every subject from Max Headroom to BTS, Kelly is passionate about the evolution of end-user and consumer generations towards future gazing and expressing ourselves through our own image and aspiration.
Kelly’s unique style can be found in a variety of video games that she has worked on or participated in, much to the delight of her unique sense of style. It is in her presence and style that she has been brought closer to the intersection of a variety of verticals where she works today. Combining her passion for video games with music, fashion and even the male dominated world of science fiction has brought forth the opportunities to design and develop experiences in phygital spaces. Working with everyone from luxury houses (Farfetch, LVMH and Audemars Piguet) to blockchain and NFTs (Sotheby’s, Christies and Luma); Kelly believes gamification puts the end-user front and centre as the beating heart of any application or experience.
Kelly was a late graduate of academia, mastering in Greek and Roman Mythology no less! But this has not stopped her from speaking fervently about the role of video games as education and its place in the metaverse. In her conferences she speaks eloquently about the cradle to grave approach in technology. Through the touch points of the present to the future from the pain points of working in a fast-paced, high-risk industry, she’s building tomorrow for everyone. It’s through these experiences that she can develop a vision of the future and commit to a democratic covenant of fairness, discoverability, and accessibility, online and in real life.
Magnus Lindkvist is a trendspotting futurologist and author who weaves together important current trends to forecast what life, society and business might look like in the future.
It is the fantastic timing, storytelling and politically incorrect humour that keep the audience – a global audience – laughing and talking well after his talk ends. He has given in excess of a thousand keynote speeches over the past decade to everyone from Fortune 500 CEOs and civil servants in the Middle East to anyone looking to be inspired and enlightened by trendspotting and future-thinking.
As a writer, Magnus Lindkvist is driven by a relentless curiosity about our mental space where the outside world collides with the human brain. His book Minifesto (2016) tells us why small ideas matter in the world of grand narratives. By sharing a vision of the future we can strive to surround ourselves with as many strange, conflicting ideas that we can in order to immerse ourselves in future possibilities and possible futures. His next book, The Reset Book, will be published in 2022.
With a Master of Science in Business and Economics from Stockholm School of Economics and a degree in film production from UCLA, Lindkvist weaves together the worlds of quantitative insights with the imaginative storytelling of Hollywood. His talks are often described as ‘shows’ or ‘performances’; he calls it ‘intellectual acupuncture’ with the expressed intention of changing our minds with needles of insight, examples and observations.
He has won several awards for his ‘performances’ on stage and for his books, but perhaps the best acclaim ever given was from an HR director in the UK who said ‘Magnus Lindkvist is the best Swedish export since ABBA and meatballs.
Erwin van Lambaart joined Casinos Austria and Austrian Lotteries as CEO in March 2022. Erwin has a substantial experience in the media, hospitality, event, marketing and entertainment sectors. After graduating from the Hotel School in The Hague, he worked for 15 years in the international hotel industry. After this, he moved on to the global live entertainment world, where he worked for another 15 years.
Erwin van Lambaart held a series of top executive and board positions at Accor, Avis, Joop van den Ende Theatre Productions, Stage Entertainment International and Niehe Media.
In 2016, he took over as CEO of Holland Casinos NV, where he established himself as a proven casino and gaming expert. On 14 March 2022, Erwin van Lambaart moved to Austria and took up his position as CEO of Casinos Austria AG and Österreichische Lotterien GmbH.
Erwin van Lambaart’s career has always been marked by a keen focus on hospitality and conceptual development. In 2016, he was awarded a Knighthood in the Order of Orange Nassau for his services to the live entertainment industry and his efforts on behalf of numerous charitable organisations.
Erwin van Lambaart is a member of various supervisory boards and is much in demand as a speaker at conferences on subjects such as leadership, talent coaching and the use of cross media know-how, multichannel strategies and expertise across various business sectors.
Per Jaldung is a proven leader in the casino and entertainment industry with 19 years of leadership experience. He currently serves as the CEO of Casino Cosmopol in Sweden which operates three midsize land based casinos in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmo.
Per also proudly serves as the Chairman of the European Casino Association (ECA) since 2015, supporting approximately 1,000 casinos across Europe in 30 member-countries.
Prior to entering the casino entertainment business, Per served in multiple capacities for the Stockholm Police Department and the National Criminal Intelligence Service for 13 years. His background in law enforcement lead him to start working for Casino Cosmopol in 2002 as head of Security and Surveillance, then promoted to General Manager of the Gothenburg property in 2005. In 2008, Per was appointed CEO of Casino Cosmopol and continues to guide the future of the company. Per is also head of Svenska Spel’s VLT operations consisting of 4300 VLTs in 1300 restaurants and bingo halls. He studied law at Uppsala University in Sweden and is an alumni of the Executive Development Program (EDP) at UNLV Las Vegas.
Over the past six years, Per has been invited to speak at several international casino conferences on a range a various casino related topics and is widely considered an industry expert.
Bo Jason Bernhard, Ph.D. is the Vice President of Economic Development at the University of Nevada – Las Vegas (UNLV), where he leads a team of faculty, staff, and students that supports faculty innovation and discovery at UNLV, aligning its research strengths with new and emerging business opportunities, and forges reciprocal partnerships within the state’s economic ecosystem. In his role he also oversees the teams at Black Fire Innovation, the Nevada Small Business Development Center at UNLV, and the UNLV Research Foundation. He is also a professor of sociology and hospitality and serves as the Executive Director of the UNLV International Gaming Institute. He also serves as the Philip G. Satre Chair in Gaming Studies, a dual appointment with UNLV and the University of Nevada Reno that generates partnerships with the State of Nevada’s largest industry on education and research projects that reach six continents and dozens of international jurisdictions. He has previously served as the Associate Vice President of Economic Development, Director of Research of the International Gaming Institute and Ph.D. program in the Department of Sociology during his 24-year tenure at UNLV.
Dr. Bernhard has delivered over 200 keynote addresses in clinical, regulatory, government, and policy settings. He has published in the top journals in both the business sciences (including Cornell Quarterly) and the social sciences (including a guest edited special volume of American Behavioral Scientist). He currently serves as executive editor for a leading peer-reviewed academic journal, Gaming Research and Review.
Dr. Bernhard’s projects have been prominently featured in local and national media outlets. Overall, he has directed over $2 million in grant-funded research projects on subjects ranging from problem gambling to the social impacts of casino industries to responsible gaming features to internet gambling. He has earned numerous teaching and research awards during his nearly two decades at UNLV, including the Denken Career Award for Research, the Barrick Scholar Award, and the top teaching and research awards at the Harrah College of Hospitality. He is also the only professor at UNLV to have won both the Spanos Award for teaching and the Harry Reid Silver State Research Award, UNLV’s top career research award. Mr. Bernhard earned his sociology and psychology degree from Harvard University and his Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) from UNLV.
Tiina Siltanen is a well-known leader in the European land based casino industry. During her 20+ years in the industry she has worked her way up from customer service to executive level with several different high management position in Finland and oversees on the way. With strong background on table games, she played a key role in creating and developing Casino Cosmopol’s poker scene during her years in Sweden.
Siltanen is currently responsible for casino operations at Veikkaus casinos in Finland. She holds a position as General Manager for Casino Helsinki and Casino Tampere, a new venue opened at the end of last year. Together with her team of 160 casino professionals she is determined to create a casino atmosphere that provides unique experiences in a safe gaming environment. In 2021 Siltanen was appointed member of the board for the European Casino Association. Siltanen is an alumni from Executive Development Program in UNLV Las Vegas and holds a BBA from business studies in Finland. Her ambition is to promote the professionalism of our employees and our industry in a positive light in publics eyes.
Simon is executive chairman and majority shareholder of Hippodrome Casino limited, the extensive leisure casino complex above Leicester Square tube station which opened in July 2012. The project started in 2005.
The investment of £45 million in the theatre building and adjacent Cranbourn Mansions, both Grade 2 listed heritage buildings, created one of the West End’s premier entertainment venues, 80,000 ft2 with three floors of casino, eight bars, an award winning steak house, two private dining rooms, a dedicated cabaret theatre, home of the famous ‘Magic Mike Live’ show, and a Pokerstars live poker deck, and adding shortly a Chinese restaurant, a café, with a secret bar to follow. It employs over 650 people, is one of the largest single-site employers in the area and entertains over 30,000 customers a week.
Laurent Lassiaz has been in the casino industry for 15 years.
He is currently the CEO of JOA a leading European casino & leisure Group operating 34 casinos on the French market and an online betting platform JOAbet.
Laurent Lassiaz is also the Vice President of “Casinos de France” the trade association of the French casino industry.
Before joining the gaming sector, Laurent have had several Management position in the leisure industry, Senior Vice President of Club Med for Europe-Middle East and Africa region, OPS General Manager at PepsiCo Restaurant International managing both Pizza Hut and KFC brands for the French market.
Ms Claudina Zarazaga is a Senior Specialist in the European Financial and Economic Crime Centre (EFECC) at Europol. Working in the Expertise and Stakeholder Management Unit of the Centre, her daily activities are aimed at facilitating and coordinating the cooperation and exchange of information and expertise between Europol and relevant stakeholders in the international domain of Anti Money Laundering and Counter Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT). In her role, she manages the strategic aspects of the operational exchange with international partners in the AML/CFT chain. In addition, she provides consolidated inputs to projects and activities of various stakeholders, based on the data and knowledge available within Europol. As AML/CFT touches upon many different crime areas, she closely cooperates with other Centres and Units within the agency to collect all relevant information and process this in comprehensive contributions. The European Commission, the Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs) in the EU, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the Egmont Group are some of her primary stakeholders. Within her unit, she is also co-responsible for monitoring the developments in the dynamic world of AML/CFT and its legal framework, and for assessing and acting on the impact of those developments on Europol’s role to support Member States and Third Parties in their efforts to fight money laundering and terrorist financing.
After her vocational studies in economics, she started her professional life as an operational analyst at the Dutch police. She developed an interest in the financial part of investigations and truly entered the field of AML/CFT when she moved to the FIU-The Netherlands as a strategic analyst. Her focus became more international when she joined the FIU.net Bureau. In cooperation with the EU FIUs, and with financial support from the European Commission, the FIU.net Bureau created and further developed the FIU.net, a system that, to this day, facilitates the exchange of operational information between EU FIUs. She became a temporary agent at Europol in 2016, when she literally followed the embedment of FIU.net in the agency. After the creation of the EFECC in 2020 and the transfer of FIU.net from Europol to the European Commission in 2021, she shifted from tasks primarily related to FIU.net and FIUs to her current broader scope of AML/CFT activities.
Ismail Vali is the founder of Yield Sec, where he leads a team of industry experts and marketplace intelligence specialists to deliver the world’s first effective platform to help monitor, police, enforce and optimize the licensed marketplace across online betting, gaming and lottery activity. The Yield Sec mission has an anti-crime focus upon removing black-market threats to revenue, taxation and consumer protection, working alongside all legal stakeholders to benefit the ecosystem overall. Yield Sec’s technical intelligence platform is becoming an essential tool for operators, suppliers, trade associations, regulators, government, media and ad platforms, law enforcement and other legal actors.
Ismail’s background is in product development, marketing and operations, fuelled by commercial discipline, creative ideas, a curiosity for what makes players play, and dissatisfaction with the status quo. Throughout his professional experience, Ismail has achieved commercial and creative success in both consulting and senior management roles. These include working as Head of Development for leading operator Ladbrokes, and as Chief Marketing Officer for ParadisePoker, SportingBet and PokerStars, each of which Ismail directed to international success with the teams and initiatives he implemented during his leadership.
This distinctive background aided in the innovation and development of Yield Sec, the first product from marketplace optimization and protection specialists Atropos Intelligence, a business Ismail founded and leads as CEO. Atropos Intelligence utilizes its unique platform and processes to provide intelligence and insights that improve internet marketplaces, built upon advanced algorithms and AI forged and proven across military and anti-terrorism applications. The products and services offered by Atropos Intelligence provide a framework to inform decision-making by operators, suppliers, trade associations, regulators, government, media and ad platforms, law enforcement and other legal actors to enable actions that protect and perfect valuable but at-risk online marketplaces, and the consumers and economic activity that flow from them.
Demonstrating both his ability to provide industry insight and address the global need for new products that create tangible commercial solutions and community benefit, Ismail has written extensively across betting and gaming industry publications, with examples of his published work being found in SBC News, EI Industry News, iGaming Times, CasinoBeats and Casino Review. Ismail’s focus on tackling the insidious impact of crime is bolstered by his educational background, having graduated from Brasenose College, Oxford University with a BA and MA in Law. This detailed academic legal background, along with numerous C-level operator positions in industry, led to the invention and founding of a unique solution to restrict and remove the harm caused by what has long been an endemic online industry problem: crime and its impact upon commerce, consumers and the community.
Georg Wawer is heading win2day – the online gaming division at the Austrian Lotteries. As the leading online gaming brand & only licensed operator in Austria for online lottery & casino games their mission is to offer a superior gaming entertainment portfolio for Austrian users. Georg has a top management business background with consumer goods companies, C-Level experience in disruptive tech & is a successful leader for digital business innovation for companies of diverse sizes, markets and industries. He has invented 50+ digital patents and his focus is exploiting digital technologies to drive exponential business growth & disruptive digital innovation.