Thursday, May 3
8:30 am – 9:00 am
In Geoff Freeman’s five years at the AGA helm, he has spread the good news about gaming far and wide in a positive and proactive campaign. At this session, Freeman returns to the message that has resonated all across the nation over the past two years. Repeal the sports betting ban at the national level and let states decide whether sports betting is appropriate in their jurisdictions. Freeman will outline why Congress should act to reverse the ban but warns that without proper tax rates and regulation, even legal sports betting could fail.
9:00 am – 10:30 am
Presidents Forum: Southern Leaders
With national issues like sports betting, AML compliance, and regulatory reform, leaders from the Mississippi and Louisiana casinos will gather to discuss those issues and state-specific challenges and opportunities. The gaming industry has large economic impacts in each of those states and the health of the industry should be uppermost in the minds of the legislators and local officials. At this session hear from the leaders about how the industry can grow and prosper in this region.
Speakers: Justin Carter, General Manager, Hollywood Casino Tunica, Resorts Casino Tunica and 1st Jackpot Casino Tunica; Chett Harrison, General Manager, Golden Nugget; Duncan McKenzie, General Manager, IP Casino Resort; Dan Real,
10:30 am – 11:00 am
Networking Break in Exhibit Hall
11:00 am – 12:00pm
Gaming in Georgia: The Next Steps
Georgia is one of the few remaining states that is under-penetrated by the casino industry and there is a lot of attention being paid to the state, particularly the Atlanta metropolitan market. But many hurdles remain. At this session, learn what the state is considering, what might be feasible in the short term, and why some of the largest casino corporations are eyeing Georgia as it considers legalizing casino gaming.
Moderator: Ryan Soultz, Director of Governmental Affairs, Boyd Gaming Corporation
Speakers: Chris Anulewicz, Partner, Balch & Bingham; Brandon Beach, Senator, Georgia State Senate; Ron Stephens, Representative, Georgia House of Representatives
11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Sports Betting: Challenges and Opportunities
The decision of the U.S. Supreme Court on the New Jersey challenge to the national sports betting ban will have big implications for the gaming industry. Either way, it’s likely Congress will address the issue to prevent billions of dollars being poured into illegal sports betting annually. At this session, experts will explain how the states could react, why the tax rate and regulations surrounding a legal sports betting industry are crucial to success, and how individual casinos could take advantage of a legal sports betting industry.
Moderator: Dan Wallach, Shareholder, Becker & Poliakoff
Speakers: Joe Asher, CEO, William Hill US; Laila Mintas, Deputy President, Sportradar US; Thomas B. Shepherd III, Partner, Jones Walker; Seth Young, Executive Director of Online Gaming, Foxwoods Casino Resort
12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
Global Gaming Women Keynote Luncheon
More attention is being paid to the role of women in the gaming industry, as it has become clear that the opportunities for advancement haven’t always been available. Global Gaming Women was formed to provide a mentor service to up-and-coming young executives, spread information about advancement, and create circles of women who support each other. The keynote speaker will be Phyliss Anderson, the Tribal Chief for the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, the first woman leader of that tribe. Anderson’s credentials include serving as chairwoman of the Choctaw Resort Development Enterprise board, which operates the tribe’s tribal gaming operations.
1:30 pm – 2:30 pm
Tribal Gaming in the South: Robust Growth
Some of the most powerful and forward-thinking gaming tribes are located in the South. These tribes have often stepped beyond the reservation to compete in the commercial gaming world and have developed serious non-gaming amenities so their properties are often full-blown integrated resorts. At this session, learn for tribal leaders from the Choctaws, the Poarch tribe, the Seminoles, the North Carolina Cherokees, and Louisiana tribes about how gaming has helped their tribes and what the future holds for tribal gaming in the South.
1:30 pm – 2:30 pm
Big Data: Using Numbers to Increase Revenue & Loyalty
Casinos are great at gathering information via players clubs, but not so great when it comes to interpreting that data. New methods of analytics have allowed casino resorts to get the best rates for their rooms, and now it’s extending to the casino floor to determine how they play, when they plan, and why they play. At this session, experts will reveal how your casino can drill down into your data to deliver more customers and create more loyalty.
Moderator: Brian Wyman, Principal, Innovation Analytics
Speakers: Angie Dobney, VP Casino & Gaming Sales, Rainmaker; Daniel Lofton, Director of Casino Services, Duetto; Jordan Whitten, Director of Industry Consulting, VizExplorer
2:30 pm – 3:30 pm
Slots & Skill Games: Making It Work
The casino slot market has been flat or slightly declining for several years now. As generations change, slot executives are concerned that millennials will not make the transition as their parents and grandparents did. At this session, experts will examine how the slot floor has changed, whether the fears about millennials and gambling are rational and how slot play might evolve in the near future. Also considered will be the rise of skill games and how they could be the next big thing on the slot floor.
Moderator: Roger Gros, Publisher, Global Gaming Business Magazine
Speakers: Mike Bean, President, The Hartmann Group; Caroline Byne, Account Executive, Gamblit; Phil Bernard, Vice President, Eilers & Krejcik Gaming; Adam West, VP of Casino Operations, Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Hotel
2:30 pm – 3:30 pm
Working Together: Enlightened Regulation in America
The regulatory environment in the United States is changing. While integrity will never be sacrificed, the relationship between industry and regulator doesn’t have to be always contentious. In this fast-changing world of integrated resorts, interactive gaming, legal sports betting, strict financial disclosures and more, it’s prudent for regulators and operators to work together. At this session, the leading regulators from several states will discuss these issues and share their ideas about today’s gaming industry.
Moderator: Richard Schuetz, Regulatory Consultant
Speakers: Jonodev Chaudhuri, Chairman, National Indian Gaming Commission; Allen Godfrey, Executive Director, Mississippi Gaming Commission; Ronnie Jones, Chairman, Louisiana Gaming Control Board
3:30 pm – 4:00 pm
Networking Break in Exhibit Hall
4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Regional Consolidation: What Does It Mean to the Industry?
The mergers of Isle of Capri and Eldorado, Penn and Pinnacle (and Boyd) and several smaller consolidations make the regional markets a growth segment of the industry. What is next for the smaller, stand-alone casinos, and what will this mean for players and communities? Analysts and CEOs of the merged companies will discuss the strength of the regional markets, the strategies behind the mergers and how these changes will impact the smaller gaming companies and standalone casinos.
Moderator: Andrew Zarnett, Managing Director, Duetsche Bank
Speakers: Bill Clifford, Sr. VP of Finance & CFO, Gaming and Leisure Properties; Frank Fantini, CEO, Fantini Research; Keith Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer, Boyd Gaming Corporation; Tim Wilmott, CEO, Penn National Gaming;
5:00 pm – 6:30 pm
6:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Mississippi Gaming Hall of Fame Gala
In the inaugural ceremony marking the launch of the Mississippi Gaming Hall of Fame, some of the people responsible for bringing the progressive style of casino development and gaming regulation to the Magnolia State will be the first inductees. It’s a “can’t miss” opportunity to be there for the history making announcement and the chance to rub elbows with the greats of Mississippi gaming.