by Hillary LaClair, Senior Editor
December 28, 2008
In response to current negotiations between U.S. trade representatives and the World Trade Organization, Utah officials are calling for Congress to uphold the rights of individual states to form their own online gambling laws. Should this power remain with state legislatives, Utah would maintain a zero tolerance policy in terms of online casinos.
“Talks for the next [WTO] round are in limbo,” says Republican Representative Sheryl Allen, an advocate for states’ rights. “It’s very important that states give input and get involved before agreements get signed by 153 countries.”
Allen heads House Joint Resolution 1, a proposition that would leave online casino gambling laws a decision of each U.S. state. As such, internet gambling would remain a criminal offense in the state of Utah.
Gambling in any form is illegal in this state, including national lottery tickets. As a result, state residents travel to bordering states, Idaho and Nevada, to purchase lottery tickets or gamble in a casino. Utah and Hawaii are the only U.S. states that have taken such a strict approach to gambling.
Utah legislators are concerned that the negotiations may lead to legalized internet casino gambling in the U.S., and therefore negate state regulations. Utah residents would have the ability to access gambling websites from their home computer, rather than traveling to another state, and this would be within their legal rights.
Allen claims that her concern with the legalization of internet gambling lies with the infringement of states’ rights, however, rather than with the idea of gambling online. “Many see gambling as a moral issue,” she said. “But I’m looking at it as a states’ rights issue.”
Peter Riggs, director of Forum and Democracy and Trade, added, “States on all sides of these issues were correct to see it as a states’ issue. Some had public morals concerns, others revenue concerns.”
According to the Salt Lake City Tribune, the United States in fact legalized internet gambling with the World Trade Organization, when the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) was signed in 1994. The WTO claims that in this agreement, online casino gambling falls under the category of “other recreational services.”
Since the signing of the GATS, however, the United States passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, when it was strategically pinned to the SAFE Port Act. With complete disregard for the WTO treaty, the U.S. criminalized all forms of internet gambling – with the exception of fantasy sports, online lotteries and horse racing.
The U.S.’ stance on internet gambling has resulted in numerous international trade disputes. Antigua and Barbuda have been involved in litigation against the U.S., with WTO arbitration, for nearly four years. Although their attempts to lift the ban failed, both governments are seeking to violate U.S. intellectual-property law until a resolution is had.
Utah legislators have fought for the rights of their state for the same four years. In 2005, Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, with the aid of 28 other states, demanded that U.S. trade representatives fight for states’ rights.
“Antigua has no business trying to write Utah’s gambling laws,” Shurtleff said.
by Hillary LaClair, Senior Editor
December 26, 2008
Oggs.com, a leading online casino review website with laudation from eCOGRA, has announced a shortlist of nominees for the website’s annual Global Online Casino Awards. OGGS founder is most renowned for his work with Casinomeister, an organization dedicated to ensuring online casino users a safe gaming environment through reviews, blacklists, free arbitration and a complaint section. OGGS.com is much the same, having reviws of over 100 online casinos, noting their strengths and weaknesses.
The Global Online Casino awards encompass several categories in the industry, including the best by region, the best new online casinos this year, the best new online slots and the best online casino groups. The Award Ceremony has been an ongoing event for five years.
The nominees for Best Online Casino 2008 (US Residents) this year are Allslots, Club USA, iNetBet, Intertops and Jackpot City. The nominees for Best Online Casino 2008 (UK Residents) are 32Red, Canbet, Ladbrokes, Paddy Power and Virgin. For EU Residents, the nominees are 32Red, Bet365, Ladbrokes, Intercasino and Roxy Palace.
Casinos up for Best New Online Casino 2008 include Players Palace, Red Flush and Rushmore. The Best New Slot 2008 will go to either Cashapilla, Elvis Multistrike, Hulk’s Ultimate Revenge, King Kong, MySlot, Tomb Raider – Secret of the Sword or Triple Fortune Dragon.
Finally, the nominees for Best Online Casino Group 2008 are Belle Rock Entertainment, Club World Casinos, Fortune Lounge, Jackpot Factory and Wagershare.
The 2008 Awards promise to make for a much more difficult decision this year, with the advancements in Internet technology. These advancements account for an increased bandwith in online casinos, which provides better graphics and audio. Additionally, because three of the online casinos nominated for the best to U.S. Residents are supported by Microgaming software (which recently exited the U.S. market), they are most unlikely to make the cut.
Such Awards are sure to serve their winners well, who will be able to proudly display such an achievement on their websites. Past winners include 32Red Online Casino, Intertops and Virgin Online Casino. The recipients are voted on by top industry moderators.
OGGS.com is dedicated to bringing internet gamers the best online casino experience. As such, OGGS offers over 100 websites to choose from and an online casino guide to help one make the best choice. According to the Guide, “The online casino landscape is changing rapidly and largely for the better as the industry starts to stabilise and learn from its past. However there are still casinos to watch out for and avoid.
Play safe and play with confidence. The key to enjoyable online gambling is to find both a reputable casino to join and one that supports your habits and requirements. Many casinos have similar games, but each will have a different way of operating with their respective plus and minus points; all of which will affect your overall playing experience.”
OGGS.com welcomes input from new and experienced players. OGGS receives much of its information in this way, about online casino updates, which topics the industry wants to discuss, and how the website can be improved. Suggestions are welcomed at firstname.lastname@example.org
by Hillary LaClair, Senior Editor
December 20, 2008
The public is astonished by the growing success of online casino gambling during an economic crisis, calling it a recession-proof industry. While many land casinos are on the brink of bankruptcy, recent internet marketing surveys show a dramatic increase of in the number of visitors to online gambling websites. Experts have reason to believe that the source of the revenue has everything to do with advancing market.
Recent reports from the Fitch Ratings industry predict that the U.S. land casino industry can anticipate a continuing decline in revenue until the year 2010. “Following one of its most challenging years in recent history, the U.S. gaming industry will remain under significant pressure in 2009, with a recovery unlikely until 2010,” the publication reports.
Las Vegas and Atlantic City resorts are not the only markets to receive such a blow to their revenue. According to Susan Lopez of the Sin City Alternative Professionals’ Association, the controversial escort service industry has suffered a significant decrease in demand. Unlike the automobile industry, such markets will not expect a bail-out any time soon.
Middle-class prostitutes say that they have had to cut their rates to compete with internet markets. Those charging $1000 or more have been able to maintain the elite consumer base, while those earning more than $300 but less than $1,000 are struggling. Lopez claims that prostitutes who make under $300 per customer are gaining the customers that used to go to middle-class call girls.
Amanda Brookes, author of the Internet Escorts Handbook has suggested a more powerful marketing strategy. Brooks believes that call girls must go the way of online casinos, offering their services to internet-users.
Many businesses, including even pizza delivery services, are jumping on the virtual bandwagon to maintain demand for their products. Consumers prefer online-shopping for several reasons, such as the convenience, money saved on traveling expenses, and the ability to read reviews and testimonials.
For the escort service, an online industry would provide a certain amount of privacy and anonymity that is not currently available. However, Brooks reports an issue that online casino users and industry officials are all too familiar with. The Department of Justice is most likely to shun the idea of internet escort services and decide that, much like accepting online wagers, it would be a violation of the Wire Act. Such a violation could result in a similar ruling to the litigation against PartyGaming, who suffered a $3 million fine.
Interestingly, Malaysian media outlets show a higher interest in online gambling than prostitution. According to local newspapers, authorities are cracking down on licensed massage parlors that are being utilized for prostitution as well internet gambling. Patrons were more often accessing illegal internet gambling venues than escorts.
Therefore, Councilor Datuk Azizan Ahmad has pushed for a zero-tolerance policy in licensed massage parlors. His council voted on the issue, and have decided that violations of such policy are punishable by a hefty fine, or in more serious circumstances, the closing of the establishment.
by Hillary LaClair, Senior Editor
December 19, 2009
Microgaming has launched a new online slots game in the spirit of the holidays, which will provide its users with a generous amount of cash prizes. Of the four December releases, Deck The Halls features Wilds, Stacked Wilds, Scatters, Multipliers, Free Spins and Free Games in its 5 reel, 30 pay-line format.
The slots game features a number of holiday festivities, with stunning graphics that depict Christmas trees, reindeer, a holiday feast, and a fireplace complete with a yuletide log and stockings hung. St. Nicolas appears several times throughout the game, delivering the Stacked Wilds and Free Spins. When the “Deck the Halls” icon appears, users are awarded up to 2.4 million coins. 10 Free Spins are triggered when a user gets 3, 4 or 5 Christmas bells, which can be used to gain more spins. Betting prices start at $0.01 and max out at $15.00.
Microgaming has launched a series of new slots this month, with Sunset Showdown among them. In the Wild Western slot, 5 reels, 25 pay-line, the users play as high rolling cowgirls. Moneybags, boots, saddles and six-shooters provide the traditional Western atmosphere. The Wild appears in the form of Annie Calamity who, combined with other winning slots, allows for thee Free Spins. Winnings are doubles when Annie appears or reels 1 and 5.
Wagers begin at 1p to 25p per line, and betting is cut off at GBP 62.50. Sunset Showdown has a payout percentage of 97 percent. Players have a chance to win up to GBP 61,130.
Microgaming offers Reel Baron, a 5 reel, 20 pay-line video slot game. While it does not have a progressive jackpot, it offers two fixe jackpots. The first is 2,000 coins and the second is 1,500 coins. Wagers range from $0.01 to $0.50, making this slot perfect for low rollers during the holiday season. Each line has a max bet of 10 coins, making the total maximum bet 200 coins.
There are 33 winning combinations, and the game includes a practice mode for players to get the hang of the game before they wager. Themed images include iron medals, zeppelins, bombs, military helmets, goggles, brass compasses, treasure chests and barnds. The fighter plane is depicted with jocularity, including comical sound effects of bombs dropping and the moving compass.
The slot includes Wild symbols, Scatter symbols, multipliers and Free Spins. When the Reel Baron image appears as the wild symbol, it can be combined with other winning slots to activate up to 10 free spins, with a multiplier of 10. The brass compass acts as the scatter symbol, to of which can trigger an extra 100x bet per spin.
Finally, Microgaming presents the most unique slots game, called MySlot, which allows its users to customize the game, creating an environment using personal photos and MP3 playlists. A spokesperson commented, “MySlot is simple to use and allows players to be imaginative and inventive with their design, offering them an endless variety of ways to play and infinite reasons to keep coming back for more and more fun.”
by Hillary LaClair, Senior Editor
December 18, 2008
Many industry officials are hopeful that the upcoming U.S. administration will reconsider the regulation of online casinos. With the escalation of international trade disputes between the U.S. and overseas gambling operators, the issue of internet gaming is quickly developing into a serious quandary.
The failure of U.S. representatives to properly address the ongoing WTO violations is soon to create a less than amicable relationship with the E.U. According to various reports, former Dallas mayor Ron Kirk, will assume the position of President-elect Obama’s Trade Representative. Kirk will be left to resolve the altercations caused by the UIGEA, and its enforcement outside of the U.S.
The latest in WTO arbitration against the U.S. is E.U. Commissioner Peter Mandelson’s formal request for the U.S. to cease the prosecution of overseas gambling domains, until free trade treaties can be examined and negotiations had. This is certainly not the first case brought before the World Trade Organization that has been ignored by the USTR, as Party Gamin co-founder Anurag Dikshit was recently formed into a plea and a $3 million settlement. The plea was made despite the fact that PartyGaming exited the U.S. after the UIGEA was implemented.
Antigua was awarded a hefty settlement of the U.S. earlier this year, after the WTO found the U.S. guilty of protectionist policies toward domestic online gambling. Since the ruling, however, the USTR has failed to make payments even after several deadlines have come and gone. As such, the U.S. has opened its doors to further litigation, and a deeper blow to the already failing economy.
Kirk succeeds Susan Schwab of the Bush administration, whose course of action in these international trade disputes has essentially been to ignore them. While she has been involved in several negotiations, she has neglected her responsibilities to the European Union.
Kirk is known as a patron for free trade. He has been entrusted with the responsibility to maintain a good standing with foreign markets. John Murphy, Vice President for international affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce praised Kirk’s efforts in keeping free trade alive.
“Trade has been one of the only bright spots for the U.S. economy, and the Obama team is going to need every tool in its tool box,” said Murphy.
Mickey Kantor, former USTR in the Clinton administration commented, “He’s an incredibly impressive guy with a wonderful background, particularly for this job. You’ve got to understand both substance and politics to be successful, and he certainly understands trade being from Texas.”
Frank Vargo, Vice President for international economic affairs, while not entirely familiar with Ron Kirk, explained that Kirk’s experience in Texas should speak for his experience in trade. “Being mayor in [in] a border state, certainly he’s going to be familiar with the benefits of trade, particularly NADTA, which has benefited Texas a lot.”
Vargo concluded that as Obama wrestles with the economy, and with foreign relations, “trade will inevitably become a priority.”In the case of the economy, many have predicted that online casino gambling will also become a priority, making Kirk’s role all the more vital.
by Hillary LaClair, Senior Editor
December 17, 2008
Microgaming continues to raise the bar for online casino operators, now offering a mobile online casino through Spin3, a leading mobile gambling provider. Spin3 will supply All Slots Casino and Wild Jack Mobile Casino with award-winning GameWire software, and their mobile customers with the ultimate gaming experience. This is a landmark for the industry, as it’s the first time iPod and iPhone users have been able to access an online casino.
iPod and iPhone users will have instant access to Blackjack, Roulette and a Tomb Raider themed slots game, supported by the highest rated mobile gambling software in the industry. The company boasts keen graphics as well as a multi-lingual interface. No downloads, installations or upgrades are required to play because the casino application is fully hosted via the web browser. The application is not limited to the iPhone or iPod, as GameWire supports 1,200 other devices. Unfortunately, due to recent U.S. litigation, the mobile casino will not be available to U.S. players.
David Brickman of All Slots Casino announced, “The launch of a mobile casino represents an important step forward for our business strategy and a powerful extension to our brand. On both sides of the channel our customers want to be able to play casino games on the go, as well as at their computers. With our new mobile casino from Spin3, we are meeting this demand in style.
“Spin3’s mobile casino system gives us a huge advantage over the competition. Not only does it offer the industry’s best games and graphics, it also enables us to support one of the industry’s most exciting, popular and feature-rich handsets, the Apple iPhone. This combination of top notch technology together with our nine years of successful experience in Casino marketing will bring out the best of both worlds, and will make this the perfect offering to the end user.”
“This move is yet more evidence that the much-celebrated mobile casino industry is going from strength to strength. All Slots Casino is rightly regarded as one of the web’s leading online slots casinos. With Spin3’s help, it has been able to bring that winning brand to a whole new platform and still deliver the highest standards of game play and entertainment that its customers expect.” Spin3’s Matti Zinder added. “The iPhone offers a mobile gaming experience like no other; and one that is on a par with an online casino. As the first company to offer mobile casino games on the iPhone, this is a real coup.”
All Slots is also an award-winning casino, which currently offers its users of 350 casino games, including 21 progressive jackpots, slots tournaments and multiple table games. All Slots prides itself on leading the industry in innovation and fair gaming, as it is accredited by eCOGRA.
Spin3 recently entered into a partner agreement with Microgaming, and is a sub-division of Spiral Solutions Ltd. It leads the industry in mobile gaming platforms, offering play-for-fun casinos, flash casinos and marketing services to its customers.
by Hillary LaClair, Senior Editor
December 16, 2008
An early decision is anticipated in iMEGA’s lawsuit recently brought before the Kentucky Court of Appeals. A panel of three judges was said to be well prepared for the oral arguments on Friday against the seizure order of 141 internet casino gambling domains. The panel has begun to deliberate, but no official release date has been set for the final decision.
The Internet Media Entertainment & Gaming Association’s legal team challenged the constitutionality of the seizure order. According to iMEGA’s website, the prosecution “improperly tried to create a hybrid of criminal and civil laws to justify seizing the domain names,” denying domain owners the right to due process.
“It is not sufficient for the state or lower court judge to decide on their own that there is a criminal violation,” said lead attorney for iMEGA, Jon L. Fleischaker. “They don’t like this (online casino gambling)…so they seized the names without hearing or process.”
Those present during the 50 minute-long hearing said that the panel were eager to listen, asking several relevant and “probing” questions of the organizations involved. The appeal follows a prior ruling in the Franklin County Court wherein Judge Wingate set what some feel is a dangerous precedent for the industry. Many online gambling advocates, including iMEGA, have argued that the State has no jurisdiction over internet domains that reside overseas.
Associated Press said that William Johnson, representing five of the websites in question, claimed that the State does not have a law which specifically gives them the authority to seize domain names. No revisions have been made since 1974.
“If they had wanted to correct this law, they could have done so annually,” he said. “That is a matter for the legislature to decide.”
Fleischaker has also called attention to the US 6th Circuit’s definition of domain names – having ultimately decided that they are no more than billboards. He noted that the Horseshoe Casino in Indiana was able to advertise in Kentucky, despite the fact that gambling is illegal in the State. This of course is due to the First Amendment rights, or more specifically the right to free speech and expression.
Fleischaker compared the domain seizures to the seizure of a billboard, saying, “That is classic prior restraint.”
Additionally, the argument was presented that the Commonwealth has not clearly defined the “gambling devices” in question.
iMEGA chairman was pleased with the hearing. “Clearly our attorney and lawyers representing the other groups were excellent,” said Joe Brennan Jr. “They were very comfortable with the give-and-take with the judges, and had a command of these important issues. We’re very confident that we will prevail in this matter and put a stop to this dangerous precedent being set by the governor with this action.
“This matter has generated concerns across the online world about the abuse of governmental power. Kentucky is opening the door for any government – state and local, foreign and domestic – to use what amounts to blackmail to achieve its ends. If this precedent is allowed to stand, it’s not hard to imagine a government like China, utilizing this kind of seizure power to prevent free media, like the New York Times, from reaching their citizens.”
by Hillary LaClair, Senior Editor
December 12, 2008
Today is a monumental day for the online casino industry, as the forfeiture hearing in the Kentucky domain seizure case will finally be held. A panel of three judges will deliberate on an appeal filed by several net neutrality groups and internet gambling activists.
The news of Kentucky’s attempt to confiscate 141 internet gambling domains is old by now, but the criticism just as strong. When the County Court Judge granted the state authority to seize the domains unless a ban was placed on its residents, a shockwave hit the industry – and the wrath of iMEGA, the PPA, and many net neutrality groups incurred.
On many levels the ruling was challenged – in its alleged violation of the First Amendment, the Commerce Clause and the Due Process Clause, in the state having no jurisdiction over foreign online casinos, and even in the idea that it should not include games of skill, such as poker.
The case was moved to the Kentucky Court of Appeals, most notably by the Interactive Media Entertainment and Gaming Association (iMEGA), a non-profit organization that has been long fighting for the right to gamble online. iMEGA was granted a stay in Appeals Court, and allowed to present their case, among others, before a panel of Judges Michael Caperton, Jeff Taylor and Michelle Keller, which brings us to the present.
The highest concern for most is that if the ruling goes in favor of Kentucky, new doors will be opened to internet censorship, setting dangerous precedents.
“This matter has generated concerns across the online world about abuse of governmental power,” said Chairman Joe Brennan. “Kentucky is opening the door for any government – state and local, foreign and domestic – to use what amounts to blackmail to achieve its ends. If this precedent is allowed to stand, it’s not hard to imagine a government like China utilizing this kind of seizure power to prevent free media, like the New York Times, from reaching their citizens.”
The hearing will begin mid-morning, where the panel will convene briefly to hear the positions of iMEGA and the Interactive Gaming Council. Addition “friends of the court,” or amicus briefings, were submitted in writing along with iMEGA, by other interested parties like the Poker Players Alliance, further challenging the decision to seize the domains.
It is uncertain how long the process will take. Because the briefs were first submitted in writing, it is hoped that the process will be a quick one, however it could take weeks or even months.
by Hillary LaClair, Senior Editor
December 11, 2008
The move by a group of Australian politicians to censor internet content, including online casinos, was not well received this week. Government officials had requested that a two-tier filtering system be implemented by Internet Service Providers during a trial period, to determine whether Internet censorship would be beneficial.
The trial period was scheduled to begin sometime before Christmas of this year, in which the filters would block internet users from accessing “illegal” content, and “inappropriate” adult content as an optional feature.
However, the move has met many criticisms, with opposition coming from the Greens, the official Opposition, the internet industry, consumers and net neutrality groups – thousands of activists have signed petitions against the move. Most shocking is that recently, child protection groups began to speak out against the censorship.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, among other criticism in response to the Rudd government’s attempts, the Internet Service Providers have outright refused to enforce the censorship of online content during the trial period.
The article in the Herald states the two-tiered filtering system would require one tier to ban content such as internet casino gambling and other material labeled as “unacceptable,” while the other would be optional – allowing internet users to filter any additional “unwanted material” such as adult websites.
The filtering system has not proven to be as effective as all of that, however, as in June, laboratory results showed that some filters frequently allowed unacceptable content which blocking appropriate content and slowing network speeds by up to 87 percent.
Australia’s most widely used ISP, Telstra, has already announced that they would have no part in the trial. Some smaller ISP’s agreed to a smaller trial period, but have not shown the enthusiasm that the government would like. iiNet agreed to run the trial period only to illustrate that the filtering system would be ineffective and Optus has said it will only test a “heavily diluted” filtering model.
Others question what is considered “inappropriate,” “illegal,” and what would be filtered as “unwanted.” As internet censorship is a sensitive subject, some criticize the government for having too broad of a list of what content falls under these categories, having risen from 1,300 to over 10,000.
Critics are calling for the trial period to be abandoned, saying that it was “…hopelessly flawed and a certain failure.”
Vice Chairman of Electronic Frontiers Australia, Colin Jacobs, compared this project to the failed attempts to ban online casino gambling in the U.S. with the UIGEA. “Given that the traffickers of genuine abuse material will not let themselves be slowed down by a filter and are already covering their tracks, the net result that will be achieved here is exactly this: inconvenience, chaos and expense with absolutely no dividend.”
Stephen Conroy, Communications Minister to Australia has responded to critics claiming that the filtering trials would be “…a closed network test and will not involve actual customers.”
Australian Greens Senator Scott Ludlam said that he feels this indicated a possibility that the government may be reconsidering the filtering system, as heavily criticized as it is. Australian proposals in favor of internet censorship are often referred to as the “Great Australian Firewall,” “Firewall Australia,” or “Great Firewall Reef.”
by Hillary LaClair, Senior Editor
December 10, 2008
Avid Star Trek fans, or “Trekkies,” will certainly appreciate the new themed slot game released by WMS Gaming, Inc. that will appear in Harrah’s Entertainment venues. In an effort to attract a younger audience to slots machines, many land establishments have gone the way of online casinos, implementing recognizable themes into their games.
The slots games has drawn a considerable amount of attention from casino experts, operators and developers, after it was showcased at this year’s Las Vegas Global Gaming Expo. While it has not been confirmed, Harrah’s is said to have ordered 120 of the new slots machines.
The idea of a themed slot game is not new to an online casino player, although WMS describes the Star Trek slot as its first delve into “Adaptive Gaming.”
Rob Bone, Vice President of Marketing commented, “Adaptive gaming is the next step towards what we’re calling personalized and intimate gaming. When a player finishes a session of Star Trek, he or she simply enters a PIN number. A ticket is printed with a code which the player can insert in the bill validator for the next playing session, allowing them to pick up where they left off.”
“It’s administered over our wide network, so feasibly someone who’s in Las Vegas can hop on a plane for Atlantic City and have the ability to pick up where they left off at another casino in another state,” said Bone. “We’ll also have local area networks as a solution for those markets that currently don’t use wide area progressives.”
Trekkies will immediately recognize video clips and images from the original 79 episodes of their favorite hit ‘60’s series. Players may adjust their personal accomplishments and preferences, which will be implemented into the game. An additional bonus game can be triggered to offer a free spin or interactive bonus.
Much like the characters from the show, players can earn Starfleet medals, which can be used to access episodes from the show. The allotted PIN number enables users to save their progress and resume from any “Star Trek” machine. This way, players may leave the casino for days at a time.
When the game is resumed, players will have the same number of medals and unlocked episodes. The slots game is powered by WMS’ next-generation CPU-NXT 2 platofrm with real-time 3D graphics, a 26-inch digital top box and Bose 3-Space surround sound audio system with a custom gaming chair.
The Las Vegas Global Gaming expo showcases hundreds of developers, and is attended by tens of thousands of gaming executives from around the world. The conference offers attendees to gain information and insights necessary to succeed in a “fiercely competitive marketplace.”
As their websites explains, they have “rolled out the red carpet for gaming’s biggest stars and the next can’t-miss products, technologies, insights and innovations. Not to mention unbelievable networking opportunities, keynote addresses by industry leaders, more than 750 exhibitors, a world class conference – 150 sessions… And, the industry also enjoyed two new specialty events… which highlighted the rapidly growing non-gaming amenities of entertainment and retail.”