Posted on: 2/22/2023

ICE London 2023 Through New Eyes


This year, SRI sent its largest group yet to ICE London 2023. Whilst Ben Fried made his 16th appearance, Farida Derrar and I made our debut and had our first taste of the largest casino exhibition in the world. Being relatively new to the world of betting and gaming, we were both approaching ICE with an open mind and no real expectations, and after spending all day walking, talking, and listening, we had a couple of thoughts on our first visit.

Firstly, the scale of both geographical and physical representation of the betting and gaming world was far larger than we had first thought, with representation from live dealers and software providers to land-based casino and hardware providers. With such a range of providers and operators in-house, this of course meant that ICE, as with most international conferences, is an incredible networking and business development opportunity for anyone who works in the space. After a short walk around the stands at ICE, this is something that became abundantly clear. Pop-up meeting rooms, bars, coffee lounges, and indeed many eateries, make ICE a networker’s paradise.

Secondly, there were thousands of products on show at ICE. At first they all may seem very similar, but after having the opportunity to explore each product in detail, this is clearly not the case. Each brand boasts its own premium features or key selling points to its product, from technical things such as interface and design to physical selling points, such as built-in armchairs with all relevant buttons to operate the slots on them. You are truly surrounded by innovation both physical and technical, which gives ICE its very own personality, like a Las Vegas in London feel.

On the point of Vegas in London, some of the stands did well to bring the classic casino atmosphere to the show. Novomatic had numerous lights and slot machines in rows giving a real bricks-and-mortar casino feel, which was made even more authentic by having exhibitors in the costumes of the characters from the slot games. The Endorphina stand had a more celebrity and showtime feel to it, complete with a round stage and troupe of drag performers. There were also plenty of raffles and free spin-to-win type games on most stands, with brand merchandise floating around everywhere.

With so many brands around, it was clear that some of the larger brands had very strict identities. Some opt for a more aggressive and loud identity with company colours as far as the eye can see and staff in all matching uniforms, whilst others tend to go for a more experiential atmosphere. Evolution in particular had a very clever stand with individual rooms branded to each game it offers, which provided more of an experience into their products as opposed to simple presentations.

Experience and how it can be improved for the user was definitely a big focus at ICE. Several companies were demonstrating the future of user experience with Web3 and VR. VR poker tables and VR-based roulette games were on display from VR Casino and BR Softech, and with the rise of online gaming and push towards web3, it’s clear the world of gaming is looking to stay ahead of the curve, which is certainly exciting us all at SRI.

ICE was a fantastic experience. As a show it was enjoyable, and as an exhibition, it was extremely insightful for those like us who are new to the area. Having the chance to see business development and networking first-hand is something that will only serve to further our understanding of the world of Executive Search. We look forward to next year!


Farida Derrar


Jacob Sant