July 2019
by Buddy Frank

There’s probably no position in the casino industry where experience is more critical than that of a table games manager. They need to use their collective wisdom, honed from years in the pits, to accurately determine the right spread of games, proper table minimums and dealer schedules to maximize efficiency and profits. At the same time, they also need to focus on game protection and great guest service.

It’s the kind of complicated decision-making that seems like a natural application for computerized data crunching. Indeed, most “slot tracking systems” were modified decades ago to also collect basic table game and player data. Unlike slots, table games have no automated data collection. They utilize pit clerks and supervisors to manually input the basics such as bet limits, players, occupancy and games open or closed. This gave managers the basic data about volumes and player ratings. What was missing was how to use that data to effectively boost profits. At least until recently.

But these games are a long way from Big Bertha

by Frank Legato

It was once referred to as Big Bertha – a catch-all term for novelty slot machines that were ridiculously large. At one time, slot manufacturers competed with each other to produce this style of game, which cost up to 10 times what a normal slot machine cost and was normally upwards of 10 feet tall and 6 feet wide, with outrageously large reels run by 5-horsepower electric engines.

These days, you can still find the giant reel-spinners, which were always considered novelty items to draw customers to a certain area for an expensive handle-pull and a photo op. Typically set at a low return-to-player percentage, the odds of winning on the early ones were astronomical. They were there because they drew a crowd.

by Buddy Frank

by Chris Andrews
Huntington Press, 238 pp., 2019

It’s a rare day when there’s not breaking news on our feeds recently about “Sports Betting.” It’s the subject du jour in gaming right alongside buzz-topics like “millennials,” “skill-based slots” and “eSports.” Therefore, it’s quite relevant that Huntington Press released “Then One Day” about bookmaking just last month.

However, this work starts years ago. It begins in the late 1960’s when author Andrews and his cousin Zach were booking action from their fifth grade pals in junior high. It covers his career from his youthful “illegal bookmaking” as the nephew of a Pittsburgh/Las Vegas “wise guy” (his Uncle Jack) to one of the most respected oddsmakers, podcasters and characters in the industry today. His legitimate casino career began at the infamous Stardust (post-mob) and continued through stints at the Barbary Coast, a long run at Reno’s Cal-Neva, then the Golden Nugget, and presently at Michael Gaughan’s South Point.

ReelHot June 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
Songdo, South Korea - 07/17/2019 - 07/18/2019
Over 100 leaders from the most established integrated resorts, entertainments, gaming manufacturers, academia, and government entities will gather to debate key issues facing the gaming industry in Asia. The Korea Gaming Congress will be a gathering of intellectuals and global leaders of the gaming and integrated resorts to earn an in-depth vision and a better understanding of the lucrative Asian market. KgC will serve as an educational forum for discussing how gaming policies in Asia, particularly Korea, differ from major gaming jurisdictions in the world.
Caesars Palace, Las Vegas - 07/23/2019 - 07/25/2019
From mega-company consolidation to hi-tech innovations, the gaming industry is evolving and changing in new ways every day… and now so is the Casino Marketing Conference. At the Casino Marketing & Technology Conference you will be immersed in all aspects of gaming promotions and marketing initiatives including the latest technical innovations and advances that support casino marketing goals with technology.
UNR Redfield Campus, Reno, NV - 07/22/2019 - 07/25/2019
The slot operation is a major revenue source in commercial gaming today. Strong placement and product strategies, rigorous internal controls and demand analysis are essential to ensure long-term profitability and growth. Key topics include performance analysis metrics, product placement and selection, and product profitability analysis.
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 inno-vators from around the world.
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.
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