Tilman Fertitta CEO of Landry's Inc.
Tilman Fertitta, CEO and owner of Landry’s, Inc.
Geoff Freeman, president and CEO, American Gaming Association
Geoff Freeman, president and CEO, American Gaming Association

The 21st annual Southern Gaming Summit, to be held May 6-8 at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum in Biloxi, Miss., will feature keynote addresses from Tilman Fertitta, CEO and sole owner, Landry’s, Inc., and Geoff Freeman, president and CEO, American Gaming Association.

Fertitta will deliver the opening keynote address on May 7, the first full day of conference sessions. Freeman will close the conference with a keynote speech on May 8. The two speakers will headline an education program composed of more than 25 breakout sessions and workshops. “We are honored to have two of the

industry’s newest and most vital leaders deliver keynote presentations at the Southern Gaming Summit,” said Larry Gregory, executive director, Mississippi Gaming and Hospitality Association, which co-produces the event with BNP Media Gaming Group. “Tilman Fertitta and Landry’s have brought unique expertise and fresh

investment capital to key gaming markets across the country, including Biloxi and Lake Charles. Geoff Freeman, in less than a year, has already established a leadership agenda around the goal of promoting and broadening the appeal of our industry, which is so important to gaming operators across the southern region.”

Fertitta, winner of Casino Journal’s 2013 Executive of the Year Award, is the founder and architect of Landry’s, which operates about 425 full-service restaurants under 30 different brand names such as Chart House, McCormick & Schmick’s, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. and Morton’s; non-gaming luxury hotels; four casinos (with a fifth set to open in Lake Charles next year); and luxury destinations such as the Kemah Boardwalk near Houston and the Galveston Pleasure Pier. All told, Landry’s was projected to generate over $2.7 billion in 2013. The company entered the gaming industry in 2005 when it purchased two Nevada-based Golden Nugget properties, in downtown Las Vegas and Laughlin. Since 2011 it has planted the Nugget flag in Atlantic City, Biloxi, and Lake Charles, acquiring properties in each market in 2011, 2012 and 2013 respectively.

Freeman, who replaced AGA’s long-time founding chairman Frank Fahrenkopf last June, is the leading advocate for the commercial gaming industry and is responsible for positioning the association to address regulatory, political and educational challenges and opportunities, and for championing gaming’s value as a driver of innovation and economic growth. Prior to joining the AGA, Freeman was COO and executive vice president for the U.S. Travel Association, the nation’s leading voice for increasing travel to and within the United States. Under his strategic leadership, the travel industry enacted the Travel Promotion Act, derailed an assault on corporate meetings and events, and began the march to building an army of one million employee activists. During his tenure, U.S. Travel doubled its resources.

The Windance Country Club in Gulfport will host the Southern Gaming Summit golf tournament.

The Windance Country Club in Gulfport will host the Southern Gaming Summit golf tournament.

These keynotes bookend a two-day Southern Gaming Summit conference program featuring 16 breakout sessions focused on a broad range of issues of interest to the commercial and tribal gaming sectors, nine of which will offer qualified attendees CLE and CPE continuing education credits. The Summit’s companion show, BingoWorld Conference & Expo Bingo, will offer 12 breakout sessions, plus its popular Bingo U workshops. All Southern Gaming Summit & Bingo World conference attendees will have access to the full program.

There will also be plenty of networking opportunities available throughout the event, with the return of the popular opening day Global Gaming Women Luncheon at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on May 6. Opening day will also feature a golf tournament at Windance Country Club, and a welcome reception that same night at Golden Nugget. An opening night party at the IP Casino Resort follows on May 7.

 Full details on every aspect of the show, including how to register, are available at www.sgsummit.com