- Key takeaways from last week’s G2E event in Las Vegas
- Legal sports betting, skill-based gaming and new content among highlights
The Global Gaming Expo has drawn to a close for another year, leaving the casino industry with plenty to get excited about and plenty to consider in the coming year.
From casino security and gambling legality to the gaming technology of tomorrow, this year’s G2E event has been filled with talking points.
Hosted at the Sands Convention Center on the Las Vegas Strip, the annual convention provides the hottest showcase for casino innovation.
Here are this year’s main takeaways from the casino exhibition.
Skill-based games take the floor at G2E
The world’s leading game developers were at the event, unveiling new casino game titles and formats which will be coming to venues in 2017.
All eyes were on Konami, Gamblit and GameCo for much of the weekend, after rumors broke early that each had new skill-based games to show at G2E.
Product leads from each brand joined academics and marketers last week to discuss the future of video game gambling and to reveal details of their new titles.
Steve Aoki’s Neon Dream and Frogger: Get Hoppin’ were among the most intriguing games at the open showcase during the four-day event.
Other top developers who made waves during the week were Scientific Games, Novomatic, Aristocrat and IGT.
Meanwhile, Aristocrat gave conference attendees a look behind the scenes at its thinkBIGGER program, which helps game development innovators get the break they need to bring new content to market. It was also showcasing its new Madonna slot, which it confirmed to Casinopedia would be just the first in a string of releases.
Sports betting market could open with NJ victory
Later this year, New Jersey’s Supreme Court appeal against the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act will open.
The state is challenging a federal law which prohibits legal sports betting, except in the four states which already had an open betting market. New Jersey has overwhelming support from the gaming industry, and has the backing of many politicians and trade groups – plus 20 US states.
If the appeal is successful, New Jersey could introduce sports betting as early as next year, and other states could pursue their own challenges to PASPA as well. At G2E, the American Gaming Association led discussions on legalizing sports betting across the nation. Meanwhile, operators like Betgenius used the event to showcase sportsbook technology that will be key to rolling the industry out on a national scale.
Security talks at conference after shooting event
The atmosphere at the glitzy technology exhibition was understandably muted this year, at least for the first part of the week, after Las Vegas was the scene of a deadly shooting on October 1. Panels and speeches opened with tributes to the victims and to the city, and there were notably less visitors than expected on the first day of the convention – though footfall picked up throughout the week.
There was talk of canceling the event due to the timing of the incident, but organizers decided to go ahead on behalf of the 26,000 visitors and exhibitors planning to attend. “The AGA and Reed Exhibitions will be in constant contact with local and national law enforcement and our host, Las Vegas Sands,” the AGA’s Geoff Freeman told the press before the event opened.
A panel event titled ‘Active Shooter: Violence in the Workplace’ was held on October 5, led by Juan Baca of California’s Sycuan Casino. The talk was aimed at tribal casino operators, but gained far wider interest in the wake of the terrible tragedy. Casino security, especially the security of hotels and entertainment venues, has been in the spotlight since the shooting incident.
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