January 2019
by Buddy Frank

Borrowing a literary technique from my colleague Frank Legato, here’s a list of 10 operational tips that may be useful to make 2019 more productive. I have used everything outlined below successfully and with excellent results. I’d like to proudly say that I consistently followed my own advice each year, but that would be true fake news; my day job often got in the way of my most inspirational goals. With that caveat, here are my thoughts:

  1. Be Competitive – The only way to be competitive is to see and visit the competition. If you’re not dropping by your local competitors at least once a month, you’re not going to be your best. You should be able to spot changes on your competitors’ floors: just like you, there’s usually a good reason they’ve made a change or a move. Can you determine why? A competitive review is also in order whenever you travel. The NIGA, G2E and ICE shows are wonderful on their own, but try to also set aside some time in San Diego, Las Vegas and/or London to see what the locals are doing. There’s no reason to re-invent the wheel when you can just steal good ideas from down the street or across the globe. Sharing what you’ve observed with your teammates, both in your department and throughout your organization, in an email or a memo will also be a big boost to your personal reputation. If you’re lucky enough to not have a competitor next door, across town or even in the same county, you still need to make time and dedicate resources to do competitive visits. Travel for competitive surveys should be a regular line item in your Ops budget.

by Frank Legato

There have been a few evolutions in the history of slot machines, although, considering Charles Fey began selling his Liberty Bell three-reel game in the late 1890s, a few isn’t many.

Fey’s design of three reels with payouts for matching symbols remained unchanged for a century, and even when machines evolved in the 1990s to include more reels, more pay lines, and animated features never imagined by Fey, it has largely been an evolution of sameness. Players are still matching symbols on reels that spin and stop, whether the games themselves are mechanical or video.

Variations like video poker, video blackjack, and the new skill games appeal to different audiences, but for the basic slots player, the spinning reel still dominates.

ReelHot January 2019 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
ExCeL London, One Western Gtwy, London E16 1XL - 02/05/2019 - 02/07/2019
Welcoming over 33,500 attendees to the 2018 edition, the seventh consecutive year of growth for the industry leading gaming technology event, ICE is the world's platform for gaming solution exploration, providing industry decision makers with not just the largest showcase of products and services under one roof, but also an unrivalled learning programme of seminars and features to help drive your professional development.
Excel London, Royal Victoria Dock, 1 Western Gateway, London E16 1XL, UK - 02/06/2019 - 02/09/2019
The London Affiliate Conference is taking place on the 6th - 9th February 2019 at ExCeL, London. LAC 2019 will attract over 5,200 delegates to London for four days of networking and learning. Returning to London for it's 13th year in a row, LAC 2019 will prove to be the biggest edition yet. Registration is soon to open, so stayed tuned to be the first to register.
UNLV, Las Vegas, NV - 02/21/2019 - 02/22/2019
The Slot Performance Analysis Workshop is designed for gaming industry professionals who already understand basic financial measures such as a profit and loss, variance, mix percentages, ratios, ranking, indexing, and market share. This two-day seminar will give participants the tools needed to effectively analyze and improve the performance of their slot floor.
Tropicana Las Vegas, 3801 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV - 03/03/2019 - 03/05/2019
The WGPC is an annual conference that connects casino surveillance, asset protection professionals and regulators from around the world. The event examines current and emerging threats to casino entertainment complexes and explores opportunities and practices to combat those threats.
UNR Redfield Campus, 18600 Wedge Pkwy, Reno, NV - 03/18/2019 - 03/21/2019
Acquire techniques and strategies that can sharpen your ability to analyze and interpret reports and data to assist you in making key management decisions beneficial to the bottom line. This comprehensive course will examine the core business processes or “five Ps of table games”-products, pricing, people interactions, productivity and protection-and share some of the best demonstrated practices currently used in gaming.
Stratosphere Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, NV - 0 3/25/2019- 03/27/2019
The Leadership Development Conference which takes place regionally throughout each year. The four regions to choose from are Eastern, Midwest, Southern, and Western.This program, specifically designed for managers and those new to Director level, will help participants increase management skills and boost leadership development.
This report is edited by Buddy Frank, Frank Legato, and Justin Martin