Tuesday and Wednesday

Atlantic City: Casino Esports Conference debuts its first East Coast edition this week

Reading time 3:04 min

The first Casino Esports Conference on the East Coast is set to make its debut Tuesday and Wednesday at Stockton University, Atlantic City. The conference will also feature the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the Esports Innovation Center at Stockton, located on the Boardwalk as part of the university’s Residential Complex. It follows the format of the yearly CEC Las Vegas.

“I think South Jersey needs esports and esports needs South Jersey,” stated Ari Fox, the producer and CEO of the CEC. “It’s an issue of, how do you build that infrastructure? You start on the business-to-business side by educating entertainment venues and places where people congregate to enjoy competition.”

The conference comes as esports keeps gaining momentum, set to generate $1 billion+ in global revenue this year. The event will tackle a number of issues related to the segment, from how casinos can get involved with the booming vertical to competitive esports at the collegiate and high school level, and the future of esports in Atlantic City, among other issues.

Stockton University

The new Esports Innovation Center at Stockton, to open within the framework of the conference, is described by center Executive Director Andrew Weilgus as a nonprofit that was set up in partnership with the New Jersey Economic Development Authority and Stockton to promote esports in South Jersey and Atlantic City. The ribbon-cutting will be held at 1:15 p.m. Tuesday.

“We want to help define and craft a casino strategy where they can take advantage of this growing boom of esports, both with events that come into Atlantic City, as well as potential wagering opportunities,” Weilgus said. “Those opportunities could be people betting on professional esports, or on a peer-to-peer model where they can offer an experience-based platform, like playing (NFL video game) Madden.”

More than 20 experts are scheduled to speak in the Fannie Lou Hamer Room at the John F. Scarpa Academic Center. Among the lineup of experts to participate are Weilgus; Anthony Gaud, of the Gaud-Hammer Gaming Group and the chair of the Esports Trade Association; and keynote speaker Tim Sullivan, the CEO of the NJEDA.

In an interview earlier this year with Yogonet, the Ari and Ben Fox brothers explained the “techtainment” concept they have coined, and the opportunities it represents for the entire casino industry, claiming that “they haven’t even scratched the surface”. 

Maybe those people who go to our classes will say, we have to hire someone. I have to talk to my HR people and we have to hire someone that knows how to develop and build metaverse spaces. And maybe we have to go through and build a techtainment department,” Ari Fox said.

See the event’s lineup of activities below:

Day one (October 18):

  • 10:00 AM - State of Esports: The current state of esports on all levels and how it relates to the wagering and gambling industries. The current and future of the high school, college, and amateur esports
  • 11:00 AM - Wagering & Esports: Wagering and esports in the Northeast. What are the current tools for bookmakers in the space and how are they used? Peer to Peer / Current laws and regulations
  • 12:00 PM - What's Legal: The State of NJ and its position on the future of Esports from a regulatory perspective and how the state will protect younger players with responsible gaming in mind.
  • 12:45 PM - Keynote ~ Tim Sullivan, CEO of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority
  • 1:15 PM - Lunch Ribbon-cutting Ceremony, located on the Boardwalk 3705, Atlantic City NJ
  • 2:15 PM - Atlantic City's Esport Future: How does Atlantic City and the surrounding area see the future of esports?
  • 3:15 PM - Events and Tournaments: Esports Events and Competitive Esports Wagering. Two very different concepts that are often confused. What are the differences, how can casinos monetize these concepts, and what are the regulatory concerns? 
  • 4:00 PM - Investment in Esports - Concept to Launch: Investment in esports and skill-based games for the gambling industry. What are the regulatory challenges? The importance of technical compliance

Day two (October 19):

  • 10:00 AM - College Esports: College esports, can this be the future of the NCAA or the ECAC Colleges? What curriculum are they building for the esports industry?
  • 11:00 AM - Marketing, Wagering & Esports: Integration of esports and gambling/wagering from a marketing perspective
  • 1:00 PM - Starting your program: Esports/Video Gaming events and why they are important for the future of Atlantic City and other destinations.
  • 2:00 PM - Closing Remarks: Andrew Weilgus, Director, Esports Innovation Center, Stockton University. The Esports Innovation Center - Its mission and plan for the future and closing remarks
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