Global Gaming Expo Highlights Future of Legal U.S. Sports Betting and Skill-Based Gaming

A look at the Global Gaming Expo, known in the industry as G2E, where sports betting in America is a featured topic.

Sports Betting in America is a featured topic

I'm attending the annual Global Gaming Expo (G2E) again this year, which runs from September 26-29 at the Sands Expo on the Las Vegas strip. The G2E brings the future of gambling to Las Vegas each year, and this year's event will bring together more than 25,000 people from the industry, including many iGaming companies.

More than 450 exhibitors are scheduled to work this year's G2E, which allows businesses to showcase their products, increase productivity and find new business opportunities.

One of the most-anticipated speakers of the week takes the stage on Thursday, Sept. 29. David Stern, the former long-time commissioner of the National Basketball Association (NBA), will discuss the future of sports betting in America. He is expected to speak out in favor of sports betting, which his recent replacement, Adam Silver, has openly supported.

Global Gaming Expo in Las VegasThere should be federal legislation that says, 'Let's go all the way' and have betting on sports. It's OK. It's going to be properly regulated," the former commissioner told a forum on the future of sports media in New York City.

The NBA's Philadelphia 76er's CEO Scott O'Neil recently told USA Today, "If you fast forward 10 years, I think we'll be betting on games live." When asked if there will be a time when fans can place a bet at an arena, he said "Absolutely. You want there to be regulation, and it to be centralized and controlled, and I think there's an opportunity to improve fan engagement."

Earlier this month, a gambling advisory board chaired by a former FBI deputy director recommended ending the federal ban against sports betting. The board says states should have the right to decide whether to offer sports betting. Sports gambling outside of Las Vegas currently is prohibited by federal law, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992.

"It's time to reconsider that national ban,'' Tim Murphy, former deputy director of the FBI said.

Geoff Freeman, President and CEO of American Gaming Association (AGA) will also speak at G2E. He'll address the current state of the casino industry and also discuss sports betting and other topics. Sara Rayme, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs at AGA will also speak at the event.

In 2015, the American Gaming Association launched an initiative to expose massive illegal gambling market — $150 billion a year for sports gambling, it says — and that led to the formation of the advisory group. That group participated in a summit in Washington D.C. that involved about 25 law enforcement leaders, which recently announced conclusions and recommendations that also included: an open and regulated sports betting market boosts law enforcement oversight, states must play a central role and illegal sports betting fuels criminal enterprises.

"[Illegal betting] is not just a victimless crime,'' said Ed Davis, a former Boston police commissioner.

G2E also provides gaming education sessions with hundreds of gaming experts sharing insight through interactive panel discussions. Topics in sports betting include the legalization of sports betting, the growth and future of mobile betting, and the integrity of sports betting. A panel of Las Vegas sports book directors will discuss how legal and regulated sports betting works, as sports betting continues to explode in the U.S. with billions of dollars also wagered illegally each year.

In addition to sports betting and gaming, online poker could benefit from the event as the skill versus luck debate continues. At this year's G2E, a major topic of discussion will be on new skill-based casino games.

Also, eSports and video game competitions may be the next big business opportunity for casinos. Attendees will learn the betting options for eSports-traditional sports-style betting, "skins" betting. Also, the next generation of casino customers may soon see, "the video game casino", combining the entertainment, engagement, and excitement of video games, esports, and gambling.

FairwayJay is a leading national sports handicapper and is recognized as one of the sports industry's most insightful analysts. Follow him on Twitter: @FairwayJay

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