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iGEN and Deloitte host ESG seminar for iGaming

On Tuesday 11th June 2024, iGEN and Deloitte held a joint ESG event entitled ‘ESG in gaming: Opportunities and Obligations’ at the Malta Marriott Resort and Spa in Balluta Bay. The invitation-only event was a great success, judging by responses from the attendees.

During the course of 2024, iGEN has been working towards establishing itself as a facilitator of thought leadership within ESG for the iGaming industry, and this was our first co-hosted event, organised together with Deloitte Malta.

‘As an independent, industry-spanning organisation, we are uniquely positioned to be able to collaborate with all the major players in the ESG and iGaming spheres, and we have a great deal of iGaming ESG expertise within our core team. Our ambition is to help gaming companies to understand the opportunities and obligations inherent within the new ESG regulations being introduced by the EU. Collaborating with Deloitte on this event is a great first step in this direction, and we envisage a number of similar collaborations in future.’ says Enrico Bradamante, iGEN Founder and Chairman.

Early on in planning discussions we took the decision to document the proceedings, with the aim of sharing the content with those who were unable to attend the event, so we briefed our video team to capture all the segments on the agenda, and they were on location early at the prestigious hotel, to set up for the day.

“It was such an insightful session directly for the industry and a breath of fresh air from the generic high-level ones I attended to date.” 

 

The venue for the event was the ballroom of the Malta Marriott Resort and Spa, located high above Balluta Bay, and people began arriving at around 08:30 for registration and coffee, and the spacious reception area quickly began to fill up. Deloitte had brought their own photographer, who was also soon busy documenting the proceedings.

At 09:00 people began to take their seats for the welcome message by Deloitte Director of Audit and Assurance, Antoine Fenech. After briefly outlining the day’s agenda, he welcomed onto the stage our keynote speaker, CEO of Malta Gaming Authority Charles Mizzi, for his insightful address ‘The Regulator: A Key player in securing a sustainable industry.’ Naturally taking its lead from the MGA’s recently issued Voluntary ESG Code for the Remote Gaming Sector in Malta, Mr Mizzi’s keynote contained a lot of food for thought for the audience.

At 09:20 it was the turn of iGEN’s Enrico Bradamante and JVH Gaming and Entertainment Group’s Head of ESG Liesbeth Oost to take the stage, for a fireside chat themed ‘The role of ESG in gaming: Compliance and opportunity.’ This informative and engaging chat contained a number of personal insights, predictions and observations from both speakers around how ESG specifically impacts iGaming companies, and elicited a number of follow-on questions from the audience in a good-natured interaction.

“I came for the first hour as I had meetings, but ended staying the whole day as didn’t want to miss the rest.” 

 

Deloitte’s Assistant Manager, Audit & Assurance Michaela Valletta then gave a brief but detailed overview, entitled ‘CSRD & EU taxonomy: How to get there – an auditor’s perspective.’ Covering the scope and timeline of the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), how it relates to the European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS), an overview of EU Taxonomy, key priorities for assurance readiness and a high-level comparison between the MGA ESG Code and the CSRD.

The first expert panel of the day kicked off at 09:55, entitled the ‘Role of governance in ESG integration’, moderated by Deloitte Malta’s Sustainability Leader Michael Bianchi. On stage were Deloitte heavyweights Senior Tax Manager Gianluca Busutill, Risk Advisory Business Leader Ian Coppini, and Senior Manager Audit and Assurance Sandro Psaila, each bringing their unique and personal perspectives on this complex topic.

“I enjoyed seeing the collaboration of different professionals across HR, strategy and reporting come together within this space and deliver very high-quality content.”

 

After a break for coffee and networking, we were back in the ballroom for Sandro Psaila’s presentation ‘A new era for regulation: The EU Artificial Intelligence Act.’ Sandro explained that this is a landmark regulation that aims to ensure that the safe, transparent and ethical use of AI within the European Union, and explored how iGaming companies in particular will be affected, as AI is increasingly integrated across platforms.

The next segment on the agenda was our second expert panel, pitching leading figures from iGaming in with Deloitte experts, on the topic ‘MGA code vs CSRD – Playing by the rules: How ESG can help promote responsible gaming practices.’ Moderated by Antoine Fenech, our panellists were Ivan Filletti, CEO Gaming Malta, Betsson Group’s Head of Sustainability Jonna Danlund, Deloitte Malta’s Senior Manager, Human Capital – Consulting Adrian Mamo, and Senior Manager, Audit & Assurance Ylenia Caruana.

This intense session, comprising insights from multiple industry perspectives and competences, was followed by a short Q&A, and then the closing address by Antoine Fenech, who invited Enrico Bradamante back on stage for a few final remarks on the day, before we made our way outside to a delicious lunch and more networking opportunities over coffee.

iGEN will be involved in a series of ESG events and collaborations over the course of the year, working with a lot of the major industry players and business experts, in our quest for thought leadership on this most important of topics.

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