Sports betting will be featured at this year's G2E in Las Vegas
Online Poker Report

An Insider’s Guide To Attending Global Gaming Expo 2017

G2 2017
Less than a month from now, more than 25,000 people from the casino and gaming world will descend on the Sands Expo in Las Vegas for Global Gaming Expo, or G2E as it’s more commonly known.

Presented by the American Gaming Association, G2E is the industry’s preeminent trade show.

G2E will showcase more than 450 exhibitors and more than 100 education sessions, covering pretty much all the bases of the casino and gaming industry.

The two faces of G2E

Because its attendees have so many different interests and backgrounds in the gaming industry, G2E isn’t a one-size-fits-all expo.

On Tuesday, Oct. 3, the “show” part of G2E begins. The doors to the expansive exhibit hall will open, and tens of thousands of people will spend three days examining everything from the latest slot machines, to next-gen products, to advancements in uniforms, to online payment solutions.

Company plans and new products will be revealed on this showroom floor. But G2E unofficially begins on Monday, Oct. 2, with the first of its four-day education track.

During these days, attendees can listen to experts speak on a wide variety of topics, exchange ideas with other industry minds, and network in the hallways. It’s in this enclave where most of the industry types mill around.

What to expect at G2E

Four days may seem like a long time for a trade show, but the days are a whirlwind. It’s important to maximize the time and plan out the days.

This will by my fourth year at G2E, and while that doesn’t make me a veteran by any stretch of the imagination, I have learned a lot about getting the most out of the experience. Here’s my advice.

Making the most out of a trip to G2E

Plan out your schedule

Mark off your “can’t miss” education seminars (I’ve listed mine below), and plan all of your one-on-one meetings around those. Make sure to schedule your meetings in advance of G2E because everyone else will be busy too. Ad hoc meetings are pretty difficult to arrange.

If your meeting schedule doesn’t completely fill in, take a second look at the seminar schedule to see what other panels may be of interest to you.

Also, save some time to explore the showroom floor. Set aside at least an hour, and probably two or three depending on your interests.

Don’t miss networking opportunities

Throughout G2E, you’ll find yourself waiting in line at the coffee bar, or idly sitting next to someone before a panel begins, or killing five minutes prior to a meeting.

Whenever this happens, introduce yourself to anyone in your general area. You’ll be surprised at who they might be and what insights and perspectives they might have.

Oh, and arm yourself with plenty of business cards to hand out.

A few quick tips

  • If you want to get lunch at one of the restaurants at The Venetian or in the immediate area, I recommend skipping out before the scheduled lunch hour. Otherwise, options will be limited to the snack bar downstairs or the food court.
  • If you take the escalator up a floor from the main area, you’ll find a seldom-used bathroom. This floor also offers a chance for a minute or two of peace and quiet to make a phone call or simply escape the hustle and bustle.
  • Grab all the free trade magazines you can. These things aren’t cheap, and you’ll find a free issue of pretty much every publication on a long display rack and table in the main hallway.

This year’s unmissable sessions

There’s always a theme at G2E. In years past, it’s been social games, millennials and daily fantasy sports. This year it looks like the theme will be sports betting. (Former NBA Commissioner David Stern appeared last year to talk about the issue.)

Monday, Oct. 2 sessions

Most of my can’t-miss sessions will occur on Monday during the iGaming Congress education track.

10 a.m. to 11 a.m. — Another Year Later: iGaming Policy in the US

If you’re an Online Poker Report reader, the second session on Monday is something that will be near and dear to your heart: the online gaming landscape in the United States.

It also features yours truly, so it has that going for it.

Moderator:

  • Gene Johnson, Executive Vice President, Victor Strategies

Speakers:

  • Steve Ruddock, Senior Analyst, PlayNJ.com
  • Chris Krafcik, Research Director North America, GamblingCompliance

11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. — Is It or Isn’t It? iGaming within Sports Betting in the US

The third session on Monday will focus on how and where sports betting will fit into the US online gaming landscape.

Moderator:

  • David Purdum, Gambling Writer, ESPN

Panelists haven’t been listed for this session.

1:45 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. — Gaming Around the World: A Global iGaming Overview

After lunch, the online gaming discussion picks back up with a really strong panel, which will look at the global online gaming market.

Moderator

  • Sue Schneider, Editor-In-Chief, Gaming Law Review

Speakers:

  • Christopher Grove, Managing Director, Eilers & Krejcik Gaming
  • Warwick Bartlett, Chief Executive, Global Betting and Gaming Consultants (GBGC)
  • Rosalind Wade, Managing Director, Asia Gaming Brief

Tuesday, Oct. 3 sessions

8:45 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. — AGA: State of the Industry + Sports Report

Day two kicks off as it does every year: with a keynote address from AGA President and CEO Geoff Freeman.

This year, Freeman has a lot to discuss, as the AGA has been one of the groups leading the charge for legalized sports betting in the US.

3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. — Responsible Gaming Roundtable: A Fresh Take on Next-Gen Programs

Responsible gaming policy is a hot topic in the gaming world, and it’s increasingly become one of my areas of interest.

This session will cover:

  • Developing a deeper understanding of gambling disorders and their impact on the industry;
  • Getting up-to-speed with real-life examples of highly-effective RG programs, including the unique approach that Louisiana has taken, and how other states can emulate;
  • Looking at how CORE publicly assists problem gamblers with a larger focus on the industry; and
  • Hearing how a partnership between the industry and RG providers is a win-win.

*Alternate option at 3:30 p.m. — Sports Betting in Indian Country: Leveraging a Seat at the Table to Protect Tribal Interests

Wednesday, Oct. 4 sessions

10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. — The Height Of Gaming: A Successful Live Esports Event

On Wednesday morning, the AGA’s Will Green will lead a discussion on hosting live esports events at casinos.

Moderator:

  • Will Green, Senior Director of Research, American Gaming Association

Speakers:

  • Kingsley Edwards, VP of Business Development, Unikrn
  • Hai Ng, Co-Founder, Spawn Point North America Inc.

1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. — Pressure Points: How States Are Readying For a Future with Sports Betting

In the afternoon, Green will moderate his second panel of the day, this time examining the efforts in several states to get out in front of sports betting legalization.

Moderator

  • Will Green, Senior Director of Research, American Gaming Association

Speakers:

  • Jamie Hummingbird, Director, Gaming Commission, Cherokee Nation (Oklahoma)
  • Sara Slane, Senior VP of Public Affairs, American Gaming Association

*Alternative option at 1:30 p.m. — The 21st Century Casino: Skill-based Gaming Innovations

Thursday, Oct. 5 sessions

11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. — Trending Tech: AI, VR, and New Developments in Casino Games Design

In the final can’t-miss session on my G2E schedule, Marcus Yoder will talk about the latest products to hit casino floors, as well as what products are in the pipeline.

Speaker:

  • Marcus Yoder, VP of Business Development Regulated Markets, Gamblit Gaming
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Steve Ruddock
- 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.