Planet Hollywood Las Vegas will be home to iGaming North America 2013.


It’s clear that states and provinces in the United States and Canada are moving forward to catch up with the some 190 government jurisdictions around the world that regulate Internet gaming in some form.  And, again, the iGaming North America conference promises to be the spot for updates, debate and match-making as suppliers, operators, regulators and policymakers strive to learn and create systems unique to this part of the world.

iGaming North America will be held February 19-21 at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas.  The conference saw attendance jump from 350 to over 600 in 2012.

The event begins with an optional “boot camp” which again offers some basics for those who may be new to the industry or just looking to brush up before the full conference begins. This will offer important background information on the history of the industry and how North America fits into the global business. Comparisons of regulatory structures will be offered so that attendees can contrast how the U.S. is developing against more established jurisdictions.

American Gaming Association President Frank Fahrenkopf will provide the keynote address to kick off the conference.  He’ll be offering his thoughts on the legalization efforts in 2013 and who is likely to benefit as regulation comes to fruition.

The conference begins with several key topics.  One is a Visionaries panel which will include key representatives from various sectors of the i-gaming industry including suppliers, operators, tribal gaming and lottery. 

Given the high level of interest in the New Jersey sports betting lawsuit, another session will cover that topic.  Speakers include:  Joe Asher, CEO of William Hill U.S.; Paul Burns, VP of the Canadian Gaming Association and professional sports bettor “Dink” Denkerson among others.

Paul Lauzon of Ipsos Reid will give an in-depth analysis that compares Canadian and American 18- to 34-year-olds and their thoughts on a number of gaming products, including  lottery, casino and online gaming, as well as other important topics such as social media and technology owned and used.  He’ll also address variances between the age sub-groups (18-24, 25-29, and 30-34) as there are many interesting differences on how they view the ‘fading’ boundaries between lottery, casino and online gambling.

Social gaming is clearly a hot topic in the industry and the panel on how best to monetize it will offer thoughts from leaders in that field. 

Updates from the states will be a key information-sharing session where state legislators from a variety of states with pending i-gaming legalization bills will offer up both the contents of the bills as well their predictions for passage.

As an adjunct to those state updates, the conference will focus on the concept of interstate compacts for Internet poker.  There are clearly only a handful of states which have the critical mass in population to keep their online poker intrastate. This session will explore if there are restrictions that keep this from happening, how these compacts can best be accomplished and look at other models of how this has been done with other gaming products.

One place where this has been done before is in the lottery space and lotteries can’t be ignored when it comes to Internet gaming. So a panel of key lottery providers as well as suppliers will be offering their ideas on where the industry is headed in the states and provinces.

As well, tribal gaming continues to seek out the best options for how they can operate in the i-gaming space.  Leaders will discuss the differing views and how best to seek some consensus for moving forward.

No discussion of Internet gaming is complete without hearing from the consumers. Marco Valerio of Quadjacks has assembled a panel of players, pro and not, to discuss their likes and dislikes when it comes to Internet poker.  It’s sure to be a lively discussion.

SAM Media LLC, which organizes iGaming North America, is an amalgam of industry veterans including gaming attorney Tony Cabot, The Innovation Group’s Steve Rittvo and i-gaming vets Mark Balestra and Sue Schneider. 

They’ve added some new formats like the Rapid Fire session which is sure to keep attendees educated and entertained.  New this year also is Presdo, an online networking tool for attendees so that they can more easily find the folks they seek before, during and after the conference.  Connecting is one of the key benefits of any “face-to-face” event and this tool, designed by a founder of LinkedIn, takes networking to the next level.

Complete conference details and registration information are available at

Staci Columbo Alonso


The speaker list at Gaming Technology Conference, to be held at the Green Valley Ranch in Las Vegas March 12-13, will include top ranking technology and marketing executives from leading casino operators and suppliers nationwide.

“We have already assembled a first-rate line-up of speakers for Gaming Technology Conference, one that reflects a strong industry response to our conference program which focuses on technologies that power the engines of casino marketing,” said Randy Green, group publisher, BNP Media Gaming Group.

Gaming Technology Conference features 18 breakout sessions and three keynote speeches. Session topics include social media strategies, getting connected and staying connected to your guests and mobile and Internet marketing. The program is designed to appeal to technology professionals, and also to marketing decision makers who are responsible for the creation and success of projects, campaigns and programs.

Over 20 speakers are confirmed to date. They include:

• Rick Arpin, SVP Finance, MGM Resorts International
• Julia Carcamo, VP of Brand Marketing, Isle of Capri Casinos, Inc.
• Andrew Cardno, CTO, Bis2
• Staci Columbo Alonso, VP of Global Marketing/CMO, IGT (keynote speaker)
• John Connelly, VP of Business Development, Bally Technologies
• Tom Doyle, VP of Systems Product Management, Bally Technologies
• Aron Ezra, VP of Mobile, Bally Technologies
• Travis Foley, VP Operations, BMM International
• Gaye Gullo, Corporate VP Marketing, Penn National
• Charles Harper, VP of Business Development, Double Down Interactive
• Jeff Hook, Senior EVP, Seminole Gaming
• Ian Hughes, Senior Director, Gaming Laboratories International
• Rob Jacks, CIO, Chickasaw Nation Division of Commerce
• Christy Joiner-Congleton, CEO, STICS
• Bryan Kelly, SVP Technology, Bally Technologies
• Ryan Leeds, VP of Strategy, Masterminds
• Lloyd D. Levenson, Esquire, CEO, Cooper Levenson
• Vince Manfredi, Principal, Manfredi Consulting
• Marc Oppenheimer, CMO, Greenwood Gaming
• Mary Lynn Palenik, Director, Development, Research & Analysis,
    PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
• Matt Ryan, VP of Relationship Marketing, Pinnacle Entertainment
• Ginny Shanks, EVP/CMO, Pinnacle Entertainment
• Brian Shultz, CMO, Boyd Gaming
• Mary Siero, President, Innovative IT, LLC
• Nancy Smith, CEO, Masterminds
• Jeanne-Marie Wilkins, SVP/CIO, Isle of Capri

Complete conference details and registration information are available at