Another G2E is history. I have attended some form of this show for 22 years. Back then, only Nevada and New Jersey, six riverboat states and some Native American tribes offer legalized gaming. Only a few thousand people attended; today’s numbers top 25,000.
I joined EUROSLOT magazine, Casino International‘s predecessor, in late 1993. Many of the young people I worked with formed their own businesses; others attained great jobs at prominent companies. I applaud their successes. They all still seem young, but most are in their 40s.
Now, a new generation of 20- and 30-somethings at G2E appeared as enthusiastic as I was at their age. 
That is one of the beauties of the gaming industry… it spans generations. Unlike other fields with forced age retirements, talented people can remain active into their “golden years.“ In fact, many seniors now lead our most profitable gaming organizations.
Two gaming moguls and multibillionaires, 81-year-old Las Vegas Sands Chairman/CEO Sheldon Adelson and Wynn Resorts Chairman/CEO Steve Wynn, 72, come to mind. Both gave afternoon keynote addresses. Everyone knows Wynn‘s achievements, but few, including me, knew Adelson‘s goals, thoughts and decision-making processes. He spoke before an attentive audience of hundreds.
Our personal backgrounds are crucial to recognizing who we are and why we do what we do. Interviewer and longtime gaming media figure Roger Gros stated that after listening to Adelson, we may better understand his business vision, political activism, philanthropy and opposition to Internet gaming. 
A computer and real estate baron, Adelson explained his sole reason for buying the iconic Sands’ eight acres was to build the Expo Center. Adelson believed that expanding gaming competition nationwide would damage Las Vegas if it did not evolve into a city that attracted major conventions. 
In his mid-70s, after building the Venetian and Palazzo, Adelson‘s passion for construction took him to Macau in Asia less than 10 years ago. There, his Cotai Strip recreated the Las Vegas Strip. His “iconic” casino resort building in Singapore soon followed. 
Ironically, despite owning and operating billion-dollar properties, Adelson has little interest in gaming. He condemns making it easily accessible, especially to underage or problem gamblers, which explains his strong opposition to Internet gaming. 
Why have he and Wynn spent millions to battle Internet gaming via legislation and anti-gaming publicity? Adelson’s extremely poor Depression/World War II-era childhood in Boston provides some answers. 
His father, a cab driver, loved to gamble. So did his mother. While Adelson stopped short of calling them compulsive, he admitted that gambling shattered their economic security during his childhood.
Gros, an Internet gaming advocate, reminded Adelson that modern technology can control underage gambling. Adelson rejected that notion, insisting that today’s tech-savvy kids can easily outmaneuver their parents safeguards and controls. Also, what if parents allow the kids to gamble? Adelson challenged Gros for one “compelling reason” to provide 315 million Americans with personal online gaming when it is readily available at regulated properties.
Adelson and his wife, Israeli physician Dr. Miriam Adelson, treat and rehabilitate drug addicts at their three international clinics. Adelson lost a son to a drug overdose years ago. For the Adelsons, opposing Internet gaming is not about competition, but about potential addiction and disaster.
For most of us, major events have lifelong impacts. My dad lectured me about compulsive gambling my entire life. In the late 1930s, his mentor and older cousin Sam paid him $5 a week to haul pinball machines between locations after school. 
However, Sam‘s darker side compelled him to play the horses, destroying his family. On the July 1942 night that his wife and young daughters left him, Sam turned on his car and died in his garage. 
My dad, forever affected, found him the next day. Sadly, there were no gamblers’ hotlines, Gamblers Anonymous programs or National Center for Responsible Gaming. 
That era coincided with Adelson’s childhood years.
While my dad hated Sam’s conduct, he loved Sam for setting his life’s path. In 1940, at 18, my dad bought a $5 machine, placed it in a Philadelphia barbershop and was an amusement operator for the next 51 years.
However, research shows the percentage of “Sams” or the elder Adelsons is minute compared to huge numbers of players who gamble responsibly.
Our world now curtails our activities due to the actions of a few. I know successful people who lost everything to Atlantic City’s casinos, but is it fair to restrict broader free leisure opportunities because of an endangered few?
What do you think?