The first day of Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas is always a moment for learning, excitement, expectations and the hurry from exhibitors to have everything ready for the big comercial opening.
Yesterday, Tuesday, October, 14th, was a very interesting day in terms of info. Besides, lots of companies were available for pre-show meetings. There were four education tracks, each one with its own important perspective: Gaming Leadership, IAGA Best Practices Institute, iGaming Congress and Tribal Gaming.
The latter was a panel discussion titled ‘Tribal Leadership Council: The Next Five Years for Tribal Gaming’, including Ernie Stevens Jr. (Chairman of the National Indian Gaming Association in Washington, D.C.); Melanie Benjamin (CEO of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe in Minnesota); and Mark Macarro (Tribal Chairman of the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians), with moderation of Victor Rocha, president of Victor Strategies and owner and editor of Pechanga.net. All agreed that Native American tribes must be cautious about the nationwide effervescence to legalize sports betting because of the potential threat to their casinos and the economic development they provide.
Besides, in the morning, G2E’s top leadership team, Korbi Carrison (Event Director, G2E) and Allie Barth (VP American Gaming Association), provided a sneak peek at emerging trends and what to expect at this year’s event. About the show, Barth said: “The American Gaming Association is excited to once again host the Global Gaming Expo. We look forward to welcoming industry professionals from around the globe to Las Vegas this week for the world’s premier international gaming trade show and educational program. As new business opportunities emerge for the gaming-entertainment industry, this year’s expo will center around the industry’s latest technologies, newest products and insightful education focused on the hottest topics, including marketing and analytics, optimizing guest service and experience, growth opportunities in eSports, integrated resort development and sports betting.”
About 27,000 attendees (nearly 14 percent from outside the U.S.) are expected for this event. Today, Tuesday, October, 15th, there will be important keynotes. AGA CEO Bill Miller will discuss the state of gaming. In anticipation, Gaming & Media received essential figures to understand current United States industry’s scene. AGA communicated that, with the spread of legal, regulated sports betting, 43 states plus the District of Columbia will soon have some form of casino gaming or sports betting. In business terms, AGA said, gaming revenue for the U.S. casino industry (commercial and tribal) reached an all-time high of US$75.4 billion last year. Besids, more than US$11 billion has been wagered in legal markets since the the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was overturned, generating US$726 million in gaming revenue and US$115 million in tax revenue to state and local governments. New Jersey posted the largest handle of any state for the second straight month, taking US$294 million in wagers compared to US$288 million for Nevada. The Garden State’s betting handle has now topped the Silver State in three of the last four months.
Another relevant conference for today will be the one from former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a vocal advocate for legal sports betting, who will share how New Jersey led the charge to challenge the constitutionality of PASPA, which prompted the U.S. Supreme Court to review and overturn the federal ban.
General education sessions will include meeting from Global Gaming Women and Sports Betting Symposium, and consider issues such as Gaming Leadership, Marketing and Analytics, Non-Gaming Growth Opportunities, Optimizing Gaming Operations, Security, Surveillance, & Compliance, and Tribal Gaming. Moreover, now in its fourth year, the Innovation Lab will feature TED-talk-style presentations on forward-thinking topics such as virtual reality in gaming, how AI is being used on casino floors, modernizing payment platforms, and the relationship between neural systems and sports betting.
Finally, nearly 400 gaming exhibitors, including 90 debutants, will present thousands of products. In moments of mergers between big casino operators, slot machine and systems manufacturers, as well as vendors of casino products, will use G2E to unveil new game titles, technology advancements and other goods. They are eager to predict how the current casino consolidation and acquisition market will affect their business models in 2020. Of course, these dynamic and intense activities will be accompanied with moments of networking, cocktails and after event parties.