We are pleased to announce Class of 2019 honoree Mick Ingersoll, director of gaming strategies at Everi Holdings, Inc., as the newest member of our recently established ELG 40 Under 40 Advisory Board. Mick joins fellow board members Mark Birtha, president of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sacramento at Fire Mountain; Christie Eickelman, vice president of marketing for Gaming Laboratories International (GLI), and chairwoman of Global Gaming Women; and Virginia McDowell, former president and CEO of Isle of Capri Casinos, and former chairwoman of Global Gaming Women.
Leadership Profile: Mick IngersollIngersoll
Director of Gaming Strategies, Everi Holdings, Inc. 
 and ELG 40 Under 40 Class of 2019
As a member of the Emerging Leaders of Gaming (ELG) 40 Under 40 Class of 2019, I'm incredibly proud to be associated with such a talented and innovative group. Now, only two years after being selected, I have hit an age where I would no longer be eligible, and it was perfect timing for me. An early adopter of new methods and technologies, I see the future of our industry relies on our younger colleagues, which is what is so exciting about the ELG program. Their fresh perspective guided by industry experience presents tremendous opportunities to sharpen our approach and compete in new spaces. Now, more than nine months into a world-changing pandemic, their own experience will be more meaningful than ever. With my own career evolution serving as a guidepost, I'm excited to help inform the future of ELG and support the development of individuals who will shape the gaming industry for years to come.

Cambodian Conundrum Cambodia
Southeast Asia has all the ingredients to become an important tourism destination
by Michael Zhu

Located in Southeast Asia, the Kingdom of Cambodia has a population of 16.3 million and a territory of more than 181,000 square kilometers (70,000 square miles), with 2,530 kilometers of land boundaries and 443 kilometers of coastline.

It borders the Gulf of Thailand to the southwest, Thailand to the northwest, Laos to the north and Vietnam to the east. The terrain is dominated by low, flat land largely created by the Mekong River, with highlands in the north and southwest.

The Cambodian economy has grown steadily over the past several years. In 2019 U.S. dollars, the country's gross domestic product (GDP) per capita increased to more than $1,600 and total GDP reached approximately $27 billion, representing a compound annual growth rate of 9.8 percent for the period spanning 2013-2019, and a consistent double-digit growth rate since 2016.

Private Motorsports: A Gaming Super Amenity? Motorsports
A unique and emerging development concept that is positioned to perform well in the age of social distancing, garage condos, and private motor track developments
by Mike Vanaskie

Here at The Innovation Group, we've been spending a great deal of time contemplating what the future holds as the world emerges and recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. Like the rest of the domestic gaming industry, we've watched iGaming experience incredible growth in the wake of stay-at-home orders and brick-and-mortar casino closures, with total year-to-date domestic iGaming revenue increasing nearly 200% through June to over $634 million.
Outside of the gaming industry, we've watched New Yorkers trade apartments in high rises for homes with backyards in the suburbs, mall landlords begin negotiations with Amazon to turn bankrupt anchor stores into fulfillment centers, and RV sales reach record levels.

While we recognize not all of these trends will hold, we'd be naïve to think that the pandemic won't cause lasting changes in consumer (and gamer) tastes and preferences. We do believe that brick-and-mortar gaming will recover to pre-COVID levels by adapting (as it has in the past) and resume growth. Our stance is supported by the strong recovery in regional markets throughout the United States. For many gaming resorts in the U.S., though, the casino is just one of many components intended to generate revenue and repeat business. Even before COVID-19 we saw gaming resorts evolving their non-gaming footprints to cater to new tastes and preferences through TopGolf, Brooklyn Bowl, and similar "Super Amenities." What about property footprints outside of the gaming floor moving forward? How will non-gaming amenities need to evolve in the age of social distancing?

Featured "Emerging Leaders of Gaming 40 Under 40"Featurees

Bhavishi Patel
In-House Counsel 
& Vice President Experiences
Eureka Casino Resort

Loren Rosenberg
Vice President, Product 
& Market Strategy
Everi Holdings, Inc.
"Searching for the Challenge"
Lucas Cai
Director, Casino Operations
Marina Bay Sands
Shawnna Castellano
Region Director
National Indian Gaming Commission
"Changing Lanes"
Being a '40 Under 40' boosted my recognition, providing me with exposure to leaders of all kinds industry-wide, including c-suite executives. Gaining me acknowledgement for my 12 years in gaming, it opened up new leadership and growth opportunities in my career, and I received a promotion shortly after induction. I'm thankful for the medium that ELG provided for my colleagues to nominate me for this award.

-- Luciana Van Sickle
Global Strategic Sourcing Manager
Aristocrat Technologies

The Innovation Group is excited to take its annual G2E education and networking event, The Exchange, online in 2020. We are working hard to create a unique, flexible, and compelling program, and welcome your input as we begin to craft content.
While recovery from COVID-19 repercussions remains a priority, The Innovation Group continues to focus on the future. Please take this short survey (< 5 min.) to tell us about the longer-term industry needs and issues you are considering or have been forced to push to the back burner.
If you don't already, follow The Innovation Group and Emerging Leaders of Gaming on Twitter for upcoming announcements about The Exchange, including launch date, program updates and sign-ups for networking opportunities. As always, The Exchange will be offered for free, but space will be limited.

TIG's Open Discussion on Coronavirus Impacts Impacts
The Innovation Group (TIG) has been following COVID-19 and its impact on the gaming industry since the pandemic emerged. As part of our ongoing effort to forecast recovery patterns, TIG has conducted periodic consumer research to understand changing player perceptions and behaviors around casino floors, amenities, and new technologies such as cashless payments. In May, prior to casino reopenings, TIG conducted survey research to capture the voice of the guest. In our recent Q&A session, we compared the May results to August to gauge player perceptions since reopening. Click here to read the full report that inspired this discussion.
Key Factors for Recovery from COVID-19 Recovery1
The Innovation Group has been closely monitoring the impact of COVID-19 on the global gaming industry and exploring the potential recovery patterns. Despite wide variation in potential outcomes and differing epidemiological views on the extent and duration of containment of the coronavirus, knowing the baseline prospects for recovery in a market can assist in making the right decisions at the right time, with specific local market assumptions and emerging data on customer sentiment taken into account. TIG's Tom Zitt and Michael Zhu detail some of the key factors that will influence the timing and speed of recovery for Asia's gaming industry in this article.
Slots & Chakras Chakras
Before the Covid-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on global economies and forced the closure of all non-essential businesses, including casinos, the domestic U.S. gaming industry could best be described as in a state of maturity. Commercial gross gaming revenues increased 3.5 percent in 2018 to $41.7 billion, while tribal revenues grew 4 percent to $33.7 billion during the National Indian Gaming Commission's 2018 fiscal year. While the domestic gaming industry will likely be at the start of a recovery phase as this article is published, the longer-term trend for U.S. brick-and-mortar gaming is one of healthy, yet minimal growth. Read TIG's Mike Vanaskie's answer to the question on whether gaming and holistic wellness concepts can coexist in a single resort, in this article.
ARTICLES OF INTEREST InterestingArticles

PRESS: Press

  • Emerging Leaders of Gaming 40 Under 40 Judges Announced. The judges for the Class of 2021 ELG 40 Under 40 program are Mark Birtha, President, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sacramento at Fire Mountain; Christie EickelmanVice President, Global Marketing, Gaming Laboratories International (GLI) and chairwoman of Global Gaming Women; and Virginia McDowellformer President/CEO, Isle of Capri Casinos, and former Chairwoman, Global Gaming Women. Click here to read the press release from GGB Magazine.
  • "Gaming in Crisis: The Path Back" - A WEBINAR SERIES. If you missed our series of webinars with GGB Magazine and Regulatory Management Counselors, click here to catch up by watching videos and downloading materials.
  • "Design Changes: What Will a Casino Resort Look Like in the Wake of Covid-19?" TIG's Michael Soll moderated this webinar, part of the above mentioned Gaming in Crisis series. 
  • "Sustaining New Verticals Post-COVID-19: How to Build Long-Term Success for Poker, Virtual Sports and Others" TIG's Mike Vanaskie moderated this session at SBC Digital Summit Latinoamérica. Click here to learn more about it or to contact Mike with questions.

PROJECTS:  Projects
  • The Innovation Group has worked with the North Fork Rancheria and developer Stations Casinos over many years in an effort to open a casino in the City of Madera located in central California. The Innovation Group has supported the feasibility and planning process of the proposed development including but not limited to completing and updating market assessments to estimate the potential gaming revenue, providing multi-year projections, and analyzing the sensitivity within the market for new competition and differently sized developments. Read more about this development here.
  • The Innovation Group provided consultation to the Tejon Indian Tribe in drafting an environmental impact statement for their trust acquisition and casino project. Click here to read the full EIS.
  • The Innovation Group provided a market assessment, financial analysis, and economic and community impacts in support of Ho-Chunk Nation's application to build a casino in Beloit. Read about it here. 
Emerging Leaders of Gaming has established itself as the go-to network for young professionals assuming the next generation of leadership in gaming, entertainment, hospitality, food and beverage, tourism, and leisure. We continue to support the growth and development of these rising stars as they achieve their fast-track to success, destined to fill tomorrow's senior-level and C-suite management positions. 

For more information, contact amccoy@theinnovationgroup.com or visit our page.

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