Is iGaming a Problem or the Solution? Top Gaming Execs Promise a Heated Debate
Key Takeaways
  • Defending the position of online poker and all igaming is Mitch Garber, CEO of Caesars Interactive Entertainment.
  • Attacking igaming is Las Vegas Sands’ Andy Abboud, who will argue for its prohibition.

Undoubtedly one of the most anticipated sessions at next week’s iGaming North America (iGNA) 2014 conference is “Visionaries’ Perspective—Is I-gaming the Problem or the Solution,” which will pit two top gaming execs to debate the value of online gaming to the wider gambling industry.

Defending the position of online gambling is Mitch Garber, CEO of Caesars Interactive Entertainment.

Caesars chose to embrace the regulation of online gaming, being the second online poker room to launch in Nevada and among the first to launch in New Jersey, both under its iconic WSOP brands.

Garber will “weigh in as a proponent of the legalization and regulation of igaming as a necessary means to proactively address potential concerns,” according to the panel’s accompanying blurb in a press release.

Opposing Garber is Andy Abboud, VP of Government Relations for Las Vegas Sands Corp. Abboud testified on the dangers of regulated internet gaming at a congressional hearing on the topic late last year; however, members of Congress did not seem to be impressed by his arguments that came off as hypocritical.

Sheldon Adelson, with the backing of his Las Vegas Sands corporation, has come out as staunch opponent of all forms of online gaming. His Coalition to Stop Internet Gaming (CSIG) has gone as far as likening igaming to terrorism.

Abboud will discuss “the risks of online gambling and the need for prohibition,” according to the PR.

The panel, chaired by WPT Founder Steve Lipscomb, promises a “lively debate” with perspectives from prominent leaders which “will allow listeners to hone their own opinions as to how the industry should grow and evolve.”

Also of interest to online poker players is the “Poker Track,” sponsored by Poker Tracker, with two panels: one discusses the {n:igna-panel-to-tell-the-story-so-far-in-regulated-us-online-poker:“story so far”} in the regulated online poker industry; the second, chaired by pokerfuse’s own Michael Gentile, invites prominent online poker pros to give their perspective of online poker to the business crowd.