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New Day, New Blood

Expertise in every area of gaming is represented in the new GGB Editorial Advisory Board

New Day, New Blood

When we first started Global Gaming Business magazine back in 2002, I wanted to make sure that we’d build a vehicle that addressed all the issues of the gaming industry at that time. So we put together an editorial advisory board that featured some of the people who believed in the concept—believed so much they invested their hard-earned money in the company—as well as many of the movers and shakers who were driving the industry in those days.

Frank Fahrenkopf, then the president and CEO of the American Gaming Association, was very supportive and was at the top of the list of people I wanted to serve on the board, and he graciously accepted. So along with the other investors and experts, we were off and running.

That board was very helpful over the years, which you can imagine massively changed not only the gaming industry but publishing as well.

In the gaming industry, the birth of online gaming roughly coincided with the launch of GGB. I remember going to the ICE trade show and conference in London each year. For the first couple of years, when the show was held at the old Earl’s Court convention center, it was 100 percent land-based gaming, like all traditional gaming tradeshows were in those days.

Then iGaming began to creep in, first on a small upper floor of the center and later graduating to the lower floors. When it finally moved to the Excel Centre in London’s Docklands, it was an even split between land-based and online. Next year, when ICE debuts in Barcelona, it’s probably going to be 80 percent online.

In publishing, the idea that you didn’t have to actually print a magazine was unthinkable back in 2002. Yet here we are in 2024, and GGB is the only gaming magazine in the world that still prints a monthly issue, along with our three annual editions—Tribal Government Gaming, Casino Style and Progressive Products Preview.

Even with that, we are laser-focused on the online content, and that will become even more important now that GGB is owned by Clarion Gaming, a subsidiary of Clarion Events, the producer of ICE, and publishers of the influential iGaming Business magazine.

So to ensure that we continue to serve the industry as we did in 2002, we’ve revamped our editorial advisory board. Lots of the members of the original board have retired and moved on, so we wanted to bring to bear another group of advisors who will serve us in the way the old board did. We’ve kept some members of the previous board because, frankly, they remain relevant in ways that we couldn’t have predicted when we first invited them to join us. And that’s to our benefit.

But the new members of the board, which you can see, below (and in the masthead of the print magazine), are some of the most important members of the industry in 2024. And unlike the previous board, this is going to be an organic group. If you pay attention to that list of names over the months and years to come, you’ll see names added as we see the industry grow. Because as we’ve seen over the last 20 years, the gaming industry isn’t stagnant.

If we could step back and examine what’s happened in the last 20 years, you’ll see gaming expansion into regions that you couldn’t imagine, not only in the U.S. but around the world. Most governments realized that people wanted to bet, so why not allow them? Besides, those gaming taxes make a nice little nest egg for revenue-hungry jurisdictions.

At the same time, the legalization of sports betting in the U.S. and Canada has turned the gaming world upside down. The speed with which sports betting spread across the land truly was breathtaking, and it’s provided lots of opportunities—and some challenges—for the traditional gaming industry. And when you compare the relative snail’s pace with which iGaming is being legalized, that’s very confusing—especially when you consider iGaming can provide lots more revenue to jurisdictions than sports betting can.

And when gambling expands so much, can repression be far behind? My friend I. Nelson Rose has documented how the growth of gaming over the years—centuries, actually—has always resulted in a pullback when the public becomes wary of it. Are we nearing that precipice?

The people who have kindly accepted our invitation to join our revamped editorial advisory board have expertise in every area of gaming, from iGaming to sports betting, from responsible gaming to compliance, from casino design to diversity. I’m confident that the GGB content going forward under the Clarion Gaming banner will be as persuasive and informative as ever and will remain the only publication/content producer you need to read every day to stay current with the rapidly change gaming industry.

GGB EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD

• Rino Armeni, President, Armeni Enterprises
• Dike Bacon, Principal/Partner, HBG Design
• Lauren Bates, President, Global Gaming Women
• Mark A. Birtha, Senior Vice President & General Manager, Hard Rock International
• Brendan Bussmann, Principal, BGlobal Advisors
• Alex Dixon, CEO, DRA/Q Casino
• Daron Dorsey, Executive Director, Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers
• Sally Gainsbury, Director at Gambling Treatment & Research Clinic & Professor of Psychology, University of Sydney
• Stephen Martino, Vice President & Chief Compliance Officer, MGM Resorts International
• Bill Miller, President and CEO, American Gaming Association
• Walt Power, CEO, Grand Ho Tram
• Rob Russell, Senior Gaming Analyst, Regulatory Management Counselors PC
• James Siva, Chairman, California Nations Indian Gaming Association/ Vice Chairman, Morongo Band of Mission Indians
• Michael Soll, President, The Innovation Group
• Kresimir Spajic, Chief Executive Officer, Betfred Sportsbook
• Katherine Spilde, Executive Director, Sycuan Gaming Institute, San Diego State University

Roger Gros is publisher of Global Gaming Business, the industry's leading gaming trade publication, and all its related publications. Prior to joining Global Gaming Business, Gros was president of Inlet Communications, an independent consulting firm. He was vice president of Casino Journal Publishing Group from 1984-2000, and held virtually every editorial title during his tenure. Gros was editor of Casino Journal, the National Gaming Summary and the Atlantic City Insider, and was the founding editor of Casino Player magazine. He was a co-founder of the American Gaming Summit and the Southern Gaming Summit conferences and trade shows. He is the author of the best-selling book, How to Win at Casino Gambling (Carlton Books, 1995), now in its fourth edition. Gros was named "Businessman of the Year" for 1998 by the Greater Atlantic City Chamber of Commerce, and received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Gaming Association in 2012.

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