Hippodrome Casino’s Simon Thomas urges gaming leaders to “stand-up” amid industry criticism

Simon Thomas, Executive Chairman of London’s Hippodrome Casino, has urged business leaders in the gaming community to ‘stand up and be proud’ of the socially responsible entertainment offering they provide, particularly in the face of what he described as the constant criticism leveled at the sector by regulators.

Addressing attendees at the annual ICE Symposium, which was hosted by the Hippodrome, he said: “With the toxic narrative that’s being propagated and which filters through to mainstream media, it’s important that we are proud of what we offer.

The story should not be about problem gambling, which in the UK is at a record low level, but instead, the focus should be on what I term ‘healthy gambling’ and the reality of happy consumers enjoying themselves with all the benefits of intellectual stimulation and socialization.”

The event saw delegates participating in a series of curated roundtable sessions with discussion focusing on the future direction of the industry including an assessment of the challenges and opportunities which face the sector over the short, medium, and long terms.

Providing an overview of what he described as the most ‘significant two years’ in the history of ICE and its sister show iGB Affiliate, Clarion Gaming Managing Director Stuart Hunter updated delegates on what the industry can expect when they attend the 2024 events in London and their subsequent relocation to Barcelona in January 2025

Our focus is firmly on making 2024 the best edition of ICE that the industry has ever experienced. ICE was born in London and the city has served the show admirably as it has developed into the most successful and internationally regarded business event for the global gaming industry,” Hunter stated.

“I know that many of our exhibitors are planning a strong and creative presence to express their thanks to London for being such a great host city and also to mark the next stage in the development of ICE and iGB Affiliate.”

Providing a glimpse of what visitors and exhibitors can anticipate from their Barcelona show experience, he added: “The move is a generational opportunity to draw up a new floorplan which we will have ready to view at ICE and iGB Affiliate 2024.

“In addition to being able to deliver enhanced ROI for all of our stakeholders the level of engagement with the city means that we will also be able to deliver an enriched festival-style show experience. Make no mistake these are extremely exciting times to be associated with the ICE and iGB Affiliate brands.”

ICE Symposium attendees also received a market analysis from Simon French, Managing Director, Head of Growth Capital Solutions and Travel & Leisure at Panmure Gordon entitled ‘Gambling the Investment Landscape’.