Gaming Laboratories International welcomed more than 200 people from across North America for its 8th annual Regulators Roundtable. The conference, titled “Growing Together,” took place March 10-12 at the South Point Hotel Casino Spa in Las Vegas and featured a range of the industry’s leading experts.
Keynoting the conference was IGT President, Chairman and CEO TJ Matthews, who gave a very frank and informative discussion on the current economic state of the industry, emerging technologies, regulation, and IGT’s support of open standards being developed by the Gaming Standards Association.
Also delivering a keynote address was GLI President and co-founder James Maida, who discussed gaming from a global perspective, with a sharp eye to the current state of the global economy and Obama Administration policies.
In addition to the keynotes, the conference was comprised of two days of enlightening panels. Opening the conference in grand style were MGM Mirage Senior V.P. of Public Affairs Alan Feldman, ARIA Resort & Casino V.P. of Slot Marketing and Operations Michael Volkert and Nevada Gaming Control Board Member Mark Lipparelli. The panel discussed MGM Mirage’s decision to deploy the world’s first completely networked casino at CityCenter, and the regulatory and technical challenges they have overcome.
Next, a blue-ribbon panel of experts discussed emerging technologies and their potential impact on and use in combating problem gaming. Panelists were UNLV Assistant Professor Sociology Dr. Bo Bernhard, IGT Director of Responsible Gaming Connie Jones, Global Cash Access Executive V.P. & General Counsel Katie Lever and GLI General Counsel & Senior Director Government Relations Kevin Mullally.
The first afternoon opened with Maida and GLI Engineering Director Rich LaBrocca and Training Coordinator/Development Representative Michael Capen giving an update on Class II charitable gaming. Next, a spirited discussion on regulating during challenging times was moderated by Larry Gregory, Executive Director of Mississippi Gaming and featured Paul Bullis, Director of Arizona Department of Gaming; Clarence Greeno, Licensing Manager of the Missouri Gaming Commission; and Michael Fries, Chief Legal Counsel of the Illinois Gaming Board.
Day two of the roundtable opened with updates, first on new technologies developed by GLI to assist regulators in their daily jobs, and then a Sunday talk show-style presentation of a legislative update from former NIGC Vice Chairman and Commissioner Tom Foley, former NIGC Commissioner Jana McKeag and from GLI’s Maida and Mullally. Panelists addressed Obama Administration policies toward gaming generally, internet gaming, tribal gaming and the potential fiscal and political impacts of those policies.
A regulators-only panel included Russell W. Doxtdator, Mark Garrow, and Ross Garrow from the St. Regis Mohawk Gaming Commission and moderator Joe Osterloh, Chief Compliance Officer with the Viejas Gaming Commission. The panel discussed the challenges of regulating in times of emerging technology and was highlighted by an informative Q&A session with the audience.
In a spirited and dramatic presentation, Barron Stringfellow of Joseph Eve Certified Public Accountants/Certified Fraud Examiners challenged regulators to be even more vigilant in enforcing Title 31 rules aimed at preventing money laundering, now a $1.3 trillion global business.
The conference ended with an in-depth discussion on internet gaming. World-renowned internet gaming legal experts Gary Ehrlich of Catania Consulting, California State Senator Tom Harman, Michael Lipton of Dickinson Wright LLP and Nevada Gaming Control Board Chairman Dennis Neilander discussed the current state of internet gaming, its future in Washington legislation, and its potential financial and regulatory impact on states, including Constitutional issues of states’ rights.
In addition to the conference sessions, four in-depth training modules were conducted at GLI’s Las Vegas lab. Topics were presented by GLI engineering staff and covered “Advancing Game Verification,” “Introduction to Redemption Kiosks in a Gaming Environment” and “Raising the Understanding of Slot Accounting System Reports.” GLI’s partner Foundstone A Division of McAfee presented a training session titled “Increasing Network Security Knowledge.”