Show organizers expect +26,000 visitors to attend this year's exhibition

G2E 2017 off to a good start

Presented by Scientific Games, Dave and Buster's Chairman and CEO Stephen King will address G2E attendees through an onstage interview conducted by Carol Roth today at 9 a.m.
United States
Reading time 4:33 min
Organized by Reed Exhibitions and the American Gaming Association (AGA), the 2017 edition of the Global Gaming Expo officially opened its doors Tuesday, bringing together leading casino operators, gaming manufacturers and key industry decision makers from all continents.

Highlights of the first day included:

AGA State of the Industry with Geoff Freeman and Ed Davis

Geoff Freeman, president and CEO of the American Gaming Association, met with Ed Davis, the former Boston police commissioner who responded to the Boston Marathon bombing, in lieu of his annual State of the Industry address Tuesday morning. Freeman opened the keynote with a moment of silence and gratitude for first responders, medical professionals and acts of heroism. He noted the industry is strongest when it comes together. Davis was reminded of the Boston Marathon bombing following Sunday night's tragedy. He praised the rapid response units amidst the chaos, a result of having practice and a plan already put in place.

When asked what lessons he learned in Boston that would apply to Las Vegas, Davis emphasized caring for officers, first responders and civilians who may experience PTSD and long-term injuries and trauma. Additionally, Davis encouraged Las Vegas to give, whether that means donating blood or giving money to the Red Cross. For a community to put itself back together following a tragedy, Davis concluded it takes leadership, preparation and planning. He observed the city is "Las Vegas Strong."

Gaming Leaders: View from the Top

Geoff Freeman, president and CEO of the American Gaming Association, welcomed Michael D. Rumbolz, Robert McGhee and Craig Clark to discuss the state of the gaming industry. All of the leaders agreed that the industry is quite strong, ending last year with record high revenue. They went on to discuss sports betting and how it is an important way the gaming industry can continue to grow. A key takeaway from the session is that the industry needs to unite. They discussed how important it is for all states and industries to unify their policies to create a more seamless process and system of laws.

Innovation Lab - UNLV Easy Jack & Casino Dominoes

UNLV's International Gaming Institute delivered exciting gaming concepts from two of its brightest students. Matthew Stream drew inspiration from his background as a dealer to breathe a new life into the classic game of Blackjack. Easy Jack deals one card and has a goal of players reaching 11, rather than the traditional 21. Matthew's game is currently on its trial run at Harrah's Las Vegas Hotel and Casino. Harold Moret's Casino Dominoes blends cards with traditional dominoes to craft an innovative game that is engaging and fun.

The New Demographics and What They Mean for Your Business, Today & Tomorrow

Marketing and advertising specialist Kelly McDonald discussed how demographics in America are changing racially, socially, fiscally,
geographically and religiously. McDonald also touched on how companies can appeal to the changing customer base, made up of minorities and millennials who relate to brands and images that look like them. Additionally, McDonald identified millennial needs. When it comes to recruiting and retaining young talent, millennials are interested in demonstrated commitment to diversity. Within casinos, millennials seek social gaming concepts, such as Craps.

Konami All-Star Tournament

Leading designer and manufacturer of slot machines and casino management systems, Konami Gaming Inc., welcomed Las Vegas's most talented gamers for a high-octane musical battle of wits with the skill-based, new-to-market Beat Square game. Four teams of two players fought in the All-Star tournament, where gamers were encouraged to hit target points and match the beat of top hits like "24K Magic" by Bruno Mars and "Ain't It Fun" by Paramore. Pulling ahead of the pack from the very first round, teammates from "Double Trouble" were named tournament champions.

Scientific Games SVP Talks Game of Thrones

While emphasizing the importance of being prepared when dealing with factors affecting casino revenue, Scientific Games SVP Roger Snow drew a parallel with the hit television series Game of Thrones. Though non-gaming amenities like concerts and on-site entertainment have seen a dramatic rise in popularity, Snow insists casino executives are quietly building their "resistance" by offering more gaming content and a wider selection of gaming platforms. Snow also encouraged industry leaders to continue to develop and test new and exciting gaming opportunities.

Esports Media Panel

Esports has become a popular topic at G2E and top leaders in the industry gathered during a media panel to discuss the rise in esports. Gaming experts Jason Cribbs, VP of sales for JCM Global; Kingsley Edwards, VP of development for Unikrn; Jud Hannigan, CEO of Allied Esports International; and Lovell Walker, executive director of Interactive Gaming Development at MGM Resorts International delved into the latest explorations in esports. The panel concluded that Las Vegas will become a hub for this new community, as Luxor soon will debut the largest championship tournament arena. Hundreds of thousands of gamers are expected to travel to Las Vegas annually, and this will be the first demographic where hospitality experiences are tailored to the players' interests.

JCM Esports Tournament

JCM Global hosted a live esports invitational at its booth this afternoon. With a $2,500 prize, 15 participants competed in a Street
Fighter V tournament, put on in collaboration with JCM Global and Panel Pro Display Technology. Competitors included local professional esports team, Echo Fox, with footage broadcast on a towering, high-res, LCD screen. As many casinos are retrofitting for esports, the tournament showed the capabilities of how the vibrant display looks in an esports realm.

Today's schedule

PLAY: Dave and Buster's Path to Accelerated Growth 9:00 - 10:00 a.m.
Special Events Stage at the Integrated Resort Experience

Presented By: Scientific Games, Dave and Buster's Chairman and CEO Stephen King will address G2E attendees through an onstage interview conducted by Carol Roth. The discussion will illustrate how upon taking the reins from its original founders in 2006, King repositioned the Dave and Buster's brand and grew the enterprise into one of the largest operators of high-volume entertainment and dining facilities across the U.S. and Canada.

Everi Celebrity TournEvent of Charities 11:00 - 11:45 a.m. Booth #1116

Everi will be hosting its annual TournEvent for charities, which sees local celebrities and media face off in the ultimate slot machine
challenge benefiting the winner's charity of choice. Celebrity appearances will include Penn & Teller, Tony Hsieh, Robin Leach, Terry
Fator, Johnny Kats, Carrot Top and more.

Cintas Fashion Show 1:00 p.m. Special Events Stage at the Integrated Resort Experience

Don't miss the eye-popping Cintas Ultra Fashion Show- catch a glimpse of some of the hottest uniforms from leading casinos, ultra-lounges and nightclubs.

Everi - Penn & Teller Booth Signing 1:00 p.m. Booth #1116

AGEM Awards 4:00 p.m. Booth #3700

AGEM created the Jen Halle Memorial Award Honoring Excellence in Commercial Gaming Professionalism and the Peter Mead Memorial Award Honoring Excellence in Gaming Media and Communications, which will be announced on Monday with the photo opportunity with the winners taking place at 4:00 PM on Wednesday, October 4.

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