G2E finds the Vegas spotlight

November 13, 2007 7:23 AM
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This week, G2E 2007 is expected to draw more than 30,000 gaming industry professionals from around the world, most of whom are hopeful of exploring the latest industry innovations and getting a first-hand look at the future-minded ideas that are changing the industry.

G2E is the gaming industry’s largest international trade show and conference, which also features the annual G2E Training & Development Institute and the all-new G2E Leadership Academy.

By the end of last week, pre-registrations were 7.7 percent ahead of 2006 and more than 30,000 industry professionals expected to attend the overall event.

Of those pre-registered, attendees hail from 107 countries around the globe. In addition, 112 international exhibitors from 26 countries outside the United States will feature their products and services on the G2E show floor.

G2E’s expo floor will host more than 750 exhibitors who are expected to showcase the latest products and services for the gaming industry in 330,000 square feet of exhibit space.

The conference sessions form the foundation of G2E as attendees seek to learn and exchange ideas with professionals in a variety of areas.

More than 140 conference sessions will feature expert presenters such as policymakers, industry leaders, celebrity chefs and even the infamous MIT Blackjack Team.

The gaming expo will kick off with a unique ribbon-cutting ceremony on Tuesday morning, featuring the stars of the HBO hit series, The Sopranos. Opening the show floor will be James Gandolfini and Steve Schirripa.

The G2E keynote addresses are always a highlight, and this year is no exception. Starting things off on Tuesday will be Emmy Award-winning sportswriter, radio commentator

and TV correspondent Frank Deford.

The annual State of the Industry panel will follow on Wednesday, with this year’s topic being: Internet Gambling at the Crossroads. Panelists include Alfonse D’Amato, chairman, Poker Players Alliance; Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr., president and CEO of the American Gaming Association; Terry Lanni, chairman and CEO, MGM MIRAGE; Gary Loveman, chairman, president and CEO, Harrah’s Entertainment, Inc.; and Andre Wilsenach, CEO of the Alderney

Gambling Control Commission.

Thursday’s keynote will feature Native Matters: Tribal Gaming Past, Present and Future, with panelists to include Delia M. Carlyle, chairwoman of the Ak-Chin Indian Community; J.R. Mathews, vice chairman of the Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma; Anthony Miranda, chairman of the California Nations Indian Gaming Association; Max B. Osceola, Jr., Hollywood representative for the Seminole Tribe of Florida Tribal Council; and Myra Pearson, chairwoman of the Great Plains Indian Gaming Association; and Ernie Stevens, Jr., chairman of the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA).

One of the most popular features of G2E is the Food & Beverage exhibit, which always features outstanding products and trends from the culinary side of gaming.

The F&B exhibit hall also features a Wine & Spirits Garden sponsored by Southern Wine & Spirits and a host of special events on the Culinary Demonstration Stage, including a Fantasy Chocolate Casino showcasing Mandalay Bay created out of chocolate, Neon Chef culinary demonstrations hosted by chefs from Mohegan Sun, New York-New York Hotel & Casino, Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, and Wynn Las Vegas; and an Ultra Lounge Uniform Fashion Show featuring today’s hottest uniforms.

Casino officials understand the importance of dining and entertainment in support of their properties, thus G2E’s Entertainment Showcase will be well-attended in the Las Vegas Convention Center lobby. Each morning and afternoon a new artist will take the stage to entertain G2E attendees with a variety of music styles including classic symphonic rock, jazz, new country, reggae and more.

Finally, this year’s Signature Series Session will feature The MIT Blackjack Team: How Did They Do It? This special conference session, sponsored by iView, will feature members of the infamous MIT Blackjack team who will explain how the team developed, how the casino game operators put a stop to their card counting enterprise, and how the team’s story has led to a New York Times bestseller, a soon-to-be released major motion picture, and the Blackjack Institute.

Featured speakers at this session include Blackjack Institute co-founders Michael Aponte and David Irvine, investigator Andy Anderson, and Douglas Florence, Sr., CPP — Director, Gaming

Sector, NiceVision.