October 2018
 
 
 
by Buddy Frank

It's easy to feel small at G2E, and not just because of the size of the Expo Center or the crowds, although they're both massive. It's the slot machines.

When I started in gaming, the most popular machine was a chop top reel spinner. Today, if you stacked three of those machines vertically, you'd still be several feet short of the summit of some of the games on display this year. I called last year the land of the giants; this year, everything seems to have grown even more.

Just to be a contrarian (since I really like some of these massive cabinets), here's my take on some of the best small things I saw at G2E.

My normal contributions to this publication are objective features, invariably involving slot machines, and always, as traditional news features require, in the third person.
 
I write in the first person here because the following is completely subjective opinion. Having written about slot machines for 34 years - my first two articles for Public Gaming magazine in 1984 were features on Bally and Aristocrat - I'm often asked for my take on the best new slot games presented by major manufacturers at the annual Global Gaming Expo. That's what I've done here.
 

 
by Buddy Frank

If you navigate to the CDC Gaming Reports website and look at the right-hand column, you'll notice a new heading called ReelMetrics. If you then click on the ReelHot Index in the menu box, you'll get a set of impressively detailed statistics on recent slot machine performance. These charts are compiled from performance data submitted by over 100 casinos, housing more than 165,000 slots.
 
CDC Gaming Reports recently signed an agreement with ReelMetrics that allows some sharing of some of their data each month. ReelMetrics is a slot analytics provider, which doesn't exactly make them unique in 2018. What does separate them from the pack is that much of their analytic work compares your operation to the nationwide database cited above.



 
by Buddy Frank

The trendy thing to say in the gaming industry for the last decade or two is that "we're in the entertainment business, not just the casino business." But if that's true, how come we're not buying the most entertaining games? Obviously, I'm talking here about skill-based products.  
 
Proof that these games are the most entertaining was made clear at G2E 2018, where most of the cheering and yelling heard was not coming from the enclosed Scientific Games booth, nor the dragons snaking through Aristocrat's, nor even from the celebrities appearing at IGT's. If you had a meter that could measure the excitement levels in the Sands Expo Center, there's no doubt that the highest readings would have been at Gamblit, Game Co., Next Gaming and Synergy Blue. Ironically, this loud buzz was generated by the very gaming professionals who will just as quickly tell you that these skill-based games don't work. Something's out of whack. Or maybe we're just barely on the wrong side of a tipping point that could realign our future.    


Upcoming Industry Events of Interest
Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, NV - 11/05/2018- 11/08/2018
Set yourself up for success at Global Gaming Expo (G2E)-the largest gathering of global, commercial and tribal gaming professionals in North America. 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 digital products-G2E is where your business growth is accelerated.
Paris Las Vegas, 3655 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV - 11/05/2018 - 11/07/2018
The Cutting Edge Table Games Conference, presented by Casino Journal magazine, is an annual two-and-a-half-day conference designed to empower Table Game Executives with the knowledge and tools they'll need to leverage the full potential of their table games businesses.
Convene, 117 W 46th Street, New York, NY - 11/27/2018 - 11/28/2018
Positioned at the intersection of sports and gaming, this event is the only platform in the USA where all parts of the ecosystem, both gaming and sports, meet to discuss the future of regulated sports betting in the USA. It will take a further step in discussing the role of various stakeholders, shaping the regulatory and taxation reality of sports betting in the USA and facilitating strategic partnerships enabling commercial advantage.
   
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