June 17, 2015
by Joe Dimino 

At a cost of more than $5.5 billion, Galaxy Entertainment Group opened the second phase of Galaxy Macau this past May. Only a portion of Galaxy's planned $13 billion investment in Macau, the development comes ahead of planned expansions of Melco Crown, Wynn, Sands, and MGM properties within Macau. This event marks the first grand opening of a major casino since revenues experienced a downturn last year, with many companies hoping to diversify more into entertainment, shopping, and other non-gaming associated amenities. Revenues have been falling since President Xi began cracking down on many casino practices, and some wonder if Macau will ever return to its record growth that was experienced as recently as February 2014. (CLICK HERE  FOR FULL ARTICLE) 


Prior to joining The Innovation Group, Joe graduated from the University of Florida with his MBA. Since joining in August of 2013, he has spent his time conducting custom feasibility analyses through the use of market research and demand based forecasting for various mid and large cap, domestic and international clients such as LVS, Melco, MGM, and Hard Rock. Recently, Joe has contributed to projects within Spain, Canada, Korea, Vietnam, and the Republic of Georgia. Joe can be reached at the Orlando office at [email protected]

The International Team for The Innovation Group recently returned from a positive trip in Asia to attend G2E Asia. Coupled with that trip, we visited Korea, Tokyo, and Manila.  

The Korean visit provided an opportunity for us to better understand the market dynamics and get involved with current request for proposal processes for new casino resorts in the market. The Tokyo leg of the trip included attending an American Gaming Association event to help promote the integrated resort developments and legislation currently being considered by the Japanese Diet. (CLICK HERE FOR MORE)

Is China Gaining Influence through Gaming Investments?

by: Steven M. Rittvo and Stephanie Adkison


As China continues its internal economic growth and social reforms, it is also looking abroad for investment and strategic geopolitical opportunities.


There is a notion that China is investing both directly and indirectly in large-scale projects, including leisure and hospitality developments, to influence its foreign policy to highlight its presence on the global stage. These large-scale investments have included straight infrastructure projects (i.e., airports or highway developments) as well as very large leisure and hospitality developments, many linked to the valuable outbound Chinese tourist market as a source of demand.  


In the past two years alone, China has been intimately involved with at least two major leisure and hospitality developments that have included casinos in the Bahamas and Jamaica. (CLICK HERE FOR FULL ARTICLE) 

Since joining The Innovation Group in June of 2014, Stephanie Adkison has assisted with feasibility analyses, conducted market research and completed financial forecasts on projects including, but not limited to, casinos, hotels, food and beverage venues, convention centers, entertainment facilities, and various other leisure amenities. Her experience encompasses both domestic and international markets, with focus on the Caribbean and Latin America. Stephanie can be reached in our Orlando office at [email protected].


The Innovation Group is widely known as the leader in forecasting and assessing the Philippines gaming market. As such, we have been retained numerous times by major banking and financial institutions, as well as casino operators and developers. Recently, The Innovation Group was retained by a large-scale, well known company (company name to remain anonymous) to provide a review of the Philippines' total gaming market, including demographic and socio-economic factors that affect the size and volume of this market. Additional insight was provided on how the market will continue to grow as Entertainment City continues to develop and expand its offerings.


All that glitters is not gold...yet.

by Renese Johnson
It is no secret that China has formulated plans to focus more investments in the Western hemisphere to help build their economic clout as a source for development, particularly in gaming and leisure projects. According to Bloomsberg Magazine, they have already invested more than $8 billion in various infrastructure projects across the Latin American and Caribbean regions; however, those ventures pale in comparison to the all-encompassing $3.4 billion integrated resort that is Baha Mar. The relationship between Baha Mar Ltd. and the State-owned Chinese Exim Bank and Construction firm first began smoothly, carrying significant mutual benefits not only to these three groups, but also to the Bahamas, which has been struggling with debt and high unemployment. This business relationship has slowly unfolded into a contentious state of affairs, leaving many to question if the development will ever open. There are those who have speculated that the weight of the blame resides with China, whose desire to undertake such a large investment was overzealous, given that the billion dollar project serves as their first tourism project outside of China. Others have noted that Baha Mar's avid desire to build the mega resort in one phase has arguably resulted in a number of issues in a project of this size and scope. (CLICK HERE FOR FULL ARTICLE) 
Covering Latin America for TIG:


Vice President of Leisure & Finance, Caribbean & Latin American Division
Renese Johnson currently serves as Vice President of Leisure Development & Finance at The Innovation Group. Since joining the company, Renese has played an integral role in various projects that have helped create a diverse portfolio of work spanning numerous domestic and international locales across North America, Europe, and Asia. (CLICK HERE FOR FULL BIO)  
Congratulations, Renese Johnson, "Women to Watch" honoree in
Orlando Business Journal's 2015 Women Who Mean Business Awards!



The Innovation Group was retained by MelcoLot Limited to determine gross gaming revenue potential for their proposed casino development within "BCN Dream" in Tarragona, Spain. When complete, BCN Dream is expected to consist of multiple large-scale integrated resort casinos, tens of thousands of hotel rooms, robust retail space, a large-scale convention center, and a grand entertainment/sports arena.


The Role of Social Gaming in the Opening of the U.S. iGaming Market, Part II  
by Paul Girvan


Last month, we began a discussion of how social gaming is playing a part in preparing the gaming industry for real-money iGaming. While some companies draw a bright line between the two forms of iGaming, others are using social gaming to ramp up their expertise in preparation for legal real-money iGaming.


According to a survey by the Innovation Group, in the fall of 2014, 85 percent of operators were preparing for real-money iGaming while 75 percent and 67 percent, respectively, were preparing for social gaming and free play. Operators appear to be hedging their bets, but they, I believe, see real-money gaming as a thorny legislative issue and have also invested heavily in assessing the value of free play and social gaming. (CLICK HERE FOR FULL ARTICLE) 

Paul Girvan, Managing Director, is based in The Innovation Group's New Orleans office with 25 years of experience advising clients across the gaming industry. Paul leads the firm's iGaming practice and can be contacted at 504.523.0888 or [email protected].

The Innovation Group remains the most accurate of major entities projecting iGaming revenues. Click here  for the full article.


Emerging Leaders of GamingTM, a program designed to turn today's young executives into tomorrow's industry leaders, was formed by The Innovation Group as a means of giving young professionals that extra advantage in the already competitive gaming, entertainment, leisure, and hospitality industries.  


It started in 2012 when nominees were selected and then granted a vast array of resources and connections made available to them through research and recommendations that we have been building for the past 20 years. That year, The Innovation Group hosted its first Emerging Leaders networking event at G2E. Then in 2013, G2E and Reed Exhibitions joined to host the industry's inaugural 40 Under 40 Awards.

2014 marked the continuation of the official publication of the AGA and of G2E, GGB Magazine's "40 Under 40" year-long series, which features 40 winners handpicked by The Innovation Group, G2E, and GGB Magazine's Editorial Advisory Board, and includes written contributions by The Innovation Group's own young professionals. And, like the year prior, we provided "scholarships" to a number of young professionals, enabling them to utilize the extensive educational opportunities associated with annual conferences like G2E.

This year, Emerging Leaders has been releasing its own quarterly newsletter, as well as making collaborative strides with Global Gaming Women.  Check out Global Gaming Business Magazine's July issue, where GGW will be highlighting an article from the last Emerging Leaders Newsletter.  We look forward to working with GGW and highlighting the importance of female industry leaders throughout gaming.

Ongoing networking and career advancement opportunities continue to unfold for the members of Emerging Leaders, bringing them that much closer to future senior-level and C-suite management positions, and The Innovation Group is proud to carry on in its contributions to this cause. We will continue to provide leadership and networking opportunities to tomorrow's industry achievers.


"I am honored to be recognized amongst a talented group of select participants, and featured as an emerging leader in the Gaming industry. As a young marketing professional working for a large supplier servicing the gaming industry, I'm humbled that The Innovation Group and the ELG committee recognizes individuals beyond the "casino floor". I hope that my feature is able to demonstrate that industry experience can come from all different fields and job functions (i.e. marketing), and not just on the operations end."


Nikki Fields

Assistant Marketing Manager
Cintas Direct Sales and Strategic Markets
Stay Connected with Emerging Leaders



Recent Articles by The Innovation Group Staff

Junket Market Shift to Create New Opportunities? (Asia Gaming Brief), by David Rittvo and Michael Zhu

Making the Connection: The Role of Social Gaming in the Opening of the U.S. iGaming Market, Part II (GGB Magazine), by Paul Girvan.

Soloazar International and  Yogonet.com - exclusive interviews with Renese Johnson at SAGSE Central America & Caribbean

Gaming Statistics


Click here to view gaming statistics provided by The Innovation Group. Data sets are included in our database by region and include the following categories as available: Statistics Available, Gross Gaming Revenue, Slot Coin-In, Slot Revenue, Table Drop, Table Revenue, Slot Count, Table Count, Positions, Tax Revenue, Admissions, iGaming Revenues, iGaming Attendance, Ambient Machine Revenues, Ambient Machine Count


Where to Find Us in 2015:  Upcoming Events & Conferences


Northwest Indian Gaming Conference & Expo 

Jun 22-24
Tulalip, Washington


OIGA (Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association) Conference 
Jul 27-29 
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma  



Global Gaming Expo (G2E)

Sep 29-Oct 1    

Las Vegas, Nevada


The Innovation Group is excited to announce its newest team members, Jacqueline Shahin, Executive Director of Marketing & Administration, based out of the firm's Orlando office, and Senior Analyst Michael Vanaskie at the Denver office. Angela Slovachek has been promoted from intern to Analyst at the New Orleans office.



The Innovation Group's Orlando office will be relocating to the following new address on July 1:


The Innovation Group 

The Canton Building

280 W. Canton Ave, Suite 310

Winter Park, FL 32789
Stay Connected with The Innovation Group

For more information, contact:

Michael Soll 
[email protected] | 407.702.6648