The highly anticipated expo hall of G2E 2015 opened its doors today and the line to collect badges was enormous. Day two of the biggest event of the year for the gambling industry was buzzing, with a number of people commenting it was the busiest they’ve ever seen the expo floor.
As always, the expo was bursting with branded slots machines featuring celebs such as Britney Spears, movie characters such as Dumb and Dumber, the Simpsons, the Walking Dead and so, so many more. We also came across Danny “Count” Koker of Count’s Kustoms and heard Mike Tyson and Pitbull will be gracing the expo floor tomorrow for photo opps and autograph signings.
One of the more interesting slots on display today was at the Alto Gaming booth, the “HOT ROD” slot machine, a literal slot machine within a classic American car. The arch slot technology used for the HOT ROD was created by Casino Technology, featuring a 42″ curved LED monitor, full HD resolution, a 24″ button deck, a high quality sound system and more.
Sonia Nikolova of Casino Technology told CalvinAyre.com, “The concent for the HOT ROD, an American lifestyle from the 50s, is famous for the passion for high speed enginges. HOT ROD produced these cars because its a legendary culture lifestyle for everybody, an everlasting brand”.
There are a number of European companies in attendance at G2E this year, including Net Ent a leading supplier with 20 years of experience in the Euro market.
Bjorn Krantz of Net Ent told CalvinAyre.com about his organization’s application for a licence to operate in New Jersey and how entering the regulated US market is big part of their expansion plans. Despite the slow burning progress of New Jersey’s regulated iGaming market, Krantz confirmed Net Ent is in it for the long game and they anticipate other states opening their doors soon such as Pennsylvania.
Several sessions today were dedicated to Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS), undoubtedly a hot topic here at G2E, especially seewaing as the NFL season is now underway.
The “Regulation of Sports Betting and DFS in the US” panel featured gaming lawyer Daniel Wallach, Seth Young of StarFantasyLeagues.com and Joe Asher of William Hill US and it did not disappoint.
The lively debate held everyone’s attention and its clear Asher believes DFS is a form of gambling and should be regulated despite the claim from DFS sites that its a game of skill and desire to keep things as they are.
Asher said the opening of the NFL season for sure has kick started the push for regulation of DFS considering the sheer number of commercials aired and the nature of the commercials depicting DFS as pure gambling, such as showing big checks and sweating during the game. “It was so in your face”, he said.
Asher continued by saying there is nothing wrong with regulation and there is NO reason why DFS should live on its own in an unregulated world. He believes the industry should acknowledge what DFS is- it is gambling. There is skill in blackjack, just look at the guys from MIT, poker is definitely skill. Skill is a part of gambling, he said.
“Why should we live in a world when customers are not protected from unscrupulous operators?” he said. After a rough night for the books with NFL games Asher added, “We were taken out on a stretcher last night but we’re still paying taxes”.
Coming from the other side of the fence, Young said he prefers self-regulation as does the DFS industry in general. He said DFS is spurring money into the economy, making better fans and getting more people into the games. Draft Kings and Fan Duel have built brands that are nationally recognized and their databases are huge, he said.
Despite all these facts, the question remains as to if the DFS sites will eventually become profitable, seeing as they are spending so much money on advertising at present.
Wallach believes regulation is coming to DFS as its “now under the microscope”, but he does not think the industry will become outlawed – he said no government official will touch the legality of DFS if they want to be re-elected, not even the Massachusetts AG. There will not be another “Black Friday”, he said.
Without a doubt, the involvement of the leagues with DFS is a powerful thing, so its likely safe to say the booming industry isn’t going anywhere but up anytime soon.