Rosalind Wade is the Managing Director at Asia Gaming Brief. She has been in the events industry for more than 15 years organizing conferences with the right mix of content and networking opportunities.
Having been immersed deeply into the iGaming business field, Rosalind Wade has earned herself a strong grasp of the major issues affecting the gaming market in the Asia Pacific. Her experience and connections gained over the years leave her well-positioned to succeed in her new initiatives.
Tell us how you started in the iGaming events industry.
I will never forget my first gaming event, as it wasn’t like any other I’d ever done! I was lucky enough to work with Sue Schneider and her team in the first few iGaming events in Asia, and got a great introduction to the industry, which was fairly new and “unstructured” back in 2008. I quickly fell in love with the energy of the online casino gaming industry, which was fairly wild back then, especially in Asia, but also had to learn how to balance a professional approach with the fun element
What pushed you to initiate the ASEAN Gaming Summit?
Asia Gaming Brief had been running networking social events in Manila for a number of years which always attracted a great crowd. We eventually felt confident enough to hold a full-scale event, and felt that the Philippines was the right place to hold it due to its potential for both land based and online gaming.
How difficult was it for you to host and organize such a conference? And how much time and effort did you put into it?
It was extremely difficult! It was the first proper conference that we had run as a team so we had to do everything from scratch. We also wanted to make sure that we gave everyone the very best experience, from a content point of view, as well as networking and fun, and made every effort to look after everyone to the maximum. Luckily we have an amazing team who worked incredibly hard to pull it off and establish the event firmly in the market.
Over the last 3 years, the ASEAN Gaming Summit has become known for being the intersection point between both sides of the industry – promoting a platform for information exchange and contacts across Asia’s land-based and online gaming industries. In your own words, what have been the biggest challenges and motivations for you to continue growing each and every year?
We had such excellent feedback from the first event in 2017 that it spurred us on to continue exceeding expectations each year. We were also mindful that we didn’t want to do too much too fast, and only added a small exhibition later so as not to overtax our sponsors.
In the last couple of years, iGaming sector has gone through some vicious enhancements unseen before. Blockchain and crypto started having major impact on the field, which led to unprecedented interest from players all over the world. How do you perceive blockchain and crypto in their current form, and how can iGaming operators across the Asian market best benefit from it?
Crypto is a natural fit for Asia due to the preference for anonymity and the lack of a banking network for gaming here. The gaming promoters have been quick to adopt it instead of a cash based system. For other blockchain applications, it’s still a little early.
Can you let us know, perhaps without spoiling it too much, what your participants can expect from the conference in 2020 and what’s making it so unique?
As before, we have tried to up our game yet again from a content and speaker point of view. This year we’ll be doing more deep dives into some of the most important topics through the program in a round table format, alongside the regular high level presentations and discussions.
As usual, some amazing names will be present this July. Please share some exciting topics to be presented and companies to be present at the event.
We’ve got everything from government regulators and agencies, including the head of the Anti-money laundering committee from the Philippines, and the deputy finance director from Vietnam, another hot investment market right now, to experts on payments, marketing, CRM. So there is something for everyone.
There is a panel called THE YEAR AHEAD FOR IGAMING & BETTING. What do you think will be the BIG thing for 2020?
Localising content for each market, diversifying away from China, and more targeted customer management.