COO at SiGMA
Oliver de Bono is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) at SiGMA iGaming and Malta Blockchain Summit. He handles both the operations and sales, and has expertise in the operator and affiliate trends present in emerging markets.
Tell us more about the great value of SiGMA in today’s iGaming industry based on the significant changes in the last five years.
It’s been a great journey, and I can’t believe how far we’ve come! The first SiGMA event was in 2014, and the company has grown ever since. In 2019, SiGMA Group has expanded its portfolio of events to include three expos (SiGMA – the World’s iGaming Village, the Malta AI & Blockchain Summit, and Medical Cannabiz World). In June 2020, SiGMA Group will host a ‘super-show’ in Manila, Philippines, encompassing iGaming, blockchain, crypto, and emerging technologies such as quantum computing. So we have three main Expos in Malta, one Super show in Manila and a number of satellite events all around the world which change yearly next year to include Taiwan and Lithuania.
The importance of the SiGMA show can be seen in this huge growth in numbers – now welcoming almost 15,000 attendees in November 2019, opening offices worldwide including the latest SiGMA office in Ukraine in 2020. Along with our satellite events around the world, bringing together operators, suppliers, and affiliates, SiGMA Group facilitates new business opportunities for the sector.
In fact, we’re seeding the growth in the iGaming landscape, through our successful Start-up Pitch activities. At each of our events, we give booths to 100 start-ups, with the ten best battling it out in front of investors and industry leaders to win funding and support.
What is next for SiGMA in the years to come?
SiGMA is expanding to the Asian market, with a ‘super-show’ all lined up for June 2020, taking place in Manila, Philippines. This massive show, at the SMX Convention Centre in downtown Manila, will be in conjunction with Clarion’s ICE land-based expo, making it the largest gambling sector show in the region. It’s a great opportunity to solidify the SiGMA brand in the East, and to repeat the success we’ve had in Europe.
SiGMA is forging relationships with the local jurisdictions, such as MGA and PAGCOR, and we see this ‘super-show’ as a chance to bridge the divide between East and West. There’s so many new business opportunities, with European operators looking to expand eastwards, and suppliers in the local area keen to strike deals with western companies. This is what SiGMA is all about – creating new avenues for the iGaming world to benefit from on a global scale, and in coming years, we hope to expand into other emerging markets such as Africa and South America.
Where do you see the iGaming space heading to? What will be the innovations that will reshape the industry?
As iGaming becomes more mainstream we are seeing so many new products come to market – Blockchain based casinos, hyper casual betting games, fantasy sports at a new level and eSports all colliding to bring new ways of playing to an evolving millennial audience.
Hyper casual games in particular are an area to keep an eye on – TronBet’s Moon is such an example, with a simple game mechanic integrated with crypto, and this game is absolutely smashing it at the moment. It’s the future!
Beyond these experiential innovations, massive strides have also been made in logistical areas, such as player protection and KYC procedures, both examples of the many benefits that the sector is seeing from integration of blockchain and AI processes to the iGaming ecosystem.
So we’re in really exciting times for innovation in the sector. I’m sure there’s much more to come in coming years, as we’re just seeing the tip of the iceberg with the opportunities presented by emerging technologies.