Sixth annual EIG expo begins in Barcelona


One of the largest Internet gaming conventions kicked off yesterday with a rousing speech from former BetOnSports CEO David Carruthers.

Although Carruthers could not actually attend the conference (he is still being held under house arrest) he did send a note that conference organizer Sue Schneider read aloud to those in attendance.

Carruthers showed an unwillingness to back down to the U.S. government and said that despite his house arrest he was in the best physical shape of his life.

"I'm one year older and 10 years wiser," he wrote.

Carruthers had to turn down all requests for interviews due to his pending court case but he did say he was hopeful he would be proven innocent. The trial is expected to take place in spring or summer of 2008.

Schneider got a little choked up while reading the letter but finished her opening speech by talking about the importance of teamwork and leadership in the burgeoning online gaming industry. She remained optimistic about the industry rebounding from a year that saw the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) passed.

The numbers for the conference, which is arguably the most important one of its kind, are impressive. There will be a total of 80 different speakers with over 1,000 pre-registered delegates from around the globe.

Some of the speaker highlights include Mitch Garber, CEO of PartyGaming, Ron Martin, CEO of Netteller, Joel Hasse Ferreira, Member of the European Parliament, Andrew McIvor, CEO of Sporting Bet and many more.

There will be a number of topics ripe for discussion including the implications of the recently unveiled UIGEA rules and regulations, iMEGA's recent case against the U.S. government and the EU and Antigua's WTO case against the U.S.'s restrictions on online gambling.

Not all the online gambling news has been negative, however. The industry has made great strides in Europe and is gaining ground in the Asian market as well. Betfair was one of this year's real success stories and recently received Operator of the Year status from the eGaming Awards.

This year's EIG expo is being held in Barcelona and runs from Oct. 2-4.

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