New E-gaming Legislation
The States of Jersey passed new Gambling legislation that paved the way for e-gaming operators to be licensed in Jersey in March 2011.
Our Work in E-gaming
We wasted no time in meeting with the new Regulator and explaining that we had been producing online instant win games for the last 8 years for Camelot, the operator of the UK National Lottery.
We also explained that we were keen to expand our product offer and restructure our gaming business model by engaging with both platform providers and gaming companies to get involved on a more integrated basis. The Regulator, like many perhaps, was unaware of our experience and we have had regular contact with the Regulator since.
Where does Israel fit in?
The Regulator also told us about a possible visit to Israel that the Economic Development Department of the States of Jersey were organising, to push the Island's e-gaming industry. We met with Wayne Gallichan, Director Inward investment and International Trade at Jersey Enterprise and he explained that together with UK Israel Business they were hoping to put together a delegation of politicians and business leaders to go to Israel to meet the innovators and key players in the e-gaming, finance and clean tech industries.
We were duly invited to join the delegation and become project partners with UK Israel and after various meetings and an ever changing agenda, we found ourselves answering the many searching questions put to us by Israeli security at Heathrow. If you have never flown to Israel, this is an unnerving experience but one that clearly demonstrates the Israeli attitude of not being messed with.
So Who Went To Tel Aviv & Whom Did We Meet?
We were based in Tel Aviv, a group of 25, including two ministers, the Chairman and CEO of the Jersey Gambling Commission, the CEO of EDD and the CEO of Jersey Finance together with partners and MDs of banks, legal firms, accountancy practices, hosting/telecom providers and of course, us.
On Monday we met with Mor Weizer, the CEO of Playtech, the world's biggest e-gaming platform providers with a market capitalisation of about £750m. These are the big boys at the party. Mor was an inspirational talker who enthused us all and we will definitely be taking things forward through their subsidiary, GTS, with whom we have already been in discussions.
After a lunch hosted by the British Ambassador, Matthew Gould, we travelled to Galilee to meet with Spiral Solutions, who help gaming companies get to the markets they want, especially in the mobile arena. Another coach ride back to Tel Aviv had us arriving just in time to go straight to the Hilton where we were being hosted for dinner by Bank Leumi, Israel's biggest bank. I spent the evening sat next to one of the Regulator's delegation and we had a very pleasant dinner.
On Tuesday we had a number of meetings lined up which included ringing the opening bell at the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, a presentation by Neo Games and discussions with Israel's largest firm of lawyers and the Israeli office of Moore Stephens. All these were interesting and brought home the importance of Israel in the e-gaming sector. It's really strange listening to Israeli business men and women talking about Alderney and the Isle of Man.
On Tuesday evening we attended an open evening where guests had been invited to come and chat to the Jersey delegation. We met other gaming companies and also e-marketeers and again it was a fascinating and enjoyable time.
How Can Jersey Benefit?
Jersey has the opportunity to have a thriving e-gaming industry. Once the first business is licensed, all the others will ask why and the floodgates could well open.
Jersey, as a leading financial services jurisdiction has a superb infrastructure and is continually improving its offer, making it attractive as a gateway to Europe.
The success of Jersey's e-commerce industry can be easily replicated for e-gaming as there are many synergies between the two industries.
Jersey has a large number of highly skilled complementary businesses that can provide assistance to the e-gaming industry. There are opportunities for so many local businesses.
So was it worth the money and time?
Well, firstly we gained a large amount of knowledge about a market and country of which we knew very little. We also saw how influential the Israeli presence is in e-gaming and information from 888 and Gigi Levy was insightful. We also confirmed what we believed, that the games we build are at the top of the tree when it comes to quality and engagement. And Jersey has been well placed on the Israeli's world map!
Will we get any direct business out of the trip? - it is difficult to tell, but these things often take time to gestate. What we did also get from this trip was to get to know influential business leaders and civil servants with whom we have broken bread and passed four days together. These relationships may well produce more direct work than we get from Israel and that is no bad thing either. We have raised the awareness of E-scape both in Israel and also in Jersey itself and if there is another trip going that holds relevance to our business, you can count us in!