AGS GameON conference to focus on casino industry’s changing dynamics

June 5, 2022 8:09 PM
  • Mark Gruetze, CDC Gaming Reports
June 5, 2022 8:09 PM
  • Mark Gruetze, CDC Gaming Reports

This week’s AGS GameON Customer Summit at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla., will feature a mix of expert analyses of key topics for casino operators, a networking event aboard a luxury yacht, and, of course, product demonstrations.

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Such an event offers opportunities that add up to far more than shop talk and a floating party.

“Gatherings like GameON matter now more than ever,” said Chris Grove, CEO of American Affiliate, which offers tools, news, and resources related to sports betting and online gambling.

“The gambling industry is facing an unprecedented mix of macro challenges, generational opportunities, and an ever-shifting foundation of consumer technology. Meeting and working in person are what allow for those complex, nuanced dynamics to be successfully articulated and actioned.”

Britt Carter, director of marketing and business relations for BCSlots, is part of the evolution Grove cited. BCSlots has created hundreds of videos of its star, Brian Christopher, playing gaming devices at casinos throughout the country. Christopher has more than 400,000 YouTube subscribers and a slot machine area named for him at the Plaza in Las Vegas, and is the namesake for a soon-to-debut machine by Gaming Arts.

“In such a highly competitive and fast-paced industry as gaming, events like GameON are a fantastic opportunity to let (your) guard down and exchange ideas,” Carter said. “Millions of players still have no idea that they can continue their gambling experience from home. Casinos are missing out on massive marketing potential if they’re not utilizing influencers.”

The conference will be held June 7-9 at the Hard Rock Hollywood, site of AGS’s first GameON in 2016.

Grove will speak at an education session about coming trends in the U.S. sports-betting market. He said he expects sports betting to trend toward purer gambling, as operators expand their margins and audience.

“While live betting will continue to be a major topic of discussion, the myriad technological hurdles involved in solving live betting will continue to serve as a lid on the format’s potential, at least for now,” he said, adding that the number of stakeholders required to fully solve fundamental issues “doesn’t inspire optimism.”

Carter will moderate a session on how digital content can increase player engagement.

“Influencers help casinos reach a highly curated audience from the guest perspective and can even save you time and money in the process,” he said. The panel will consist of Christopher; Thomas LaRocca, director of media and digital marketing for the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, which owns Palms in Las Vegas; and Jackie McQueen, content marketing manager for Cherokee Nation Entertainment, operator of Hard Rock Tulsa and 10 other casinos.

Topics and speakers for other education sessions on June 8 and 9 include:

“Money Talks: Cashless Tech is Here to Stay,” focusing on the future of cashless payments and their impact on the industry, with panelists David Simmons, FinTech business leader for Everi, and Omer Sattar, co-founder and co-CEO of Sightline Payments.

  • “Not Just a Buzzword: Supply Chain Impacts Everyone,” featuring former American Gaming Association president and CEO Geoff Freeman, who will examine how such global issues as COVID and climate change affect the supply chain. Freeman, now president and CEO of Consumer Brands Association, is a member of the AGS board of directors.
  • “Word on the Street,” with three influential gaming industry analysts – Chad Beynon of Macquarie, Barry Jonas of Truist Securities, and David Bain of B Riley Securities – looking at the financial future of the gaming industry and taking questions from attendees.
  • “Demand-driven Inventory Management and Unified Player/Product Segmentation,” a fireside-chat-style discussion of player behaviors. ReelMetrics cofounder and CEO Nick Hogan will speak about Cupid, the firm’s initiative to develop standardized player segments and product clusters for the global slot industry. The session will include findings about player behaviors before and since the COVID pandemic. AGS executives Mark Dedeaux and Steve Walther also will speak.

The Wednesday evening yacht party will be aboard The South Beach Lady, a 125-foot ship with four levels of attractions.

AGS offers Class II and Class III slot products, a portfolio of table game products, and social casino options.