The expectations of the gaming industry for how the traditional event in Las Vegas, United States, would take place in the online version were fulfilled after a first day full of news and interesting interaction and learning options for the executives who visited the G2E Virtual platform.
Throughout yesterday, the fair organized by Reed Exhibitions and the American Gaming Association (AGA, the entity that celebrates its 25th anniversary this year) offered conferences, access to exhibitors’ products, and opportunities to directly connect with peers of the industry.
The event opened with relevant keynote by Bill Miller, president and CEO, AGA, where he expressed his optimism for the gaming industry’s recovery. About the Association research on USA gaming, he said that now, more than ever, Americans are viewing this sector positively. Fifty percent of American adults have a favorable impression of the casino industry, up five points in two years. Additionally, 9 in 10 (89%) adults view gambling as an acceptable form of entertainment. Miller also remarked AGA’s three priorities to unite the industry and aid gaming’s recovery: 1) Building Champions on Capitol Hill (working alongside the Congressional Gaming Caucus to advance the industry’s legislative goals); 2) Payments Modernization (to give consumers new tools to gamble responsibly); and 3) Growing the Legal Sports Betting Market (supporting the expansion of legal, regulated sports betting through responsible gaming and strong regulatory frameworks).
There was another keynote presentation: Public policy and a pandemic: a conversation with Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (Democrat, from Nevada). Some of the most attractive panels of the day where the following: Tribal gaming and the pandemic recovery: what does the future hold?; The fan of the future? How leagues are capitalizing on sports betting through partnerships; How payments modernization advances responsible gaming; Online gaming: is your state next?; Vendor solution session: how casinos are managing mandatory training during COVID-19; and New frontiers: expanding sports betting to new states and creating a meaningful consumer experience. While Global Gaming Women organization presented two conferences: The C-suite in a sea of change; and Industry-focused networking: Women in gaming.
Besides, yesterday afternoon, the Global Gaming Awards (powered by Gambling Insider in association with G2E Vegas & independently awarded by KPMG Isle of Man) were delivered to the best companies and products in the sector. In this seventh edition, the big winners were Aristocrat, with three awards (Land-Based Product of the Year: MarsX Cabinet; Land-Based Industry Supplier of the Year, and Slot of the Year: Dollar Storm), and Scientific Games, chosen as Digital Product of the Year: OpenGaming, and Product Innovation of the Year: Contactless Gaming Solution. Hector Fernandez, President, Americas, Aristocrat, was one of the top executives who appeared on screen to thank for the awards. For his part, Jason Robins, CEO and co-founder, DraftKings, was selected as American Executive of the Year. Other winning firms were Evolution (Digital Industry Supplier of the Year), Rush Street Interactive (Digital Operator of the Year), Seminole Gaming (Land-Based Operator of the Year), MGM Resorts International (Customer Loyalty Program of the Year), Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino (Property of the Year, for The Guitar Hotel), and GeoComply (Responsible Business of the Year).
Today, G2E Virtual will close this edition with more insightful discussions of its educational program. There will be a keynote of CEOs debating on leadership and the future of gaming, and different conferences about digital payments, sports betting, tribal gaming, the increasing role of women in the sector, gaming during the pandemic, the use of marketing data, operators’ guide to omnichannel systems and diversity and inclusion in gaming companies.