February 2019
by Buddy Frank

There are lots of reasons to be optimistic about skill-based games on the casino floor:

  • eSports, which are pure skill-based games without any element of chance, are booming.
  • The games have been blessed by regulators in Nevada, the traditional birthplace of all things gaming.
  • All the major machine suppliers have released games with skill elements.
  • There’s an exciting group of disrupters dedicated to the space (Gamblit Gaming, GameCo, Next Gaming, and Synergy Blue, among others).
  • Haven’t you read at least a dozen articles saying that casinos will go extinct if we don’t attract Millennials, and that Millennials will “only play skill-based games?”

by Frank Legato

Last month, we looked at some of the unique slot games being launched this year that use game presentations outside of the traditional spinning-reel array. But there’s another style of game that’s just beginning to gain some traction in the market: games that go outside of the traditional slot-machine cabinet.

Arcade-style games have a long history in the casino industry. As far back as the 1970s, carnival-like games such as the Flip It! machine that allowed customers to shovel quarters out of a pile were commonplace as a novelty offering, and in the 1980s, the biggest hit of the former Sigma Game was the Sigma Derby mechanical horse-race game.

Konami Gaming—whose parent company, Konami Holdings of Japan, is one of the most successful amusement and video game producers in history—has tapped into a new desire among casino customers for something different, launching its Fortune Cup multiplayer racing unit with an introduction at the 2016 Global Gaming Expo.

by Buddy Frank

By Bob Dancer
232 pp. Huntington Press, 2008
$24.95

The last time I looked, there were dozens and dozens of books on video poker available out there from Amazon or AbeBooks or virtually any other book retailer. Some of them have great subtitles, like Steven Daniels’ The Game Plan: how to stay in the game long enough to actually Hit A Jackpot. Or perhaps a too-descriptive title, like Shepard King’s Video Poker: The Face of Pain. Out of all of them, though, there’s a clear favorite that I continually go back to: Bob Dancer’s Video Poker for the Intelligent Beginner. While it’s publication date 10 years ago means you won’t find specifics for new variants like “Barnyard Poker” or “Ultimate X Wheel Poker,” it’s still the best book you’ll find covering the basics, with tips that apply to every game.

ReelHot February 2019 Update
Top-performing game title per Supplier (trailing 3 months).

Click here or the chart below to see the full ReelHot index.
Upcoming Industry Events of Interest
Tropicana Las Vegas, 3801 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV - 03/03/2019 - 03/05/2019
The WGPC is an annual conference that connects casino surveillance, asset protection professionals and regulators from around the world. The event examines current and emerging threats to casino entertainment complexes and explores opportunities and practices to combat those threats.
UNR Redfield Campus, 18600 Wedge Pkwy, Reno, NV - 03/18/2019 - 03/21/2019
Acquire techniques and strategies that can sharpen your ability to analyze and interpret reports and data to assist you in making key management decisions beneficial to the bottom line. This comprehensive course will examine the core business processes or “five Ps of table games”-products, pricing, people interactions, productivity and protection-and share some of the best demonstrated practices currently used in gaming.
Stratosphere Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, NV - 0 3/25/2019- 03/27/2019
The Leadership Development Conference which takes place regionally throughout each year. The four regions to choose from are Eastern, Midwest, Southern, and Western.This program, specifically designed for managers and those new to Director level, will help participants increase management skills and boost leadership development.
The Grand Hotel, Stockholm - 03/27/2019 - 03/28/2019
The Nordic Affiliate Conference will take place on the 27th - 28th March 2019 in Sweden and will bring together key affiliates, media agencies, advertising networks and operators working within the region. NAC is different to the larger exhibitions iGB Affiliate host in London, Amsterdam and Lisbon. The event will be hosted as a lounge-style event which will enable delegates to network in a more intimate and fluid way.
Meadowlands Exposition Center, Secaucus, NJ - 04/23/2019 - 04/25/2019
Betting on Sports America is brought to you by SBC, the world’s leading provider of sports betting business events, news and media. If you are involved or looking to become involved in the US based part of the sports betting industry Betting on Sports America is an absolute must attend event! Expect the highest quality sports and sports betting focussed content from 200 of the very best industry speakers and experts.
This report is edited by Buddy Frank, Frank Legato, and Justin Martin