If you’re a journalist who wants to cover the automotive industry, you live in Detroit.
If you want to cover gaming, you live in Las Vegas.
Not Atlantic City. Not Mashantucket, Conn., home of the world’s largest casino. Not even Macau.
Today, gaming bigwigs from all over the world will descend on the Sands Expo Center for the four-day Global Gaming Expo. Industry movers and shakers will talk about iGaming, hospitality, surveillance and security, gambling addiction, gaming regulation and a host of other topics. There’s also a trade show for manufacturers to show off the latest casino products.
Representatives of the American Gaming Association, which puts on G2E every year, say the trade show will be the biggest since 2008, with close to 500 exhibitors spread over five football fields of space.
I saw my first casino loyalty card, linked progressive slot machine and mobile gaming tablet at G2E.
But the most fascinating part of the conference are the panel discussions. Internet gambling is expected to be the hot topic this year.
Is there any hope of seeing federal legislation govern Internet poker or will the state-by-state strategy press on? Will interstate compacts be drafted to enable Internet poker play across state lines? Nevada is moving slowly in that direction. Will New Jersey’s bold push to pursue additional online games propel that state ahead or keep it further behind?
Will Las Vegas Sands Chairman Sheldon Adelson press to block online wagering?
Where does sports wagering fit in? Will New Jersey be allowed to establish sports books or will the muscle of the NFL and NCAA block it?
Will anybody call out the NFL for sponsoring its own gambling games through fantasy football? (You don’t really think fantasy football is a game of skill, do you?)
Will casino and state lottery directors get on the same page for developing online play?
Where in the world is the next big gambling jurisdiction? Japan? Vietnam? Florida?
Will slot machine and table game manufacturers continue to roll out themed machines or will new innovations take over?
Will Macau’s plan to ban smoking on certain casino floors catch on here?
And most importantly, is Las Vegas back? That’s the actual title of one of the panel discussions at G2E this year. I can’t wait to hear what the panelists conclude.