G2E takes run at racinos

Aug 27, 2002 8:39 AM

Worldwide casino expansion, corporate ethics and the future of racing are among the agenda highlights at the upcoming Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas.

The sprawling Sept. 17-19 conference at the Las Vegas Convention Center already has more than 575 confirmed exhibitors, with more than 100 conference sessions led by pre-eminent leaders in their fields, said American Gaming Association chief Frank Fahrenkopf Jr.

Some of the topics covered in this year’s conference include "UK Vision: The New Rules and What They Mean"; "Corporate Governance: Learning the Enron Lessons"; "Protecting Ideas: Intellectual Property in the Casino Industry"; "The Big Games: Their Design, Impact and Future"; "Regulation and Reform: Evolving Tribal Gaming Commissions"; "Accept or Reject: Prospects for Internet Gambling"; and "Global Games: 21st Century Slots."

One of the hottest panel discussions will focus on horse racing. With gaming-oriented "racinos" often determining the future of the sport in many jurisdictions, industry experts will explore how much is too much, and where the traditional racing fans stands in this changing world.

"The Future of Racing: Is Integration of the Gaming Industry the Answer?" will be moderated by MGM Mirage Chairman Terry Lanni, with panelists Peter Carlino of Penn National Gaming, Jim McAlpine of Magna Entertainment, Mark Wilson of TVG, Steven Christ of the Daily Racing Form and Jason Ader of Bear Stearns.

That panel will be preceded by another titled "Slots and Racetracks: Perfect Together?" There, experts will compare and contrast track and casino customers, how the casino and racing environments can be customized, and the latest proposals for expansion.

Two other panels also take a run around the track. "Deregulating Racing: How it Would Benefit Everyone" outlines how cooperation between racing a gaming ventures can produce positive results. "The Next Threshold: Telephone and Internet Wagering," led by Jay Hickey of the American Horse Council and featuring a panel that includes Station Casinos’ technology guru Tony Fontaine, examines the "crisis confronting the racing industry’’ and focuses on the legal status and security of at-home betting.

Key conference speakers will include Lanni, Boyd Gaming President Don Snyder, Park Place Entertainment Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer Kim Sinatra, National Indian Gaming Association Executive Director Mark Van Norman, CBS Marketwatch correspondent William Spain, Harrah’s Entertainment President and COO Gary Loveman, and Asociacion Latinoamericana de Juegos de Azar (ALAJA) President Martin Canepa, to name a few.

Alan Feldman, senior vice president of public affairs for MGM Mirage said G2E offers the ideal forum for the gaming industry.

"It is incumbent upon executives in our industry to clearly articulate our industry’s policy needs. Ours is a unique situation because of the long history of misinformation, mystery and innuendo that has proceeded us," said Feldman, a speaker on the panel "Debunking the Myths: Public Policy and the Casino Executive," moderated by Fahrenkopf.

Panelists include Jim Perry, president and CEO of Argosy Gaming, and Jan Jones, senior vice president of communications at Harrah’s Entertainment.

American Indian gaming expert Kate Spilde will moderate a conference on tribal gaming management. Spilde is a senior research associate at the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development, an organization that studies social and economic development on American Indian reservations.

Panelists include Anthony Miranda, president of the Pechanga Development Corp.; James Kawahara, attorney at Holland and Knight law firm; and Bill Buffalo, vice president and associate general counsel at Harrah’s Entertainment.

"Over the past 10 years, tribal governments have become experts in the gaming industry and have valuable knowledge and experiences that they can share at G2E," said Spilde. "There is a shift toward self-management in tribal governmental gaming as tribes develop their own expertise and it is this trend that will be highlighted in this panel."

Some of the other topics being discussed that affect all segments of the gaming industry include security and surveillance trends; Internet operations; casino operations; emerging gaming jurisdictions; responsible gaming; and gaming education. These broad topics are bound to generate both new ideas and new ways of looking at long-standing issues as well as offer crucial insight into the future of gaming.