HomePublicationsNewsletter ArchiveVolume 27Issue 5IAGA "POST-PANDEMIC GAMING POLICY" WEBINAR HIGHLIGHTS

The International Association of Gaming Attorneys ("IAGA") hosted a webinar on Wednesday, February 3, entitled "Post-Pandemic Gaming Policy: How Will It Impact Markets, Technology and Delivery Channels?" In a panel hosted by Kevin Mullally, Vice-President of Government Relations and General Counsel for Gaming Laboratories International ("GLI"), the webinar delved into the hardships that 2020 brought to the industry, as well as new opportunities that are on the horizon for gaming nationwide.

The panelists included the following experts:

  • Edward R. Bedrosian, Jr. - former Executive Director of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, current Partner at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP
  • Howard B. Glaser - Global Head of Government Affairs and Special Initiatives for Scientific Games
  • Ayesha Molino - Senior Vice President of · Government Affairs for MGM Resorts International
  • Eric Schippers - Senior Vice President of Public Affairs & Government Relations for Penn National Gaming

The panel's discussion was guided by key legislative issues on the agenda for 2021, including: 

  • Significant opportunities for suppliers
  • Possibility of land-based casinos in Georgia and Texas
  • Concerns about industry cannibalization
  • Growth of sports betting authorization
  • Continued migration to online delivery channels
  • Future route operations

Howard Glaser started the discussion by noting that the pandemic has been a catalyst for trends that the gaming industry was already seeing pre-pandemic, including the rising trend of iGaming. He continued that iGaming has been a predictable, stable, and growing source of revenue for many states during the pandemic, which will be persuasive in changing the minds of legislators in states that are considering iGaming authorization in 2021.

Eric Schippers discussed some of the concerns of industry cannibalization with the introduction of iGaming and sports betting across the country. He explained that iGaming has been additive and incremental to Penn National's traditional casino customers. Instead of cannibalizing, iGaming has brought new customers, who are then drawn to the brick-and-mortar casinos through incentives and other benefits. Mr. Schippers noted that this is a matter of education for legislators to understand that iGaming and brick-and-mortar casinos can go hand in hand.

Ayesha Molino commented on the possibility of gaming legislation in several closely watched states, including Texas, Georgia, Alabama, and Hawaii. Ms. Molino thinks that the markets in Texas and Georgia are ready for gaming and have a heightened interest in 2021 due to pandemic-related budget crunches and shifting demographics. She noted that gaming discussions in Alabama are "very real”.

Ed Bedrosian discussed some of the biggest problems for states looking to increase revenue in 2021, including: 1) the legislative process, and 2) the regulatory process. He noted that the regulatory process for iGaming and sports betting can be accelerated by looking to other states' models. Mr. Bedrosian spoke favorably of the vast technological advancements that have been introduced in the industry in 2020. He thinks that the changes are long overdue, noting that cashless wagering will appeal to a younger demographic and the post-pandemic world.

To watch or revisit the webinar, please click here.

 

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