May 2020
by Buddy Frank

It seemed like a wonderful achievement when several distilleries around the country switched recently from making booze to making hand sanitizers. Sadly, they strongly cautioned that drinking the hand sanitizer would stop your heart, not COVID-19. And by now, you’ve also heard that injecting disinfectants is also a no-no.

The proposed solutions for re-opening our casinos are not nearly as harmful as those ideas, but on the other hand, no one can yet say if they will be effective. There are two issues with any fix: will it work, and, perhaps more importantly, will it convince our guests that it’s safe to return?

With those caveats considered, some of the ideas seem promising.

With casinos shut down across the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic, online casino games are stepping up to fill the void - and provide a revenue lifeline for operators

by Frank Legato

The industrywide shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic has presented unprecedented challenges to suppliers charged with developing and delivering slot machines and table games to idle customers. But there is one segment of the gaming supply sector that has actually gotten stronger during the pandemic: online gaming.

The online casinos of New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware, soon likely to be joined by other states currently considering legalization, are seizing the opportunity to offer games to gamblers who can’t go to casinos. Consequently, slot suppliers are ramping up their libraries of online games.

Smaller gaming suppliers like Everi Holdings and AGS were already in growth mode online before the pandemic hit. Both manufacturers have relatively young interactive divisions, and the shutdown of physical, land-based gaming has accelerated their drive into the market.

by Buddy Frank

Jon Ralston is one of the top political reporters in Nevada. He started his career in the Silver State back in 1984 and has been writing or broadcasting ever since. Considered an expert, he’s made frequent appearances on NPR and NBC. In 2017 he started a non-profit news service called the Nevada Independent. It is a vital resource and is wholly funded by charitable contributions. (By the way: if you can, please try to financially support good journalism like this in your local community. It only gets more important as time goes on.)

But as sharp as Jon is, he recently issued a mea culpa: “Some bad news: I screwed up. It turns out that our planned online poker tournament runs afoul of Gaming Control Board regulations that prohibit charitable contests online. It also might have run afoul of Wire Act provisions. So we have to cancel. Thus do I narrowly avoid getting my name put into the Black Book."

ReelHot April 2020 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
Coming to a screen near you soon, ICE North America Digital has been designed to deliver the expert insights you expected from this year's exhibition and conference, even while most of us are at home. The pressure on you isn't off, just because the world as we know it has pivoted. In fact, quite the opposite - you've had to get used to a new way of working and it's a challenge to keep up with developments in your gaming industry under these conditions. So we've gone back to the drawing board for you and - following the postponement of the in-person ICE North America exhibition and conference in New Orleans - we're bringing you a whole week of streamed industry content, discussions and debate, that you can access from wherever you are.
6/8/2020 - 6/10/2020
With ICE Asia and SiGMA Manila postponed to 2021, we're pleased to announce the launched ICE-SiGMA Asia DIGITAL - an online learning and networking event to take place over the same period as the postponed event, from June 8 to -10, 2020. This free-to-attend digital event will provide three days of compelling content, bringing together local operators, thought-leaders and gaming experts to discuss tech innovation, market recovery strategies and the future of gaming in Asia post-COVID-19.
This report is edited by Buddy Frank , Frank Legato , and Justin Martin