Anyone who’s anyone in the gambling industry could be found in Las Vegas this week; that’s where the Global Gaming Expo has been taking place, a meeting of 25,000 attendees who are all interested in seeing where the worldwide gambling market will be headed over the next year.
Easing Up on Regulations Major Focus
At the conference – known as G2E – there have been a number of major issues discussed. American Gaming Association leader Geoff Freeman noted that his biggest priority will be to push state regulators to unify and lighten up the regulations on the casino industry in the United States, in order to make it easier for companies to innovate throughout the country.
“Our industry isn’t allowed to update because of the regulatory environment,” Freeman said. “That’s something we need to address. We want to be regulated. However, there are places that it crosses the line and really affects innovation and makes us less competitive. Each new state that comes on feels like they have to turn the screws a little bit tighter than the one before.”
But before any of the many important issues facing the industry could get attention, the conference was kicked off with a spectacular opening ceremony and all the glitz and glamour that the world of gambling has to offer.
Entertainment a Priority
After Freeman’s opening remarks to welcome attendees, a comedy group performed – though according to a report from the Associated Press, that didn’t get much of a reaction from the crowd. Perhaps more attention-grabbing were performers dressed like characters from popular franchises like Avatar and The Walking Dead.
There were also major displays devoted to a number of properties that will be appearing as new games in casinos in the months to come. There were giant plastic raptors on the floor to promote a new Jurassic Park themed game, while showgirls dressed as zombies helped promote games based on The Walking Dead. A giant David Copperfield was seen over one corner of the convention space.
Entertainment was also a major part of this year’s expo, as casinos are increasingly looking for revenue streams outside of the gaming floor. This is particularly important for casinos in Vegas, which see clubs, restaurants and shows as viable ways to make the city stand out from other gambling destinations like Macau.
Perhaps the most pressing issue of all will be online gambling. There are hundreds of manufacturers that came to showcase internet gambling technology, both for the local Nevada market and for other jurisdictions around the world.
One major issue for intrastate gambling is ensuring that only players located in the states in question can gamble on sites. That’s why geo-location has been a major point of discussion at G2E this year, along with age verification technology to ensure that only adults over 21 years old can play on the sites.
“[There are] a lot of best practices around the world on how you can properly roll out or regulate an online gambling environment for customers that’s safe and secure,” said Holly Wetzel, vice president of communications for the AGA. “So, that’s what the discussion is centering around here.”