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Gambling decision-makers to convene at Hard Rock

Mike Haridopolos, current executive vice president of The Stronach Group and former Florida Senate president, will deliver the Keynote Luncheon Address at the Eighth Florida Gaming Congress, Monday and Tuesday at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood.

Spectrum's press release continues:

 "Like all the other attendees, I look forward to – and will certainly benefit from – hearing Mike’s views, and learning of his vision," said Michael Pollock, managing director of Spectrum Gaming Group, producers of the conference. "His years of leadership and accomplishment in public life have earned him a special place in Florida, and a special place at this event."

 The Florida Gaming Congress features five panel discussions, including Destination Florida?, The Future of Racetrack Gaming, The View from Wall Street, Gaming and Public Policy, and Internet Gaming in the US.

Jones, Walker, Waechter, Poitevent, Carrère & Denègre LLP is the presenting sponsor of the two-day event, which begins with an evening cocktail reception on Monday.

The Florida Gaming Congress, solely owned and produced by Spectrum Gaming Group (, is a premier forum for professionals following the state's nearly $3 billion gaming industry.

 To register visit

The agenda:

 7:30 a.m. — 3:00 p.m.Registration Open7:30 a.m. — 4:30 p.m.Expo Hall Open7:30 a.m. — 8:30 a.m.Continental Breakfast in Expo Hall8:30 a.m. — 8:40 a.m.WELCOME ADDRESS: Michael Pollock, Managing Director, Spectrum Gaming Group8:40 a.m. — 9:10 a.m.OPENING KEYNOTE:9:10 a.m. — 10:00 a.m.Destination Florida?
Once again, prominent gaming and entertainment companies are lobbying to allow destination gaming resorts ... and once again fueling a high-profile political debate from Tallahassee to Miami. How realistic is their vision? What place, if any, do destination gaming resorts have in Florida? Will such large-scale properties harm the established casinos and racetracks? Learn from prospective operators, attorneys and other experts as they examine a topic that could reshape not only Florida's gaming landscape, but also its tourist industry.



  • Andy Abboud, Vice President, Las Vegas Sands Corp.
  • Chris Davidson, EVP/Global Strategy & Client Leadership, MMGY Global
  • Rep. Joe Gibbons, District 100, Florida House of Representatives
  • Alan Koslow, Director of Entertainment, Hospitality and Gaming Law, Becker & Poliakoff
  • Virginia McDowell, President and Chief Executive Officer, Isle of Capri Casinos, Inc.
  • Michael Yormark, President & Chief Operation Officer, Sunrise Sports & Entertainment

10:00 a.m. — 10:30 a.m. Networking Break in Expo Hall

10:30 a.m. — 11:20 a.m.The Future of Racetrack Gaming
For Florida racino operators, racing and gaming have gone hand-in-hand with fighting since they first won statewide approval in 2004. Operators have fought for, among other things, lower taxes, table games, easing of smoking restrictions, and a competitive balance with current and prospective competitors. Operators are still fighting for competitive parity today as Florida's gaming landscape could undergo a dramatic change with the addition of destination gaming resorts and gaming at pari-mutuel facilities outside of South Florida.


  • Joseph Weinert, Senior Vice President, Spectrum Gaming Group


  • Daniel K. Adkins, Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer, Mardi Gras Casino
  • Steve Calabro, President and General Manager, Hialeah Park Racing & Casino
  • Izzy Havenick, Vice President, Magic City Casino
  • Dave Jonas, President, Casino Miami Management
  • Austin Miller, President, Calder Casino & Race Course and Senior Vice President, Churchill Downs Inc.

11:20 a.m. — 12:10 p.m.Wall Street’s Focus on Florida
With global gaming companies again setting their sights on South Florida and the prospect of racetrack gaming throughout the state, Wall Street gaming analysts and bankers are paying close attention to all potential developments in Florida. Some of Wall Street's top analysts and investment bankers will share their outlook for growth, discuss the pros and cons of destination gaming resorts, analyze the competitive balance gaming properties, opine on the investment climate ... and answer your questions.


  • Robert Heller, CEO, Spectrum Gaming Capital


  • Christopher E. Jones, Director, Telsey Advisory Group LLC
  • Gregory Roselli, Executive Director, Credit Fixed Income, Gaming Lodging & Leisure, UBS Securities LLC
  • Carlo Santarelli, Director - Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., Gaming & Lodging Research
  • Joel Simkins, Director - Senior Gaming, Lodging and Leisure Analyst, Credit Suisse

12:15 p.m. — 1:30 p.m. Luncheon Keynote Address

1:40 p.m. — 2:30 p.m.Gaming and Public Policy
Lottery, racinos, Native American casinos, horse racing, dog racing, jai alai, day cruises, Internet cafes... Florida has a smorgasbord of gambling like no other. But should it? Some legislators have called for cohesive public policy that would articulate — and regulate — the state's myriad forms of gambling. Of course, executing such a plan would be a politically Herculean effort due to the disparate constituencies — not to mention geographic challenges — involved. How should the state address problem-gambling policy against this expansion backdrop? A panel of public officials, business leaders and gaming operators try to sort through and chatter and determine what makes sense for the state.


  • Marc Dunbar, Esq., Partner, Jones, Walker, Waechter, Poitevent, Carr¿re & Den¿gre LLP


  • Carol Dover, CEO, Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association
  • Pat Fowler, Executive Director of the Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling
  • Frank Nero, President & CEO, The Beacon Council
  • David Romanik, Gaming attorney & former Gulfstream Park CEO & General Counsel
  • Mark Wilson, President and CEO, Florida Chamber of Commerce

2:30 p.m. — 3:00 p.m. Networking Break in Expo Hall

3:00 p.m. — 3:50 p.m.Internet Gaming in the US
More than a year after the Department of Justice opinion, Internet gambling is finally returning to the US, where the technology (and most of the early players) originated. The question has evolved from “if?” to “how and when?” How will online gambling most likely roll out? Who will be the US operators? How should domestic land-based casinos prepare? What does it mean for Florida and tribal gaming? A panel of experts from across the industry will provide answers to these questions and offer practical insights for gaming executives interested in entering this new market.


  • Gene Johnson, Senior Vice President, Marketing Research and Online Studies, Spectrum Gaming Group


  • Leo DiBenigno, Managing Partner, Corvara Consulting LLC and former Secretary, FL Lottery
  • Mark Hichar, Attorney, Joins Hinckley, Allen & Snyder
  • Laurie Itkin, Founder, Rouge Government & Public Affairs
  • Honorable Robert Smith, Chairman, California Tribal Business Alliance
  • Jennifer Webb, Regulatory and Legislative Manager, Americas, Gambling Compliance


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