GiGse 2017 Conference Preview

Previewing The Panels And Seminars At The GiGse 2017 Gaming Conference In San Diego

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Gaming conference season is in full swing. The next event on the calendar is Global iGaming Summit & Expo, more commonly referred to as GiGse.

GiGse 2017 will take place April 26-28 at the San Diego Marriott Marquis Marina.

The three-day conference’s agenda includes networking events, an awards ceremony, and an exhibitor hall.

But the focal points, and two of the main reasons people go to GiGse, are the panel discussions and seminars. These tend to lay down the theme for the entire conference.

GiGse 2017 will focus on the future

With its focus on online gaming, GiGse tends to be one of the more forward-looking conferences. Based on the announced key topics, this will continue to be the case in 2017. Social gaming, esports, skill-based gaming, virtual reality, and next-gen customers are among the highlighted topics.

The theme for GiGse 2017 is “Activate” which will be explored on two separate tracks:

  • Activate 2017 – Monetize gaming now
  • Activate 2027 – Preparing your brand for the future

From the GiGse brochure:

“The purpose of the Activate 2017 track is to give attendees insight into how to monetize digital features, profile and target the current consumer base, acquire land-based consumers and implementing a successful social casino strategy. This track will equip you with relevant tools to commercialize the casino floor today.”

“What technology, innovations and regulatory reforms do you need to prepare your brand for the future? Activate 2027 will allow you to carve your path through the next 10 years of gaming in the USA. Through evolutionary gaming concepts, outside industry input and regulatory debates at the highest level, Activate 2027 will keep your vision in line with future.”

Key Day One sessions (April 26)

Day One of GiGse is a half-day. It will begin with a welcome luncheon followed by the first session of the conference at 2 p.m.

2 p.m. – The Motion: This House Believes: Gaming’s past will destroy its future

There isn’t much in the way of a description for this one. I assume the discussion will focus on revenue generated by traditional casino games opposed to potential revenue from new, cutting-edge products.

Assumptions aside, the single speaker is a good one. I know it will be an interesting and insightful session.


  • Chris Grove, senior advisor, Eilers & Krejcik Gaming

3 p.m. – Talking Heads: Our relationship with eSports – we’re moving in together

The second topic up for discussion on Day One is esports and how casinos can integrate esports events, grab a slice of the estimated $900 million esports economy, and potentially convert esports players to casino players.


4 p.m. – Tribal Innovation: Nurturing our technology in Indian Country

The final session of the shortened Day One will tackle technology in so-called “Indian Country.” Based on the speakers, I’m fairly confident the discussion will focus on social gaming and the opportunities there are for tribal casinos to get involved with some of the emerging technologies in the industry.


  • John Kenefick, vice president and chief information officer, Pechanga Resort & Casino
  • Seth Young, director online gambling, Foxwoods Resort Casino

Key Day Two sessions (April 27)

Day Two of GiGse is the only full day on the three-day schedule. It will also feature two concurrent session tracks: the Activate 2017 track and the Activate 2027 track.

This means attendees will have to decide which sessions to attend. Here are the sessions I recommend.

9:45 a.m. (Activate 2027) – Tracking regulatory updates within skill-based, social, eSports and DFS gaming channels

Regulators see things from an entirely different perspective from the industry and its customers. As such, it’s always a good idea to get a glimpse into their thought processes and priorities.

In this session, the panelists will take a look at the current state-by-state approach and discuss what impact the new Trump administration might have.


11:10 a.m. (Activate 2017) – Tracking social gamers

One of the shorter sessions on the schedule is a 45-minute discussion/presentation on social gamers from a prominent industry analyst and the vice president of interactive gaming at a major casino.

The session will look at key analytics, how to transition social gamers into real-money gamers, and how to make social and land-based gaming complement one another.


11:55 a.m. (Activate 2017) – Monetizing on-premise mobile

Another emerging vertical in the gaming industry is the use of mobile gambling at land-based casinos.

In this session, two panelists will discuss the different ways casinos can integrate mobile gaming into their suite of offerings. The conversation will include what type of content to offer and what the ROI of on-premise mobile might be.


2 p.m. (Activate 2017) – Monetizing virtual sports in a casino

Virtual sports are starting to pop up in several different forms across the US, so it’s not surprising to see a panel at GiGse dedicated to it. No panelists are currently listed for this session. The summary states it will focus on the success of virtual sports in Europe and how US casinos can integrate VS on property.


  • TBD

3 p.m. (Activate 2027) – Integrating the latest casino technology for future guest experience

This forward-looking session will discuss the casinos of the future. Topics will range from the use of cashless single wallet payment systems to combining the online and offline experience.


  • TBD

Day Three sessions (April 28)

Day Three of GiGse is also a half-day of sessions, with the conference wrapping up by lunch hour.

9 a.m. – The Motion: The Big Debate: What obstacles are in the way of legalizing sports betting?

The big issue of the year is sports betting. GiGse’s largest panel (a seven-person affair) will talk about the current trajectory toward legal sports betting in the US.



10 a.m. – The Big Debate: How to create better government cohesion?

In the conference’s penultimate session, lobbyist and consultant Bill Pascrell III will lay out his views on moving gaming legislation forward in the US. Pascrell brings knowledge and experience to the debate, as he played a key role in getting the New Jersey online gambling bill across the finish line.


11 a.m. – Talking Heads: Social gaming innovation, customer engagement and revenue generation

GiGse 2017 finishes up with another discussion on online gambling, this time from the perspective of driving land-based visitation and revenue.


  • Steven Neely, chief marketing officer, Casino Del Sol
  • Seth Young, director online gambling, Foxwoods Resort Casino
  • Saverio Scheri, president and CEO, WhiteSand Gaming
  • Jason Rosenberg, CEO, American iGaming Solutions

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- Steve covers nearly every angle of online poker in his job as a full-time freelance poker writer. His primary focus for OPR is the developing legal and legislative picture for regulated US online poker and gambling.
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