Event Producers

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

Sponsors

  • Continent 8 Technologies
  • Gaming Laboratories International
  • PayNearMe
  • BetConstruct
  • IGT
  • SG Interactive
  • Betcade
  • Downtown Grand Hotel and Casino
  • Innovators' Circle

Speakers

Brett Abarbanel, Head, Social & Recreational Gambling Research , UCLA Gambling Studies Program

Brett Abarbanel, Ph.D., is Head of Social and Recreational Gambling at the University of California, Los Angeles’s Gambling Studies Program. Dr. Abarbanel has expertise in global gambling and social science applications, and her research covers Internet gambling policy, eSports and gambling, operations and technology use, and responsible gambling and community relations. Dr. Abarbanel serves as co-Executive Editor of the UNLV Gaming Research & Review Journal, which publishes internationally-relevant gambling research articles representing a broad array of academic disciplines. She has been interviewed as a gambling expert for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and the Discovery Channel.

She was recently honored by the Global Gaming Expo and The Innovation Group with their 2015 Emerging Leader Award, and was named to the 2016 Global Gaming Business 40 Under 40 list. Dr. Abarbanel completed her B.S. in Statistics at Brown University and her M.S. and Ph.D. at University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

 

   
Joe Asher, CEO, William Hill US

Joe Asher has been CEO of William Hill US since 2012, when William Hill acquired Brandywine Bookmaking, a company Asher created. Brandywine was a pure startup, which Asher launched in 2008 under the brand name Lucky’s Race & Sports Books after he relocated to Las Vegas from New York.

Asher has a long background in the gaming industry and a lifelong passion for the race and sports betting business. Starting when he was a teenager, Asher held management positions at several racetracks, including Brandywine Raceway, Dover Downs, Harrington Raceway and Foxboro Raceway and was the Wilmington News-Journal’s thoroughbred racing handicapper for Delaware Park. He became the youngest track announcer in North America, calling races at Harrington, Foxboro, Brandywine and Dover Downs. Last year, he came out of retirement and called a race at the Elko County Fair.

Previously, Asher was an attorney with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. Asher is a graduate of the University of Delaware and the Delaware Law School of Widener University, magna cum laude, served a judicial clerkship with the Supreme Court of Delaware and is admitted to the bar in Delaware and New York. He is also a member of the Advisory Council of the Center for Political Communication at the University of Delaware, the Board of Trustees of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and the Nevada Board of Trustees for Olive Crest. Asher has testified on sports betting issues in state legislatures, spoken at numerous gaming industry seminars and guest lectures on race and sports betting at UNLV's Boyd School of Law.

 

   
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.

 

   
Melissa Blau, Director, iGaming Capital

Melissa Blau has been in the online gaming sector for over 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. Melissa recently launched an affiliate business in the United States, SmartChoice Media driving traffic to regulated casino and bingo operators as well as acting as a master-affiliate. As part of her affiliate business, Melissa Co-Founded SiGMA, a non-profit association dedicated to help foster the affiliate community in regulated markets, developing transparency and equality for operators, affiliates and gaming commissions. Melissa also recently Co-Founded and is acting CFO of FastFantasy, next generation daily fantasy sports app.

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 to Overlay Gaming, the first licensed in affiliate in Nevada and New Jersey, Bitcoin and Inapp Fuel. Since 2006, Melissa has been the Finance & Business Editor of iGaming Business Magazine and author of the Global iGaming Index column.

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 conjuncti

 

   
Joseph Bunevith, Chief Operating Officer, FastFantasy, Inc.

Joseph Bunevith has 12 years of experience in iGaming. He is currently a co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of FastFantasy, Inc., where he is responsible for design and development delivery, in addition to the operations of the company.

FastFantasy is an innovative creator of daily fantasy sports games, founded by veterans spanning the iGaming and digital media sectors. Their new, simplified games, are developed by players, for players, providing a higher win ratio, as well as ensuring greater protections & integrity compared to conventional fantasy sports operators. FastFantasy's proprietary platform is built for the unique risk-management and market-making needs of sports analytics-based games, enabling their multi-channel games for mobile, web & retail to be offered in a wide range of sports.

Before FastFantasy, Joe was the Director of Fantasy Games for BAM Software & Services, where spearheaded development of the daily fantasy sports product into BAM Software’s leading online horse racing site, BetAmerica.com. Prior to BAM Software, he was the Chief Operating Officer of the online poker training site, DeucesCracked.com which had a successful exit in 2015.

 

   
Paul Burns, Vice President, Canadian Gaming Association

Paul Burns is Vice President of Public Affairs for the Canadian Gaming Association (CGA). Recognizing the importance of a unified voice for the gaming industry in Canada, Mr. Burns was instrumental in establishing the CGA in 2005. Under his leadership as VP of Public Affairs, the association has grown to include the gaming’s leading operators, manufacturers, and suppliers nation-wide.

He has been responsible for the development of industry-wide programs and approaches, including, the release of the country’s most comprehensive study on the economic impact of gaming in Canada, and the expansion of the industry’s national annual gathering, the Canadian Gaming Summit.

Prior to his work with the CGA, Mr. Burns served as Corporate Compliance Officer for RPC Gaming, a Canadian-based gaming company operating a chain of gaming establishments in Las Vegas, Nevada. He also served as Vice President of Corporate Affairs for RPC Anchor Gaming, which worked with the Government of Ontario to develop charity casinos in the province.

Mr. Burns specializes in policy development and implementation, and has held key policy roles at all levels of government. As policy advisor to the Ontario Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations, he directed government initiatives in the gaming sector. This included the expansion of gaming in Ontario, in such areas as the introduction of slots at racetracks.

Following his time with the Province of Ontario, Mr. Burns served as Senior Advisor to the Mayor of Toronto, focusing on economic development and public transit issues. As a consultant with one of Canada’s leading public affairs firm, he counseled clients on a range of public policy and procurement issues. Mr. Burns is routinely asked to speak about the gaming industry at conferences and events both nationally and abroad.

 

   
Scott Burton, Founder & CEO, eSportsPools.com

Co-founder and CEO of ESP (esportspools.com) a leading fantasy site for eSports. Prior to ESP, Scott was the founder of Tedbets.com, a licensed peer-to-peer sports wagering site.

He has been involved in all aspects of financing start-ups from both the investor and investee side in North America and Europe.

 

   
Chris Capra, U.S. Marketing Manager, 888

Chris currently heads up U.S. marketing for 888poker and 888casino, handling online and offline advertising, social media, marketing events, public relations, player acquisition and affiliate relations. In his previous role as Managing Director at Emerging Media, Chris developed marketing and public relations strategies for online and offline global gaming brands that drove player acquisition, awareness and market share in the U.S. He developed and managed VIP events, concerts, and media relations campaigns as well as product placement opportunities for online gaming in music videos and popular television shows that capitalized on the global poker movement.

Chris has also created and managed award-winning marketing and media campaigns that resulted in dominant exposure in gaming, local, regional, national, lifestyle and broadcast media for his clients' brands.

His work has garnered numerous awards including: Golden Bridge Award - Best B2B Campaign of the Year, Bulldog Reporter Award - Best Branding and Positioning and PR News Digital PR Awards, Digital Marketing Campaign of the Year, among others.

A graduate of Dickinson College, Chris spends his free time skiing, playing guitar in his band and travelling

 

   
Michael Caselli, Editor-in-Chief, iGaming Business Magazine

Michael Caselli graduated from Gerogetown University in an accelerated 3 ½ years. It was there he began considering the possibilities for digitally deliverable and consumable goods sold via the internet. In the year following his graduation, Caselli became the youngest MBA candidate at the University of London's Imperial College, where his thesis analyzed the subject of gambling on the Internet. His thesis was selected to be used as an example for MBA students for the following three years, and provided the foundation for Michael to launch one of the world's largest iGaming specialist media groups. In his career to date, he has launched and served as the publisher/editor-in-chief of seven consumer and trade magazines specializing in iGaming, has launched a public relations business solely focusing on iGaming projects, and organized dozens of international iGaming events and trade shows. Caselli is considered one of the world’s leading experts on online gaming and has been a sought after expert by several international news programs including CNBC, MSNBC and the BBC. Michael shares his expertise by participating as organizer, host, chairman and moderator for leading international interactive gaming conferences. In additional to his role as Editor-in-Chief to his publications, Michael enjoys organizing social events like Fire & Ice, the iGaming industry’s largest social gathering, and Poker in the Park, The world's largest consumer poker festival.

 

   
Louis Castle, Video Game Designer, Castle Production Services

Louis is a 28-year video game industry veteran in his hometown of Las Vegas, NV. Educated in Fine Arts and Computer Science, Louis co-founded Westwood Studios in1985 and continued with the company through multiple acquisitions in the roles of art director, technical director, COO, CFO, General Manager and eventually served Electronic Arts (ERTS) as Vice President of Creative Development for EA’s Los Angeles Studio and General manager of EA’s Blueprint Studio. In July of 2009 Louis left EA to serve as Chief Executive Officer of InstantAction, Inc. at IAC/InterActiveCorp, a video game web streaming and tools provider. Louis left IAC to join Zynga as Vice President of Studios in February of 2011 and resigned from Zynga to join Shuffle Master’s management team. Louis has since left SHFL upon the successful acquisition of SHFL by Bally Technologies in November of 2013.

Louis has also dedicated time to encouraging the entrepreneurial growth in Las Vegas. He served on the board of the Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology, at the invitation of the Lieutenant Governor, the executive committee of the Nevada Development Authority, the advisory board of Irwin Union Bank, has been inducted into the Technology Business Alliance of Nevada hall of fame, honored by the Chamber of Commerce as a “Top 40 under 40” twice and received a Governor’s award as outstanding Entrepreneur of the year.

Louis is an experienced speaker having given hundreds of presentations and dozens of Key Note addresses to international audiences.

 

   
David Chang, CEO, Betcade

David Chang founded Betcade, the first dedicated Android app store for real money gaming apps, with the goal of creating an ecosystem that benefits all stakeholders in the gaming industry.

David was formerly Head of Industry Relations at Gamblit Gaming, responsible for industry communication and outreach, and previously served as Gamblit’s Chief Marketing Officer.

David has previously founded two games companies, both of which are still active today. Gamiker Inc., founded in 2012, is creating new real-money and social casino games in mobile and land-based environments. In 2009, David founded OnNet Europe GmbH, a leading online games company that was acquired in 2012 by Daum Communications. David also served as Managing Director of International Business for IGN where he led Fox Interactive Media’s international content strategy, corporate development and operational expansion into Europe and Asia.

David graduated from the University of Southern California, where he graduated cum laude with a B.A. in Philosophy, and earned his J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of Law. In addition, David is a member of IMGL (International Masters of Gaming Law) and The Producers Guild of America.

 

   
Kevin Cochran, Senior Legal Analyst, Gambling Compliance

Kevin Cochran is a senior legal analyst at Gambling Compliance Ltd. where he has been working on a full time basis since 2012. He is based in Washington, D.C. and focuses on the U.S. gaming market, with particular interest in sports betting, fantasy sports and Internet gambling. He is a member of the Maryland Bar. In the past year he has testified at state legislative hearings around the country on Internet gambling and daily fantasy sports.

 

   
Michael D. Cohen, SVP, Corporate Development, General Counsel, Caesars Acquisition Company

Michael Cohen serves as the Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Caesars Interactive Entertainment, Inc., which is comprised of 3 businesses: social and mobile games (including its subsidiary, Playtika Ltd, the largest social casino games company in the world), the World Series of Poker and a real money online gaming business in Nevada and New Jersey. Michael has served as General Counsel of CIE since its formation in 2009. Michael also serves as the Senior Vice President, Corporate Development, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary for Caesars Acquisition Company (Nasdaq: CACQ). CAC is the managing member of Caesars Growth Partners, LLC, a joint venture between Caesars Acquisition Company and Caesars Entertainment Corporation, the world’s most diversified casino-entertainment company. Caesars Growth Partners owns the following casinos: Planet Hollywood Las Vegas, The Quad Las Vegas, Bally’s Las Vegas, the Cromwell, Harrah’s New Orleans and a joint venture interest in Horseshoe Baltimore. Michael is Vice President and a member of the Board of Trustees of the International Association of Gaming Advisors (IAGA).

 

   
Roberto Coppola, Director of Market Research, YWS Design and Architecture

Roberto is a seasoned market research professional who is skilled in creative problem-solving and discovering insights gleamed through an open minded and structured approach using qualitative market research methods. This work has influenced internal and external client understandings of consumer preferences in significant ways that have led to successful market-driven solutions.

Prior to joining YWS, Roberto spent five years with International Game Technology. At IGT he played a leadership role in the scoping, development and execution of the company’s consumer insights group. Prior to this role, he was a Leadership Development Associate at Las Vegas Sands.

Roberto has conducted market research with a wide variety of consumer types. He has moderated hundreds of in-depth interviews and focus groups with consumers and industry professionals. Foreign markets he has conducted primary research in include: Argentina, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Colombia, France, Macau, Mexico, New Zealand, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, The Philippines, Singapore, Uruguay, and Vietnam.

Roberto holds a BA in English Literature from The George Washington University and an MBA from The University of Southern California. While at GW, Roberto was also an intern at The White House.

 

   
Terry Debono, Partner, The Debono Group

Terry is a partner in the Debono Group which provides consulting, management & M&A services to clients worldwide including: Media Companies, Land Based and Online Casino operators, Gaming Technology Companies, Financial Institutions, Gaming regulators and Lottery operators.

Terry is also a partner in the Boom Digital Media Group, a Social Gaming company that creates games for the Web, Facebook, iOS, Android, Kindle, Roku and AppleTV platforms.

terry@debono.ca - www.debono.ca

 

   
John English, President, WEBE Gaming LLC

WEBE Gaming is led by John English (President), a serial entrepreneur and veteran Gaming Executive for more than 30 years.

John has had a lengthy career specializing in global business development for the regulated gaming industry. His emphasis is on technology, content, and distribution, as well as public relations, government affairs, and operational expertise.. Starting his career inthe lottery and sweepstakes industry John led one of the worlds largest enterprises that was later acquired by Las Vegas Gaming Inc. Most recently John was an equity partner in American Wagering Inc.(AWI) that operated the largest number of sports books in the United States. Additionally AWI was the very first company to receive Nevada Gaming Control Board approval for mobile sports betting which then became the first Smartphone betting app in the United States to be featured and distributed from the Apple Store. Additionally, John also created the first kiosk sports betting device (SBX) to gain regulatory approval in Nevada. Further John created Million Dollar Ticket, which was licensed by the State of Nevada as a lottery style bonus game played in restricted gaming locations. In late 2012 John was instrumental in the acquisition of his company, by William Hill, the world’s largest bookmaker. John is a renowned worldwide speaker and teacher on the subject of land based and online gaming, and is considered an expert in account wagering, mobile betting, IPTV, VR AR, and most all forms of gaming technology and content provision. John’s work has been featured on television and print numerous times and he has received several industry awards and accolades.

 

   
Neil Erlick, Executive VP, Business Development, Paysafe Group plc

A seasoned industry executive, Neil Erlick has been a key member of the Paysafe Group’s senior management team for fifteen years. Since 2013, Neil has led the strategic development and marketing of online payment solutions for large-scale merchants at Paysafe including the implementation of online gateway services, merchant accounts, mobile and alternative payments, and risk management services. Neil is also responsible for the company’s North American gaming initiatives, overseeing and managing strategies to build new partnership opportunities in the sector. Neil is a member of the board of directors of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association (FSTA).

 

   
Kurt Freedlund, President, LottoInteractive Inc.

With nearly twenty years in the lottery industry, Kurt Freedlund is currently the President of LottoInteractive Inc., a mobile lottery/casino games platform. LottoInteractive is focused on making iGaming fun, interactive and mobile. LottoInteractive games are developed by putting the consumer experience first, drawing upon the company’s expertise and knowledge accumulated from decades of creating hit games in many different genres for 18-34 year olds on more than 30 platforms. At LottoInteractive, Kurt leads the company’s business development, legal/regulatory affairs and all customer relations.

Prior to joining LottoInteractive, Kurt was COO & General Counsel of the Georgia Lottery Corporation where he was actively involved in the daily management and operation of the lottery. During his last 5 years with the Georgia Lottery, Kurt worked extensively to develop and launch the Georgia Lottery’s iLottery program. The Georgia Lottery began selling various lottery draw games on the Internet on November 25, 2012. Since the initial launch, the Georgia Lottery has successfully included its three and one-half minute Keno game and several eInstant games to the Internet portfolio.

During the past several years, Kurt has been a leading speaker and advocate for developing new iGaming content for both the lottery and casino industries.

 

   
Jimmy Fricke, Professional Poker Player,

Jimmy Fricke is a professional poker player and a contributor to several gambling publications. He advocates iGaming regulation and ethical business practices.

 

   
Jake Fyfe, General Manager, Echo Fox

Jake Fyfe has been living and breathing competitive online video games since he was very young. He has experience in multiple titles across different genres and consoles. His passion for video games and backend experience with Twitch personalities moved him to a General Manager position for the former NA LCS team, Gravity. Gravity was purchased by Rick Fox: 3 time NBA Champion of the LA Lakers. Gravity was rebranded to Echo Fox, and Jake was brought on as General Manager to operate the new organization under Rick.

 

   
Linda Goldstein, Chair, Advertising, Marketing & Media Division, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips LLP

Linda Goldstein, widely recognized as one of the leading advertising lawyers in the country, is a partner and chair of Manatt’s Advertising, Marketing and Media Division. Linda represents the world's leading consumer products and services companies in advertising, intellectual property and digital media matters. A significant portion of her practice is also devoted to advising and counseling companies in the gaming community. Linda regularly advises fantasy sports league operators on the U.S. legal and regulatory frameworks governing online gaming. Her clients also include operators of gaming sites lawfully established outside of the United States, and persons or entities involved in online horse betting and wagering. She is a frequent speaker and writer on issues relating to the legality of online gaming activities in the United States.

 

   
Dustin Gouker, Writer and Content Manager, Legal Sports Report

Dustin Gouker is the content manager for LegalSportsReport.com, a website that covers the daily fantasy sports and sports betting industries, and a writer at OnlinePokerReport.com, which covers online poker and gambling. He has been a reporter and editor for more than 15 years, including stops at The Washington Post and the D.C. Examiner, as well as a long-time freelance writer about online poker.

 

   
Roger Gros, Publisher, Global Gaming Business

Roger Gros is publisher of Global Gaming Business magazine, the leading trade publication for the gaming industry. He has also been president of Casino Connection International, the magazines’ parent company since 2001. CCI also publishes Casino Style magazine, Tribal Government Gaming magazine, G2E Preview magazine and GGB News, the only weekly online magazine covering the gaming industry. Prior to joining CCI, Gros was president of Inlet Communications, an independent consulting firm. He was vice president of Casino Journal Publishing Group from 1984-2000, and was editor of Casino Journal, the National Gaming Summary and founding editor of Casino Player magazine. He was a co-founder of the American Gaming Summit (1995) and the Southern Gaming Summit (1994) conferences and trade shows. Gros was named “Businessman of the Year” for 1998 by the Greater Atlantic City Chamber of Commerce, and was presented with the “Lifetime Achievement” honor at the 2012 American Gaming Association’s Gaming Communications Awards. Gros is also the author of How to Win at Casino Gambling, published in 1996 by Carlton Books, one of the best-selling gambling books ever. He is frequently quoted as an independent industry expert in the New York Times, the Las Vegas Sun and Review Journal, the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe, New York Post, Newsweek, the Washington Post, Forbes and other major print media, and appeared on CNN, CNBC, ABC, NBC, ESPN, the Travel Channel, the Discovery Channel and other local television and radio outlets.

 

   
Chris Grove, Partner, Narus Advisors

Chris Grove acts as a consultant to various stakeholders in the regulated online gambling market. A partner at Narus Advisors and Senior Consultant at Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, Grove also oversees trade publications focused on the regulated online poker, eSports betting, and daily fantasy sports industries.

 

   
Mike Halvorson, Chief Development Officer, Spin Games LLC

Mike is the Chief Development Officer at Spin Games LLC, a gaming technology company located in Reno. Mike was one of the initial members of the Spin team when it opened in 2012, and was at the forefront in developing Spin’s initial games and technology. With over 20 years of North America gaming and 8 years South American gaming experience, Mike oversees all software and game development strategy in addition to designing unique out of the box gaming technologies.

Prior to joining Spin Games, Mike worked for IGT as a software engineer, and prior roles include Head of Game Development at Impulse Gaming and former Technical Advisor to the Clark County school district in Las Vegas. He is recognized as a pioneer in licensed gaming products with Orange County Choppers, Marvel and reality show properties and his expertise is in design, development and strategy. Mike’s latest innovation efforts are centered on the creation of gambling games for the virtual reality arena targeting both millennials and existing casino clientele.

 

   
Andre Hengchua, Producer, Run it UP

Andre Hengchua is a former professional Starcraft II Player and commentator who switched to producing for professional poker player and streamer Jason Somerville via the company Run it UP. He has looked to bring much of the accessibility of eSports to the poker scene, innovating broadcasts and increasing the connectivity between the show and the viewer.

 

   
Eric Hollreiser, Vice President of Corporate Communications, Amaya, Inc.

A former award-winning business journalist, Hollreiser has spent the past 20 years advising media, entertainment and technology companies. Having started in agency life, Hollreiser has worked as a senior communications executive at global public companies including Microsoft, Disney, Activision/Blizzard and Amaya. At Amaya, Eric is responsible for execution of the company’s integrated global communications efforts including external and internal corporate communications, public relations and corporate social responsibility, including across social media and talent communications. Eric lives in the Isle of Man with his wife and children.

 

   
Kevin Hovdestad, Director of Marketing & Communications, Catalyst eSports Solutions

Kevin Hovdestad is a lifetime video game enthusiast turned esports professional. With a degree in political science and a decade of background in marketing prior to becoming a gaming journalist turned esports broadcaster, Kevin's breadth of knowledge and experience pair brilliantly with his enthusiasm for the success of the fast-expanding esports industry.

 

   
Will Hsiao, eSports Social Media Executive & Gaming Specialist, Catalyst eSports Solutions

Will 'Reno' Hsiao" has been competing in video games for as long as he can remember. His ability to adapt and excel at multiple genres makes him a threat in any game he plays. After graduating with a degree in Finance and Marketing, he has taken his love for gaming, knowledge of marketing and passion for eSports, and honed them as an eSports Social Media Strategist. He is also currently ranked #74th in the world in Super Smash Brothers Melee.

 

   
Gabe Hunterton, CEO, iTEAM Network

Gabe Hunterton is the CEO of iTEAM Network, a turnkey B2B Software Solution for Daily Fantasy Sports. Prior to joining iTEAM, Gabe worked for 18 years in the regulated gaming industry in both Las Vegas and Macau. Gabe was Chief Operating Officer of StarWorld Hotel and Casino from 2009 to 2012 and then went on to run the third largest casino resort in the world, Galaxy Macau, from 2012 to 2014. iTEAM is committed to the regulated future of the Daily Fantasy Sports Industry.

 

   
Jeff Ifrah, Firm Founder, Ifrah Law, PLLC

Jeff Ifrah is the founder of Ifrah PLLC, a boutique litigation firm specializing in iGaming in Washington, D.C. Jeff is widely regarded as a leading expert in the iGaming industry and has been actively involved in online gaming for over fifteen years. Jeff serves clients in all Gaming related spheres, including affiliate marketing, regulatory compliance, fantasy sports, mobile integration, eSports, sports betting, social media and sweepstakes. He represents a wide range of clients, including PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, Unikrn and the Interactive Gaming Council. He also serves as Special Internet Gaming Counsel for the Delaware State Lottery. Jeff and his firm write the blog, Ifrah on iGaming and maintain a timely white paper entitled, “The Definitive Guide to iGaming in the United States,” which is a comprehensive overview of iGaming legislation and business opportunities (available for download here). Jeff is listed in Chambers & Partners 2015 as a leading lawyer for Gaming & Licensing and he was honored as one of Gaming Intelligence Magazine’s 2012 Hot 50 Winners for Law and Regulation.

 

   
Lee Jones, Poker Evangelist, PokerStars

Lee joined PokerStars in 2003 direct from a long career in the computer engineering business, most of it in Silicon Valley. He has worked for PokerStars ever since, except a three-year hiatus from 2008-2010. During that time, he has served as the poker room manager, executive host of the EPT, Head of Home Games, and Director of Poker Communications.

Lee is the author of Winning Low Limit Hold’em, one of the best-selling poker primers of all time. It’s still in print, over 21 years after its first publication. He has also written hundreds of articles for Card Player, Bluff, and other poker magazines.

Lee has been involved with the poker industry since he first started writing for Card Player in the mid-1980’s, and has been an advocate of the game and its players ever since.

 

   
Jan Jones-Blackhurst, EVP Gov’t Relations & Corp. Resp., Caesars Entertainment

 

   
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.

 

   
John Lukasik, Game Inventor, International Gaming Institute

John is a game inventor with over 10 years experience in the gaming industry. In 2014, he created the game "Scoring Frenzy" which earned him the award for top gaming innovator at UNLV. From 2014-2016, John was a writer for Global Gaming Business Magazine.

He has worked in poker, table games, and slots, in operations, research, and analytics. He is currently a candidate for an M.S. in Hotel Administration with a concentration in Gaming Management from The University of Nevada Las Vegas.

 

   
Steven McLoughlin, CEO, Destination Poker Services, LLC

Steven is the CEO and co-founder of Destination Poker Services, the poker operations and management consultancy for peer to peer gaming ecosystems. The company’s principal innovations are the reduction of overhead through new operations and marketing procedures for patron engagement. The founders of Destination Poker Services have curated the most respected terrestrial and online poker industry management team, featuring leaders within their respective gaming specialties. The company is extremely passionate about the growth of the game of poker as a marketing tool, we strive to become the leading service provider of poker as an amenity to the casino industry.

Steven is widely recognized as a gaming industry consultant with over a decade of experience. He is considered an innovator in the field of poker statistical analysis, player communications, and a developer of cutting edge tools for game analysis. Prior to establishing Destination Poker Services, McLoughlin was the Chief Brand Strategist, designer, and spokesperson for PokerTracker Software. Under Steven’s leadership, the company regained its status as the premier statistical analysis and personal database platform for online poker players. In his role as Marketing Director at Two Plus Two Interactive, McLoughlin oversaw the growth of the world’s largest online community for poker players. Over 4.6 million visitors/month interested in gambling topics engaged with each other on the Two Plus Two Forums during the period between ’07-’10.

In his spare time, Steven is an active player within the poker community and is a featured player on the CBS Sports Network’s show Poker Night In America. When he is not busy with poker, his passion is cooking and the topic of food science. Steven is the founder of the yearly pop-up 15 course dining experience with the tongue in cheek name "World Series of Food."

 

   
Dan Michalski, Founder, Pokerati.com

Dan Michalski is a specialist in media and gaming who has reported on poker for the Associated Press and has served as a key editor for multiple magazines and web operations. For nearly a decade he ran one of the most popular poker blogs, Pokerati.com, where he proved to be a leader in industry coverage known for his beyond-the-table perspective on gaming. Michalski currently lives in Las Vegas, where he will be completing his master’s degree at UNLV’s Hank Greenspun School of Journalism and Media Studies this spring.

 

   
Ed Miller, Games Consultant, Ed Miller Poker

Ed Miller is an author or co-author of nine highly regarded poker strategy books. Moving beyond poker, he's established himself as an important voice in the Daily Fantasy Sports space as a co-author of the widely-cited SBJ article, "The Curse Of Too Much Skill."

 

   
JD Morris, Gaming Reporter, Las Vegas Sun

J.D. covers the gaming industry and tourism for the Las Vegas Sun, its business section VEGAS INC and its weekly magazine The Sunday. His reporting includes regular coverage of the most dominant casino companies, their executives and the regulatory bodies that oversee them. He has also written extensively about Nevada’s embrace of skill-based gaming, as well as online gaming, e-sports, daily fantasy sports and other technological changes in the gaming industry. In 2015, he received an award from the Nevada Press Association for astory he wrote about the closure of the Riviera hotel.

J.D. is an alumnus of UC Berkeley. He grew up in Salinas and Bakersfield, Calif.

 

   
Christopher Myers, Associate, Holland & Hart LLP

Mr. Myers is a corporate and investment management associate in the Las Vegas office of Holland & Hart LLP. His corporate and securities law practice emphasizes emerging and public companies. He advises clients on venture capital financings, private placements, mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, and securities law disclosure and compliance. Mr. Myers also assists investment advisers in the formation and operation of private investment funds, including hedge funds, private equity funds, venture capital funds, and fund of funds.

Prior to joining Holland & Hart, Mr. Myers was an associate in the Business and Finance Group at Ballard Spahr LLP where he practiced in the areas of securities, investment management, mergers & acquisitions and gaming. Prior to that, Mr. Myers spent two years as a securities regulator with both the California and Nevada Securities Divisions.

 

   
Hai Ng, Co-Founding Partner, Neomancer LLC

Co-founding partner at Neomancer — a technology strategy and management group — Hai works with a wide variety of clients, ranging from individuals to corporations to startups, over a broad industry spectrum. This breadth provides an uncommon depth that drives his view of the problems, and fuels the disruptive solutions that emerge.

With over a decade of experience in iGaming, Hai recently co-founded Innovators’ Circle — racing’s first pitch competition — to stimulate innovation and attract a younger audience to the industry. The contest brought in almost 100 entries from five continents, and the 2016 competition will be open for entries soon.

As a regular tech contributor to iGaming Business, and the Fantasy & eSports Section Editor for iGaming Business North America, Hai brings fresh approaches to gaming, always looking outside the box, but knowing how to make them work inside the box.

Neomancer and Hai’s work has not only been featured by the Museum of Modern Art in New York and major publications, but has lead to successful acquisitions, global expansions, groundbreaking campaigns, and a general euphoric co-existence with technology. He is a Director of Continent 8 Technologies (Asia) and an advisor to venture funds and start-ups.

 

   
Michael O'Malley, COO, Pala Interactive

Michael O’Malley is the COO at Pala Interactive LLC, where he is in charge of Operations, Customer Service and Product Development.

Mike has been involved in the national and international casino industry for over 20 years. Starting in the US land based industry, he has held various positions with various companies in Las Vegas, Arizona and California, from dealer to Casino Manager. As well, he wrote for Card Player Magazine for 12 years, and managed land based World Poker Tour and World Series of Poker events. He joined PartyPoker in 2001 and was instrumental in putting together the initial poker offering, which was the basis for the huge success of the company, and its subsequent float on the London Stock Exchange in 2005. In his 12+ years with bwin.party LLC (PartyGaming), he was responsible for Poker Operations, VIP Management for all products and US re-entry planning.

 

   
Joe Pappano, SVP & Managing Director, Vantiv

Joe Pappano, Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Vantiv Entertainment Solutions joined Vantiv in 1992. His current responsibilities include, strategic sales, strategy, process improvement, administration, long-term vision, and overall direction for Vantiv Entertainment Solutions and its focus on Casinos, iGaming, Lottery, ADW, Fantasy Sports and Social Gaming. He joined Vantiv in 1992 and has spent his entire 20+ year career with Vantiv specifically in the payments industry.

Mr. Pappano has a very diverse background and in-depth knowledge of the payments industry ranging from Merchant Acquiring, Card-Issuing & Servicing, Prepaid and Rewards, Mobile and Alternative Payments, Agent Bank and Third Party Processing.

During his tenure and leadership, Mr. Pappano has been instrumental in leading Vantiv to a best in class, “blue chip” acquiring portfolio that has grown from $25 billion in processing volume to over $842 billion in processing volume, and a national ranking of the largest PIN Debit U.S. acquirer and the second largest U.S. merchant transaction acquirer.

 

   
J. Gary Pretlow, Assemblyman 89th District, New York State Assembly

Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow was elected to the New York State Assembly in 1992 to represent the 89th district, which includes Mount Vernon and Yonkers.

In 2005 the Honorable Sheldon Silver, Speaker, appointed Mr. Pretlow Chair of the Assembly Racing and Wagering Committee. He is also a member of the Assembly committees on Rules, Ways and Means, Codes, Insurance, Cities, and the Assembly Steering Committee. In addition Gary is a member of the New York StateAssociation of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators, Inc., a member of the Black and Puerto Rican Legislative Caucus and the NYS Senate and Assembly Hispanic Taskforce.

Among the many significant pieces of legislation Assemblyman Pretlow has enacted into law, he is most proud of the passage Cynthia’s law. A provision of this law establishes reckless assault of a child as a class D felony. Furthermore, Cynthia’s law raises awareness for shaken baby syndrome by establishing an educational campaign to inform the public of the harm that may result from shaking a young child.

In addition to Cynthia’s law, Mr. Pretlow worked diligently to rescue and stabilize the financial position of New York City Off Track Betting Corporation by advocating for a State takeover as well as the development and implementation of the Task Force for the Future of Off Track Betting in New York State.

Prior to his election to the NYS Assembly, Assemblyman Pretlow presided as President of the Mount Vernon City Council. While on the Council, he served for six years as Chairman of the Finance and Planning Committee and Chairman of the Capital Projects Board.

In addition, as a member of the Urban Renewal Agency and Commissioner of Mount Vernon Housing Authority, he was instrumental in bringing new affordable housing to Mount Vernon.

Standing Committee Assignments 2009: Racing and Wagering (Chair); Cities; Codes; Insurance; Rules; Ways and Means.

 

   
Bill Rini, Head of Online Poker, WSOP.com/CIE

Bill Rini is the Head of Online Poker at WSOP.com where he is in charge of Caesars’ US poker initiatives. Involved in online poker for over a decade, Bill has previously worked at Tiltware, PartyGaming, and The World Poker Tour. Bill runs one of the longest running and well-respected poker blogs, Bill’s Poker Blog, where he has been writing about the poker industry and his passion for travel since 2003. Prior to becoming involved in the online poker industry, Bill was heavily involved with the early growth of the online space working for companies such as AOL, eToys, eCompanies, and the IEEE Computer Society.

 

   
Robert Rippee, Director, Hospitality Lab, UNLV

 

   
Isaac Roseboom, VP of Insight, deltaDNA

Isaac is VP of Insight at deltaDNA. Since moving into the industry, Isaac has worked as a consultant on over 50 games and apps, offering wide ranging expertise on data-driven game design and the use of predictive modelling. In addition, Isaac heads research at deltaDNA, trying to bring the best in analytics to the masses through it's platform. In a previous life Isaac was an astrophysicist, building data processing pipelines for large space telescopes.

 

   
Jason "Wolf" Rosenberg, CEO, American iGaming Solutions

As CEO, Jason is responsible for directing iGaming, social gaming, and millennial market education, consulting, marketing and management for American iGaming Solutions.

Mr. Rosenberg is currently the Lead Social Gaming Consultant for Mt. Airy Casino, and is or has been an online gaming consultant and advisor for Foxwoods Casino, San Manuel, Stratosphere (ACEP), MyVegas, BMM, GCA (Everi),Tapcentive, Traffic Generation, and 1X2Gaming.

Jason has more than 14 years of online gaming industry experience and has provided expertise and strategic solutions to over 50 online gaming operations. In addition to operational consulting, Mr. Rosenberg specializes in affiliate program direction, management, and marketing, as well as customized player acquisition, conversion, and retention programs. Mr. Rosenberg has developed and presented several iGaming and Social Gaming Boot Camps to dozens of land-based casino operations, regulatory commissions and gaming industry service providers. He has developed and presented key content for iGaming North America, GiGse, Gaming Technology Forum and NAGRA conferences. Mr. Rosenberg has been called upon for presentations at all major online gaming conferences around the world.

 

   
Steve Ruddock, iGaming Columnist & Consultant,

Steve Ruddock is a prolific writer with a passion for all aspects of the gaming industry. He covers a variety of topics including legislative developments and current zeitgeist of poker, gambling and daily fantasy sports.

Steve is a regular columnist at several websites, including the Online Poker Report. His work has also appeared in Sporting News, USA Today, NJ.com, and trade publications like Bluff Magazine, Global Gaming Business, iGaming Business, and All In Magazine.

Prior to becoming a member of the media, Steve spent 10 years as a professional poker player.

 

   
Daniel Sahl, Associate Director, Center for Gaming Innovation, UNLV

Daniel Sahl is the associate director of UNLV’s Center for Gaming Innovation, a program that invites students to invent, design, and commercialize the next generation of casino games. Dr. Sahl earned his Ph.D. in Sociology at UNLV. His doctoral work looked at the convergence of video game design with present-day slot machines and how these new games impact player experience. His research experience includes participation in several studies on tourism and gaming, and he has presented and published numerous papers at academic conferences and journals.

 

   
Victor Salerno, President, US Fantasy

Vic Salerno is a member of the American Gaming Association’s Gaming Hall of Fame, class of 2016. Salerno’s current business venture is US Fantasy, the first applicant in Nevada for a pari-mutuel sports operators license to offer B-2-B daily fantasy pari-mutuel sports content to Nevada casinos, as well as to other pari-mutuel states that compact with Nevada to wager into the USF DFS pari-mutuel pools. Salerno is the former COB of William Hill, US, the world’s largest bookmarker. Prior to his position with William Hill, Salerno was the CEO of American Wagering, Inc., the parent company of Computerized Bookmaking Systems, Inc. (CBS) which supplied the sports wagering systems for Wynn Resorts, Caesars Entertainment, MGM Resorts and Leroy's Horse & Sports Place, which was Nevada's first and largest network of race and sports books. Will Hill, US acquired American Wagering, Inc. in 2012.

Vic Salerno is a 1970 graduate of Marquette University School of Dentistry before making the natural transition into bookmaking in 1978 when he was licensed as the owner and operator of Leroy’s.

 

   
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.

 

   
Seth Schorr, CEO, Downtown Grand Hotel & Casino

Seth Schorr is Chairman of Downtown Grand Hotel & Casino. The resort is the embodiment of Schorr’s vision to create a downtown Las Vegas hospitality experience delivering a superior guest experience and genuine sense of community.

Since beginning his career in gaming in 1991, Schorr served as an integral member of the Wynn Resorts team, developing the international marketing department in Macau, the interactive gaming division and The Wynn Collection of Fine Art. Schorr also worked in numerous capacities at Bellagio, The Mirage, Treasure Island the Golden Nugget.

Schorr and his partner, Jeffrey Fine, own and operate Fifth Street Gaming which owns and operates three casinos in Las Vegas. The principals also control, LEV Restaurant Group, a food and beverage operation that owns and operates more than 35 restaurants.

With all of his professional accomplishments, Schorr remains active in the community by being part of numerous boards including those Natural History Museum, Restaurant Association, Jewish Federation, The Smith Center for Performing Arts, and the recently was appointed by Governor Sandoval to serve on the Nevada State Board of Museums and History. He is also an executive board member and Treasurer of the Downtown Las Vegas Alliance and a member of Young Presidents Organization.

 

   
Ron Segev, Partner, Business, Technology, & iGaming Lawyer, Segev LLP

Ron Segev is a Partner of Segev LLP, a business, technology, and gaming law firm located in Vancouver, Canada. Ron assists real money and social games developers, operators and marketers with gambling, technology, regulatory, compliance, corporate finance and commercial matters. Ron has experience advising on international licensing, IP sheltering and tax structuring issues and has worked with companies in every remote-gaming licensing jurisdiction of note in the world. Ron is a General Member of the International Masters of Gaming Law.

 

   
Stowe Shoemaker, Ph.D., Professor and Dean, William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration, UNLV

Dr. Stowe Shoemaker (Ph.D., Cornell University) is the Dean of the William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration and a Lincy Professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, with extensive research and consulting experience in the gaming industry. During his career, Dr. Shoemaker has helped game developers test market new casino games (both slot machines and table games), developed programs to measure customer satisfaction for casino and hotel firms, and modeled the success and failure of marketing promotions. In the classroom, he has taught marketing as well as the mathematics of casino games.

Dr. Shoemaker also has an extensive background in pricing, revenue management, and customer loyalty programs. He has worked with British Airways on their pricing strategy and trained all their revenue managers. He also worked with Accor, Hilton, and Hyatt on their loyalty programs.

Dr. Shoemaker’s research has won numerous awards, and he has published two marketing textbooks: Marketing Leadership in Hospitality and Tourism: Strategies and Tactics for a Competitive Advantage and Marketing Essentials in Hospitality and Tourism: Foundations and Practices.

Dr. Shoemaker has incorporated his knowledge of hospitality to help healthcare professionals work on patient satisfaction. He has a joint appointment at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and is currently working with them on other research. Locally, he is working with Mountain View Hospital and Sunrise Hospital.

 

   
Rahul Sood, CEO, Unikrn

Rahul Sood is the CEO of Unikrn, a Seattle-based eSports startup.

Previous to Unikrn, Sood created the first incubation fund for startups at Microsoft, and eventually Microsoft consolidated their global startup activities under Sood’s leadership. In June 2013, he launched Microsoft Ventures.

A serial entrepreneur, Sood spent 18 years in multiple startups prior to joining Microsoft. He founded luxury and gaming computer manufacturer VoodooPC, which was acquired by Hewlett-Packard. Voodoo brought the ENVY and OMEN product lines to HP, contributing advanced technologies such as commercial liquid cooling and an increased focus on design.

Sood is a co-founder of BrightSquid Medical and BullsOnWallStreet, and he is an active angel investor in a number of Startups. Sood sits on the board of advisors for Razer, a company that is widely known for taking over where Voodoo left off.

Unikrn is his new baby - their mission is to heighten the experience of watching and participating in eSports. Since November 2014, Unikrn has raised a total of 10 million dollars with investors such as Ashton Kutcher, Mark Cuban, Liz Murdoch, Shari Redstone, Binary Capital and many others. Unikrn signed an exclusive global partnership with one of the largest wagering companies in the world, and has opened their doors to multiple international markets. Unikrn has been featured on Forbes, Fortune, ESPN, CNBC and countless publications around the world.

He is active in the entrepreneurial community, helping and mentoring a variety of startups. In his spare time, Sood enjoys wake surfing & wake boarding, standup paddle boarding, cycling, racing cars and spending time with his family. He is a native of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. You can find him on Twitter @rahulsood. You can find Unirkn on Twitter @unikrnco.

 

   
Warren Steven, Product Director Online Gaming, Landry's Inc / Golden Nugget

Warren Steven is a senior executive with over 23 years of experience in the electronic entertainment industry, of which 13 years spent in the online gambling industry. He currently heads up the online gaming product team at Landry’s Inc. where they successfully launched Golden Nugget online casino in New Jersey, USA. Golden Nugget is positioned in the top 3 online casinos in New Jersey, outperforming some of the larger more established brands with a consistent year on year growth that outpaced the market in 2014 and 2015.

He started out his career as an entrepreneur in South Africa focused on e-Sports and the publishing sector focused on electronic entertainment. He entered the online gambling industry in 2003 focused on brand and marketing of a portfolio of nine online casinos.

In 2007, Warren took the opportunity to join Paddy Power to manage their Casino and Games division and then took on the challenge of heading up the e-Gaming division at Betclic Everest Group, with P&L ownership of all the e-Gaming products of their five brands across Europe and Asia. Key experience with M&A specifically focused on consolidation of product and operations across casino, games, poker and bingo verticals.

 

   
Howard Stutz, Strategic Development Manager, Greenberg Traurig - Las Vegas

Howard Stutz has spent almost 35 years in Las Vegas as an award-winning journalist and communications professional. He recently joined Greenberg Traurig where he is the law firm's strategic development manager for the Las Vegas office and the Global Gaming Group.

For the past 11 years, Howard covered the casino gaming industry for the Las Vegas Review-Journal from a local, statewide, national and international perspective. He wrote the twice-a-week “Inside Gaming” column for the Review-Journal.

Howard was part of the team of Review-Journal journalists that uncovered the Adelson family as the hidden owners behind the purchase of the newspaper last December. The team earned the Sidney Award from the New York-based Sidney Hillman Foundation and the prestigious Ancil Payne Award for Ethics in Journalism from the University of Oregon.

Howard has covered gaming industry issues in Atlantic City and emerging markets, such as Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida. In 2005, he reported on the impact Gulf Coast hurricanes had on the gaming industry in Mississippi and Louisiana. He returned to the Gulf Coast in 2015 to cover the recovery 10 years after the storms.

Howard has also traveled to Macau, China to report on the gaming industry growth in Southeast Asia.

 

   
Dana Takrudtong, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, North America, GAN

Dana Takrudtong is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for GAN North America. GAN is based in Las Vegas, Nevada with parent headquarters in London, England. Dana supports Tribal, commercial, and lottery based operators with a suite of enterprise iGaming and social gaming services. During her tenure with GAN, she's helped some of the biggest casinos in the country- Foxwoods, Maryland Live, Empire City, and several others- contract and launch Simulated Gaming(TM) (GameAccount's monetized social casino experience) and Real Money Gaming online.

Prior to joining GAN, Dana was the National Account Manager for Williams Interactive, a subsidiary of WMS Industries. An initial member of the Williams’ team formation, Dana has been at the forefront of regulated and un-regulated iGaming in the US for several years.

Before entering the gaming sector, Dana was in sales and sales management for a global print and online advertising firm. During that tenure she was part of the first national pilot group certified to broker advertising space on Google’s platform. With her background in advertising online during the emergence of SEM and networking platforms, she’s acutely aware of the change online media has brought to the gaming space and works with operators to capitalize on technology to capture new players and drive engagement from existing loyalty programs.

 

   
Marco Valerio, Founder, Agentmarco LLC

Marco Valerio has reported on the gaming industry since 2010. He began as the lead figure for poker media website QuadJacks.com and later wrote for trades including Global Gaming Business, iGaming Business, and the Online Poker Report. He continues to produce editorial content for the gaming industry out of his home office in Las Vegas, Nevada.

 

   
Lovell Walker, Executive Director of IGaming Development, MGM Resorts

Lovell Walker is the Executive Director of Interactive Gaming Development at MGM Resorts, where he is responsible for identifying and implementing the newest gaming technologies that maintain MGM Resorts’ position as a market leader. Lovell’s main responsibilities are within interactive gaming business development, gaming technologies and convergence, and mobile sports betting/casino gaming.

Lovell began his career with MGM Resorts in 2008 as part of the Hospitality Internship Program (HIP). Following his internship, he spent nearly three years at New York-New York as a Database Marketing Analyst, Sr. Operations & Marketing Analyst, and ultimately Slot Operations Manager. In June 2013, Lovell transferred to Mandalay Bay in the same capacity before earning a promotion to the property’s Director of Slot Operations in 2014.

Lovell received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Hotel Administration from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He is a graduate of the Company’s Summit to Excellence and Management Academy programs, is currently enrolled in Leadership Institute, and is a member of the Corporate Gen Y Committee. In his free time, Lovell enjoys playing golf, soccer and basketball, and spends time reading.

 

   
Daniel Wallach, Shareholder, Becker & Poliakoff, P.A.

Mr. Wallach is a leading authority on gaming law and sports law, and has counseled professional sports teams, fantasy sports operators, casinos, racetracks, sports betting companies, and other gaming industry participants on a wide spectrum of gaming-related matters. He is one of the leading voices in the emerging area of sports gambling law, and is frequently quoted for his insights on sports betting and daily fantasy sports legal issues by major media outlets such as the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, Huffington Post, Bloomberg, Reuters and the Associated Press. Mr. Wallach has written extensively about efforts to legalize and regulate sports betting and daily fantasy sports in the United States, and is considered one of the national thought-leaders on these subjects. He is also a regular panelist at sports law and gaming industry conferences, and is often invited to speak at law school conferences and symposia throughout the United States. Described as a “gaming law guru” by Michael McCann, the legal analyst for Sports Illustrated, Mr. Wallach’s insights on the U.S. gaming industry regularly appear in GamblingCompliance, the leading provider of business intelligence to the global gaming industry. Mr. Wallach is also a member of the International Masters of Gaming Law (IMGL), the preeminent global gambling law networking and educational organization shaping the future of gaming law. The IMGL is an invitation-only organization for attorneys who have distinguished themselves through demonstrated performance and publishing in gaming law, significant gaming clientele and substantial participation in the gaming industry.

 

   
Brian Weiner, Founder & CEO, ILLUSIONQUEST STUDIOS

SENIOR ENTERTAINMENT EXECUTIVE – CREATIVE PRODUCER/DIRECTOR Creative Development • Virtual Reality/Movie/TV Production and Distribution •Gaming/Gambling/Social Media Production

Over 36 years experience in producing, packaging, and marketing high quality franchise-oriented entertainment and wagering-related properties. Proven track record of successful sales, marketing and business leadership. Unusual blend of critically-acclaimed, award-winning creative expertise, innate ability to identify and promote winning properties, and strong team-building leadership skills.

Depth of knowledge surrounding all forms of production in all media, distribution in all media, promotion in all media. Core focus on Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality and the many verticals of use of these cutting edge technologies. Global distribution of Virtual Reality products. Production of Virtual Reality Wagering Systems.

 

   
Luisa Woods, Vice President Online & Internet Marketing, Tropicana Entertainment, Inc

Luisa Woods is a senior marketing executive with more than 15 years of experience in online real money and social gaming. Prior to joining Tropicana Entertainment to lead their igaming initiative, she was VP of Online Marketing at Caesars Interactive Entertainment. She also headed the marketing operations for Zen Entertainment’s (now NYX Gaming Group) B2B and B2C social gaming products as CMO, and for international financial betting operator, Binary.com. As CEO of her own digital agency, Luisa represented some of North America’s foremost high tech B2B and enterprise data solutions firms including Dell Canada, IBM, Hyperion Solutions, Pervasive Software and Hummingbird Ltd. She has an MBA in marketing from Toronto’s Schulich School of Business, where she also worked at the CulTech Collaborative Research Centre studying the use of gamification and of descriptive and predictive modeling in resource allocation games to teach management decision-making.

 

   
Marcus Yoder, VP, Regulated Markets Business Development, Gamblit

Marcus Yoder is a 20-year technology executive, now responsible for opening new markets for Gamblit by working with licensed casino operators, regulators, industry groups and approved casino OEMs.

Marcus comes to Gamblit after providing advisory services to casino operators on how best to take advantage of online gaming. Prior to this Marcus was the Executive Director of Business Development for International Game Technology (IGT). Marcus was responsible for the expansion of the IGT Interactive offering throughout the Americas, including Canada, New Jersey, Mexico, as well as driving the IGT DoubleDown Casino Partner Program.

Marcus received his BA in German and International Business from the University of Tennessee,

Knoxville, and his International MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

 

   
Kent Young, CEO, Spin Games LLC

Australian native, Kent Young brings more than twenty seven years of gaming industry expertise and strategic marketing acumen to Spin Games, LLC. Established by Young in 2012, Spin specializes in disruptive innovative smart solution technology, content and concepts with an emphasis on gaming technology and slot games and for mobile, land-based, interactive and social segments. Spin currently serves customers in USA, Europe and Asia.

The company is Young’s second entrepreneurial venture and came after the successful sale of True Blue Gaming, LLC to Aruze Gaming in 2008 where he served as General Manager of Aruze Gaming America until December 2010.

Prior, Young worked for Aristocrat Technologies for over 10 years, where he held several key positions including Global General Manager of Marketing. Young made a name for himself by bringing penny slots to the Americas and developing strong markets for highly innovative, high performing products.

Young is known for his visionary foresight in developing gaming technologies and trends which is evident in the company current IP portfolio and product offerings targeting the millennial market segment. Young and his company have developed several technologies addressing the trend such as The RocTM – HTML5 – a best of breed RGS, MIGTM (Multi Interactive Gaming Platform) VerityTM, a virtual reality platform and skilled based games.

 

   
Seth Young, VP/COO, Flower City Gaming LLC

Seth Young is the Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Flower City Gaming LLC. Flower City Gaming operates its flagship fantasy sports brand, Star Fantasy Leagues, and is a leading provider of B2B white label fantasy sports technology internationally. Seth started his first internet business at the age of 13, and throughout his teen years was an athlete and competitive e-sports player. As an athlete and competitive gamer, fantasy sports was a natural fit for Seth, who competed in his first fantasy sports league at the age of 16. Prior to working at Flower City Gaming, Seth worked as a consultant in the iGaming and affiliate marketing sector, and as the Strategy Director at TexasHoldem.com. Seth graduated Brandeis University in 2006 with a degree in Politics, Legal Studies, and Internet Studies, and briefly attended St. John’s University School of Law before withdrawing. Seth has been instrumental in the fantasy sports industry's adoption of compliance technologies and is one of the leading voices in the sector.

 

   
Michael J. Zalewski, State Representative, Illinois Legislature

Michael J. Zalewski is an attorney with the law firm of Taft, Stettinius & Hollister and a member of the Illinois House, serving the 23rd District. Michael was born and raised on the southwest side of Chicago. He headed to Champaign for the University of Illinois and returned to Chicago for his J.D. at the John Marshall Law School. He began his legal career as a prosecutor in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, where his caseload included drug offenses, Class A misdemeanors and DUI cases.

In 2008, Michael headed to Springfield as State Representative. There, he quickly showed a knack for taking on difficult issues with poise, tenacity and a policy-focused, practical approach that has won over allies on both sides of the aisle. Michael has authored and led passage of a number of important laws, including Illinois’first Racketeering statute, comprehensive rideshare law, and the creation of an Independent Tax Tribunal to help repair the state’s sagging image with the business community. He serves as Chairperson of the House Health Care Licenses Committee, and Vice Chairperson of the House Revenue & Finance Committee and the House Pensions & Personnel Committee. Michael lives in west suburban Riverside with his wife Carrie and three children, Reese, Henry, and Ellamae.

 

   
Andrew Zarnett, Managing Director, Deutsche Bank

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 has been 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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