ECGC Comes At Interesting Time For Gaming Industry

Online Gaming Growth, Expansion Will Be Focus At East Coast Gaming Congress

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The East Coast Gaming Congress & iGaming Institute conference later this month comes at an interesting time for gaming in the Mid-Atlantic states, with a confluence of developments and legislation that could impact the industry in the region.

The conference will take place May 27-28 at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

New Jersey and Delaware are in the second year of regulated iGaming, while the former is fighting a legal battle to allow sports betting. Pennsylvania is the latest state to seriously consider iGaming. New York has a sports betting bill in the legislature and has given out four new casino licenses.

It all means the conference should be of great interest to anyone in the gaming space with interests in Eastern states.

Summary of the 2015 ECGC agenda

Here’s a look at some of the topics that will be addressed at the conference, according to the official website:

  • iGaming at 1.5 – Baby Steps?: A discussion of legalized Internet gambling in New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada after the first year-and-a-half of operations.
  • Challenges & Opportunities: A look at where commercial iGaming in the United States stands, what hurdles it still needs to overcome, and its potential for the future.
  • Roadmap for the Future: A panel will examine the “East Coast experience” of gaming and what other jurisdictions can learn from their past and present. Also, a look at federal legislation possibilities and the potential for sports betting at the state level.
  • New Jersey: How Should We Respond?: Examining the changing landscape of New Jersey gaming and competition from surrounding states.
  • Sports & Gaming: Daily fantasy sports and sports betting will be discussed in-depth.
  • The Mid-Atlantic: Approaching Saturation?: Competition is fierce among the states for gaming revenue. The “arms race” in the region will be the focus, as well as if there is still room for gaming to grow.
  • The Next Generation of Gambling: A panel will look at the future of casino games, and the impact of mobile and other technologies on brick-and-mortar gaming establishments in the next decade.
  • Cybersecurity & Compliance: Speakers will examine the intersection of gaming and security in today’s digital world.
  • Wall Street Panel: Experts from Wall Street take a stab at predicting the future of the gaming industry.

Speaker highlights

A variety of speakers from around the gaming industry will be appearing at the conference. Geoff Freeman, President and CEO of the American Gaming Association, will deliver a speech during lunch on the second day of the event.

Other highlights include:

  • Yaniv Sherman, Senior Vice President, Head of Business Development, 888 Holdings; he will give the introductory keynote speech.
  • Tom Ballance, President and COO, Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa.
  • Raymond Lesniak, state senator from New Jersey.
  • David Rebuck, Director, NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement.
  • Tim Wilmott, President & Chief Executive Officer, Penn National Gaming; interestingly, Penn National will be buying the Tropicana in Las Vegas.

A full listing of all events, panels and speakers can be found here.

The big topics

It seems likely that Pennsylvania’s consideration of online gaming and New Jersey’s sports betting push will be major topics of discussion throughout the event.

Pennsylvania currently has four different proposed bills dealing with iGaming: three that would regulate it, and another that would ban it. With a population much larger than New Jersey, PA joins California as the two biggest markets seriously considering online poker and iGaming. A bill to allow fantasy sports at casinos in the state is also on tap.

New Jersey is currently fighting to allow sports betting at gaming establishments in the state. If New Jersey is allowed to conduct sports betting after the case is resolved, that could set off a domino effect for other states with casinos and gaming interests looking at similar legislation.

An analysis of the current iGaming successes and failures in New Jersey and Delaware is also sure to be a hot topic of discussion.

Photo by World Poker Tour used under license CC BY-NC 2.0.

- Dustin Gouker has been a sports journalist for more than 15 years, working as a reporter, editor and designer -- including stops at The Washington Post and the D.C. Examiner. He has played poker recreationally for his entire adult life and has written about poker since 2008.
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