Thursday, October 17, 2019
Caesars had a plan for the next generation of sportsbooks when they opened their new sportsbook concept at the Linq on the Las Vegas Strip in September 2018. Thirteen months later, with sports betting continuing to expand across the country, Caesars executives are calling the concept a ‘big success’ and working to spread some of the Linq concepts, where physically possible, into their books elsewhere.
Former race car driver Danica Patrick admitted to an audience at the Global Gaming Expo Thursday that she never wagered on the Indianapolis 500, the Daytona 500, or any other professional racing event. That was likely a good thing. “It probably would have been illegal,” Patrick said.
How does a company maintain its leadership position in a world where technology changes at a dizzying pace? For Aristocrat Technologies, a key strategy is igniting a passion for innovation throughout its workforce. Roberto Coppola, Aristocrat’s VP of Advanced Products, explained Tuesday how his company is generating innovation internally in a presentation at G2E called “thinkBIGGER: Unleashing the Power of Collective Brilliance.”
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Luke Orchard (left) and Marcus Prater (right) present the AGEM Memorial Awards to Tom Neiman (center left) and Natalie Burt (center right) representing the late gaming journalist Dave Palermo (poster).
One noticeable trend at G2E 2019 is the lack of new licensed brand introductions. That’s not to say that there are not dozens of featured slot machine brands dotting the floor, from James Bond to Walking Dead to Wheel of Fortune. But these were all licensing deals inked over a year ago – in some cases, decades ago. Certainly, there are new versions of many of these, including classics like Jeopardy or Willy Wonka. But hardly anything was really new.
Slot manufacturers’ innovation wars over cabinet size, screen orientation, and dazzling signage overshadow a crucial element of why the machines are so vital to casinos, a Konami executive said Tuesday. “Things that look sexy, shiny, and bright attract people to the game,” said Thomas A. Jingoli, executive vice president and chief commercial officer of Konami Gaming. “But at the end of the day, content is still king.
Casino customers are becoming more interested in a total experience than just gambling – and that extends beyond the coveted millennial generation, a panel of executives said Thursday at the Global Gaming Expo. While people of all ages revel in experiences shared with friends and family, 70 percent of an average current casino floor is devoted to the concept of one player per slot machine, said Matthew Kenagy, senior director of sports marketing for Caesars Entertainment.
A marketing expert rallied against the resort fees charged by Las Vegas casino resorts at G2E on Wednesday, saying the fees damage the resorts’ brands and warning of the potential long-term consequences of keeping away younger visitors. UnMarketing president Scott Stratten, in his keynote speech on The Age of Disruption, criticized casino executives for instituting the fees to pad the bottom line with what he said is “little regard” for their impact on guests.
A lawyer with the Brazilian Bar Association who played a key role in the legalization of sports betting in that country 11 months ago says don’t be surprised if there’s a lengthy delay in its implementation.  Pedro Trengrouse, vice president of the Special Commission on Sports, Lottery and Entertainment Law with the Brazilian Bar Association, wasn’t optimistic about sports betting rolling out any time soon in Brazil, even though it was signed into law in December by outgoing President Michel Temer and the Ministry of Economy is currently working on regulations for online and land-based sports betting. 
This report is edited by Justin Martin, Cory Roberts and Howard Stutz