The third day of the 2015 Global Gaming Expo wound down with two major programs, quite a few breakout seminars, and a few speed sessions. With only the final keynote speech remaining for Thursday, most attendees wrapped their conference experiences on Wednesday. Three full days of seminars, speeches, panels, and discussions delivered more than enough information for most interested parties.
Wednesday kicked off with a roundtable of CEOs, sponsored by the American Gaming Association (AGA). Caesars Entertainment CEO Mark Frissora, Gavin Isaacs of Scientific Games, and Greg Carlin of Rush Street Gaming gathered to address important issues in gaming today.
Issues covered by the panel focused quite a bit on social gaming and how land-based casinos can successfully integrate with gaming apps and online gaming to create a more well-rounded experience for customers. Attracting millennials was an important aspect of that discussion, as was non0gaming amenities that help struggling properties profit when gaming suffers.
The three male CEOs also discussed current legislation in America, including sports betting and the ways in which illegal sports betting hurts casinos. Frissora noted his support of a federal law to ban the illegal sports betting industry, while Carlin expects the industry to be fully legal within 10 years in the United States. Isaacs focused on the consumer protection aspect of legalizing sports betting.
Social and Internet Gaming
One of the early seminars of the day was titled “Making it Mobile: Leveraging Technology in Casino Marketing” and touched on social and online gaming. The notion of the integrated resort is based on combining the land-based experience with social gaming, and the rise of Internet gambling plays a role in that as well. Representatives from SG Interactive and Aristocrat participated in the discussions about how to engage players on mobile devices and relate those experiences to the casino brands.
The “Online Reservation: Tribal View of iGaming” was one of the most popular seminars of the morning, as leaders from Indian Country participated in the discussion about Internet gaming. Victor Rocha of Pechanga.net moderated the panel, which consisted of representatives of the Cherokee Nation, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, Comanche Nation, and Foxwoods.
The topics revolved around federal laws and legislation in various states that could harm tribal casino operators, while other bills offer opportunities for tribes to combine their gaming activities with the Internet options to help their businesses and communities.
With California as one of the states seeking to regulate online poker in the next year or so, the subject has become more important than in past years and produced an enthusiastic discussion, with all noting that Indian tribes must have a seat at any table that involves Indian tribes and gaming.
The largest panel of the afternoon was “Convergence in Action: Video, Social and Emerging Gaming Meet Casinos.” The panelists included Global Gaming Business Publisher Roger Gros and Scientific Games Vice President Allon Englman, as well as representatives from OpenWager and Interblock Gaming. Discussions ranged from melding social gaming into casino brands and land-based opportunities, as well as engaging more millennial customers through mobile and Internet games.
A topic that came up in various panels throughout G2E this year was the notion of skill games versus games of chance. The “Skill-Based Gaming’s Potential for Transforming Slot Play” incorporated a variety of subjects, including online gaming, into the discussion. Gamblit Gaming CEO Eric Meyerhofer moderated the panel, which included Global Gaming Business Editor Frank Legato and New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement Director David Rebuck.
The seminar was spurred by the Nevada legislature approving skill-based games to be implemented into land-based casinos, and Rebuck discussed the possibility of New Jersey doing the same to improve the profitability of Atlantic City casinos.
The games at issue require more skill than most casino slot games and have the potential to draw a new generation of gamers, ones who seek more of a mental challenge. The possibility of merging said games with online gaming can benefit land-based and Internet operators and encourage more pro-gaming legislation in states and potentially on the federal level.