Event Producers

  • BolaVerde Media Group
  • Lewis Roca Rothgerber LLP
  • The Innovation Group
  • eGamingBrokerage.com
  • iGaming Business North America


  • Continent 8 Technologies
  • Gaming Laboratories International
  • GameAccount Network
  • Pentasia
  • Optimal Payments


Renato Ascoli, President of Products & Services, GTECH

As General Manager of GTECH S.p.A. (formerly known as Lottomatica Group) and President of GTECH Products and Services, Renato Ascoli is responsible for overseeing the design, development, and delivery of state-of-the-art platforms, products, and services. He supports all stages of the sales process, and provides marketing and technology leadership to optimize investment decisions.

Prior to this role, Ascoli served as Head of Italian Operations. In this position, he was responsible for the strategic direction and operations of the Company’s Italian businesses. He joined the Company in 2006 serving as Director of the Gaming division.

From 1992 to 2005, he worked for the national railway system Ferrovie dello Stato/Trenitalia where he held roles of increasing responsibility including head of Administration, Budget, and Control of the Local Transport Division; head of Strategies, Planning, and Control of the Transport Area; and head of the Passengers Commercial Unit. In 2000, he was appointed Marketing Director of the Passengers Division and later served as Director of Operations and Passengers Division. He also served as head of International Development for Trenitalia.

Earlier in his career, he led international marketing efforts for Fincentro Group – Armando Curcio Editore, where he was responsible for commercial development of the publishing assets of Fincentro Group. He was also responsible for defining the strategic and management assets of the many companies comprising Fincentro Group.

Ascoli also served as a consultant to Ambrosetti Group, supporting the internationalization process (Spain, England, and USA).

Ascoli graduated from Bocconi University in Milan, majoring in Economic and Social Studies.


David Baazov, , Amaya Gaming


Mark Balestra, Director, BolaVerde Media Group

Mark Balestra is the founder and director of BolaVerde Media Group. Over the span of 14 years, he has been an author, consultant, publisher, researcher and conference organizer with unmatched experience and expertise in the interactive gambling industry. He has been a presenter at numerous industry events and has been featured as an expert on Internet gambling by national and international media outlets, including The New York Times, Reuters, USA Today, ESPN, CNET, Wired magazine, and the Los Angeles Times. He is also a member of the Global Gaming Expo advisory board (2009 and 2010), a contributor of US policy analysis to Media & Entertainment Consulting Network and a frequent contributor to a variety of trade publications.

In 2006, Mr. Balestra was named one of Global Gaming Business magazine's "25 People to Watch" in the worldwide gambling industry. Prior to founding BolaVerde Media Group, Mr. Balestra ran publications and conference programs for River City Group and headed the publications department for London-based Clarion Gaming. In the span of 10 years with River City Group and three additional years with Clarion Gaming, Mr. Balestra was the publisher and co- creator of IGamingNews, editor and coauthor of Internet Gambling Report, creator of Gaming Industry Media, author of several syndicated industry studies and program organizer for River City Group's expansive portfolio of conferences, which included the Global Interactive Gaming Summit & Expo (GIGSE), the European iGaming Congress, the Asian iGaming Congress, the World Poker Congress, the iGaming In-Depth conferences and GamVest.


Peter Bertilsson, Director, President & CEO, Metric Gaming


Melissa Blau, Founder & Director, SiGMA

Melissa Blau has been in the online gaming sector for ten years as both an operator and advisor. She is currently the Founder & Director of iGaming Capital, a leading iGaming consulting and advisory company bridging European and US interests. Clients include state regulators, commercial and Native American casino operators, payment processors, gaming suppliers, and social gaming companies. Current clients include Hard Rock, Tropicana Atlantic City, Delaware Lottery, Pechanga, among others.

Prior to launching iGaming Capital, her experience in the online gaming sector includes senior executive roles at a number of online gaming operators and marketing companies as well as in a banking advisory capacity. Since joining the Internet Gaming sector in 2004, Melissa has demonstrated her leadership in the gaming sector winning the 2013 Women in Gaming Award for Entrepreneur of the Year. She shares her experience as a frequent speaker, participating in many of the leading online gaming events and has spoken before both the New Jersey and Delaware State legislatures and gaming committees. She is a strategic advisor for Poker Trip, the first licensed in Affiliate in Nevada and New Jersey and Inapp Fuel, a social B2B mini-game provider.

Prior to her entering the Online Gaming sector, Melissa was a General Partner and founding member of Constellation Ventures, a $450m media & technology venture capital fund in conjunction with Bear Stearns. Melissa has a BA from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from Harvard University.


Stephen Boyle, Founder & CEO, Joingo

Stephen Boyle is a Founder and the Chief Executive Officer of Joingo. A visionary whose exceptional track record includes building businesses, producing and integrating new technologies, Mr. Boyle brings more than 25 years of experience on the leading edge of computer technology. As a co-founder and Vice President of Engineering at Unwired Planet, Phone.com and Openwave Systems, he was a pioneer of the Mobile Internet and was instrumental in developing many of the technologies that allow mobile devices to connect to the Internet today. Mr. Boyle’s passion for finding innovative ways to help customers transform their businesses by maximizing new market opportunities is genuine. During his career, he has been granted more than 12 patents in the domain of mobile/cellular data applications, with several more patents pending.


John Caldwell, President, iGameNet

After a successful foray into the music industry as a talent manager and record label president representing acts such as Stone Temple Pilots & Hootie and the Blowfish John Caldwell’s poker career began with his co-founding of PokerNews.com in 2004. Working as the site’s CEO and EditorIn-Chief through its first five years Caldwell left the company in 2009 to take on a leadership role at PokerStars.com where he served as Director of Pro and Celebrity Marketing. Through his 4+ years at PokerStars.com he was also active in many of the organization’s executive and marketing leadership teams. In January 2015, Caldwell founded iGameNet, an iGaming consultancy.


Rick Campbell, Marketing Development, American Casino & Entertainment Properties, LLC

Rick Campbell is Marketing Development for American Casino & Entertainment Properties. Rick had the great fortune to begin his career touring with national musical artists as a sound and lighting engineer. As the touring schedules came to a close, Rick transferred his sound and lighting experience into a similar position in the casino industry. During his tenure as a sound and lighting expert, Rick became involved in creating marketing strategies for various casino properties. Utilizing his education in marketing, he secured a position in the marketing field of the casino industry. As a result of that decision, Rick now has nearly 20 years of experience with both Native American and commercial gaming organizations as an innovative casino marketing executive. Rick has held senior level executive positions in marketing at the corporate and property levels of organizations such as Herbst Gaming, Tropicana Entertainment, Caesars Entertainment and Isle of Capri Casinos. Rick Campbell possesses expertise in creating and executing marketing tools with a proven track record of profitability in developing comprehensive marketing strategies. He has also executed successful marketing programs for both land-based casinos and online operations, including development of CRM bridge platforms between social gaming and land-based player systems. Rick is honored to be on the advisory board for the Global Gaming Expo (G2E). Throughout his career, Rick has had the privilege of being invited to conduct seminars and to be a guest speaker at various conferences throughout the United States, Europe and Africa on topics of Casino Marketing and Management. Besides being a successful casino marketing executive, Rick has also been involved as a Producer for several television projects.


Andy Caras-Altas, CEO, Traffic Generation

Andy founded Traffic Generation in 2011 and is one of the industry's thought leaders in casino property to digital convergence. After a career as a management consultant he spent 15 years in online gambling as an executive of licensed operators, an affiliate and as a supplier. Andy speaks regularly on convergence and the development of successful casino marketing technology & strategies.

As CEO of Traffic Generation he works with tribal & commercial casinos across North America providing convergence marketing technology that simplify, automate and monetize digital simulated, social and for wager casinos. Traffic Generation has two arms: TG Tech (convergence marketing technology) and TG Media (marketing & strategy services) with offices in Las Vegas, Chicago & Gibraltar.


Benjie Cherniak, Managing Director, Don Best Sports

Benjie Cherniak is Managing Director of Don Best Sports, a leading provider of sports information products and services related to the provision of real-time, fact-based information relevant to the North American sports betting industry. With offices in Las Vegas, Nevada, and Vancouver, British Columbia, Benjie oversees the organization’s sports information platform, automated data distribution, live pricing division and ancillary consulting services. Benjie has spearheaded international growth via tailored solutions to tier-one sportsbook operators in Europe, Asia, South America, and beyond. More recently, under Benjie’s supervision, Don Best has introduced (a) an in-play pricing product for North American based sports that has rapidly gained market acceptance; and (b) a data integrity offering to assist North American based sport leagues in detecting fraudulent betting patterns.

With 10 years of industry experience, Benjie has gained significant insights and contacts within the sports information space and enjoys a strong reputation with his peers.


Jeff Derevensky, , McGill University


Neil Erlick, Executive VP, Business Development, Optimal Payments

A seasoned industry executive, Neil has been a key member of the Optimal Payments senior management team since 2000. In recent years, Neil has been tasked with the strategic development and marketing of online payment solutions for large-scale merchants. These comprehensive solutions include the implementation of online gateway services, merchant accounts, mobile and alternative payments, and risk management services. Neil is responsible for the Company’s North American gaming initiatives and seeking new strategic partnerships. Neil previously served as Senior VP of Business Development, where he oversaw the Company’s regulated European gaming services.


Tom Galanis, Director, GameOn Affiliates Limited

Tom Galanis is an iGaming affiliate marketing specialist, with 10 years of industry under his belt. Tom has led the development and management of 21 affiliate programs for companies as illustrious as bet365, the Gala Coral Group and the Rank Group. Tom provides affiliate management, master affiliate recruitment and broader iGaming consultancy services to start ups and established operations. He was inducted in to Global Gaming Business’ 40 Under 40 class in 2015 and is a commissioned writer, having featured prominently in a wide range of industry publications and conferences around the world. GameOn, a business based in the Isle of Man, with representative offices in London and Gibraltar, also provides a range of marketing services to the iGaming industry, including public relations, search engine optimisation, customer relationship management and VIP events. For more information on Tom Galanis or GameOn, call +447805638742 or visit http://www.GameOn.im.


Mike Gatto, Assemblyman, 43rd District, California State Assembly


Jenna Goodfellow, Senior Counsel, U.S Regulatory and Public Policy, Mastercard

Jenna S. Goodfellow is Vice President, Senior Counsel, U.S. Regulatory and Public Policy for MasterCard Worldwide. Ms. Goodfellow joined MasterCard in her current role in May 2012. In this role, she advises on U.S. regulatory issues impacting the company and helps manage MasterCard’s relationships with key regulators and law enforcement officials in the United States. In addition, Ms. Goodfellow also counsels internal clients, including the prepaid team, on regulatory compliance issues and trade sanctions topics.

Prior to joining MasterCard, Ms. Goodfellow was a litigation associate at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP for nearly 8 years. As an associate, she worked on a variety of complex litigation matters, including white collar crime/regulatory matters, internal investigations, and commodities issues.

Ms. Goodfellow earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Brown University, a Master of Public Health degree from New York University and a Juris Doctorate from Rutgers School of Law – Newark.


Chris Grove, Publisher, OnlinePokerReport

Chris Grove is an independent consultant for various stakeholders in the regulated online gambling market. During his 10+ years in the iGaming industry, Grove:

  • Co-founded OnlinePokerReport.com;
  • Advised dozens of operators, marketers and other gaming-related interests on focus areas including: content development; player acquisition and retention; ecosystem management and organic traffic strategy.
  • Founded, developed and operated an affiliate network responsible for driving tens of thousands of depositing players to iGaming sites.
  • Built a reputation as a profitable online and live poker player.

A member of the National Forensic Association Hall of Fame and three-time National Public Speaking Champion, Grove earned his B.A. and Masters of Communication from Illinois State University. Chris currently lives in Las Vegas.


Jeffrey Haas, Group Director, Poker, bwin.party digital entertainment


Bob Hays, Vice President, Global Commercial, Williams Interactive

As Vice President, Global Commercial, Mr. Hays leads new business development, marketing, commercial sales and B2B product strategy. To date Mr. Hays has successfully established critical alliances supporting online products/services, led the continuing development of Interactive's casino platform and most recently was responsible for Interactive's election as a supplier to the Delaware Lottery.

Prior to helping found Williams Interactive, Mr. Hays served as Executive Director at WMS Gaming leading the new business development and commercial sales efforts across multiple North American jurisdictions. Direct responsibilities included launching the WMS Class II / Central Determination business in the Americas and successfully leading WMS to be selected as a qualified supplier to both British Columbia Lottery Corporation and Lotto Quebec’s online gaming entities PlayNow.com and Espacejeux.com.

Previously, Mr. Hays served as Executive Director at WMS Gaming leading the new business development and commercial sales efforts across multiple North American jurisdictions. Direct responsibilities included launching the WMS Class II / Central Determination business in the Americas and successfully leading WMS to be selected as a qualified supplier to both British Columbia Lottery Corporation and Lotto Quebec’s online gaming entities PlayNow.com and Espacejeux.com.

Before joining WMS, Mr. Hays held several senior leadership positions with General Electric Corporation.


Susan Hensel, Director of Licensing, Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board


Anika Howard, Sr. Director Interactive, GTECH


Laura Kane, Head of Sales Large Enterprise, North America, PayPal


Matthew Katz, CEO, CAMS, LLC

Matthew Katz is CEO of CAMS, LLC, a privately held company he independently financed and founded in 2012.

The CAMS Platform or Central Account Management System is a multi-tenant Software as a Service (SaaS) solution built to protect the operator and maintain brand integrity by providing online gaming and lottery sites with: 1) assistance with regulatory compliance, 2) fraud and risk mitigation, 3) player account limit disbursement, and 4) payout management and taxation, all within a white label solution that is customized for each site.

Mr. Katz has a well established career as a successful entrepreneur having founded and partnered in several other businesses and consulting firms prior to CAMS, LLC. Matthew has the unique distinction of starting a successful business while still in college introducing a new interactive online gambling methodology.

In 2005, Mr. Katz started Verifi, Inc., and serves as President and Chairman. Verifi offers business efficiencies and risk management services via proprietary technology and expertise to Tier 1 merchant businesses that accept credit card payments via e-commerce, mail order and even telephone order channels. Verifi employs over 100 people full-time and has been profitable since its inception. The company consistently recognizes double-digit growth in revenue month over month. Mr. Katz is at the helm of both companies, Verifi and CAMS, managing day-to-day operations and defining the strategic goals for the future.

Mr. Katz has been profiled by the NY Times, LA Times, Forbes, and Business Week to name a few. He is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis with a degree in Economics and lives in Los Angeles.

For more information on Matthew Katz or CAMS, LLC please call 323.655.5789 or visit www.CentralAMS.com.


Helene Keeley, State Representative - 3rd District, Delaware General Assembly

Rep. Keeley has taken an active role in championing important legislation through the Delaware General Assembly, including the Mental Health Parity Act of 2001; a bill to catch red light runners in the City of Wilmington; legislation to restrict physicians from charging outrageous fees for the transfer of medical records; legislation to prevent price gouging during a state of emergency; bills to make our streets safer by cracking down on drug dealers and properties that sell illegal alcohol and the establishment of a hearing aid loan bank for Delaware children three and under and introducing a bill to restrict the sale of violent and harmful video games. Rep. Keeley was the driving force in developing Delaware’s Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program and the States Medical Marijuana Program. She continues to focus on the current foreclosure issues in the State and has introduced legislation to regulate mortgage brokers and payday lending institutions. Representative Keeley severed as House Minority Whip 2006-2008.


Adam Krejcik, Managing Director, Eilers Research, LLC

Adam Krejcik is a partner at Eilers Research, LLC as well as the firm’s Managing Director of Digital & Interactive Gaming. Mr. Krejcik has over 10 years of equity research experience primarily covering the global interactive entertainment industry. He has become one of the authoritative voices on the social casino gaming industry and his proprietary research has been cited by various industry executives. Additionally, he is a regular contributor to various trade publications and a frequent guest speaker at industry conferences. Mr. Krejcik started his career at Bank of America Securities, LLC where he helped cover the Leisure sector and was most recently Senior Analyst of Global Consumer & Internet Research at ROTH Capital Partners, a boutique investment bank based in Newport Beach, CA. Eilers Research was founded by Wall Street veteran Todd Eilers in late 2012 and is focused on servicing the gaming equipment, technology, and interactive gaming sectors within the global gaming industry. The company’s products and services include market research, equity research, and advisory services designed specifically for land based & online casino operators, equipment & technology suppliers, social gaming operators & suppliers, gaming regulators, and investors.


Terry Leiweke, Managing Director, Absolute Sports Info/The Linemakers

The Leiweke name has become synonymous with the sports and entertainment industry. Terry is the second oldest of four brothers. The family has been involved in the development of some of the most iconic brands in the sports and entertainment industry.

Terry played on the nationally ranked University of Houston football teams and still holds an NCAA Division I collegiate scoring record. He worked at ABC Sports, primarily in their college football coverage and then returned to Houston and became the Director of Sports and Entertainment for the City of Houston’s state of the art facility, The Summit. He became a founding member of the Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL) which launched with six original franchises, including Houston. In the second year of the league he brought his other three brothers into the league where they first successfully launched the St. Louis Steamers who had the highest average attendance of any professional sports team in North America. The brothers moved the Houston franchise to Kansas City where the Kansas Comets played at Kemper Arena. They sold every ticket to every game. It became a sports phenomena.

Terry was the founding partner of Sportsview Productions which packaged, sold and produced over 100 live telecasts a year. When the Comets were sold, the family moved deeper into the sports and entertainment industry.

With the advent of the internet, Leiweke became a founding member of Wrenchead.com -­- an online automotive aftermarket company where users would enter their vehicle ID number which would then identify every part on their car and every replacement part that would keep their car in warranty. Wrenchead was the first ever direct link out of NASCAR.com. Mr. Leiweke sold his interest and became a founding member of the World Series of Golf. The World Series of Golf operated under a unique patented method of play and incorporated Texas Hold ‘Em Poker with golf.


Senator Raymond Lesniak, Senator, New Jersey

State Senator from New Jersey's 20th Legislative District


Katie Lever, General Counsel and Executive Vice President, Scientific Games

Katie Lever serves as General Counsel and Executive Vice President for Scientific Games. In this role, she is responsible for all legal and regulatory matters related to Scientific Games’ multi-faced operations, including management of its legal and intellectual property departments and providing strategic legal advice for the Company’s international and interactive business.

Ms. Lever joined Scientific Games from Bally Technologies, which was acquired by Scientific Games in November 2014. As Senior Vice President of Legal and Compliance and General Counsel at Bally Technologies, Ms. Lever played a key role during the $5.2 billion acquisition. Ms. Lever joined Bally from SHFL entertainment, where she was General Counsel and Executive Vice President and which was acquired by Bally in November 2013 in a $1.3 billion acquisition.

Prior to joining SHFL entertainment in 2011, Ms. Lever was General Counsel and Executive Vice President of Global Cash Access, the gaming industry’s largest cash access provider, and prior to that was a Partner with the Las Vegas law firm Schreck Brignone (now Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck), where she practiced transactional, commercial, and corporate law for many of the largest gaming operators. Before joining Schreck Brignone, Ms. Lever practiced in Canada representing high-tech and bio-tech companies in private and public equity transactions.

She is the President of the International Association of Gaming Advisors (IAGA) and a member of the State Bar of Nevada and The Law Society of British Columbia. She received her law degree from the University of Windsor.


Jordan Levin, President, Interactive, Scientific Games

Jordan Levin serves as President, Interactive for Scientific Games. In this capacity, he provides executive management and leadership, including overall strategic direction, business development, sales and marketing, and operational oversight.

Mr. Levin has served as Managing Director, Williams Interactive at Scientific Games since January 2014, having previously been Chief Operating Officer of Williams Interactive since July 2013, when it was created as a subsidiary of WMS Industries Inc. ("WMS") (acquired by Scientific Games in October 2013. Prior to that he was WMS' Vice President of Business Development.

After joining WMS Industries in 2006 as Senior Principal Business Development, Mr. Levin was promoted to Director Business Development in 2008 and later Vice President of Business Development in 2010. Previously, he worked in investment banking and corporate finance with Dresner Partners and Wells Fargo. Mr. Levin earned his Bachelor of Business degree in Finance from the University of Texas, Austin in 1998, and received a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Chicago in 2008.


Mason Malmuth, Owner and Publisher, Two Plus Two Publishing and Two Plus Two Interactive LLC

Mason Malmuth was born and raised in Coral Gables, Florida. In 1973 he received his BS in Mathematics from Virginia Tech, and completed their Masters program (also in math) in 1975. While working for the United States Census Bureau in 1979, Mason stopped overnight in Las Vegas while driving to his new assignment in California. He was immediately fascinated by the games, and gambling became his major interest.

After arriving in California, he discovered that poker was legal and began playing in some of the public cardrooms as well as taking periodic trips to Las Vegas where he would play both poker and blackjack. In 1982, he went to work for the Northrop Corporation as a mathematician and moved to Los Angeles where he could conveniently pursue his interest in poker in the large public cardrooms in Gardena, Bell Gardens, and Commerce.

In 1983 his first article “Card Domination — The Ultimate Blackjack Weapon” was published in Gambling Times magazine. In 1987 he left his job with the Northrop Corporation to begin a career as both a full-time gambler and a gambling writer. He has had over 600 articles published in various magazines and is the author or co-author of 15 books. These include Gambling Theory and Other Topics, where he tries to demonstrate why only a small number of people are highly successful at gambling. In this book he introduces the reader to the concept of non-self weighting strategies and explains why successful gambling is actually a balance of luck and skill. Other books he has co-authored include Hold ’em Poker For Advanced Players with David Sklansky, Seven-Card Stud For Advanced Players with David Sklansky and Ray Zee, and Small Stakes Hold ’em: Winning Big with Expert Play with Ed Miller and David Sklansky. All of them are considered the definitive works on these games.

His company, Two Plus Two Publishing LLC has sold over two million books and currently has 42 titles to its credit.


Brian Mattingly, CEO, 888 Holdings Plc

Brian Mattingley is Chief Executive Officer of 888 Holdings Plc. and prior to his appointment in 2012 had been Non Executive Vice Chairman since 2006.

From 1997 until 2003 Mr Mattingley was Group Finance & Strategy Director of the Gala Group Plc., the largest Private Equity owned gaming group in the UK. During his time at Gala, Mr Mattingley completed the acquisition of several bingo and casino chains and launched the Gala Interactive Online business. In late 2003, Mr Mattingley was appointed Chief Executive of Gala Regional Developments Ltd., a new joint venture company owned by Gala and Harrahs Entertainment Inc., formed to develop and operate large style casinos in the UK.

From 1995 to 1997 Mr Mattingley was Chief Executive of Ritz Bingo Ltd., on which he completed an MBO in 1996 merging that business into Gala in 1997. From 1989 until 1995 Mr Mattingley was Managing Director of Titles Leisure Ltd., a retail trading subsidiary of Kingfisher Plc.

Prior to this Mr Mattingley held various management positions with Dee Corporation Plc. from 1974 to 1989, including Financial Controller of Carrefour Ltd, Finance Director of Gateway Ltd., Corporate Development Executive of Dee Corporation Plc. and Commercial Director of Medicare Ltd.


The Honorable John McCain, Senator for Arizona, United States Senate

John McCain entered the Naval Academy in June of 1954. He served in the United States Navy until 1981.

He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Arizona in 1982 and elected to the United States Senate in 1986.

He was the Republican Party’s nominee for president in the 2008 election.

He currently serves as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Armed Services.


Steven McLoughlin, Official Representative, Max Value Software


Derrick Morton, CEO, FlowPlay

A 20-year veteran of the casual gaming industry, Derrick Morton has led the development of over 200 digital entertainment projects during his career. Derrick launched Vegas World in late 2012 to take advantage of the rapidly growing $4.4 billion social casino market after founding FlowPlay in 2006. Before founding FlowPlay in 2006, he served as a key executive at several top online game companies, including iWin, Uproar, Virtual Vegas, GameHouse and most recently RealNetworks. At RealNetworks Derrick negotiated long-term distribution agreements with Cingular, Verizon, Virgin Mobile, and Vodafone Global among others. As the industry’s first social casino MMORPG, Vegas World has already acquired more than 2 million registered users with the more than 650,000 active users averaging 40 minutes per session and monetizing at well over $3 per MAU (monthly active users) per month.


Rich Muny, Vice President of Player Relations, Poker Players Alliance

Rich Muny has been a tireless advocate for poker rights since passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act in 2006. He has successfully organized like-minded poker enthusiasts to work together on many campaigns for poker rights. These efforts led to his being named to the PPA Board of Directors in 2007 and to his current role of vice president of player relations in 2011. Prior to being named vice president of player relations, Rich made his living at the tables as a professional poker player. Prior to that, Rich was a mechanical engineer for GE Aviation, where he developed extensive project management, problem solving, and other skills that he brings to his role at PPA.

As vice president of player relations, Rich is responsible for ensuring that the concerns of the player base are always at the forefront of the PPA’s mission and strategic decisions. He is responsible for PPA’s communication of these issues with individual poker players, poker blogs, and all other poker-specific media. He regularly communicates directly with the player base on several online forums under his online handle “TheEngineer” and via phone calls and emails.


Hai Ng, Partner, Neomancer LLC

Co-founder of Neomancer, a unique technology consultancy and advisory firm, Hai is often described by his clients and peers as a Renaissance man; a polymath, possessing breadth and depth of knowledge in a wide variety of fields, with the ability to apply his skills to conjure solutions to problems. As a technologist, Hai's focus includes gaming and game design in regulated gambling, skill-based gaming, gamification and general entertainment; gaming and behaviors in social ecosystems; human factors, interaction and user experience in product and interface design; media in digital, film and television; security, privacy, policies and infrastructure in technical operations; and technology in the arts. As an analyst and advisor, Hai actively works with companies ranging from startups to multi-national corporations, including Continent 8 Technologies, the iGaming industry's most awarded data center and network services company. Beyond Neomancer, Hai is a creator, musician and photographer with published works and several award-winning achievements including a piece exhibited at New York's Museum of Modern Art.


Joakim Nilsson, Managing Director, SCRM Cloud


Seth Palansky, Vice President, Corporate Communications, Caesars Interactive Entertainment, Inc.

Seth Palansky is a twenty-year veteran of corporate communications, working for major U.S. corporations including the National Football League, News Corp and now Caesars Entertainment.

Palansky joined (then) Harrah’s Entertainment’s Sports & Entertainment Group in March, 2008 as Director of Communications based in Las Vegas.

With the formation of Caesars Interactive Entertainment, Inc. in May, 2009, Palansky now oversees communications for the digital arm of Caesars Entertainment, as well as adding duties of Editor-In-Chief for WSOP.com, the official website of the World Series of Poker. He reports directly to CIE Chief Executive Officer Mitch Garber.

Palansky is responsible for corporate communications, publicity, media and community relations for all CIE’s assets including, Playtika, the number one social casino games producer; real-money gaming businesses in New Jersey, Nevada and the United Kingdom, and its land-based businesses, including the world’s most prestigious poker tournament, the World Series of Poker (WSOP), held each summer at the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

In addition, Palansky has editorial oversight of WSOP.com and manages strategy and communications for CIE’s social media offerings.

Prior to joining Caesars, Palansky spent five years with the NFL, where he ran the NFL Network Communications Department, the league’s 24-hour cable and satellite channel.

Splitting time with the NFL’s corporate office in Manhattan and its studio production facility in Los Angeles, Palansky was charged with all media relations facets for the organization.

In addition, Palansky served as part of the NFL’s PR staff, working on corporate communications projects. Palansky reported to NFL Network President and CEO Steve Bornstein, the former chairman of ESPN, who is largely responsible for the incredible growth and success of ESPN.


John Phillips, Co-Founder & CEO, PredictIT


David Purdum, Gaming Industry Reporter, ESPN

A traditional newspaper journalist, David Purdum has covered the gaming industry, with a focus on sports betting, for the past seven years. He has followed New Jersey’s court battles with the sports leagues closely and covered the case for ESPN.com, The Linemakers on Sporting News, Sports Business Journal and other outlets. He has appeared on ESPN’s Outside the Lines and was a panelist on “US and European Methods to Combat Corruption and Match-Fixing in Sports” at the Sports Lawyers Association’s annual conference in 2013. He currently covers the industry for ESPN.com’s new sports betting site, ESPN Chalk.

In addition to his gaming coverage, Purdum also covers professional, college and high school sports for the Sports Xchange and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.


Sue Schneider, Founder, eGamingBrokerage.com

Sue Schneider is one of the world’s leading experts on the internet gaming industry which she began monitoring in 1995. Starting as an owner of leading gaming consumer portal from ’95-‘99, she then launched River City Group, which produced the largest i-gaming events in the world (GIGSE and EiG) as well as key industry trade publications, such as iGamingNews.com and the Internet Gambling Report.

In July, ’06, River City Group was purchased by Clarion Events, one of the UK’s largest event producers, and Schneider remained as CEO/Americas there until June ’09. She remains the principal of www.egamingbrokerage.com and consults on a variety of other independent projects in the industry.

Schneider was a founder and served as Chairman of the 120 member Interactive Gaming Council (IGC), a trade association, from its inception in l996 until 2004. She currently serves as Editor-atLarge and monthly columnist for Liebert Publications’ Gaming Law Review and Economics. In addition, she’s a partner with the US-based conference (www.igamingnorthamerica.com) as well as the www.maltaigamingseminar.com).

She is a frequent speaker at international gaming conferences and has testified to the US Senate, the US House of Representatives as well as the National Gambling Impact Study Commission in that country.


Aideen Shortt, Gambling Industry Consultant,

Aideen has been involved in the interactive gambling industry since its very outset over 13 years ago. Her experience incorporates both operator and supplier side of the gambling market having held senior roles at companies such as Sky Bet, Paddy Power, Gala Coral, flutter.com (now Betfair) and Chartwell Technology. She is the researcher and author of many iGaming Business’ sector intelligence reports including mobile gambling, social gaming and payments. She is an active participant and speaker at global industry events and provides regular editorial content and submissions for all key trade publications.


David Sklansky, Poker/Gambling Author, Two Plus Two Publishing

David Sklansky was born and raised in Teaneck, New Jersey, where he graduated from Teaneck HighSchool in 1966. He attended the University of Pennsylvania, but left before graduation. He returned to Teaneck and passed multiple Society of Actuaries exams by the time he was 20, and worked for anactuarial firm.

Sklansky is generally considered a top authority on gambling. He has written many books on poker,blackjack, and general gambling.

Sklansky has won three World Series of Poker bracelets, two in 1982 ($800 Mixed Doubles, and$1000 Draw Hi) and one in 1983 ($1000 Limit Omaha Hi). He also won the Poker By The Bookinvitational event on the 2004 World Poker Tour, outlasting Phil Hellmuth Jr, Mike Caro, T. J.Cloutier, and Mike Sexton, and then finally overcoming Doyle Brunson.


Christian Solomine, Vice President & General Manager - Gaming, PayNearMe, Inc

Christian Solomine is Vice President & General Manager of the Gaming and Entertainment business unit at PayNearMe, overseeing the company’s iGaming, lotteries, advance deposit wagering, social gaming and fantasy sports solutions. He is a dynamic and highly sought after speaker on topics such as how alternative payments can enable iGaming operators to increase operating efficiency while offering a seamless player experience.

Most recently, Christian directed the North America Global Partner Program at Telefonica, focusing on Machine-to-Machine (M2M) solutions such as wireless Point of Sale (POS) and helped lead global business development initiatives. Prior to Telefonica, Christian ran worldwide M2M sales for Rogers Communications in Canada, and directed sales at Jasper Wireless for their fleet management and consumer electronics practice. Christian has also directed the channel development activities of Earth Networks/WeatherBug.

Christian is a magna cum laude graduate of James Madison University’s College of Integrated Science & Technology and also received a Master of Science in Information Technology and MBA from the Daniels College at the University of Denver.


Jonathan Swerdlow, CEO, Gamytech

Jonathan Swerdlow is the founder and CEO of GamyTech, the first social and mobile focused white label platform. He is an iGaming executive with vast experience in providing operational, technical and business leadership for innovative B2B gaming organizations. Jonathan is a dynamic, hands-on, executive with extensive experience in developing and launching innovative products and technology that shape the future of mobile gaming. An innovator, entrepreneur, life-long student of marketing and sales, and on occasion – a speaker about these subjects.

Jonathan has been focusing on the next generation of mobile games. Riding the big wave of social gaming, GamyTech is changing the way iGaming Operators interact with customers. His straightforward, tell-it-like-it-is approach is refreshingly honest and leaves the audience with the information they need to make significant change in their approach to mobile & social gaming.


Ted Teruo Kitada, Senior Company Counsel, Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.

Ted Teruo Kitada is a senior company counsel in the law department of Wells Fargo Bank, National Association. Mr. Kitada is the chief payment counsel to Wells Fargo, providing advice and guidance on many payment matters, including primary payment systems (wire transfers, checks, ACH, and prepaid and debit cards); deposit services and products; bank operations; Check 21; image exchange arrangements; mobile banking; electronic banking; unclaimed property; and compliance with a variety of state and federal laws and regulations relating generally to bank deposits and operations.

Mr. Kitada received his B.A. from Stanford University (magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa), his J.D. from the University of California, School of Law, Berkeley, and a Masters in Regional Studies-East Asia from Harvard University.


Robert Tomlinson, State Senator, 6th District, Pennsylvania State Senate


Marco Valerio, , Independent Gaming Reporter

Marco Valerio began working in the gaming industry in 2010, covering the live and online poker industry. After Black Friday, Marco began focusing mainly on U.S.-regulated online gaming business and legislation. He has held positions at QuadJacks, the Global Poker Index and Global Gaming Business. Marco has contributed to several online gaming industry publications, including Global Gaming Business, iGaming Business, the Online Poker Report and eGaming Review.


Mike Vorhaus, President, Magid Advisors

Mike Vorhaus, President of Magid Advisors, founded Frank N. Magid Associates' Internet practice in 1995 and Gaming practice in 2001. He provides research and strategic consultation to a number of major traditional media companies, as well as many of the leading Internet and gaming companies. He also leads Magid's practice advising investment firms on media and technology assets.

Mike has been a columnist in Ad Age and is quoted in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, Reuters, etc. regularly and has appeared on CNBC and Bloomberg TV numerous times. Mike worked in transfer of technology and fundraising at Caltech, UC Berkeley, and UC Santa Barbara. Mike also worked in two White Houses and the U.S. Congress. Mike graduated cum laude in Psychology/Sociology with a B.S. from Wesleyan University in Connecticut.

Mike has also advised a number of start-ups, made angel investments, and assisted venture backed companies. Mike is also an investor in a number of venture funds.

Mike has also consulted on a number of film projects such as You've Got Mail and The Matrix. In 2009 Mike appeared in the movie "Imagine That" starring Ed Murphy and is a member of the Screen Actors Guild.


Lawrence G. Walters, Attorney at Law, Walters Law Group

Lawrence G. Walters heads up Walters Law Group, www.GameAttorneys.com, and has represented clients involved in all facets of the online gaming industry since its inception. He is a member if the International Masters of Gaming Law, and routinely speaks at industry conferences. Larry is often asked to provide legal analysis in the national media on gaming and Internet law issues, and has published numerous law review articles and book chapters on Gaming Law issues. His firm has actively litigated cases involving domain name seizures, advertising issues, and constitutional challenges, on behalf of gaming clients. He has practiced law for over 25 years, and is ranked “very high” by lawyers.com, and “10.0 Superb” by avvo.com. In addition his involvement in the gaming law field, Mr. Walters has developed an expertise in the legal and political issues surrounding virtual currency such as BitCoins.


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Andrew Zarnett, Managing Director, Deutsche Bank Gaming

Andrew S. Zarnett, Managing Director, currently serves as Deutsche Bank’s Gaming, Lodging and Leisure High Yield Debt Analyst, Co-Head of High Yield Research and a member of the Executive Committee of the Leverage Debt Group. Previously, from 1996 – 1999 he was the Senior Gaming Equity Analyst, Gaming, Lodging and Leisure at Ladenburg Thalmann & Co., Inc. where he also served as a member of the Board of Directors. Before joining Ladenburg Thalmann, Mr. Zarnett was the Assistant to the Chairman, Furman Selz, LLC. Mr. Zarnett is frequently quoted in both the trade and national press, including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Las Vegas Sun and the Las Vegas Review Journal. He is also a lecturer at University of Nevada Reno Annual Executive Development Program for Senior Level Casino Executives.

In 1985 Mr. Zarnett received a BA degree in Economics from York University. In 1988 Mr. Zarnett received his MBA in Finance, from Babson College.


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