A recap of Global Gaming Expo 2017

    The Global Gaming Expo finishes this week, after gathering thousands of executives from the gaming industry for a four-day event.

    On Monday, the G2E conference kicked off with an inspiring keynote by notable Frances F. Townsend, former Homeland Security & Counterterrorism Advisor to the George W. Bush administration.

    Presented by Global Gaming Women, Townsend delivered a message of combating fear in career and life for women in the gaming industry.

    Other thought provoking sessions included talks on IT and cyber security, innovation in mobile sports betting, igaming and tribal gaming.

    On Tuesday, the event kicked off with a keynote from AGA President and CEO Geoff Freeman and Ed Davis, the former Boston police commissioner who responded to the Boston Marathon bombing, in lieu of his annual State of the Industry address Tuesday morning.

    Freeman opened the keynote with a moment of silence and gratitude for first responders, medical professionals and acts of heroism. He noted the industry is strongest when it comes together. Davis was reminded of the Boston Marathon bombing following Sunday night’s tragedy. He praised the rapid response units amidst the chaos, a result of having practice and a plan already put in place.

    When asked what lessons he learned in Boston that would apply to Las Vegas, Davis emphasized caring for officers, first responders and civilians who may experience PTSD and long-term injuries and trauma. Additionally, Davis encouraged Las Vegas to give, whether that means donating blood or giving money to the Red Cross. For a community to put itself back together following a tragedy, Davis concluded it takes leadership, preparation and planning. He observed the city is “Las Vegas Strong.”

    The event’s second day also brought about the Innovation Lab from UNLV Easy, as well as Konami’s All-Star Tournament, which welcomed Las Vegas’s most talented gamers for a high-octane musical battle of wits with the skill-based, new-to-market Beat Square game.

    Other interesting sessions at the conference included a talk from Scientific Games about the parallels between gaming and the hit television series Game of Thrones, as well as a talk on the power of audio from Laura Fernandez, Pandora’s director of travel, tourism and casinos.

    The third day of the conference, held on Wednesday featured a keynote presentation from Dave & Buster’s Entertainment CEO, Stephen King.

    In an on-stage interview with radio and TV personality Carol Roth, Stephen King shared the details behind Dave & Buster’s successful brand transition into a destination to eat, drink, play and watch sports. Dave & Buster’s success story serves as a model for casinos and suppliers to innovate and think differently as they expand into the integrated resort experience business.

    The conference topics then moved to more millennial themes, with “Hosting a Successful Live Esports Event: The Height of Gaming Innovations” and “The 21st-Century Casino: Skill-Based Gaming Innovations”, while Chris Bonini, vice president of interactive products at IGT, presented the upcoming trends in interactive gaming that leaders should consider in hospitality and beyond.

    The final day of the conference, held today, will include a keynote from Earvin “Magic” Johnson, chairman and CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises who will share his inspiring story of success in this keynote session. Johnson will share how he morphed into a business powerhouse, parlaying the skills and tenacity he acquired on the court into a winning formula for successful business ventures.