August 2019
by Buddy Frank

During his acceptance speech for the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 16th annual Casino Marketing & Technology Conference in Las Vegas last month, Bob Hamman, CEO of SCA Promotions, said all the credit for the honor goes to his prized collection of baseball cards. But he went on to explain that his entire collection consists of just one valuable card.

First, some background. Hamman is an insurance guy. But rather than covering the risks of car accidents, illness or death benefits, he indemnifies the risk of unusual events happening. We’re talking about large payouts if things as varied as “will someone find Big Foot,” to “will the Mir Russian Space Station splash down at a certain spot in the ocean” or “will someone hit a major slot machine jackpot or promotion.”

Casino management system technology has given rise to a new generation of player rewards, contests and tournaments
by Frank Legato

It wasn’t that long ago that casino marketing meant bounce-back coin coupons, direct-mail invites to sweepstakes drawings and promotional tournaments, and a host of other programs that invariably, at some point, involved customers standing in line.

These days, casino rewards don’t necessarily require leaving one’s slot machine. The days of regular players doing frequent coupon runs to cash in their coin vouchers have yielded to the new Holy Grail of casino rewards, free play. (Even the term “cash back” has all but disappeared.) Instead of drawings featuring emcees turning the crank on church-carnival-style ticket cages, entries earned through play are placed in a digital cage. And, while showbiz-style drawings may not have disappeared completely, players are just as likely to collect their sweepstakes prizes without ever getting up from their slot chairs.

by Buddy Frank

“The main challenge isn’t technology. It’s culture.” If there was ever a credo for casino operators to heed, that’s it. The quote is the subhead of the July-August 2019 edition of Harvard Business Review (HBR). The issue’s main feature is “Building the AI-Powered Organization.” There was probably no one at the magazine, or at the three authors’ firm of McKinsey & Co., that aimed this piece on Artificial Intelligence at the gaming world, but they hit the target at our weakest and most-vulnerable spot.

“We’ve surveyed thousands of executives about how their companies use and organize for AI and advanced analytics, and our data shows that only 8% of firms engage in core practices that support widespread adoption.” That’s the bad news, but they do offer hope: “we’ve also seen that leaders, who at the outset take steps to break down those barriers, can effectively capture AI’s opportunities.

ReelHot July 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
Las Vegas, NV - 09/04/2019 - 09/05/2019
Two-day event providing casino executives with the knowledge necessary to understand why it is important to include esports into their business models, as well as supplying the most direct connections to facilitate infrastructure building for those establishments ready to take the next steps and incorporate esports, iGaming, and skill-based gaming into their properties.
Copenhagen, Denmark - 09/05/2019 - 09/06/2019
This year, the Scandinavian Gaming Show will give gaming professionals the practical expertise of the world’s thought-leaders in the gaming industry and provide a forum for discussion on all the key areas of operating a gaming business in the region to help you rise to new heights in your company and in the industry. The Scandinavian Gaming Show 2019 will see the attendance of local and international gaming sector operators, software providers, payment gateway providers, fraud and AML experts, lawyers, gaming regulators, legislators, government officials and iGaming innovators from around the world.
Reno, NV - 09/09/2019 - 09/10/2019
 Learn to position your property as a market leader in these increasingly competitive times.In this course, you will identify the key indicators used in analyzing the business landscape and in evaluating markets. You will learn to evaluate market penetration and spend per customer, as well as how to quantitatively illustrate the impact of marketing from both revenue and expense perspectives.
Olympia London, Hammersmith, London, UK - 09/17/2019 - 09/20/2019
The 2nd edition of the Summit will bring together operators, suppliers and a range of sector visionaries to consider the challenges facing the online casino sector. The Summit offers industry insight, knowledge sharing and networking opportunities at the heart of the world’s largest regulated online gaming market.
Olympia London, Hammersmith, London, UK - 09/17/2019 - 09/20/2019
Betting on Sports 2019 is a must-attend conference and exhibition for members of the sports, betting and gaming industries. You will experience the very best industry speakers and content with plenty of high-level networking and business opportunities.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates - 09/23/2019 - 09/24/2019
AI adoption will account for 45% of the world economy’s total gains by 2030, the UAE ranks first in the Middle Eastern world in terms of expected annual growth of AI contribu-tion to the economy at 33.5%. As a hub for technology and innovation, Dubai is the epi-center of all things AI in the Middle East. In addition, Dubai also has a burgeoning gaming market for games of skill, games of chance, video gaming, racing industry, AR, VR and Esports. Eventus International will host the very first AI In Gaming Summit in Dubai with a core focus on all things gaming. The summit will bring together hundreds of gaming and AI professionals to discuss the most operational and technical challenges and opportunities in integrating AI into gaming
Sandton Convention Centre, South Africa - 10/02/2019 - 10/03/2019
ICE Africa is the two day event developed by Clarion Gaming to meet the specific needs of the industry throughout the continent. ICE Africa 2019 will seek to build on the success of last year’s launch which attracted representatives from 89 countries including the overwhelming majority of African nations in which gambling is permitted. The free conference and exhibition provides an invaluable opportunity for operators, regulators and suppliers to meet, network, share best practice and see the very latest gaming products from the industry’s leading innovators. Described by industry observers as ‘A showcase event that Africa can be proud of’ attendees will benefit from a programme of engaging content encompassing Thought Leadership, Training, Regulation, Online vs Retail, Integrated Resorts, Branding, Marketing, Sports and eSports and much more.
Las Vegas, NV - 10/14/2019 - 10/17/2019
G2E is the largest gathering of global, commercial and tribal gaming professionals in North America. Experience first-hand the new products and innovative technologies showcased on the expo floor. G2E has everything you need for your casino floor and across your entire operation—from traditional casino fare to sports betting, non-gaming amenities and more—G2E is where your business growth is accelerated.
This report is edited by Buddy Frank, Frank Legato, and Justin Martin