ow did the idea of organizing an event such as Next Generation in Gambling arise?
Having organized events related to new delivery channels for gaming products in other parts of the world, we're seeing that the North American industry is finally beginning to adopt these methods. So we wanted to do a conference where the technologies could be showcased, the compliance questions answered, and the policy issues debated. We've located the experts on these topics in Canada, the US and Mexico to give updates on how these developments are progressing.
What is the aim of Next Generation in Gambling 2008?
The aim is to have an event dedicated specifically to what's happening in this region. We've launched and operated similar events in Europe and Asia and wanted to illustrate how things are progressing in this area.
Why did you decide to organize the event in Montreal, Canada?
We've run events in Montreal for a number of years and have found that it's a great city and the venues are a joy to work with. Plus July in Montreal is a plus for adding on a holiday for those attending if they so choose. Since we set the dates, we found out that the International Fireworks Festival is planned for the last evening of the conference so we'll be looking for a good vantage point for that!
Which are the main topics to be discussed or analyzed in the inaugural conference?
We're looking closely at how gaming operators in North America are beginning to offer new electronic delivery systems. These could be via internet, mobile or other wireless device. Lotteries, racing and casino operators are beginning to explore these mechanisms so they need to get fluent with how the technology works, how they can comply with existing laws, how to market these new services, problem gambling concerns and, of course, the ongoing policy debates in the various jurisdictions.
Who are the main speakers?
Our keynote if former Senator Alfonse D'Amato, Chairman of the Poker Players Alliance, who will be discussing his thoughts on the efforts to legalize online poker in the US.
We're also pleased to have a variety of operators who will be exploring the conference topics. These include representatives from the British Columbia and Nova Scotia Lottery Corporations, the New York City Off Track Betting Corporation, as well as private operators such as Station Casinos and Commerce Casino. We'll also have key technology providers offering their perspectives. Legal experts such as Tony Cabot and Professor Joe Kelly will polish their crystal balls on the future of policy issues. And we'll even be dipping into the virtual worlds with a speaker from Second Life.
What companies will assist to this event and what countries will be represented?
Operators, payment processors, technology providers, attorneys, marketers, regulators, and others who would like to position themselves for the future of gaming in North America would be well-advised to attend and hear from the experts assembled.
Are you planning to establish the event as a fix one in the calendar of the gaming industry with future editions?
Yes, that's the plan. We hope to be announcing dates (May-June '09 timeframe) and the location for this event a bit later in the year.