2023 marked the first year for a new dynamic floor feature at ICE London.
The Gambling Business Group (GBG) High Street Hub features contributions and insight from leading brands, including Novomatic UK and GameNation.
Co-Founder and Chief Executive of GBG and veteran of the gambling industry, Peter Hannibal, was hugely positive about day 1.
“We’ve had a fantastic first day at ICE and the reaction has been extremely positive. There are two fundamental benefits. Firstly, we’re getting more attention from Westminster and local authorities but we’ve also created a hub for land based businesses to base themselves at ICE.”
Due to a continuing stigma attached to high street betting shops, one of the challenges for street gaming/gambling or land based operations is persuading local authorities that these places actually benefit the local community.
“One of the main reasons we’re here this week is to put right some of the wrong narrative around land based gambling – that it creates crime or problem gambling. There is no evidence to suggest that at all. We’re trying to bust some of the myths. But we’ve only just started that journey.”
Indeed, revenue from Bingo has declined by over 50% since 2010 and even though there was a slight bump post Covid, numbers are still very low compared to where they were. So what are people missing?”
“One of the biggest benefits to land based gaming is that it’s supervised. Our operators are on first name terms with over 80% of their customers. It’s a personal relationship. That’s part of the reason why street gaming is both incredibly safe but also community focused. The social side is a huge part of why people go.”
The Gambling Industry is well aware of the negative press and has been working hard to change the story. But how else can land based gaming hubs increase engagement?
“I think the future is all about immersive experiences – the more you can involve the consumer in the actual product, the better.”
As Hannibal explained, the journey back to growth for land based gaming has only just begun but ICE London, together with the GBG, are proving once again that they are at the forefront of new initiatives and providing hubs for collaboration in the gambling community.
The High Street Hub is situated in S10 throughout the week at ICE London 2023.