SiGMA sat down with two local, iGaming industry heavyweights to talk technology, industry progression, and the birth of Afilexion Alliance. Reuben Portanier and Dr. Ian Gauci are founders of an advisory, legal and corporate services advisory with a focus on technology, and the iGaming sector
“Over the years the online gaming sector has evolved and transformed. It is fast-paced and and extremely competitive. My advice is to get prepared, have a plan, and follow your dream.” These are the wise words of advice from Reuben Portanier, one founder of iGaming advisory form, Afilexion Alliance.
Portanier served as the CEO of the Malta Gaming Authority for almost five years before making the switch from regulator to advisor, and setting up Avviza Advisory in 2014, which focussed on assisting Tier 1, mid-tier, and start up iGaming companies in finding their feet.
It was through his work with Avviza that he crossed professional paths with Dr Ian Gauci. A technology lawyer and a partner at GTG Advocates, Dr Gauci got involved in the gaming industry back in 2007. Coming from a strong technological, legal, and regulatory background, the synchronicity between the work that Reuben, and Ian were working on was soon noticed.
“Our journey together kicked off when Avviza and GTG Advocates happened to be service the same clients on related matters. With every interaction, we had on a common client, we realised that our approach was similar and that the cross fertilisation of our experience worked very well for our clients.”
Then, over time and through the acknowledgement that a tighter collaboration would enable them to provide a complete 360-degree service to clients – something that few other forms were able to do – Afilexion Alliance was born as a partnership between Avviza Advisory and GTG Advocates. Through this partnership and meeting of minds Afilexion are able to offer one of the most comprehensive advisory and support services portfolio for regulators, gaming operators, platform providers, affiliates, and other iGaming service providers.
With its two founders coming from such prestigious backgrounds, there is no doubt that the knowledge and expertise that Afilexion Alliance provide is second to none. But what about the future? In such a fast-paced industry, where do Ian and Reuben see the sector heading?
Reuben jumps straight in with “blockchain is the future”. “We have geared up for it and so will the industry,” he says.
Ian, who was recently appointed by Government as the Legal Expert on the National Blockchain Taskforce, adds, “I am one of the founding members of Blockchain Malta and I invest a substantial part of my life on technology related issues, including Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies. I believe that both Blockchain and cryptocurrencies will be the main lynchpin of the digital economy and that Malta should be an international hub for it.”
As for the future of Afilexion Alliance, Dr. Gauci speaks with a great deal of enthusiasm, “We have some very interesting developments in our advisory around areas such as fintech.”