|The European iGaming Congress and Expo (EiG) in Barcelona saw more than 1,050 iGaming professionals from 42 countries come together for the first time since events in America rocked the industry.|
David Carruthers, former CEO of BetonSports, surprised the audience by giving the opening speech via video from his residence in St Louis. Carruthers couldn’t speak about his upcoming legal battle but thanked the industry for its support and said he was 'strong, fit and in high spirits - preparing for the final outcome of his nightmare.'
Also speaking at the conference was Norbett Teufelberger, co-CEO of Bwin, who talked about his experience of being held by the French authorities. 'We have been treated as criminals,' he stated and called on the industry to put aside their usual competitive stance to unite and fight together to defend the besieged industry.
The conference spanned three days - featuring many more of the biggest names in the industry. The session on USA concerns drew much interest, with worrying information on the ease with which UK nationals can be extradited to the US.
On the final day of the Congress, President Bush signed and passed into law the 'Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act 2006' which criminalises online gambling firms operating in the US. The general consensus was that this was a sad day for US consumer choice.
The conference sessions closed with a CEO panel - that included Mitch Garber of PartyGaming and John Anderson of 888.com - considering the events of the last couple of weeks.