As the international gaming industry prepares to gather this month in Las Vegas for Global Gaming Expo (G2E) 2003, I can’t think of a better time for the commercial and Native American gaming communities to come together to chart a course for the future of our industry. We share common ground on many issues and face similar challenges in adjusting to the new economic reality in which we live and work.
Now in its third year, G2E has established itself as the must-attend event for gaming executives from every facet of the industry. Scheduled for Sept. 16-18 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, this year’s event is bigger and better than ever, set to arm gaming executives with the tools necessary to successfully compete in the modern entertainment marketplace. From the newest products and technologies that generate business on the casino floor to the innovative management strategies that build successful behind-the-scenes operations, G2E will showcase the modern developments that are driving the future of the gaming industry.
G2E 2003 will feature more than 600 exhibiting suppliers and 13,000 attendees from around the globe. G2E’s attendee profile includes thousands of senior-level executives from the Indian Gaming community, including representatives from Agua Caliente Casino, Casino Apache, Foxwoods, Oneida Indian Nation, Mohegan Sun, Paiute Palace Casino, Pechanga Resort & Casino, Pueblo of Sandia, San Miguel Casino and more.
G2E’s conference program is keeping pace with the growing number of issues facing the modern gaming executive, focusing on the topics common across all sectors of the industry. Conference tracks include Bingo; Finance and Money; Gaming Education and Development; Law and Regulation; Operations; Racinos and Lottery; Security and Surveillance; Slot Operations; and Research and Public Policy.
In addition to more than 100 general sessions applicable to the entire industry, a host of sessions tailored for the Native American gaming community, moderated by the leaders who have helped shape the industry, are slated for this year’s event. Sessions include Native American Gaming: Regulatory and Technology Security Issues and Trends; The California Complex: The Laboratory for Tribal Government Gaming; Courts and Agencies: American Indian Legal Update; Tribal Opportunities: Economic Development Beyond Gaming; Indian Nation Sovereignty and Tribal Government Gaming; Reservation Regulation: The Evolving Tribal Commission; and more.
The G2E Training & Development Institute, scheduled for Sept. 15, the day before the official opening of the trade show and conference, will supplement the conference, offering attendees a plethora of opportunities to enhance the profitability of their gaming business through intensive training in areas such as casino operations, slot operations, gaming education and security and surveillance issues.
As anyone who has attended G2E in the past knows, the opportunities provided at the event reach far beyond the popular conference sessions. G2E’s vibrant trade show floor gives attendees a sneak peek at the products and services that will drive the future of the global gaming industry. Whether you come to try out the new games that will drive business on the casino floor or to find out about other industries developing exciting new synergies with gaming, G2E gives attendees the opportunity to experience the future of the gaming industry today.
This year, the latest products and innovations in property security and surveillance take center stage. Guarding the safety of customers and preserving the integrity of operations have always been priorities for the entire gaming industry, but events of the past two years have raised the bar for security standards, increasing the need for newer, more innovative security products and services. Sponsored by ASIS International, this year’s Security and Surveillance Pavilion will feature 7,000 square feet of exhibit space displaying such products as CCTV, facial recognition software, multiplexers, alarms, dice, voucher bags and other products. Many leading worldwide security companies will be represented, including ADT, Bosch Security Systems, Ademco, Diebold and ASSAABLOY.
A separate conference track will feature leaders from the industry discussing a variety of issues and trends within the security and surveillance field, including innovations in casino security, techniques to improve surveillance, strategies to prevent fraud, legal issues surrounding surveillance and more. Featured speakers include Alfonso “Al” Martinez-Fonts, Jr., assistant secretary for private sector coordination at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Martinez-Fonts works to direct, instruct and advise the private sector on how to adjust to new security regulations and realities. His session will examine ways the gaming industry is responding to security challenges and how federal legislation and regulation will affect the future of gaming.
G2E 2003 will also feature dedicated pavilions and conference sessions focusing on two industry growth areas: bingo and interactive gaming. Introduced in 2002, G2E’s Bingo Pavilion will feature the world’s leading manufacturers and suppliers of bingo paper, Class II electronic games, daubers, printed tickets and other products related to the bingo and charitable gaming industries. The Interactive Gaming Pavilion, which also debuted in 2002, will highlight the premier online gaming suppliers of software and Web site products and technologies.
In addition to the conference and trade show, G2E will feature a host of special events. The opening day keynote address features one of our generation’s most accomplished journalists, Pulitzer Prize-winner George Will. Will’s column has been syndicated by The Washington Post since 1974. Today, it appears in twice weekly in just under 500 newspapers throughout the United States and Europe.
On the second day of G2E, Emmy Award-winning talk-show host Larry King will moderate the annual State of the Industry panel discussion, featuring a panel of industry experts including G. Thomas Baker, president and CEO of International Game Technology; Gary Loveman, president and CEO of Harrah’s Entertainment, Inc.; Ernie Stevens, chairman of the National Indian Gaming Association; and myself. The final keynote of G2E will feature MSNBC pollster Frank Luntz as host of a lively interactive exchange between some of the world’s foremost gaming experts and the American people. Topics will range from the role of gaming in the post-Sept. 11 culture, the challenges of problem gambling and the casino of the future.
These activities are just the beginning of the exciting opportunities that await the Native American gaming community at G2E 2003. The event will be the largest, most comprehensive information interchange on the global gaming industry to date, and the networking and educational opportunities will be unparalleled. I look forward to sharing in these exciting experiences with you as we join forces to shape the future of the gaming world