BetMarkets Kicks off in Vienna
By Marianne Lambert
The first Annual Global Sports Betting Conference took place in Austria’s capital, Vienna, last week, with over 190 people attending from 32 countries. Much of the programme was concerned with the legal and regulatory challenges the betting industry faces in many countries.

However, these were met with calm and determination, particularly after Jean Bergevin, a speaker from the European Commission gave the conference an encouraging opening. Referring to recent EC announcements regarding cross-border operations in the EU, Bergevin stated that “there have been many recent rays of light for the gambling industry.”

However, he did temper this with the warning to expect new and more elaborate restrictions from Member States, and the probability of more legal action.

Major speakers included Ladbrokes’ Kevin Hopgood, and Michael Charlton and Peter Greenhill; of Chinese facing sports book Betex. They examined the Asian betting market and business culture. Spanish operator Codere has investigated the business potential in a number of Latin American countries, which their speaker, Fernando Ors shared.

The second half of the conference looked at multi-platform deployment for greater consumer interaction, namely, increasing broadcast content on web sites, interactive television and betting from mobile phones.

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