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Inside Gaming: Sports Betting Hot Topic at 2018 Global Gaming Expo

Global Gaming Expo (from 2017)
  • Inside Gaming: Sports betting the hot topic this week at the 2018 Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas.

  • The industry came to Las Vegas this week for 2018 Global Gaming Expo, sports betting a popular topic.

This week Inside Gaming takes a look at the just completed G2E in Vegas, tells of a newly-expanded agreement between a major bookmaker and gaming property operator, and reports on Arkansas's efforts to add casinos.

Global Gaming Expo Brings Industry to Las Vegas

This week exhibtors, operators, and other representatives of global, commercial, and tribal gaming convened in Las Vegas for the industry's Global Gaming Expo — a.k.a. G2E — which again took place as the Sands Expo and Convention Center.

Presented by the American Gaming Association, the annual event provides a showcase for new developments in gaming products and technology while also staging panels and keynote speakers where numerous issues of importance to the industry can be discussed.

More than 26,000 gaming professionals from over 110 different countries were expected to take part this year, with more than 450 exhibitors showcasing new games and products.

Also part of the proceedings was the awarding of the Global Gaming Awards on Monday. Among those recognized, Hard Rock International was named Land Based Operator of the Year, Bet365 took Digital Operator of the Year, the Caesars Entertainment Group won Customer Loyalty Program of the Year for its Total Rewards program, the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa was named Property of the Year, and Joe Asher, CEO of William Hill, won American Executive of the Year.

Perhaps the most talked about keynote speakers during the week were ESPN's Scott Van Pelt and the AGA's Sara Slane who spoke on "The Future of Legalized, Regulated Sports Betting in the U.S."

Indeed, sports betting garnered a great deal of attention during the week, including being the focus of multiple panels where representatives of the industry and others offered their perspectives regarding the new sports betting landscape while also debating best practices and other related issues.

Van Pelt also hosted one of the special events on Wednesday, one titled "Overview: The Business of Sports Betting," during which the AGA's Slane and Kenny Gersh, Executive VP of Major League Baseball, engaged in some contentious debate regarding "integrity fees" and sports leagues' right to charge sportsbooks for data, reported John Brennan for USBets.

The Casino Entertainment Awards were given out as well this week, with Chubby Checker named Casino Entertainer of the Year, Bill Engvall Casino Comedian of the Year, and The Commodores Casino Musical Artists of the Year.

William Hill and Golden Entertainment Expand Agreement

While its CEO Joe Asher was being recognized at G2E this week, there was more relatively recent news regarding U.K.-based bookmaker William Hill as a new deal was announced expanding their agreement with Golden Entertainment, Inc. of Las Vegas.

The new deal will see William Hill take over the operation of all race and sports betting operations for Golden Entertainment in Nevada, likely by the end of 2018 pending regulatory approvals. The deal will also include William Hill handling race and sportsbooks for Golden Entertainment in Maryland and Montana, contingent upon future legislation allowing sports betting in those states.

As detailed in a press release late last week, William Hill already runs the race and sportsbook at the Pahrump Nugget Hotel & Gambling Hall as well as deposit kiosks at 80 taverns and third-party distributed gaming locations for Golden Enterainment, .

The deal means William Hill will begin handling race and sportsbook operations at the Stratosphere, the two Arizona Charlie's, and the Aquarius Casino Resort in Laughlin, plus more books in Laughlin starting early 2019.

Arkansas Casino Amendment to Remain on November Ballot

Finally, with the November elections now less than a month away, the state Supreme Court in Arkansas has ruled to allow a casino amendment to remain on the ballot.

As FOX16 reports, voters will have the opportunity on November 6 to vote yes or no to Issue 4, and if a majority vote yes Arkansas will amend its constitution to issue four casino licenses, one each in Crittenden, Garland, Pope, and Jefferson counties.

The ruling came after a challenge to the ballot was brought by a representative acting on behalf Citizens for Local Choice who wished to disqualify the measure. Meanwhile a spokesperson for the pro-measure group Driving Arkansas Forward stated the decision now allows voters to approve the amendment and "add almost $6 billion to our state's economy and create 6,000 new jobs."

Should the amendment receive a majority voting in favor, "two of the four licenses would go to Southland Racing in West Memphis and Oaklawn Jockey Club in Hot Springs, both of which already operate gaming facilities," with their receipt of the licenses being automatic. The other two gaming facilities will have to apply for licenses.

According to FOX16, Arkansas collected more than $455 million in revenue from gambling in 2016.

Photo: Global Gaming Expo

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