January 2021
Here's what the people who supply the slot market say

by Frank Legato

This space has been devoted to the industry’s slot sector during the past three-plus years, with annual highlights on the new slot games displayed at the fall trade show, as well as end-of-year offerings of the likely trends for each new year..

We continued these two focuses over the unprecedented year just concluded, highlighting how slot suppliers have weathered the COVID-19 crisis by continuing to innovate with new games and cabinets, as well as new product areas boosted by the need to ensure safety and health as the industry has begun its fits and starts toward normalcy. However, pieces appearing here on new slot games and technologies, as well as coming trends in the slot sector for the new year, have largely been subjective pieces..

As we begin 2021, we’ve decided to go to the source—major slot suppliers—for the opinions of the executives in charge of supplying the slot floors of the world. We asked executives of the industry’s top slot suppliers to identify their own best—one product they feel provides the most promise in recapturing the revenues lost because of the unprecedented shutdown of the casino industry early in 2020.

by Buddy Frank

Here are 10 resolutions wishes I would love to see the industry implement by the end of 2021. Hopefully, these wishes will have more success than my new year’s resolution of “no sweets.” That one failed halfway through Week One.

COVID No More - While a few casino properties flourished during the pandemic, the general business climate has been dreadful, and the economic impacts are sure to linger even after the virus is defeated. Estimates vary, but most are saying we should see relief about the time the vaccines hit a majority of arms and next fall’s colors emerge. Keep your fingers crossed. Hopefully, the example of the 1918 Spanish Flu will be prophetic. The History Channel offers hope: “Somehow, despite a global flu pandemic that killed 675,000 Americans in 1918 and 1919, and a depression that gutted the economy in 1920 and 1921, the United States not only recovered but entered into a decade of unprecedented growth and prosperity. Americans began a spending spree: the Roaring Twenties.” With today’s technology (and vaccines), hopefully that turnaround will come in one year instead of three.

by Buddy Frank

It’s time to write your Congressperson. Not about White Supremacists or the Radical Left. It’s time to demand a stop to the IRS. Or at least to stop them from living in the past. There’s no better time to write and raise a ruckus than now, during the first few weeks of a new administration. I’m talking about trying to get rid of the biggest guest service, and revenue enhancing, issue on the casino floor today: the obsolete and out-of-date $1,200 IRS jackpot reporting level for slots.

There was a glimmer of hope that this archaic limit would be raised back in May of 2020 when the AGA (American Gaming Association) urged the Trump Administration to use their executive order to “swiftly identify regulation reform opportunities to help promote job creation and economic growth” to raise this limit. AGA CEO Bill Miller said then, “As the gaming industry safely reopens and seek to return to financial health, one critical area of regulatory reform the administration should consider is modernizing the $1,200 slot jackpot reporting threshold, which has been in place since 1977.” He went on to say, “The current threshold is outdated and imposes significant compliance burdens on both the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the gaming industry.” Amen.

But, apparently, the war against Twitter and TikTok were higher priorities in Washington. All sarcasm aside, this issue is no joke.

ReelHot January 2021 Update
Top 10 performing core titles
Rank-ordered by Games Played/Theo Win

Click here or the chart below to see the full ReelHot index which includes multiple categories and 25 titles.
Upcoming Industry Events of Interest
Over 100 new slots are presented in a convenient and inspiring environment, which offers the possibility to partake in fun tournaments with great prizes, watch the world’s leading streamers try out the latest titles live, connect with the game developers, and much more.
SBC will gather decision makers and experts on the Italian market who will share their insights on the key factors for success in Italy in the upcoming years and the latest technological solutions for doing so. SBC Digital Italy will take place on SBC’s interactive platform, enabling conference sessions, one-on-one networking and roundtables, product showcases and more.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates - 2/24/2021 - 2/25/2021
 AI adoption will account for 45% of the world economy’s total gains by 2030. The UAE ranks first in the Middle Eastern world in terms of expected annual growth of AI contribution to the economy at 33.5%. As a hub for technology and innovation, Dubai is the epicenter of all things AI in the Middle East. In addition, Dubai also has a burgeoning gaming market for games of skill and games of chance, video gaming, the racing industry, AR, VR and eSports.
2/24/2021 - 2/25/2021
Eventus International will be hosting a summit International Lottery Play Summit in 2021. The conference will be taking place from 24th - 25th Feb 2021 in Dubai. The summit will focus on the future of lotteries and how digitalization is reshaping the lottery industry.
Sun Monticello Casino & Hotel, Chile - 3/4/2021 - 3/5/2021
You are invited to be a part of this rapidly growing gaming region and the ultimate gathering for key industry decision makers and industry leaders in the highly lucrative industry. Reach a distinctive audience through Chile iGaming (CiG 2021), the most exclusive online and offline gaming sectors event in Latin America. Chile iGaming (CiG 2021) agenda has been designed to tackle problems faced by the gaming operators and suppliers (land based, sports betting and payment solutions), highlight the gaming trends that will dominate the future in the gaming industry and discuss the current gaming market in the Latin America region.
This report is edited by Buddy Frank, Frank Legato, and Brooke Pierce