Waterfront’s new trainee solicitor, Andrew Gordon, gives us a flavour of ICE 2015 and some new gaming innovations.

ICE was once again upon us, so we went along to experience the full glory of the iGaming sector (it would have been rude not to really).

Having been to ICE for the past couple of years, the event never fails to impress us. Not only do you have the big guns attempting to outdo each other with the size and general extravagance of their stands, but more interestingly you have the innovators, the guys who are attempting to bring new and exciting tech into the sector.

Not ones to be overawed by the event, we set to meeting with these SME innovators and discovering more about their products and services. It is no secret that in addition to traditional gaming products, the aim of many innovators is to engage with new customer audiences.

Examples we saw of this were:

Nu Casino – These guys have patented technology for a new gaming card system, which is very exciting. The founders James and Carolyn are keen for the system to be used across multiple gaming products, not simply the traditional card games (i.e. bingo, lottery). Their system also allows multiple winning lines with the same cards, so not simply 2/3 of a kind, flush, and so on;

Magnet Gaming – A Danish company which are bringing new gaming products into the UK market. They have come from a social gaming background, however their UK gaming products will be real money. Coming from a play for fun model, their new HTML5 slots will aim to provide customer experiences that appeal to these new customer audiences; and

Fenway Games – A social gaming platform whereby customers can predict outcomes in the next 60 seconds of a sporting event. Working on a pool betting system means that the longer the customer stays in the game, and other customers lose all of their tokens/points, the bigger the winning pot will be. There is huge potential for this model to be used in an affiliate capacity for real money operators.

These are but a few of the innovators that we met at ICE, as you can see all with very different products, but all with the ability to exploit different aspects of the market.

As is usually the case, many of these SME innovators need financing or partners to help exploit their great ideas. However, many were unsure how much equity to exchange for this financing (I know, very Dragons Den) and how shareholders agreements and share issues/transfers would work. Given their focus is getting their idea to launch stage, it was understandable that they had not thought about this in any great detail, or were reliant on third parties such as incubators to guide them. However, in order to ensure that all of their hard work and money is protected, getting some legal advice early from a video game lawyers can help their company and their products flourish, and minimise the risk of expensive and protracted disputes in the future.

ICE 2015 was an extremely enjoyable event and we’ll certainly be attending next year. In the meantime, if there is ever any legal advice or assistance which you require in relation to any commercial, corporate, IP, employment matters