Sports betting enters the spotlight at Global Gaming Expo

Sam Morris / Las Vegas News Bureau

The convention floor is seen packed with attendees during the Global Gaming Expo at the Sands Convention Center in Las Vegas Tuesday, October 3, 2017.

The future of gaming will be on display this week during the Global Gaming Expo at the Sands Expo Center, where some of the biggest figures in gaming will unveil their latest products and talk about ways the industry can prosper in a time of unprecedented growth.

Here are three areas of emphasis for the event, which hosts 26,000 gaming professionals and 450 exhibitors:

Sports Betting

With the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act earlier this year, sports books have popped up in states outside of Nevada. The American Gaming Association estimates the industry has the potential to generate $17 billion annually in gross revenue, making the sports betting symposium one of the highlights of the show.

There are eight education sessions dedicated to different aspects of the industry, from legislative issues to business strategies, including opportunities to engage with sports betting exhibitors. Executives from MGM Resorts International, Caesars Entertainment, William Hill among others are featured in different sessions.

ESPN personality Scott Van Pelt will moderate a session Wednesday about the business of sports betting, and who will benefit from profits, including major sports leagues. Kenny Gersh, executive vice president of gaming and new business ventures for Major League Baseball, is part of the panel.

Companies like Betgenius, IGT, Kambi, Scientific Games and others will show off their latest platforms and innovations in sports betting.


Skill-Based Gaming

As casino companies look to capture the millennials market, the focus on skill-based gaming has been a large part of the strategy. Companies like GameCo and Gamblit Gaming are creating games that play like arcade games but pay out like traditional slot machines.

Gamblit has branded machines with the likeness of Pac-Man and "Deal or No Deal" with hopes of connecting to millennials.

The Pac-Man single-player game will make its debut on casino floors across Las Vegas in early 2019, but will be first playable at the gaming conference. Deal or No Deal Poker involves players competing to uncover the highest value briefcase, where participants can strike a deal or risk it all hoping to win big.

GameCo, creator of the first “Video Game Gambling Machine,” will showcase a new skill-based gaming innovation to address the issue of skill-based games not having the same monetary volume as traditional slot machines. The update will allow their games to deliver the same betting velocity as traditional slot machines, with increased player engagement that players of skill-based games enjoy.

The company will also debut SoulCalibur ll, a casino version of the popular fighting game in which players can utilize a classic arcade-style button deck to play with characters from the game, marking the first such instance on casino floors.


The gaming industry has been implementing new technologies and will discuss the use of wireless technology to track guests through a property to create revenue-generating opportunities and efficiencies in areas such as food and beverage delivery. Guests can be tracked using their mobile devices, smart locators and a network of proprietary scanners.

Additionally, the use of cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin will be discussed.