Top gaming industry and academic leaders to meet at world’s oldest gambling conference Buck Wargo, CDC Gaming Reports · May 23, 2019 at 12:02 am The world’s oldest gaming conference that dates to 1974 and occurs every three years returns to Las Vegas Monday through Thursday with a gathering of academic leaders, industry executives and professional gamblers. The University of Nevada, Las Vegas International Gaming Institute is hosting the 17th International Conference on Gambling & Risk Taking. Registration takes place Monday and the conference sessions run Tuesday through Thursday at Caesars Palace.The conference had its origins at the University of Nevada, Reno with late professor Bill Eadington, known as the founder of gambling studies and who the conference was originally named after. It was held throughout the world before finding a permanent home in Las Vegas in 2013. The International Gaming Institute, which took over the conference’s organization, has received national headlines for its research reports on gaming that helped lure the Oakland Raiders to Las Vegas and provided Japanese lawmakers with the background needed to legalize integrated resorts last year. The 2016 Conference on Gambling & Risk Taking drew more than 600 people in 2016 and this year’s event – so far – has attracted registration from more than 500 people representing 28 countries and six continents. The 2019 conference will host more than 300 presenters with more than 65 sessions covering such topics as tribal gaming, eSports and video games, legal marijuana and gambling policy, gaming and hospitality innovation, artificial intelligence for casinos, female gaming leaders in the workplace in the era of #MeToo, responsible gaming, and sports betting topics. Nicole Schultz, the global gaming capital coordinator with the Institute, said the conference offers a rare opportunity for gaming and academic leaders from around the world to converge in one place to explore and advance research, ideas, topics, and trends that are redefining the gaming industry. She said the numerous academic presenters around the world must go through a peer review process to be a presenter. Brendan Bussmann, director of government affairs for Global Market Advisors, who will participate in a discussion about Greece and Brazil, said the level of knowledge of the participants is what makes the event special. “The collaboration and partnerships that foster further research in space carries over beyond the academic world but throughout the global industry,” Bussmann said. Noteworthy sessions during the conference include presentations from Las Vegas Strip entertainer Penn Jillette, Former Nevada Gaming Control Board Chairwoman Becky Harris, a presentation from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), and researchers from Harvard, Yale, UNLV, and more than 30 countries. The conference kicks off Tuesday with an extended session on treatment for problem gamblers with academia throughout the world. There is also a session on the burgeoning Japanese market that will feature academics from Japan. Schultz said some of the key sessions include one Tuesday afternoon on the changing landscape of sports wagering on NCAA competition. Harris will talk on Wednesday about the #MeToo movement, she said. “She was there when the Steve Wynn news broke,” Schultz said of the Wall Street Journal that led to the downfall of founder and CEO of Wynn Resorts. “It was early on in her appointment and she was on the phone with the media for eight hours and she knows what it’s like to deal with #MeToo and cope with it and deal with it in the most respectful way.” Also on Wednesday, Jennifer Roberts, associate director of the UNLV International Center for Gaming Regulation and professor at the William S. Boyd School of Law, will give a presentation on the sports betting landscape in the U.S. and what’s next. Roberts will also participate in a panel discussion with UNLV professors on Thursday on the Federal Wire Act, which prohibits sports betting over state lines. Following an opinion from the Department’s Office of Legal Counsel in January, Roberts said the federal government could potentially halt mobile and Internet betting within a state. “We don’t currently know how far the Department of Justice will take its interpretation as it applies to mobile and internet wagering activity even within a state because you have this issue with intermediate routing,” Roberts said. “There was one court from 1962 that concluded it was a violation of the Wire Act when a transmission crossed state and came back into the state. That would seriously impact how mobile works because you can’t control how Verizon transmits information.” There’s a session Wednesday afternoon on the examining the budding relationship between cannabis and gambling. Roberts is among the panelists. The conference announced that Las Vegas sports bettor and “Jeopardy!” sensation James Holzhauer, who has won 24 straight matches and $1.8 million on the television game show, will participate in a panel discussion on Thursday with Andy Bloch, a professional poker player. Bloch, who also lives in Las Vegas, was part of the MIT card-counting team in the 1990s, made famous in the book, “Bringing Down the House.” Registration continues through the conference at a cost of $845 https://www.unlv.edu/igi/conference. The full conference schedule is also available online.