AGS’s GameON conference to explore AI’s impact on casino industry

June 10, 2023 2:47 PM

AGS’s GameON conference to explore AI’s impact on casino industry

Photo: AGS
  • Mark Gruetze, CDC Gaming Reports
June 10, 2023 2:47 PM
  • Mark Gruetze, CDC Gaming Reports
  • United States
  • Suppliers

Gaming supplier AGS has a simple yet ambitious goal for its annual GameON conference.

“If we could be the TED of gaming, that would be amazing,” said Chief Marketing Officer and conference organizer Julia Boguslawski, referring to the renowned lecture series that explains big ideas to broad audiences. “(TED speakers) may be talking about disruptive technology and what’s in the future, but they also may talk about how you can grow personally. We love to take that approach when we set up the (GameON) agenda.”

This year’s conference, June 13-15 at Grand Sierra Resort and Casino in Reno, has an overarching theme: the impact of artificial intelligence in the gaming industry. But speaker will alsotouch on its implications for consumers, parents, and families.

The lineup includes:

  • Keynote speaker Thomas Dimitroff, CEO of football-analytics company SumerSports and former general manager of pro football’s Atlanta Falcons, explaining how his company uses AI to help front offices optimize draft selections and other roster moves.
  • Jennifer Golbeck, director of social intelligence at the University of Maryland, showing how social networks and data analytics uncover hidden traits of millions of online users. TED cited her presentation, “The Curly Fry Conundrum,” as one of its most powerful talks of 2014.
  • David Gruber, associate professor at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, looking at unseen ways that casino games capture players’ attention and enhance their excitement.
  • Jerry Perullo, former chief information security officer for the New York Stock Exchange, delving into cybersecurity for gaming operators.
  • Nick Hogan, cofounder and CEO of ReelMetrics, updating the findings of a massive slot-player segmentation analysis and explaining a coming “Core Crunch.”
  • A look at evolving ways to generate player excitement and engagement, with presentations by Timothy Wojnar, founder of The Big Payback slot machine video channel on YouTube; Grant Stousland, founder of Slot Check, which provides players with real-time slot performance data; and Christopher Abraham, Grand Sierra’s senior vice president of marketing.

This will be the sixth GameON Conference, which is not only an educational gathering, but also an appreciation event for AGS customers, with a helping of product displays. Attendance is invitation-only and capped around 200. Boguslawski said that’s an optimal size, large enough to encourage attendees to mingle with one another, but not so big that people find it intimidating to pose questions.

GameON also includes entertainment, such as a golf tournament, a luncheon overlooking Lake Tahoe, a nightclub dinner with a band and karaoke, a farewell reception with bowling at the resort’s Kingpin VIP Lanes, and a casino crawl to three other Reno properties.

“People know AGS’s style,” Boguslawski said. “We’re in the business of fun. We’re in gaming and gaming is entertainment. We make sure that you feel that as well at the conference. You’re supposed to have fun. You should sit back and ask whatever question you want. People feel comfortable engaging in dialogue and we love that about the conference.”

She said the AGS portfolio has shown “mind-blowing” growth since the first GameON in 2016. The company has greatly expanded its lines of slot cabinets and games and added table games and side bets. It also offers signage and shufflers and the interactive division boasts a library of more than 1,000 online games.

However, the products aren’t the stars of GameON, Boguslawski said. That role goes to the education, networking, and customer-appreciation events. She said a couple of responses to a post-conference survey last year’s show gave the “ultimate compliment.” If forced to choose between attending the Global Gaming Expo or GameON, those anonymous respondents wrote, they would pick GameON.

Mark Gruetze is a veteran journalist from suburban Pittsburgh who covers casino gaming issues and personalities.