HomePublicationsNewsletter ArchiveVolume 19Issue 26Gaming Experts Discuss Current and Ongoing Regulatory Reform Efforts

On Tuesday, September 24, 2013, a panel of  gaming experts discussed regulatory reform initiatives within the casino gaming industry. The panel discussion, entitled “G2E Future Watch on Regulation: Ensuring Integrity, Promoting Innovation,” focused on the industry’s ongoing efforts to create an open dialogue between the casino industry and its regulatory bodies to help streamline and unify the regulatory compliance processes currently being utilized. The session was moderated by American Gaming Association  (“AGA”) Senior Vice President & Executive Director Judy Patterson. Panelists included Andrew Smith, Director of Research for the AGA; John McManus, Executive Vice President and General Counsel for MGM Resorts International; Mark Lerner, Senior Vice President and General Counsel for Bally Technologies, Inc.; and Robert Russell, Gaming Analyst for Regulatory Management Counselors, P.C.

Notably, the session reviewed the results of G2E’s annual Future Watch Survey, which focuses on how regulation impacts various aspects of the commercial casino industry’s business, as well as that of its suppliers and vendors. Research from the report was compiled by surveying select casino operators and gaming equipment manufacturer executives.

“Much of our industry’s success is due to our history of a strong regulatory system, but outdated approaches are hampering both the industry and the regulatory system,” said Judy Patterson. “Moving forward, this year’s survey results give us insights into areas where we can make significant reform to strengthen both our business and the regulatory process.” 

According to the report, 94 percent of survey respondents feel that casino companies and their suppliers are at least somewhat at a competitive disadvantage compared to other companies in the hospitality and entertainment due to burdensome regulations. In addition, a full 95 percent agree that gaming companies cannot offer the latest and most innovative products to customers because regulatory approvals and testing seriously delay time to market.

Notably, 76 percent of respondents indicated that technology, if used appropriately, can lead to more comprehensive oversight with fewer burdens on business operations. It is important to note that 88 percent of those surveyed indicated that, over the past five to ten years, the regulatory community has become less rigid and more amenable to updating and modernizing regulations.

All panelists agreed that creating an open dialogue between operators/suppliers and their respective regulatory bodies is essential to creating beneficial change and streamlining such processes.  Session panelist Mark Lerner noted a central problem with implementing an updated regulatory structure that is more easily able to keep up with the advancing changes in technology.

Mr. Russell and Mr. McManus then highlighted some of the previously implemented changes throughout various jurisdictions such as Michigan and New Jersey, and commended the AGA, Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers, and the respective regulatory agencies for their efforts to implement such changes. Mr. Russell noted the importance for ongoing efforts to help educate regulators on the importance of moving reform initiatives forward to ensure the integrity of the industry while taking a deeper look at the implications involved with cumbersome processes.


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