The Online Gambling Fan’s Guide To The 2015 East Coast Gaming Congress

Written By Steve Ruddock on May 5, 2015 - Last Updated on May 6, 2015

On May 27 and 28, the Borgata Hotel and Casino will play host to the 19th annual East Coast Gaming Congress and iGaming Institute.

The program is jam-packed with gaming gurus from across the globe. These speakers will be flying in to Atlantic City to offer insights and opinions on the current state and future of gaming, up and down the Atlantic seaboard and beyond.

The ECGC covers every aspect of gaming from sports betting, to brick and mortar casinos, to potential gaming expansion of all shapes and sizes. But since adding the iGaming Institute to their title, a large part of the ECGC agenda now centers around iGaming.

2015 program heavy on online gambling

Wednesday May 27 is devoted entirely to the topic of online gaming.

Several panels will explore the current state of regulated New Jersey online gaming as well as in Delaware, along with important lessons learned along the way.

There will also be several panels looking into the future, at states like Pennsylvania where online gaming expansion talks are gaining momentum.

Can’t miss panels

For iGaming aficionados the following panels are must-see TV.

iGaming Institute Keynote Address

Wednesday from 2:05 – 2:30

Speakers: Yaniv Sherman, Senior Vice President, Head of Business Development, 888 Holdings.

888 is perhaps the leading company in regulated online gaming in the United States, so expect Sherman’s speech to be upbeat, informed, and to set the tone for the entire day.

iGaming at 1.5: baby steps?

Wednesday 2:30 – 3:30

Following the keynote you’ll want to make a beeline to the first panel discussion of the day.

A stacked panel led by moderator Eugene Johnson, the Senior Vice President of Spectrum Gaming, will discuss where regulated online gambling stands in Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey, as all three markets now have a full year and a half or more under their belts.

Here are the panelists:

  • Tom Ballance, President and COO, Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa
  • Mario Galea, Founder and CEO, Random Consulting
  • Vernon Kirk, Director, Delaware State Lottery
  • Jim Ryan, Chief Executive Officer, Pala Interactive
  • Thomas Winter, Vice President, Online Gaming, Landry’s Inc./Golden Nugget

Challenges and Opportunities

Wednesday 3:45 – 4:45

Pechanga.net Owner/Editor Victor Rocha will moderate the second panel of the day, which will focus on the challenges and possibilities in the new world of regulated online gambling slowly spreading across the United States.

This panel of innovators and entrepreneurs will likely have a different flavor than the first panel, which was loaded with CEOs representing operators in the space and the regulators that oversee them. Expect a grander discussion, and a more hearty debate, from this group of panelists:

  • Jon Friedberg, President & CEO, Overlay Gaming
  • Joe Pappano, CEO, Vantiv Gaming Solutions
  • Kim Little Sutherland, Director, Identity Management, Lexis Nexis
  • Dana Takrudtong, Vice President of Sales, GameAccount Network

Roadmap for the Future

Wednesday 4:45 – 5:45

The final panel of the iGaming Institute portion of the ECGC program will be an amalgamation of the first two, as some serious power players take the stage to look into iGaming’s future in the U.S.

Moderator Lynne Levin Kaufman Esq., a partner at Cooper Levenson, will lead the discussion that includes the following speakers:

  • Gideon Bierer, Managing Partner, Partis Solutions
  • Honorable John Burzichelli, Deputy Speaker, New Jersey State Assembly
  • Honorable Raymond Lesniak, Senator, New Jersey State Senate
  • David Rebuck, Director, NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement
  • Honorable Jim Waldman, Former Representative, Florida House of Representatives
  • Gil White, Partner, Herzog Fox and Neeman, outside counsel to 888 Holdings

The Next Generation of Gambling

Thursday 10:40 – 11:45

iGaming may be getting its own day, but online gaming talk will also spill into Thursday during this panel discussion.

Online and social gaming, and the potential to coalesce these new verticals with existing land-based gaming, will be the focus of this panel, as Eugene Johnson, the Senior Vice President of Spectrum Gaming Group, returns to moderate a second panel at the ECGC.

This time around Johnson will be joined by:

  • Andy Caras-Altas, Chief Executive Officer, Traffic Generation LTD
  • David Chang, Chief Marketing Officer, Gamblit Gaming
  • Kurt Freedlund, President, Lotto Interactive
  • Travis Foley, Executive Vice President, Operations – Americas, BMM Test Labs
  • Peter Yesawich, Vice Chairman, MMGY Global

ECGC drinking game

If iGaming jargon doesn’t get your juices flowing you could always take part in the following drinking game.

Every time New Jersey State Senator Raymond Lesniak blames Governor Chris Christie for New Jersey’s “disappointing” iGaming launch… take a drink.

Every time someone refuses to mention Sheldon Adelson by name (but is clearly referring to Sheldon Adelson)… take a drink.

Every time former Ultimate Bet CEO Jim Ryan sidesteps a question about unregulated online gaming… take a drink.

Image gary718 / Shutterstock.com

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Steve Ruddock

Steve covers nearly every angle of online poker in his job as a full-time freelance poker writer. His primary focus is the developing legal and legislative picture for regulated US online poker and gambling.

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