A Preview Of One Of The Biggest Online Gaming Conferences Of The Year: GiGse 2018

Written By Steve Ruddock on April 30, 2018 - Last Updated on October 29, 2020

One of the most prestigious US online gaming conferences is fast approaching: The Global iGaming Summit & Expo, better known as GiGse.

The 2018 iteration of GiGse will take place May 30 through June 1 at the Biltmore Hotel in sunny Miami. Attendees will be educated by some of the biggest names in gaming, and have plenty of opportunities to network with their peers.

According to event organizer Clarion Events: “With over 30 speakers, 13 hours of learning and 7 hours of networking, GiGse 2018 is ready to meet your needs.”

Here’s a closer look at some of the can’t-miss sessions on the GiGse 2018 schedule.

The conference before the conference

The conference will unofficially kick off with two concurrent pre-event master classes on Wednesday, May 30.

GiGse attendees will be prompted to choose between one of the two six-hour master classes on the schedule during the booking process.

The options are:

  • Digital Marketing Master Class
  • Sportsbook Management Master Class

The GiGse agenda describes the Digital Marketing workshop as looking at “factors to consider for land-based operations making effective use of digital channels to promote their activities, with cases and examples from the US and around the world -things you must do, and pitfalls to avoid.”

The Sportsbook Management workshop “looks at factors to consider when a land-based operation seeks to introduce a Sports Book operation,” according to the GiGse brochure.

The master classes will be followed by a late afternoon networking reception.

Day 1 of GiGse 2018: Thursday, May 31

GiGse officially begins on May 31, with a full day of panels and networking opportunities.

PlayNJ has identified three must-attend panels on Day 1.

9 a.m. session: Can Pennsylvania make a difference?

The first must-attend panel happens to be the first session of GiGse 2018: Four years after the NJ online casino launch, will Pennsylvania joining the iGaming landscape inspire a new wave of legislative activity?

The still-to-be-determined panel will delve into the slow slog that is US online gaming legislation, and what role, if any, Pennsylvania will play in speeding up the legislative process in other states.

The themes that will be discussed include:

  • Why has it taken so long for the fourth state to authorize iGaming? Examining the legislative process to draw learnings for future efforts.
  • What can Pennsylvania and other states learn from New Jersey operations to avoid the mistakes and learn from successes, considering policy goals of each individual state?
  • Examining iGaming legislative efforts across the United States: What are their prospects in 2018?
  • Examining the evolution of the advocacy narrative: Can the industry achieve consensus with so many divergent views?


  • TBD

10 a.m.: Will online gaming ride sports betting’s coattails?

Not surprisingly, sports betting is a recurrent topic at GiGse 2018. The first of two sports betting panels on our list is:

“Sport betting in the USA: Will it be a new transformative force in the US gaming landscape and provide a push for a more successful iGaming adoption in a near future?”

Key themes of this panel include:

  • The economics of a sportsbook: An honest view on the profitability of sports betting in various regulatory scenarios and business models. How much money can you actually make on it?
  • How applicable are European sportsbook experiences in the US context – emphasizing the importance of retail
  • Quantifying the supplementary revenue sports book can bring to a B&M operation
  • Multi-channel sports book in the New Jersey model
  • What can you do right now to build brand, database, and expertise? Pre-regulatory options to get you started


  • Kip Levin, CEO, Paddy Power Betfair
  • Chris Grove, Managing Director, Eilers & Krejcik Gaming
  • Joe Asher, CEO, William Hill US

1:30 p.m.: Zooming in on Pennsylvania

The conversation will shift back to Pennsylvania in the afternoon, as panelists try to define success in this new iGaming jurisdiction.

Key themes include:

  • What are the timelines for full online gaming roll-out
  • Getting a Pennsylvania iGaming license – who and when
  • Making iGaming work with high taxation levels put in place: Who will be the winners?
  • What consumer protection measures will be put in place alongside this new regulation


  • Aviram Alroy, VP Interactive Games, Mohegan Sun
  • Kevin O’Toole, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board

Day 2 of GiGse 2018: Friday, June 1

Day 2 of GiGse 2018 is a lot more of the same, with plenty of panels, as well as GiGse’s Startup Launch Pad competition, where five startups will present in front of the investors’ panel and the GiGse audience who will then name the GiGse startup 2018.

There are several more must-see panels on Day 2.

10 a.m.: The continued move toward heavy-handed regulation

The first can’t-miss panel of Day 2 covers an important but often overlooked topic: Innovating in heavily regulated markets, e.g. the US.

The key themes of the session are:

  • Placing the US gaming market in the wider global industry landscape: How innovative actually are we and have been?
  • Using other markets, including the un-regulated ones, as a test bed to try out ideas and prove their safety in front of regulators
  • Exploring changing attitudes of US gaming regulators towards un-regulated markets
  • Is lack of innovation an internal (management mindset) or external (regulation) issue?
  • Building trust within the industry and internally to embrace new channels and technologies


  • Kresimir Spajic, SVP Online Gaming, Hard Rock International
  • Salim Adatia, Vice President, Gaming Laboratories International

3 p.m.: There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to sports betting

Sports betting returns in the afternoon with a session that GiGse describes as:

“Sports betting roll-out options in the USA for large and medium casinos, regional and resorts style properties, racing tracks, lotteries and other stakeholders.”

The following themes will be covered:

  • Setting up your expectations and business plans around profitability based on the type of property you have
  • From fully managed sportsbooks to kiosks – what operational options are available for consideration
  • What you need to know about sports betting platforms and technologies to make an informed investment and partnership choice
  • Pros and cons of outsourced vs. in-house sportsbooks
  • Step by step of finding a partner for your successful sportsbook


  • Ed Andrewes, CEO, New Resorts Digital
  • Adam Suliman, VP Ancillary Gaming, and Innovation, Jack Entertainment

4 p.m.: The truth behind skill games

The final must-see session is also one of the last of the conference: The reality of skill-based gaming.

Skill games are big on the conference circuit, but unlike previous conference discussions that describe skill-based games as the future of the casino industry, GiGse attendees will hear why these games have been slow to catch on, and what can be done to bring skill-based games into the mainstream.


  • Chris Garrow, Casino Operations Director, Treasure Island Resort, and Casino
  • Adam Rosenberg, Global Head of Gaming & Leisure, Fortress Investment Group
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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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