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IN-DEPTH 18 April 2016
Tech entrepreneurs and start-ups to take centre stage at GiGse 2016
The Global iGaming Summit & Expo returns to San Francisco in April, with disruptive technology and the acquisition of millennials high on delegates' priority list
By Gambling Insider

April sees the return of the Global iGaming Summit & Expo, an event that historically attracts the major names in the online gambling world from the US West Coast, Nevada, and further afield. Taking place from 27-29 April, the summit has cemented its reputation as one of the largest i-gaming trade fairs on the planet, and 2016 will be no exception.

The expo will continue with its traditional ethos of connecting North American i-gaming operators and suppliers, but is also aiming to expand its boundaries, with particular focus this year being given to innovative technology developments and the promotion of immersive content to appeal to the millennial generation. Consequently the tech start-up community will have a heavy presence at the expo, as the gaming industry looks to build stronger relationships with digital innovators.

Schedule highlights
Delegates and attendees will have access to three busy days of conference discussions and presentations, led by expert industry insiders. One highlight will be a keynote speech to open the summit on day one, addressing issues surrounding brand creation and expanding a product portfolio to embrace digital transformation and innovation. Other first-day events include a panel session examining whether skill gaming is the answer to making casino content more attractive to non-traditional gamblers, and an exploratory session taking aim at the increasingly key debate centered on monetising fantasy sports in a casino setting.

Topics that will be discussed on day two include upcoming future game content, US i-gaming regulation updates, what casinos will look like in 10 years' time, and the continuing trend of online and offline gaming convergence in 2016. The closing day of the expo will include coverage of tribal interaction with online gaming, the potential for a virtual reality presence on the casino floor and the future of online poker in the US.

The Millennials Summit
A shift towards appeasing millennials is going to remain a key focus for industry pioneers in 2016, a fact that has been recognised by the Global iGaming Summit & Expo organisers. For the first time a Millennials Summit will be held in conjunction with GiGse, allowing delegates and attendees the opportunity to discuss the road ahead with regards to connecting with a new generation of potential gamblers. Running in parallel with GiGse, The Millennial Summit will take place from 27-28 April at the same location as the main expo. Guest speakers will address many of the major issues companies face in attempting to engage with millennials, including innovation in casino environments and immersive game play, the future of skill-based gaming in the gaming industry, and how eSports and daily fantasy sports can transition onto the casino floor. Key speakers at The Millennials Summit include Lea Artis, CEO and chief alchemist at casino innovation specialists Katal Artists Labs, who will open the summit by introducing the issues surrounding millennials, their importance to the gaming industry and the drivers that will see millennial participation in both online and land-based gaming in the future. Later on day one, Star Fantasy Leagues COO Seth Young and PickChamps CEO Leighton Webb will lead a discussion on the potential future role for daily fantasy sports in casinos, and the future operational, commercial and legal obstacles that need to be addressed.

The summit will be closed by Michael Pollock, managing director of Spectrum Gaming Group, who will moderate a shared session with an aim to predict what casinos will look like in 10 years' time. Michael will be joined by Anton Dobrosevic, vice president of gaming at Growth Advisors, and Roberto Coppola, director of global research and consumer insights at YWS Design & Architecture, who together will tackle topics including millennial influence on the potential shift in casino revenue source from gambling to entertainment, and the increased presence of social elements on the gaming floor.

GiGse’s first Millennials Summit won’t just focus on a new generation of potential gaming industry customers, but also recognise the up and comers who have impacted the world of gambling from the inside at the Top 10 under 30 show. The two-hour presentation will pay tribute to the brightest and best young pioneers making waves in gaming through innovation and leadership.

KEY GIGSE FACTS
When? 27-29 April 2016.
Where? San Francisco Marriott Marquis, located in downtown San Francisco, CA. GiGse 2016 delegates are eligible for a discounted room rate throughout the event.

TAKING THE MIC
GiGse 2016’s agenda is once again packed with a spectrum of speakers from inside and outside the gaming world who will be leading discussions on many of the challenges and opportunities facing the industry today. Here are just some of the faces visitors and delegates can expect to see at the podium.

Victor Rocha, Owner & Editor, Pechanga.net
Award-winning entrepreneur and editor Victor Rocha is one of tribal gaming’s most recognisable faces, having been at the forefront of the industry for over 16 years. A leading source in tribal gaming news and politics, Rocha boasts The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development’s 2015 Tribal Gaming Visionary Award and an American Gaming Association Lifetime Achievement Award amongst his numerous industry accolades.

Joe Asher, CEO, William Hill USA
Lawyer and long-time sports-betting industry insider Joe Asher was appointed CEO of William Hill US in 2012, when his start-up Brandywine Bookmaking was acquired by the sports-betting giant. At GiGse, Asher will be presenting a progress report on the regulatory status of sports betting across the USA, the current size of both the legal and illegal sports-betting markets, and the future relationship between sports betting and daily fantasy sports.

George Zaloom, CEO, Las Vegas Whaling
Las Vegas Whaling CEO George Zaloom has extensive experience in the technology industry, including running the distribution service at GoPlay, which created software that enabled land-based casino operators to embed social games into their websites. Zaloom will be drawing on his experience as founder of an LA-based tech company to moderate a panel discussion examining how gaming companies should work with the technology industry to create innovative new products, including nurturing relations and investing in tech start-ups.

Michael Cohen, Senior Vice President, Corporate Development, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, Caesars Interactive Entertainment
Caesars Interactive Entertainment’s Michael Cohen will contribute to a daily fantasy sports state regulation update alongside lawyers Dan Wallach of Becker & Poliakoff and Marc Dunbar from Jones and Walker, as well as gambling industry analyst and senior consultant at Eilers Research, Chris Grove. The panel will discuss the controversial fluxes in the current status of state regulation with regards to DFS, and how the potential new regulation on the horizon will impact the industry.
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