Sheldon Adelson and Steve Wynn Will Deliver Keynotes at G2E

Posted By Steve Ruddock on August 4, 2014

The next gathering of the iGaming world (we’re kind of like “Deadheads” in that respect, following around our favorite band wherever they go) will occur in Las Vegas in late September for the Global Gaming Expo.

One of the biggest events jotted down into the daily planners of gaming industry types is the annual G2E (Global Gaming Expo) conference, which will take place from September 30 through October 2 this time around, and will be held at the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. This will mark the 14th G2E conference.

G2E is a combination of networking, vendors, and speakers that gives attendees a chance to see what’s new in the gaming sector and where the industry is headed, as well as check out the latest products.

Along with all of the vendors, employees, and attendees, G2E 2014 will feature a massive number of speakers who will address a number of different issues, but perhaps none will attract more ears than two of the conference’s keynote speakers, Sheldon Adelson and Steve Wynn.

Wynn and Adelson will bookend the conference, speaking on September 30th and October 2nd respectively. The pair represent two of the most successful casino operators of all time, and both are currently at the top of the gaming food chain thanks to their Macau interests.

However, the most noteworthy comments they make will likely be on a part of the industry neither are in favor of.

With both men having come out against online gambling (to varying degrees) their remarks will be of particular interest to the attendees in the iGaming world, as U.S. iGaming expansion is shaping up to be the issue of our time.

Steve Wynn

Steve Wynn, the Chairman of the Board and CEO of Wynn Resorts Limited, will effectively closeout Day 1 of G2E 2014 when he delivers the keynote address on Tuesday, September 30, from 4:30 pm-5:30 pm in the Titian Ballroom. Only seminar delegates will be able to attend – which means you need a ticket.

Wynn, who has held several positions on online gambling over the years, is currently against online gambling expansion – although a more accurate description of his current stance is that “he isn’t for it,” rather than being against it.

Wynn hasn’t put any money into fighting online gambling expansion that we know off, and has remained relatively quiet on online gambling since his remarks in February that perked up so many ears.

Before his current opposition came to light, Wynn Resorts was working on setting up an online gambling site as late as January of this year, and the company did receive a transactional waiver from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement; ironically they received it just after Wynn changed his stance on the issue, which has left the company’s iGaming plans in limbo at the moment.

Wynn is not opposed to online gambling per se, he simply doesn’t see it as a viable business model at present and I don’t expect him to focus any significant portion of his remarks to iGaming.

Sheldon Adelson

Sheldon Adelson, the Chairman and CEO of Las Vegas Sands Corp, will deliver his highly anticipated keynote on the final day of G2E, when he addresses what will certainly be a packed room on Thursday, October 2nd, from 11AM to Noon in the Titian Ballroom. Again, only seminar delegates will be able to attend.

Unlike Steve Wynn, Sheldon Adelson is 100% against online gambling and will cite any and every reason imaginable to demonstrate his distaste for the burgeoning industry.

So, while Steve Wynn is unlikely to mention online gambling except in passing, I would be surprised if Adelson didn’t devote a significant amount of his remarks to railing against the industry, although it may be a more tepid delivery than we are used to seeing from Adelson and his allies.

It will be interesting to see if Adelson tones down his usual rhetoric considering most of the crowd will likely be at least sympathetic to online gambling, not to mention far more educated on the topic. Some of Adelson’s previous remarks (such as his Bloomberg TV interview) and the arguments used by his cronies like Andy Abboud will almost certainly be met with audible groans and eye rolls from the G2E crowd.

Other keynote addresses

In addition to Wynn and Adelson there will also be several other keynote addresses at G2E:

State of the Industry: The Operators on Tuesday, September 30, from 9 AM to 10 AM in the Titian Ballroom:

  • James Allen, CEO of Seminole Gaming/Chairman of Hard Rock International
  • James Murren, Chairman & CEO of MGM Resorts International

State of the Industry: The Manufacturers on Wednesday, October 1, from 9 AM to 10 AM in the Titian Ballroom:

  • Jamie O’Dell, CEO & Managing Director of Aristocrat Leisure, Ltd.
  • Patti Hart, CEO of International Game Technology
  • Pat Ramsey, CEO of Multimedia Games

For more information on G2E 2014, and to find out how to attend you can visit their website at GlobalGamingExpo.com.

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Steve Ruddock

Steve is a well-recognized voice in the regulated U.S. online gambling industry. He writes for a number of online and print publications including OnlinePokerReport.com, USA Today, and others, with a focus on the legal market.

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