i-Gaming North America 2012 Conference to Take Place March 4-6

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
i-Gaming North America 2012 Conference to Take Place March 4-6

Everybody with even the slightest interest in the potential for legalized Internet gambling in North America will be in attendance at the first ever i-Gaming North America 2012 Conference, being held at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas March 4 thru 6.

i-Gaming North America describes itself as the first networking and educational event designed to introduce the land-based gaming businesses of North America to the global iGaming industry.

Speakers include:

Alexandra Berzon, Reporter, Wall Street Journal

Alexandra Berzon is a Pulitzer-Prize-winning journalist in the Los Angeles bureau of the Wall
Street Journal who reports primarily about gambling, casinos and Las Vegas. She has also worked
for the Las Vegas Sun, San Antonio Express-News, Anchorage Daily News and Red Herring
Magazine. Born and raised in Berkeley, California, she is a graduate
of Vassar College and U.C. Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.

Joe Brennan, Jr., Chairman, Interactive Media, Entertainment & Gaming Association

Joe has led i-gaming legalization efforts in the US as Director of iMEGA, including successful legislation for expansion of legal sports betting to New Jersey.

He was previously Director of Online Strategy for America Online (AOL) and Senior Editor/Manager of Internet Promotions and e-Commerce at Nextel. He has developed online strategies for Sirius, Time, CNN and Warner Brothers, as well as the NFL, NBA, NASCAR and MLB.

Joe was educated at Marietta College (B.A.) and Johns Hopkins University.

John Connelly, Vice President Business Development, Bally Technologies

John Connelly is the Vice President of Business Development for Bally Technologies. In his role,
Connelly oversees new business development and the Bally Interactive Division.

Connelly joined Bally Technologies in 2004 as Vice President of Governmental Markets and was
promoted to Vice President of International Sales in 2005. From 2005 to 2010, he was responsible for all
aspects of Bally’s international business, including sales and operations.

Connelly has more than 20 years of experience in the global gaming industry. Before joining Bally,
Connelly served from 2001-2004 as Senior Vice President of Sales for Oberthur Gaming Technologies
Corporation, the world’s largest printer of scratch-off lottery tickets.

Prior to that, Connelly held several high-level sales and marketing roles including serving as the Vice
President of Sales and Marketing for Automated Wagering International, Inc. (AWI), a lottery systems
provider, from 1995-1998, and serving as an Account Executive for GTECH Corporation from 1992-

Connelly received a Bachelor of Science degree from Bryant College in 1992 and in November 2007
completed Harvard Business School’s General Management Program, a seven-week Executive Education
program for executives who have demonstrated capabilities and proven leadership potential.

Jeff Danielson, Iowa Senate President Pro Tem, Iowa Senate

Iowa State Senator Jeff Danielson, a Democrat, is serving his second term. His district includes Hudson, Cedar Falls and Waterloo in Black Hawk County, where he also continues his career as a career firefighter in Cedar Falls.

Jeff is the President Pro Tempore of the Iowa Senate. He chairs State Government which is responsible for all gaming policy in Iowa.

Senator Danielson, a Navy Veteran, earned his Master’s of Public Policy from the University of Northern Iowa. He is a member of the American Council of Young Political Leaders, No Labels and NewDEAL Leaders.

Jeff is married to Kim and has two children, Brendan and Erin.

John English, Senior Vice President, American Wagering, Inc.

At the age of twenty beginning in 1983 and continuing through 1990, John held the position of President of the Lottery Division of Winners Award Center. In 1990, John co-founded Pinpoint Direct, Inc., which became one of the largest direct mail sweepstakes, sports lottery, and gaming providers in the world with over eight million monthly customers. In 1998, John founded Multimedia Enterprises, which produced innovative and award winning gaming content, and was the parent company to Mailworks International, which provided printing and production services to the lottery and sweepstakes industries. John was named direct mailer of the year on three occasions and created sweepstakes, media and public relations campaigns for Wal-Mart, Playboy, AAA, MGM, Time Warner Corporation, Turner Communications, Sony Corporation and Nabisco. In 2000, John created and managed Sports Bet Xpress, the first ever Nevada Gaming Control Board approved remote sports wagering kiosk system for bars, taverns and restaurants. He also introduced Rapid Bet Live, an in-game betting platform for race and sports, and won G2E product of the year. He further deployed and marketed VirtGame and Primeline, the first server-based sports betting systems approved by Nevada regulators. Subsequently, John created Gamblers Bonus Million Dollar Ticket, the first networked million-dollar jackpot game and system distributed to over 400 restricted gaming locations. He joined Las Vegas Gaming, Inc.'s (LVGI) executive team in 2004, serving as their Senior Vice President of Business and Creative Development until June 2009. They (LVGI) acquired the games and intellectual property portfolio. John has traveled to Europe, Macau China and the surrounding areas of Southeast Asia as a consultant the last ten years. John developed global business and regulatory relationships, and spoke and lectured on the subject of gaming, sports betting and lotteries worldwide. John joined AWI as Senior Vice President in July of 2009.

Will Griffiths, CEO & Founder, The Level Media

With over 12 years experience transforming iGaming brands into leading industry powerhouses, Will Griffiths is regarded as a true game changer and industry veteran. Thanks to a career that’s taken him across Europe, Asia and the United States for leading Poker, Casino, Bingo and Sports brands. Will has a reputation as a results-driven, innovative and creative leader with relationships that span the globe. Having been Chief Marketing Officer for brands including Ultimatebet, Doylesroom and BetonSports, in 2010 he founded The Level Media (www.thelevelmedia.com).

Level Media is a full service Strategic Marketing and Creative Agency specializing in iGaming, the agency currently services clients in North America and Europe and has a wealth of talent and experience.


In North America, The agency is working with land based operators to build a winning strategy to be at the forefront of the future US market.


Level Media just designed and launched www.SouthPointPoker.com for Michael Gaughan founder of the South Point Hotel, Casino and Spa Las Vegas Nevada. Historic as it was the first licensed and regulated Online Poker room to be launched by a Las Vegas Casino.


In Europe, Level Media is retained by Mandalay Media Group and is responsible for creating many of their leading entertainment brands including their latest success - www.Xbingo.com.


Check out the latest Show Reel here: www.TheLevelMedia.com


Recent projects have included the conception and development of the following fantastic new brands - www.SouthPointPoker.com, www.Aced.com, www.CostaBingo.com, www.SingBingo.com, www.FancyBingo.com, www.CityBingo.com, www.Xbingo.com

Jonathan Halkyard, Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, Caesars Entertainment

Jonathan S. Halkyard is Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer of Caesars Entertainment Corporation. In that role, he oversees all of the company’s strategic planning, financial reporting, treasury and performance management functions.

Halkyard began his career with Caesars in 1999 as Director of Finance for Harrah’s Lake Tahoe. He spent several years in the company’s operating businesses, becoming Assistant General Manager of Harrah’s and Harvey’s Lake Tahoe in 2001 and Assistant General Manager of Harrah’s Las Vegas in 2002. Halkyard was appointed Treasurer of Caesars in 2003 and promoted to CFO in 2006.

He is on the Board of Trustees of the Smith Center for the Performing Arts, the Nevada Ballet Theatre and the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce.

Halkyard holds a bachelor’s degree from Colgate University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Ted Teruo Kitada, Senior Company Counsel, Wells Fargo Bank

Ted Teruo Kitada is a senior company counsel in the law department of Wells Fargo Bank, National Association. Mr. Kitada is the chief payment counsel to Wells Fargo, providing advice and guidance on many payment matters, including primary payment systems (wire transfers, checks, ACH, and prepaid and debit cards); deposit services and products; bank operations; Check 21; image exchange arrangements; mobile banking; electronic banking; unclaimed property; and compliance with a variety of state and federal laws and regulations relating generally to bank deposits and operations.

Mr. Kitada received his B.A. from Stanford University (magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa), his J.D. from the University of California, School of Law, Berkeley, and a Masters in Regional Studies-East Asia from Harvard University.


Joel Leonoff, President & CEO, Optimal Payments PLC

Mr. Leonoff was appointed as executive director and co-CEO of Optimal Payments PLC on 1 February 2011 following NEOVIA Financials acquisition of Optimal Payments, and was subsequently appointed as sole President & CEO with effect from 1 August 2011. Mr. Leonoff is an entrepreneurial leader and visionary, with a proven track record, having served as CEO, COO and CFO of private and publicly traded companies. Mr. Leonoff founded SureFire Commerce Inc. (renamed Terra Payments), a Canadian TSE‐listed payments company in 1998, where he served as COO and CFO and as a board member. Surefire Commerce later merged with the Optimal Group to form Optimal Payments Inc., a NASDAQ listed on-line payments company. Mr. Leonoff has also previously served as Group Operations Director/COO of Partygaming PLC, a FTSE 100 Company, regarded as the leading in-line gaming company in the world.

Art Manteris, Vice President of Race & Sports Operations, Station Casinos, LLC

Art Manteris brings more than 30 years of Nevada race and sports book expertise to his role at Station Casinos as Vice President of Race and Sports Operations where he oversees the race and sports book operations for the Company’s 18 sports books in Southern Nevada.

Under his leadership, he oversaw the design and development of seven new, expanded or remodeled state-of-the-art race and sports books for Station Casinos including its Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa, Green Valley Ranch, Santa Fe Station, Sunset Station, Santa Fe Station, Fiesta Henderson and Aliante Station properties. Manteris was also instrumental in creating and overseeing the Company’s Sports Connection program, Nevada’s only successful intrastate PC-based wagering system as well as W.I.N. (wagering information network), its computer wagering system.

Prior to joining Station Casinos in 2001, Manteris was with the Las Vegas Hilton and later its parent company Park Place Entertainment (today Caesars Entertainment) for 15 years, where he first served as Vice President of Race and Sports Operations for one property and expanded his role to oversee nine major sports books on the corporation’s behalf. He also served in various sports book capacities for Caesars Palace, Barbary Coast, the Stardust and Fremont Hotel & Casino.

Regarded as one of the foremost authorities in the sports gaming industry, Manteris oversaw the first computer networking of race and sports books in Nevada history in the late-80’s and has been a policy contributor to the Nevada State Gaming Control Board, Nevada State Gaming Commission, Nevada Resort Association and American Gaming Association. He was also a leading advocate and creator of the Nevada Pari-Mutuel Association and longtime member of its influential Rate Committee that negotiates track video signals from all major US racing circuits. He has produced multiple company record sports book years in handle, revenue and hold percentage in all of his leadership positions in the gaming industry.

Additionally, Manteris authored the original Sports Book House Wagering Rules and Regulations used by the majority of race and sports books in Nevada and many betting operations worldwide and co-authored “SuperBookie, Inside Las Vegas Sports Gambling” back in 1991. He is a former college casino management instructor and was a longtime security consultant to the NBA. He has been licensed by the Nevada State Gaming Commission since 1991.

Manteris is a graduate of the University of Nevada- Las Vegas. He is married to former KSNV NBC Las Vegas news anchor Sue Manteris and has three children.


Wayne Root, Chairman & CEO, Cool Hand Root Television

Wayne Allyn Root (W.A.R) is a Las Vegas sports handicapper and oddsmaker turned former Presidential candidate, the 2008 Libertarian Vice Presidential nominee, and a Tea Party favorite. He is the ultimate
capitalist evangelist: a blue-collar S.O.B. (son of a butcher) turned CEO, serial entrepreneur, homeschool dad, and citizen politician. Wayne is today a talk show host, best-selling author, columnist, and TV/radio commentator on business, economics, entrepreneurship, and politics. He is a regular guest on Fox News Channel, as well as hundreds of radio shows across the USA. His columns appear at the Washington Times, Forbes.com, FoxNews.com, and Newsmax- among hundreds of sites.

Wayne has been quoted by Time, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, as well as profiled by CNBC, Fortune, The Robb Report, Millionaire, Equities, and the Wall Street Journal.

In the gaming world, Wayne has been dubbed by the national media as "the King of Vegas Sports Gambling." In 2006, Wayne was inducted into the Las Vegas Walk of Stars, one of 50 Vegas legends with granite stars in the Las Vegas Blvd. sidewalk. Wayne's star is in front of New York New York. The
day was named "Wayne Root Day" in the state of Nevada and Clark County. Wayne's many books include "The Zen of Gambling" "Root on Risk" and "The King of Vegas' Guide to Gambling."

In the political world, Wayne serves as Chairman of the Libertarian National Campaign Committee. He was recently appointed to Economic Advisory Board of the Gary Johnson Presidential campaign, as well as Chairman of Johnson's Presidential Small Business and Entrepreneurship Roundtable. In 2010, the Governor of Nevada appointed Wayne to the Judicial Selection Commission of the State of Nevada.

Wayne serves as national spokesman for four companies, including a global precious metals company; as well as Senior Economic Advisor to a global financial services company. He is also a producer of the highest-rated television show on Travel Channel, "Ghost Adventures." A graduate of Columbia University, he now resides proudly in Nevada, a state with zero personal & business income tax. His web sites include ROOTforAmerica.com, WinningEDGE.com, and ROOTofSuccess.com.



Michael Rumbolz, Member, Board of Directors; Chairman, Internet Gaming Committee, Seminole Hard Rock Entertainment Holdings

Michael D. Rumbolz has over 30 years experience in all aspects of the gaming industry, encompassing casino project development, construction, hotel and casino operations, lottery and slot route operations, gaming-related equipment and systems manufacturing and distribution, and gaming legislation and regulation. He has evaluated projects and assisted in defining and implementing gaming regulatory systems for both businesses and governments in existing and emerging gaming jurisdictions throughout North America, Europe, Australia and Asia. 

He is Managing Director of Acme Gaming LLC, a consulting company formed in 2000 to provide development, merger, acquisition, strategic planning, legal, compliance, and other services to businesses involved in various facets of regulated industries. 

Mr. Rumbolz is also a member of the Management Committee of Seminole Hard Rock International, LLC (SHRI), He serves as Chairman of its Compensation and Governance committee. SHRI is the entity which acquired all of the café, hotel, casino and franchise assets of Hard Rock International from Rank Group, Plc. and is wholly owned by the Seminole Tribe of Florida.

He is a member, and formerly Chairman, of the Board of Directors of Employers Insurance Group (EIG-NYSE), and serves as Chairman of the Audit Committee. He has served on the Board since January 2000. EIG provides workers compensation insurance coverage to employers in 30 states.

Mr Rumbolz is also a member of the Board of Directors of Global Cash Access (GCA-NYSE) is Chairman of their Compliance Committee and was formerly a strategy consultant to the company’s CEO.



Dan Winslow, State Representative, Massachusetts

Dan Winslow (R-Norfolk) is the State Representative for the 9th Norfolk House district in Massachusetts and serves as the Ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee as well as a member of the House Ethics Committee. Governing Magazine named Dan as one of the Top 12 State Legislators to Watch in 2012. Dan also serves as Senior Counsel with Proskauer in the firm’s Litigation and Dispute Resolution Department, resident in Boston. Before joining Proskauer, Dan served as a Trial Court Justice and Associate Justice of the District Court Appellate Division in Massachusetts. As a Judge, Dan won recognition from the Atlanta-based Foundation for the Improvement of Justice in America for his invention of the "Smart Calendar" trial scheduling system, which resulted in civil and criminal jury trials being reached on the first scheduled date more than 80% of the time. He also won the Better Government Competition sponsored by the Pioneer Institute think tank in Boston for his proposals to reduce the costs and delays of civil litigation, which the Brookings Institution called "important and potentially path breaking" and which included an early version of the ELA.

Dan left the bench to serve as the Chief Legal Counsel to Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, where he oversaw an in-house corps of more than 600 lawyers. As the Chief Legal Counsel, Dan won legislative reforms to improve Trial Court funding. He also authored Governor Romney's reforms to encourage merit selection of judges, including a process of initial blind review of all applicants for judicial office, which was hailed as a national innovation in the Massachusetts legal media. Most recently, Dan served as the Chief Counsel to Scott Brown's historic election to the United States Senate in Massachusetts. Dan was cited by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly newspaper as one of the 35 most influential lawyers in Massachusetts in the past 35 years.

In the House, Dan won approval of an amendment to encourage development of internet pokerin Massachusetts, and is widely recognized as an innovator for creating jobs and reforming entitlement spending. At Proskauer, Dan focuses on corporate problem solving, both as trial counsel as well as by serving as outside general counsel. He represents clients throughout the United States, Europe and the Middle East. Dan's innovation of Economical Litigation Agreements (ELA) reflects his view that we need to improve the civil justice system to compete with arbitration, enhance competitiveness of American companies in the global marketplace, and reduce the costs and delays of civil justice in America. He recently co-authored an article Economical Litigation Agreements: The “Civil Litigation Prenup” Need, Basis, and Enforceability in the Pepperdine Dispute Resolution L.J. (2011).

Dan lives in Norfolk and Truro, Massachusetts with his wife and three children.


Andrew Zarnett, Managing Director, Deutsche Bank

Andrew S. Zarnett, Managing Director, currently serves as Deutsche Bank's Gaming, Lodging and Leisure High Yield Debt Analyst, Co-Head of High Yield Research and a member of the Executive Committee of the Leverage Debt Group.  Previously, from 1996 - 1999 he was the Senior Gaming Equity
Analyst, Gaming, Lodging and Leisure at Ladenburg Thalmann & Co., Inc. where he also served as a member of the Board of Directors.  Before joining Ladenburg Thalmann, Mr. Zarnett was the Assistant to the Chairman, Furman Selz, LLC.  Mr. Zarnett is frequently quoted in both the trade and national press, including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Las Vegas Sun and the Las Vegas Review Journal. He is also a lecturer at University of Nevada Reno Annual Executive Development Program for Senior Level Casino Executives.

In 1985 Mr. Zarnett received a BA degree in Economics from York University.  In 1988 Mr. Zarnett received his MBA in Finance, from Babson College.

Further in 2002, 2003 and 2004, Mr. Zarnett was named to the Institutional Investor All Star Team. And in 2005, Zarnett was awarded the #1 Institutional Investor All Star Team covering gaming and lodging.


You can learn more about the conference here.


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