Wednesday,  June 17   –  General Sessions
 9 a.m. 

Welcome & Introduction to Keynote Speaker

 9:05 – 9:30 a.m.

Keynote Speaker

 9:30 – 10:30 a.m.

The Regulation of Gambling on the Island of Ireland,
North, South, East and West.
This panel will consider the regulation of gambling in Ireland, including the proposed gambling legislative reforms in the Republic of Ireland and the 2020 consultation on gambling regulation in Northern Ireland, both topics having recently been the subject of heated political debate. What is driving change, what are the potential challenges, will change happen, what are the fundamental principles of establishing any new regulator and what would be the likely impact upon industry?

10:30 – 11 a.m. Networking Break

11 a.m.– 12 p.m.

Embracing the Winds of Change: the Evolving Gambling M&A Landscape
Casino operators are increasingly turning to mergers and acquisitions, business combinations and financial markets to compensate for slowing growth and increased regional competition, and many are including real estate specific transactions to facilitate transactions to drive value quickly. In the most recent example of large-scale consolidation, Eldorado Resorts paid US$17.3 billion to acquire its larger rival Caesars Entertainment Corp, divesting of two smaller properties in its own portfolio to better position the company’s balance sheet for the Caesars transaction. And, MGM Resorts International recently completed the sale of multiple properties to its REIT and the Blackstone private equity group after receiving increased pressure from its shareholders to improve its leverage and increase liquidity. With an impressive line-up of investment industry experts who play critical roles in gambling M&A activity, this session will take an overall look at M&A and consolidation in global gambling, online and land-based, discussing the transactions that are currently happening and speculating on what might happen next. They will also discuss some of the regulatory aspects that arise during M&A transactions, including the influx of private equity investment into the industry and how their financial models are viewed by regulators.

 12 - 1  p.m. Lunch
1  - 2 p.m.

US Sports Betting Expansion – a Home Run or Bunt?
It has been two years since the repeal of PASPA opened the door for US sports betting expansion, and so much has happened since then. US state regulators have faced new licensing challenges to accommodate new product and service providers, creating confusion and uncertainty for existing license holders. Certain US states have varied in their approaches to offering retail and online sports betting options, creating concerns about unfair advantage being given to retail locations. And, each US state has varied in what allowable events and wagers are included, creating customer confusion. With a cross section of sports betting service providers and operators, new regulators and advisors, our panel will consider the successes and challenges of the expansion so far, discuss what is likely to happen this year, and address the challenges that still lie ahead. They will also take a critical look at how US states have tackled advertising, responsible gambling and KYC as part of the rollouts, and evaluate and contrast their approach to that of the British Gambling Commission and other European regulators.

2 - 3 p.m.

Politics, Community and Culture: When Enforcement and Compliance Collide with Industry Perception and Public Confidence
Industry standards continue internationally to be raised, but public confidence in the industry continues to fall – how can the industry and regulators together tackle this conundrum. 

Is the gambling industry really under-performing when it comes to compliance? Or, are regulators unduly influenced by political pressure and coverage by the media and meting out disproportionate punishments? Featuring a diverse panel that will provide a 360 degree industry view, this session will candidly consider whether the industry is as bad as it is perceived in certain quarters and its own worst enemy or is it a scapegoat for societal problems, and how negative perceptions are re-in forced by widely publicised regulatory sanctions and ever increasing restrictions on doing business. 

3 – 3:30 p.m. Networking Break

3:30 – 4:30 p.m

Diversity and Inclusion:
Overcoming the Hurdles and Expanding the Voices at the Table
Diversity and inclusion are hot topics for global businesses and that is for good reason. Businesses that are more diverse and inclusive are more innovative, have enhanced profitability productivity and have a more positive organizational culture. While the business case is clear, hurdles to realising the benefits of diversity are alive and well. Those hurdles include: 

  • Perceptions that diversity and inclusion efforts focus solely on women, people of color and other underrepresented groups.
  • Defining diversity and inclusion as a human resources issue and minimizing the connections to products, players and communities.
  • Discomfort conversations about diversity and inclusion.

Our panelists will engage in a frank discussion about how to overcome the hurdles and create successful diversity and inclusion initiatives that involve the entire organization.

4:30 - 5:30 p.m.

Ethics and Professional Responsibility Considerations for
Licensing Official Data and Intellectual Property in the United States 
The expansion of sports betting across the nation continues, featuring different requirements and regulations concerning the use of official data - or none - from state to state.  League owners continue to press for regulatory requirements to base betting on official data and must also be expected to assert monopoly power in the marketplace.  In-House and Outside Counsel involved in gambling transactions and licensing of official data or intellectual property must be advised of potentially applicable ethical rules and professional responsibility considerations related to  licensing or denying access to official data as well as intellectual property transactions and enforcement.  We will review topics of great importance to the legal practitioner and business decision-making:  

  • current regulatory requirements pertaining to use and licensing of official data in different states
  • potential professional responsibility and ethical requirements of in-house and external gaming attorneys related to compliance with state regulatory requirements pertaining to official data
  • current antitrust law as it may apply to licensing of official data and access
  • what is “price-fixing” and how to avoid price-fixing liabilities
  • the ethics of reaching exclusive partnerships for official data while excluding others
  • potential professional responsibility and ethical requirements of in-house and external gaming attorneys related to alleged monopolistic violations
  • impact of intellectual property (patents, trademark and copyright) as justification for exclusive practices and enforcement of ownership of official data and data distribution systems and methods
  • potential professional responsibility and ethical requirements of in-house and external attorneys to third parties related to negotiations in licensing, settlements and other transactions (eg. duty of candor, material non-disclosures, misrepresentations) to third party in negotiations)
  • potential professional responsibility and ethical requirements of in-house and external attorneys related to enforcing intellectual property rights, pre-suit investigations
  • potential professional responsibility defenses and responses to patent infringement claims by NPE (non-practicing entity) / patent troll claims. 

Evening Events    –    Tuesday General Sessions    –    Thursday General Sessions