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Barcelona will take ‘extraordinary ICE to another level’ – predicts safer gambling expert

Art Paikowsky has served as President of the International Center for Responsible Gaming (ICRG) since October 2021. 

During this period, he has helped to more than double the level of resources secured by the organization resulting in over 25 studies currently being conducted. At ICE 2024 the ICRG was one of two safer gambling organisations to share the £41,000 pool raised by brands comprising Light and Wonder, Flutter, Betsson Group, IGT, Neccton and Playtech.

Image: Art Paikowsky ,President, International Center for Responsible Gaming (ICRG)

What are your overall impressions of ICE and how much are you looking forward to its relocation to Barcelona?

AP: “ICE itself is an amazing seamless exercise that is so fantastically well planned that it's almost unbelievable.  With the continued upgrade in content, I believe that Clarion is committed to improvement which I have experienced each year.  Barcelona is one of my personal favorite European cities, the conference center is in an excellent location and the food is to die for. I can only expect that the move will take an already extraordinary event to another level.”

Have you decided how you will be using the £20,500 – is there a specific project or piece of research that it will fund/help fund?

AP: “We were surprised and elated to receive the award and we are very grateful to Clarion for all that it has done on behalf of ICRG.  One of the methods of funding research is that investigators from all over the world apply for grants from our unrestricted funds.  These requests are reviewed independently by the Scientific Advisory Board and are awarded several times throughout the year.  These funds are a significant allocation to our grant pool.”

How important is it for a major b2b gambling event to have a show feature that’s dedicated to safer gambling?

AP: “Even as recently as a couple of years ago at conferences that I attended it was difficult to locate anything featuring safer gambling.  Not only did ICE feature this important topic but the content was of such value that it was difficult to get a seat at the sessions! Thanks should go to Clarion for its leadership here.”

From a safer gambling perspective what were the main talking points at ICE 2024?

AP: “The UK government’s White Paper was very much in the mind's eye and there was a great deal of attention as to how technology might impact safer gambling.  Our research has identified emerging adults as an at risk market and the accessibility of gambling options on the phone must be examined more closely: we have several studies underway to learn more about this.  Sports betting, regulation and advertising were all top of mind.”

2024 marks your 25th anniversary year – how good was it to celebrate the landmark at ICE?

AP: “One of the things that I noted when I started at ICRG two and a half years ago was that the organization had done terrific work but generally flew under the radar screen.  To launch our 25th anniversary year at ICE with the exposure that we received and the recognition as Charity of the Year was of tremendous value.  This will help stage both our 25th anniversary golf tournament in May in Las Vegas as well as our signature educational conference scheduled in October.”