April 20, 2017
Lessons Learned from NIGA 2017

Here are our top takeaways from this year's Indian Gaming Show:  
  1. There is a thirst for ideas on new sources of revenue.  As gaming in many tribal jurisdictions nears or has already reached saturation, tribes are looking for new ways to support their independence and economic growth. It is clear that tribal leaders are no longer tied to the traditional casino model and are listening to new opportunities in a wide range of areas. Discussions at NIGA on this topic ranged from Cannabis to foreign development. Investment diversification is a major focus of The Innovation Group in its interaction with tribal clients.
The Rise of TopGolf

In the late 1990s, the golf industry faced an existential crisis: remain a niche sport or rebrand as an entertainment option. That's when brothers and British entrepreneurs Steve and Dave Jolliffe had the idea for TopGolf. The concept originated as a way to infuse technology into the driving range experience. Microchipped golf balls and censored targets enable golfers to receive live feedback as to the precise accuracy of their shots as well as several other metrics on their swing. 

Golden Mesa Casino
The Innovation Group completed a Gaming Market Analysis, a competitive effects analysis and a tribal cash flow analysis for a trust application through which the Shawnee Indians received land. The Miami News-Record reported that the Shawnee Indians received land into trust for their proposed $25 million Golden Mesa Casino, which will be near the panhandle town Guymon and operated by the Chickasaw Indians' Global Gaming Solutions. Work on the project should start by May with the construction process taking nine to 12 months. 

Sycuan Casino's New Hotel
The Innovation Group provided market assessments and ROI analysis for a variety of alternative building programs and sites for the Sycuan Tribal council, which broke ground on an 11-story casino and hotel expansion project at its East County reservation.   TIG's assessments included hotel, gaming expansion and a slate of amenity development designed for the tribe to stay competitive in an expanding gaming market while preserving cash flows for tribal government.    

TIG's Tribal Internship Program
The Innovation Group has officially begun implementation of its Native American/First Nations Internship Program. TIG has proudly served the Native American community for more than 25 years, always seeking new ways to support tribes in reaching their broader development goals. Tribal members seeking professional careers in gaming are invited to participate in comprehensive studies being undertaken by their tribe - involving expansion feasibility, economic development and database analysis - as paid interns side by side with the TIG project team. In addition to offering interns valuable insights to bring back to their careers and operations, the program will also invigorate TIG's work adding direct Tribal client perspective.

Watch Video of ELG Webinar: 
"Casino Gamification"
Our in-depth review on the gamification of casino properties featured experts covering a number of emerging trends including skill-based gaming and the inclusion of game-like experiences.

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About The Innovation Group:

The Innovation Group has long been recognized as the world's most respected and sought-after research and advisory firm, specializing in the gaming, entertainment, hospitality and leisure industries. To date, our research and analyses have driven over $100 billion in investment decisions across more than 80 countries and six continents. The Innovation Group's accuracy and reliability is unparalleled, with our forecasts historically tracking within 5% of actual revenues across the most complex of gaming jurisdictions throughout the globe. 
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For more information, please contact:

Michael Soll
The Innovation Group
(321) 422-2021
Thomas J. Zitt, Ph.D.
Executive Vice President, Strategic Planning
The Innovation Group
(504) 523-0888


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