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Why I'm Attending ICE Totally Gaming This Year

Victor Rocha is owner and editor of Pechanga.net. Rocha has been involved in the politics of Indian gaming since 1998 and has earned numerous awards for his work, including the National Indian Gaming Association's 2002 Outstanding Contribution to Indian Country, VCAT's 2001 Catalyst Award, Global Gaming Business Magazine's "40 Under 40," Raving's 2012 Casino Marketing Lifetime Achievement Award, & the AGA's Lifetime Achievment for Gaming Marketing.

(Blog) Victor Rocha: Why I'm Attending ICE Totally Gaming This Year

When the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act was passed by Congress in 1988, nobody could’ve predicted the opulent casinos of today rising from the bingo parlors ofthat era. In our wildest dreams, we couldn’t have imaginedIndian gamingas a $28+ billion-dollar industry.

And as Indian gaming was booming, the commercial gaming industry was jumping the boundaries of Las Vegas and Atlantic City like wildfire. Now all 48 continental states, with the exception of Utah, have some form of gambling, and three states offer legal online gambling. In other words, gambling is here to stay.

I share this thumbnail sketch of history because online gaming is looming large on the horizon. As my musical hero Bob Dylan sings, “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.”

When I came into the industry in 1998, Indian gaming was the new kid in town causing all the excitement. Everybody knew it was going to be big, but nobody really knew how big. Now online gaming is the new kid, but the difference is: Online gaming isn’t an unknown. There is no mystery with online gaming. It’s been operational in Europe for many years: regulated, taxed, and successful.

Next week, everything you wanted to know about online gaming [but were afraid to ask] will be revealed in London at ICE Totally Gaming at the ExCel on February 4-6,2014.

This year, the wonderful people at ICE Totally Gaming, along with Clarion Gaming’s Ewa Bakun, have been kind enough to let me co-produce a series of free seminars called Opportunities in Indian Country. The idea is to educate the European gaming industry about the ... wait for it … opportunities in Indiancountry.

I felt it was important to we take our message of opportunity to London because online gaming isn’t just going to be big in California, it’s going be damn big. Everyone who participates in this lucrative market is likely to benefit. 

And the California gaming tribes that seize this chance are likely to become online trendsetters. Indeed, they may become leading players in the national industry. 

I hope you’ll join me February 5 at ICE Totally Gaming in London at the ExCel. I believe we’ll all be rewarded many times over if we take time to learn about the opportunities in Indian country. 

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