Jason Lane, chief executive of the Jersey Gambling Commission, tells Focus Gaming News what we can expect from next week’s IAGR 2021 conference in Boston.
Exclusive interview.- Finally, the IAGR 2021 Conference is almost upon us. Kicking off in Boston on Monday, September 13, and offering a digital ticket for the first time, the event promises to cover a breadth of subject matter.
Jason Lane, chief executive of the Jersey Gambling Commission and a longstanding member of the International Association of Gambling Regulators, took time to tell Focus Gaming News what we can expect from the hotly awaited four-day event.
IAGR 2021: familiar themes and cutting edge issues
The conference has a strong range of speakers, including Gina Smith, deputy director of gaming compliance at the Virginia Lottery, Kurt Steinkamp, deputy director of the Michigan Gaming Control Board and Ludovico Calvi, president of the Global Lottery Monitoring System’s executive committee.
With joint sessions to be held with the International Masters of Gaming Law (IMGL), the conference brings together a mix of regulators, industry professionals, lawyers, academics – “something for everyone,” Lane says, noting that attendees are sure to find a session that grips and interests them on each day.
The theme is “disrupting the regulator”, something that’s become even more apt in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. One big topic will be how regulators can work with the gambling industry.
“We’ve got to work in partnership with the industry,” Lane says. “We’ve got to use the data they have.”
Lane believes that if the industry can come up with standards that will allow the regulators to see what they need in a more efficient way, and transcend national boundaries, it will help regulators, customers and the industry as a whole.
He adds: “Regulatory teams for all their expertise and enthusiasm and zeal and budget, are always going to be smaller than the industry we regulate.
“We’re always going to be, probably, less well resourced, than the industry we regulate, and we need to work together, and the use of developing new technologies is one way where the industry can help itself to help us, which helps the customer, which helps everyone.”
The value of the digital experience
With travel still difficult due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the IAGR board of trustees decided at an early stage to introduce a digital ticket for this year’s event for those that are unable to reach Boston. Most sessions will be live-streamed and recorded for a global audience.
It’s something that could become a permanent feature of the event. It means that anyone can attend, wherever they are, but it will also serve to build up a library of experience for members to come back to and learn from – Lane notes that coming from a small jurisdiction himself, IAGR has been a fantastic resource for networking and sharing ideas.
The value of the digital experience aside, however, the opportunity to return to a live, physical event is to be welcomed gladly.
“Covid has made many of us a little introspective,” Lane notes. “One of the things that’s great about delivering the conference in Boston is that it’s showing we’re open, we’re accessible, we’re carrying on. I think it’s a beacon of hope.”