Wednesday,  June 29   –  General Sessions
8 - 9 a.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:  

  • 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

Moderated by Bill Gantz, a Partner with Duane Morris, the panelists include:

  • Chris Soriano, Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer, Penn National Gaming
 9:05 - 9:30 a.m. 

A Path Forward for Gaming
to Partner in Addressing the Substance Abuse Epidemic
New Jersey Casino Control Commission Chairman James T. Plousis

The strictly regulated gaming industry can provide a path forward as a partner in the critical work of addressing the substance abuse epidemic.  From 1976 until 2020, the New Jersey Casino Control Commission was statutorily precluded from granting a casino key employee license to anyone disqualified under the Casino Control Act.  Pursuant to new legislation signed by Governor Phil Murphy, effective January 21, 2020, the Commission may now grant a license to anyone who successfully completes Recovery Court providing life-altering opportunities and career goals.  Bringing a lifelong career in law enforcement, NJ Casino Control Commission Chairman James Plousis has a progressive understanding of how to ensure non-violent former offenders who have changed their lives for the better can maintain that change. His vision and desire to ensure that the Commission remain a key partner and catalyst in promoting the general welfare, health and prosperity of Atlantic City, the Greater Atlantic City region, and the State of New Jersey as a whole is a primary mission of the Commission. In keeping with that pledge, Chairman Plousis has enabled the Commission to become close to the local community and engage in a broader reach of applicants for all available credentials, not just the Commission’s bailiwick of casino key employee licenses. Chairman Plousis has gladly offered support when he was approached by members of the community asking for the Commission’s assistance. For over 45 years, the Commission has been the gold standard for regulation, not just in New Jersey, but around the world. And now, in one of the most tightly regulated jurisdictions, we are able to give deserving people a second chance. Good people make mistakes. In the end, many of these people can end up being excellent employees.

 9:30 - 10:15 a.m.

Embracing the winds of change: the evolving gambling
M&A landscape part 1 (the transactions & their impact) 
As the world rebounds from the effects of the pandemic, gaming’s corporate landscape continues to evolve through mergers and acquisitions, creative transactions like REIT’s and SPAC’s, and other collaborative partnerships that are formed to capitalize on everything from sports betting’s rapid expansion in North America to consolidation in traditional bricks and mortar markets. The first of a two-part discussion on gaming’s ever-changing M&A landscape, this session will begin by discussing recently completed and current M&A transactions like Caesars’ acquisition of William Hill, the Apollo Funds acquisition of the Venetian and the Palazzo from Sands, Crown Resorts’ sale of all its shares to US-based private equity giant The Blackstone Group and Bally Corporation’s acquisition of Gamesys, taking a look at the impact each transaction might have on its individual gaming vertical. Then, the panelists will consider the factors impacting these and future deals, including driving value through consolidation, the presence of activist shareholders and the influx of private equity investment into the industry. Finally, our impressive line-up of investment industry experts will consider what else might be on the horizon, and how these speculative transactions could further impact the shape and future of the industry.

Moderated by Donna More, a Partner with Fox Rothschild, the panelists include:

  • Reza Akhavi, Managing Director, Deutsche Bank Securities - Real Estate, Gaming, Lodging and Leisure
  • Josh Brown, Director, PwC London
  • Mark Harms, Chairman & CEO, Global Leisure Partners, and Joint Managing Partner, Bespoke Capital Partners
  • Jeffrey P. Hendricks, Senior Vice President and Assistant General Counsel, Regulatory and Compliance, Caesars Entertainment
 10:15 – 11 a.m.

Embracing the winds of change:
the evolving gambling M&A landscape part 2: (the challenges)
Critical to every successful gaming M&A transaction is successfully navigating each deal’s regulatory challenges. Building on the topics and transactions discussed in part one, this panel will examine the regulatory issues that have and could arise as gaming’s landscape continues to change. Looking at the wide range of potential regulatory hurdles that could arise including licensing when private equity is involved, increasingly complicated deal structures, anti-competition and anti-trust issues and more, our experts will explore these and other challenges and suggest ways that the industry, its regulators and the investment community can better align to drive industry value, performance and sustainability. 

Moderated by Marc Rubinstein, a Partner with Reid, Rubinstein & Bogatz, the panelists include:

  • Jeff Barbin, Partner, Phelps Dunbar
  • Brian Carney, General Counsel, Litigation & Regulation, Apollo Global Management
  • Michael Kim, Managing Partner, GGH Morowitz
  • Andrew Zarnett, Investment Banking Analyst, Jefferies
11 – 11:30 a.m.

Networking Break

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

International collaboration among regulators:
potential benefits, synergies and challenges 
Navigating the global regulatory landscape is a costly proposition for gaming licensees, as regulations, requirements and procedures can vary greatly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction because of different laws, public perceptions and a myriad of other influences. But, as gaming continues to expand internationally and products and services become more diverse and cross more borders, is it time for the industry’s regulators to work together to streamline and harmonize gaming license applications and product testing requirements? Or, is regulatory internationalization an unattainable goal? Featuring a panel of gaming operator, supplier and advisory experts with deep experience in licensing and regulation, our panel will discuss these issues and more.

Moderated by John Stawyskyj, a Partner with Ashurst, the panelists include: 

  • Marie Jones, Partner, Fox Rothschild
  • Ben Kieckhefer, Member, Nevada Gaming Commission
  • James Maida, President and CEO, Gaming Laboratories International (GLI)
  • Ellen Whittemore, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary, Wynn Resorts
 12:30 - 1:15 p.m.

Lunch

1:15  - 2:15 p.m.

The latest in payments / money solutions 
Over the past year, major strides have been made in how players are allowed to pay for gaming, entertainment and resort services, signaling a radical shift in the way global gaming operators can approach financial transactions. This shift in technological capabilities, along with a favorable shift in regulatory and network environments, is revolutionizing the “money” side of the business with game-changing efficiencies, tighter controls and higher player visibility. This diverse panel will discuss the ups and downs of these advancements, considering potential innovations like mobile wallet solutions that could be applied seamlessly across jurisdictions if regulatory alignment and approval were achieved, the increased availability of cryptocurrency and will look at the potential concerns and hurdles that must be overcome prior to widespread adoption.

Moderated by Mark Hemmerle, Vice President of Gaming and Compliance Counsel for Shift4 Payments, the panelists include:

  • Michael Carter, Chief Compliance Officer, Bittrex
  • George Connors, Senior Vice President - Head of Gaming, Sports, Hotel, Travel and Leisure Solutions, Fiserv
  • Lisa Schiffer, Senior Director for Payments, IGT
  • Sarah Shtylman, Partner, Perkins Coie 
2:15 - 3:30 p.m.

A Call for Industry-wide Alignment on Responsible Gaming 
With so many different types of gaming activities available around the world, gaming’s impact on society and individual players is constantly subject to intense scrutiny, especially when media headlines insist that gambling addiction is on the rise and a proliferation of gaming advertising is only fueling the problem. Within this context, our panel of responsible gaming experts will explore how the industry could best align its efforts to prevent gambling harm, evaluating first the state of RG in North America and elsewhere. Then, they will consider numerous issues that arise when each jurisdiction seems to have its own approach to addressing problem gambling, including whether a national hotline with dedicated resources would be a step in the right direction. Next, the panel will consider questions centered around how innovative technologies like AI can be used to identify and reduce problem gaming, how the industry could work together to prevent underage gambling harm, and whether mobilizing research to mitigate gambling-related harms, including leveraging player data to enhance and expand player protections, would be a worthwhile endeavor. Finally, the group will consider how the industry can collaborate to raise standards and establish best practices locally and internationally and measure success or failure in the short and longer term.

Moderated by Phil O’Shaughnessy, the Vice President of Global Communications, Events & Sustainability for IGT, the panelists include: 

  • Bob Boyle, Senior Manager, Ernst & Young (EY)
  • Samantha Haggerty, Deputy Chief Compliance Officer and Regulatory Affairs Counsel, Penn National Gaming
  • Christine Reilly, Senior Research Director, International Center for Responsible Gaming
  • Mark Vander Linden, Director of Research and Responsible Gaming, Massachusetts Gaming Commission
3:30 - 4 p.m.

Networking Break

4 - 5 p.m.

Breaking down the omnichannel gaming experience:
its benefits, opportunities and challenges 
As casinos were forced to close and adjust their operations during the COVID-19 pandemic, operators had to prioritize connecting with their customers in a different way while keeping the experience seamless. In markets where mobile and online gaming were allowed, online became the primary focus. Other markets had to get creative and invest in technology to allow customers to choose how they interacted with their brand, including contactless service, cashless wagering and marketing. Now as more markets are legalizing and expanding their gaming offerings, integrating various third-party systems, such as sports books and lottery, has presented operators and vendors the challenge of strategizing together to maintain that true seamless omnichannel experience across all verticals. Featuring an impressive selection of industry executives with experience in traditional brick-and-mortar operations, online gaming, sports and lottery, our panel will explain how the omnichannel differs from multi-channel, the benefits it provides and the hurdles they have faced implementing their strategy. The panel will also discuss potential paths forward for the various regulatory roadblocks that exist in implementing a full omnichannel experience for their customers in their jurisdiction.

Moderated by Jessica Maier, Head of Government Relations for Play'n GO, the panelists include: 

  • Andrea Avedillo, Head of Legal, Lazcano Sámano, S.C.
  • Tracey Elkerton, Chief Compliance Officer, Aristocrat
  • Jenny Holaday, President, Encore Boston Harbor
  • Rob Simmelkjaer, Chairman, Connecticut Lottery
  • Kent Young, President - North America, Bragg Gaming


Evening Events    –    Monday General Sessions    –    Tuesday General Sessions