hat expectations do you have for this year’s event?
We’re planning on having over 600+ attendees at iGNA in March. The event is obviously now picking up more interest since we’ve gone from theoretical to reality for i-gaming now.
What’s the event’s main goal?
The main goal is to offer good information and debate about the issues facing the industry. An airing of various points of view will be offered on where i-gaming is headed and where it should be headed. And we’ve factored in a fair amount of education from industry veterans so that those looking to get into the business can learn from the experiences of others who have been at this for a while.
This is the 4th annual conference, how has the event evolved?
Well, as I mentioned, with i-gaming now live in a variety of provinces and states in North America, we have real experiences to draw from to see how the industry compares here to other parts of the world. What are the markets like here? What are the challenges for things like payment processing, marketing and other concerns? These are the topics that iGNA will explore.
Why is iGaming important?
I-Gaming is a natural extension of both public and private sector’s gaming products. It’s a newer delivery system that will cater to the next generation of gamblers.
What do you think about Atlantic City and the Delaware Legislation?
With 3 states now live for casino gaming and even more live for internet lottery products, we’ll finally have some real data to explore rather than just speculation. Each of the states and provinces have varying models so it will be a good opportunity for new jurisdictions to see how they’re working. We’re pleased to be able to have regulators, operators, supplier and consumers discuss, from their perspectives how it’s working. We have a special debrief on New Jersey on the program to get into detail on how that’s worked so far.
Las Vegas sands & Caesars leaders will debate the future of online gaming in the US as a part of the Visionaries Session. These executives have differing views; what do you expect from this debate? What do hope it will achieve?
There’s a battle gearing up with very different views on both the potential as well as the perceived dangers of i-gaming. Is there adequate technology to counter these concerns? What are the regulatory requirements necessary to govern these issues? This sort of debate needs to take place openly and we’re fortunate to have Mitch Garber and Andy Abboud be willing to air those differences in a forum so that people can make their own decisions.
Recently, you announced a strategic marketing partnership with the American Gaming Association. What can you tell us about this? How will you work together?
We’re fortunate, this year, to have added American Gaming Association as well as the National Association of State and Provincial Lotteries and the Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers. I think it illustrates that both the land-based gaming industry AND the lotteries realize that this is their future. They will be making their membership aware of this educational resource and are participating with us on various aspects of the program. We’re very pleased to be working with them as well as the other supporting associations.
How do you see iGaming’s future in US?
It’s clear that, with the state by state roll-out of legalization, it’s finally moving forward. It will likely not be as fast as many would like it. And, frankly, we have unique issues such as geo-location and payment processing issues that haven’t been as evident in other parts of the world. But it’s moving forward….finally!
In your opinion, what is the next state to regulate gaming?
That’s a little hard to say and it depends on whether you’re speaking of lottery or private gaming. Clearly, there are states that are watching New Jersey (in particular) very closely to see how it goes there. But states such as Pennsylvania, Illinois, New York, Massachusetts are definitely among those who have it on their radar.
How realistic is federal regulation looking?
Personally, I’ve never felt that there was much hope for legalization on the federal level given the lack of progress at getting anything done in Congress in recent years. Given the recent push by some for another prohibition bill; it may be back in debate but not necessarily in a way that will foster regulation. Stay tuned but don’t hold your breath.