Fire & Ice: 20 Years On
Twenty years ago, a group of pioneering iGaming industry enthusiasts fed up with being left out of the official party scene hatched a plan for their immersive event, Fire & Ice. Two decades on, it’s time to look back on one of the industry’s most prominent social events and the growth of the iGaming industry.
“It’s a little bit of Burning Man… It’s a little bit of New Year’s Eve Times Square. It’s an immersive, interactive theatre experience…We’re taking everything we’ve learned over 20 years of doing this and putting it into our magnum opus, our greatest piece.”
Micheal Caselli (Fire & Ice co-organiser)
This year’s Fire & Ice is entitled “Beyond Our Wildest Dreams,” and it’s set to feature five performances charting the progression of the iGaming industry across the last 20 years. There will be a “legends table” compromising the key OG industry players and figures who have been in it since the beginning and made iGaming what it is today.
According to Michael Caselli, the event will also include “some magic and illusion, there’s some high energy, there’s some aerial, there’s some fire, there’s some pyro, there are special effects.”
Hosted at the Troxy, Fire & Ice has a well-earned reputation as an out-of-this-world industry event that crosses the board between entertainment and art. Previous years have seen acrobats, illusions, snakes, and giants entertain guests.
While the event’s organisers are fond of snakes, they’ve not always been a hit with guests, as the 2012 show saw onlookers running for the lifts believing the snakes had gone rogue and were attacking guests in a coordinated effort.
In reality, there was no danger and no loose snakes, other than the ones that were intentionally stageside. Still, you get the idea; Fire & Ice is an event that throws conventions out and delivers the unexpected.
Not only does this year’s Fire & Ice mark its 20th anniversary, but according to Caselli, it will also be the last of its kind, with future events going in a different direction.
Caselli has said that the show has already used every imaginable illusion, pyrotechnic and special effect. If they are to continue to “blow minds”, it’s time for a change; hence this year will be somewhat of a grand finale.
iGaming 20 years on
From the size of the online industry today, it’s somewhat ironic to think that online enthusiasts were closed out of the official events circuit at one point. Since 2002 when Fire & Ice first launched, the industry has changed phenomenally – from the point of infancy to a now mature market in Europe that’s able to, and in some cases, exceed the land-based industry.
From the first online casino in 1995 to the first real money online games, online payment solutions, mobile casinos, and continuous game and industry innovations, the iGaming sector has exploded, and there’s plenty to celebrate.
The global iGaming market reached 63.53 billion in 2022, with projections showing skyrocketing figures that could see the global market worth 145.6 billion by 2030. The online industry is expected to grow 11-12% annually from 2023-2030. The growth is further sustained by new jurisdictions, like US states joining the legal gambling market.