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Serbia – SiGMA declares first Balkans summit a massive success

By - 24 August 2022

The first SiGMA Summit held in the Balkan region is providing new perspectives on gaming industry tactics and procedures. Today, delegates had the opportunity to attend conferences, view products on the exhibition floor, and take part in networking events throughout the expo.

Prior to the first day of the event, yesterday the SiGMA Awards Night celebrated the best of the industry in a record-breaking evening with a premium guest. This evening generated the sum of about €19,000 for charity in an auction held by Rick Goddard. Kelly Kellner, a poker champion, and SiGMA’s Marie Reyal, hosted the gala awards ceremony, where notable figures from the gaming, tech, and affiliation industries were honored for their services to the industry.

Heated debates
Speakers discussed many topics that are of relevance to the gaming world and today’s panels were divided into two different categories. The first cohort between 09:30 – 12:00 focused on the importance of regulation, compliance, and AML. Here speakers dived deep into a broad discussion on the Balkans as the next iGaming hotspot.

The Balkans have seen a hotbed of activity when it comes to iGaming regulation in recent years. During this discussion, panelists gave a regulation overview of the Balkans region as well as put forward what advancements should be in the pipeline in order to make the Balkans a new gaming hub.

Senior Manager Public Policy at LOTTO24 AG Jan Kretschmer, brought up the point that operators should be making more of an effort when it comes to shortcomings in AML and social responsibility and expressed that “operators should be the ones to approach customers when it comes to responsible gaming.” On the same topic of discussion, Renel Dobre, Country Manager of Central Eastern Europe at OKTO stated “People do not indulge in self-exclusion themselves, they need help to do it right.”

SiGMA/AGS Startup Pitch
The future-driven event also sought to provide starters with a launchpad and the opportunity to gain attention during the Startup Pitch. Among the creative young presenters were the thinkers behind our Balkan Startup Winners 9tales who managed to beat the stiff competition from several other worthy competitors.

9Tales is a Trading Card Game that introduces a shift in the in-game economy. This Startup uses the NFT technology to allow true assets ownership and to unlock a new era for competitive gaming. A compete-to-earn paradigm is a new approach to gaming that combines the financial incentives of a game like Poker with the fun gaming side of TCGs.

Othmane Safsafi CEO for 9tales, explained to our reporters on the floor “Our use of NFT and Blockchain tech was not just based on buzzwords but on a realistic way of using them to improve the gamer experience. In the next year, the big thing will be the launch of the game. So we are going to push it to as many gamers as possible, whilst trying to retain them. This will be our biggest challenge but also our biggest accomplishment!”

Centurion FC – MMA Weigh In
Between conference discussions, 9 bouts with 18 fighters took the stage for the weigh-ins in preparation for tomorrow’s much-awaited Centurion MMA fight.

Top competitors, include Vlastislav “El Chapo” Cepo, a name known to all Balkan MMA fans, Jovan Marjanovic, a local MMA hero defending his 6-2 record, and Nikolay Grozdey, an up-and-coming fighter who is sure to soon be in the top 10 in Europe. These competitors made their way to SiGMA Stage to affirm that they are under the maximum weight limit for their particular weight class.

Taking place on the 24th of August, at KSC Pinki Zemun the LEO Rudit tournament promises to bring the best of MMA to Belgrade.

SEO and Digital Marketing
With SEO emerging as an integral part of digital marketing, the MMA weigh-in was later followed by the second part of the conference where the agenda focused on SEO and Digital Marketing. Running from 15:05 – 16:15, this set of panels provided delegates with a window into what’s in store for the SEO and Marketing worlds alike.

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