Clarion Gaming’s free digital webinar series starts tomorrow Buck Wargo, CDC Gaming Reports · July 6, 2020 at 3:10 pm This week, Clarion Gaming is hosting a live four-day digital webinar series on the road back to recovery for the gaming industry. The free online conference, called “The Road Back: Refocus. Reopen. Recover,” runs for one hour over four days, starting tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. Eastern and 8:30 a.m. Pacific and continuing through Friday. Some 800 people are expected to watch live and it will be available on replay. Dan Stone, head of marketing and business-to-business events with Clarion, said the conference comes on the heels of the ICE North America digital conference in May that was based on the original conference scheduled for April in New Orleans and covered various sectors of the gaming industry. “The Road Back” is an online multi-day event like ICE North America, but its premise is based solely on COVID-19, Stone said. It came about because of demand from the industry, he added. “It focuses entirely on the U.S. and land-based properties that have already reopened,” Stone said. “The timing has been quite deliberate. We’ve had properties reopened for about a month and they have those weeks of experience to share with others about ‘this is what we did wrong, don’t do that, this is what really helped.’ This week’s conference is more granular, whereas ICE North America was more about high-level topics and panel debates. This is more about practical topics. It’s real-world lessons from operators that have been there and done that over the last few weeks.” The conference will not only review the past and project the future, but it will take a look at the current reality—for example in Nevada, where Gov. Steve Sisolak has mandated customers of all businesses wear face masks in public areas, including casinos, Stone said. “We will see how that is looking, whether there is any change and challenges as we look ahead, and what people are doing to prepare for that,” Stone said. The speaker lineup features Scott Sibella, president of Resorts World Las Vegas, which is under construction and slated to open in 2021. “I’m pretty sure Scott hasn’t spoken at a conference for Resorts World, and that’s quite a coup of us,” Stone said. Others include Rick Fields, former senior vice president of casino operations at Mandalay Bay; Steve Hill, president of the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority; Michael Rumbol;, CEO of Everi; Thomas Jingoli, director, executive vice president and COO of Konami Gaming; Bob Parente, chief revenue officer with Scientific Games; former Nevada Governor Bob Miller; Chris Smith, corporate vice president of human resources with Boyd Gaming; Jeffrey Hamilton, president of the Mohegan Sun; Virginia Hamilton, president of the Nevada Resort Association; and Russell Sanna, executive director of the International Center for Responsible Gaming. The opening day on Tuesday lays out the road map to a phased recovery that highlights training the workforce for delivering a safe gaming experience to customers. “This will be quite pertinent given the mandatory use of face masks right now,” Stone said. The Wednesday session covers the role of gaming and hospitality in helping state governments recover and will focus on what might happen with legislation and regulation. The session will discuss gaming taxation and states expanding into igaming and sports betting. The Thursday session looks at possible shifts in customer demographics and marketing in a post-COVID-19 era as a way to stay relevant and lure in customers. The conference concludes Friday when panelists talk about communicating health and safety while delivering fun and excitement to customers. Stowe Shoemaker, dean of the William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration at UNLV and a participant in the conference, expects it to be quite informative for the industry. “What everybody is going to learn is what’s happening around the world in terms of COVID-19, how companies are reacting and what their strategies are for the future in how we will be responding to it,” Shoemaker said. “Every company has a good understanding of the tactical things they need to do, but this conference is focusing on the strategic things as we move forward and how we prepare for a post-COVID world.” To register, go to the conference website.