Global Gaming Expo Day 2 Recap

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:

Due to the events that transpired in Las Vegas Sunday night, Global Gaming Expo organizers did not release the recap from Monday, however, things are getting back to some degree of normalcy now and we have the full Tuesday recap below.

Industry with Geoff Freeman and Ed Davis

Geoff Freeman, president and CEO of the American Gaming Association, met with Ed Davis, the former Boston police commissioner who responded to the Boston Marathon bombing, in lieu of his annual State of the Industry address Tuesday morning. Freeman opened the keynote with a moment of silence and gratitude for first responders, medical professionals and acts of heroism. He noted the industry is strongest when it comes together. Davis was reminded of the Boston Marathon bombing following Sunday night's tragedy. He praised the rapid response units amidst the chaos, a result of having practice and a plan already put in place.

When asked what lessons he learned in Boston that would apply to Las Vegas, Davis emphasized caring for officers, first responders and civilians who may experience PTSD and long-term injuries and trauma. Additionally, Davis encouraged Las Vegas to give, whether that means donating blood or giving money to the Red Cross. For a community to put itself back together following a tragedy, Davis concluded it takes leadership, preparation and planning. He observed the city is "Las Vegas Strong."




Gaming Leaders: View from the Top


This morning, Geoff Freeman, president and CEO of the American Gaming Association, welcomed Michael D. Rumbolz, Robert McGhee and Craig Clark to discuss the state of the gaming industry. All of the leaders agreed that the industry is quite strong, ending last year with record high revenue. They went on to discuss sports betting and how it is an important way the gaming industry can continue to grow. A key takeaway from the session is that the industry needs to unite. They discussed how important it is for all states and industries to unify their policies to create a more seamless process and system of laws. 



Innovation Lab - UNLV Easy Jack & Casino Dominoes


UNLV's International Gaming Institute delivered exciting gaming concepts from two of its brightest students. Matthew Stream drew inspiration from his background as a dealer to breathe a new life into the classic game of Blackjack. Easy Jack deals one card and has a goal of players reaching 11, rather than the traditional 21. Matthew's game is currently on its trial run at Harrah's Las Vegas Hotel and Casino. Harold Moret's Casino Dominoes blends cards with traditional dominoes to craft an innovative game that is engaging and fun. 



The New Demographics and What They Mean for Your Business, Today & Tomorrow


Marketing and advertising specialist Kelly McDonald discussed how demographics in America are changing racially, socially, fiscally, geographically and religiously. McDonald also touched on how companies can appeal to the changing customer base, made up of minorities and millennials who relate to brands and images that look like them. Additionally, McDonald identified millennial needs. When it comes to recruiting and retaining young talent, millennials are interested in demonstrated commitment  to diversity. Within casinos, millennials seek social gaming concepts, such as Craps. 



Konami All-Star Tournament





Leading designer and manufacturer of slot machines and casino management systems, Konami Gaming Inc., welcomed Las Vegas's most talented gamers for a high-octane musical battle of wits with the skill-based, new-to-market Beat Square game. Four teams of two players fought in the All-Star tournament, where gamers were encouraged to hit target points and match the beat of top hits like "24K Magic" by Bruno Mars and "Ain't It Fun" by Paramore. Pulling ahead of the pack from the very first round, teammates from "Double Trouble" were named tournament champions.



Scientific Games SVP Talks Game of Thrones


While emphasizing the importance of being prepared when dealing with factors affecting casino revenue, Scientific Games SVP Roger Snow drew a parallel with the hit television series Game of Thrones. Though non-gaming amenities like concerts and on-site entertainment have seen a dramatic rise in popularity, Snow insists casino executives are quietly building their "resistance" by offering more gaming content and a wider selection of gaming platforms. Snow also encouraged industry leaders to continue to develop and test new and exciting gaming opportunities. 



Esports Media Panel


Esports has become a popular topic at G2E and top leaders in the industry gathered during a media panel to discuss the rise in esports. Gaming experts Jason Cribbs, VP of sales for JCM Global; Kingsley Edwards, VP of development for Unikrn; Jud Hannigan, CEO of Allied Esports International; and Lovell Walker, executive director of Interactive Gaming Development at MGM Resorts International delved into the latest explorations in esports. The panel concluded that Las Vegas will become a hub for this new community, as Luxor soon will debut the largest championship tournament arena. Hundreds of thousands of gamers are expected to travel to Las Vegas annually, and this will be the first demographic where hospitality experiences are tailored to the players' interests. 



Sports Betting in Indian Country: Leveraging a Seat at the Table to Protect Tribal Interests


Moderator Aurene M. Martin, managing partner of Spirit Rock Consulting, welcomed G2E guests for the educational seminar, where industry leaders discussed the role of sports betting in the tribal gaming sphere. Martin was joined by Robert McGhee, vice chair for the Poarch Band of Creek Indians; Debbie Thundercloud, chief of staff for the National Indian Gaming Association; Mark Macarro, tribal chairman of the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians; and Will Moschella, shareholder of Brownstein, Hyatt, Farber and Schreck. The executives discussed the history of sports betting in the U.S., federal efforts in support of legislative changes and the ways in which casino leaders can prepare for a rise in sports betting across the country.   



Systems Thinking: Building a Cooperative Enterprise 


Noel Naylor, assistant professor of Stockton University, challenged attendees to think differently when approaching systems in their organization. Naylor explained that to build a cooperative enterprise, executives must not think in parts but rather work in ways that all employees and departments maximize performance of their institutions. This can be achieved through greater self-awareness, team work, problem solving  and collective power. Leaders are encouraged to look for patterns and remove ineffective processes that allow companies to achieve their ultimate goals.   



JCM Esports Tournament


JCM Global hosted a live esports invitational at its booth this afternoon. With a $2,500 prize, 15 participants competed in a Street Fighter V tournament, put on in collaboration with JCM Global and Panel Pro Display Technology. Competitors included local professional esports team, Echo Fox, with footage broadcast on a towering, high-res, LCD screen. As many casinos are retrofitting for esports, the tournament showed the capabilities of how the vibrant display looks in an esports realm.



The Power of Audio


Laura Fernandez, Pandora's director of travel, tourism and casinos, presented an engaging discussion on the power of audio in a changing marketing world. She showcased that devices like Amazon's Alexa are consistently rising as a prominent means of entertainment and service to consumers. In fact, six-out-of-10 adults stream audio. Fernandez encouraged casino partners to consider the accessibility, personalization and level of passion when targeting consumers in marketing efforts. 



The Sharing Game - External Innovation with Application to Gaming Operations


This afternoon Rom Hendler discussed how gaming companies can learn from other industries. Hendler emphasized that it is important for the gaming industry to continue to grow, and a good way for them to do so is by adapting solutions to their problems from others. Working with startups gives businesses an innovative way to stay updated and current.  




Casino of Tomorrowland


With a new generation of players and a constant flow of new products, this panel gathered executives from top manufacturers in the industry to paint a picture of what the casino floor will look like in the future. Player engagement was a hot topic throughout the discussion with panelists giving insight on what that meant for both manufacturers and operators. According to the speakers, today's players look for immersive experiences that extend beyond the casino floor and community-driven games that allow them to share the moment with others. The workshop concluded with each executive sharing intel on the optimum floor mix that would maximize revenue streams, which included social, multi-functional areas with amenities designed to attract players.    



The Power of Networking for Game-Changing Career Growth 


Roberta Perry, senior vice president of business development at Edwards Technologies, Inc. and president of Roberta Perry & Associates, kicked off G2E's day one with an uplifting session demonstrating how the power of networking can change the world during times of hardship. Attendees got on their feet and learned first hand how to build and maintain connections with each other through a series of interactive exercises. These exercises showcased Perry's tips for networking, which includes understanding the importance of nonverbal communication as well as the difference between the speaking and listening rates of people. The workshop ended on a high note as Perry challenged attendees to make at least five connections each day at G2E. 



What Shifting Gaming Landscape Means for Regulators 


With the inception of skill-based games, esports and virtual reality, the realm of casino regulation is entering its own uncharted frontier. Monday's panel discussed how regulators are looking for ways to collaborate with manufacturers to encourage innovation while maintaining integrity of the game. The panel - consisting of leaders from regulation, manufacturing and casino operations - was unified that regulation is not slowing down game development. States like New Jersey have created a flexible model of regulation, then adapting its rules as new games are invented. The panel expressed that manufacturers and operators should partner with companies outside of the industry to develop market-ready technology that fits within the best interests of the casinos. It will take several years for casinos to find the right formula of new games that connect with guests, and the regulation side will evolve in a way that best accommodates growth while maintaining integrity.  The panel sees esports and virtual reality transforming casino floors within the next five years, providing an avenue for the industry to engage with a new audience. 

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