Our Inn-sights from Global Gaming Expo 2019

The Innovation Group team had a busy and productive week in Las Vegas, hosting our second education and networking forum - The Exchange - as well as our partners from Team IR Japan as they explored opportunities for their proposed development in Kitakyushu City. We also welcomed a record number of attendees at our annual gathering for Emerging Leaders of Gaming (ELG), where we celebrated the newest class of the ELG 40 Under 40 with our partner, Global Gaming Business magazine. Here's what TIG experts garnered from their time on and off the show floor:  
Sports Betting Remains in Focus
A focus continues on sports betting as an emerging market in many states. While startups and international operators try to define their position in the highly competitive space, U.S. operators continue to control the sector with advantages in relationships, licensing, and time-to-market. Strategic partnerships and mergers among operators, data providers, and even entertainment and media groups are a key focus, particularly in the wake of the Stars Group-Flutter Entertainment merger announced earlier this month.
Save the Date for our upcoming Emerging Leaders of Gaming (ELG) webinar with Betting on Sports America, looking at the unique policy and operational issues facing tribes interested in the opportunity. December 11th at 1:00 p.m. ET - registration details available soon!
Tribes Leading Industry Development
While tribes generally remain ambivalent about sports betting, even skeptical were it to involve re-opening compacts, in other areas there is assertiveness in pursuing development. Second casinos, new trust applications, commercial casino bids, and non-gaming real estate development on trust properties near flagship casinos are just some of the off-site opportunities being pursued. 
Contact Tom Zitt or Chris Irwin to discuss the many development opportunities TIG can support.
Blockchain to Drive Industry Modernization
In his first State of the Industry address, American Gaming Association President Bill Miller indicated that one of their three current priorities is to modernize the industry's ability to do business. He emphasized the customer's desire to have a seamless experience akin to what they have in their daily lives, including a cashless casino floor. This should result in important benefits, including empowering consumers, easily identifying criminal activity, and creating more records to help with anti-money laundering efforts. But there are also hurdles to establishing a secure and reliable transaction history. Throughout the conference, many solutions were offered, but blockchain or a "distributed ledger" is most likely to provide the data security needed to enable this forward momentum.
Brian Wyman discussed opportunities around blockchain with attendees at The Exchange. Contact him for a copy of his presentation or to discuss applicability for your operation.
Biometric Data Driving Industry Innovations
While biometric data like facial recognition software and fingerprint scanners have the potential to replace the traditional plastic loyalty card, further work is required to ensure the accuracy and security of this technology before such a transition actually takes place. That said, biometric data in its current form can be useful, particularly with signage. Facial recognition technology can track impressions, allow targeting sign content to a viewer's inferred demographics, and enable sign efficacy and conversion measures.
Our analytics team is helping operations across the U.S. implement these and other technologies. Contact us to learn more.
An Uncertain Future
There is palpable introspection surrounding recent organizational and structural changes among large cap casino operators, and general confusion regarding the strategic direction of the industry. This appears to be the result of several converging influences, including diminishing traditional growth opportunities through market expansion, the gradual dominance of new - and, in some cases, disruptive - technologies, and difficulty understanding what gaming products and amenities will be most desirable in the future.
Look for new survey feedback from us on the amenities customers desire in the upcoming Casino Style issue of Global Gaming Business magazine or contact Brian Wyman to discuss the results.


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