The 2017 edition of the trade show saw an increase in attendance, and organizers are extremely pleased with the response and commitment to this year's event, especially after the horrific events that took place Friday evening when a gunman opened fire on an open-air music festival from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel and casino on the Las Vegas strip, killing more than 50 people and injuring hundreds.
Highlights of the second day include:
Keynote Presentation from Dave & Buster's Entertainment CEO, Stephen King Presented by Scientific Games
In an on-stage interview with radio and TV personality Carol Roth, Stephen King shared the details behind Dave & Buster's successful brand transition into a destination to eat, drink, play and watch sports. Dave & Buster's success story serves as a model for casinos and suppliers to innovate and think differently as they expand into the integrated resort experience business. A common theme throughout King's presentation was the importance of content. According to King, guests - both at Dave & Buster's and casinos - are looking for experiences they can't find at home, such as new, unique and proprietary content. Casual experiences
and content are being introduced to appeal to the Generation Z audience who, according to research done by Dave & Buster's, is more chill than its older, millennial counterparts. In conclusion, King noted investing in new content - although it may not seem to have the highest return - is critically important to a brand's success.
Hosting a Successful Live Esports Event: The Height of Gaming
Integrating esports into casino programming can be a huge win for operators, but creating a truly authentic and seamless experience that appeals to the esports community can be a challenge. Panelists Sid Greenfeig, VP of arena booking for MGM Resorts International; Hai Ng, co-founder of Spawn Point; and Dan Kelly and Carson Knuth from Unikrn joined moderator Will Green from the American Gaming Association. They discussed how to measure success, what factors to consider and the background information attendees need to understand to host a successful event. To make sure operators are attracting the correct audience, they should understand the term "esports" serves as a collective noun with multiple game titles, just like the term "sports" encompasses hockey, football, soccer, etc. Each sport and each video game title has its own fan base and its own personality, preferences and culture. Not only does this apply to the players, but this is an important consideration for spectators. In terms of property benefit, tournament spectators are prime candidates for monetary conversion through food and beverage and
room sales. Smooth tournament operation, exciting game play and off-floor activities help engage these spectators and keep them on property. All panelists agreed it is necessary to work with an experienced and knowledgeable tournament operations group to assist with all aspects of planning, from employee training to space dressing to impactful advertising. Every property has the potential to have something special in the esports space; it just depends on whether it is dedicated to putting in the effort.
The 21st-Century Casino: Skill-Based Gaming Innovations
The panel, moderated by Chris Grove, explored what's happening with skill-based games right now on the casino floor, challenges the vertical faces and what can be expected in the future. To kick off the session, Grove asked panelists Darion Lowenstein, CMO of Gamblit; Blaine Graboyes, CEO of GameCo Inc.; and Bryan Kelly, SVP for Scientific Games whether the term "skill-based games" still fits for the sector. Suggested alternatives included "video-game gambling" to "skill-influenced gaming," but all agreed the general consumer may not be as familiar with what the term entails. To combat this and any other sense of insecurity players may feel before playing these games, the companies represented have utilized recognizable brands such as Space Invaders, Pac-Man and Terminator 2. These widely known intellectual properties also help players understand how to play the games, as the panelists found that a simple approach to gameplay was the best practice to attract the varied types of people on the casino floor. All panelists
agreed skill-based games are an attractive way to bring additional revenue to properties through consumers who would not have otherwise stepped foot in the casino, even if the machines did not reach the house average income. Because of this, skill-based games may serve as the cornerstone for a new section of future casino floors geared toward gamers with esports offerings, entertainment and even traditional casino games.
Innovation Lab: Slot Collector
Dr. Mark Yoseloff welcomed guests to the AGA Innovation Lab, where UNLV students Evan Thomas and Troy Pettie discussed the rising popularity of skill-based gaming and the defining qualities of the gaming sector, in addition to introducing their newest concept, Slot Collector. Thomas and Pettie created Guru Gaming during their senior year and have worked together to develop games that combine both features of skilled and risk choices. With help from AGA, the students are able to create new and
exciting entertainment platforms, hone their entrepreneurial spirit with the guidance of industry professionals and develop and commercialize their innovative ideas.
Trends in Interactive Gaming
Chris Bonini, vice president of interactive products at IGT, presented the upcoming trends in interactive gaming that leaders should consider in hospitality and beyond. Boni highlighted four major trends including attracting millennials; knowledge of new technology such as skill-based gaming and virtual reality; increasing land-based casinos' commitment to a unified loyalty program; and the rise in entertainment-focused gaming content. These trends will continue to merge gaming and social opportunities.
Today 's Schedule
Global Gaming Women's Breakfast 9:00 - 10:30 a.m. Casanova 502
Geoff Freeman, president and CEO, American Gaming Association (AGA) will provide his annual industry address at G2E, spotlighting recent victories and outlining his vision for potential changes in customer demands and the next generation gaming policies that will impact our industry.
Keynote: The Magic of Playing to Win 9:15 - 10:00 a.m. Special Events Stage at the Integrated Resort Experience
Earvin "Magic" Johnson, Chairman and CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises, business mogul, entrepreneur and legendary basketball star will share his inspiring story of success in this keynote session. Johnson will share how he morphed into a business powerhouse, parlaying the skills and tenacity he acquired on the court into a winning formula for successful business ventures.
Business of Sports Betting 10:15 - 11:15 a.m. Veronese 2403
Join leading global sports betting experts as they discuss the global aspects of sports betting's integrity, regulation and the opportunities of the U.S. more broadly opening its market. This session will examine the highly competitive European markets, iGaming operations in the U.S. and potential impact of expanded access in the U.S.
UNLV's Expansion of Innovation Lecture 11:15 - 11:30 a.m. Booth #2848
Dr. Mark Yoseloff will discuss the extent to which casino innovation is evolving to attract new plays with new gaming concepts; the need for gaming companies to create environments that foster innovative thought and product development; and how UNLV's gaming innovation model might provide some answers.
Keynote: Maximize Brainomicsm 12:45 - 1:30 p.m. Special Events Stage at the Integrated Resort Experience
Hear from Dee O'Neill, M.S., LPC, Program Manager for Corporate SMART, Brain Performance Institute at the Center for Brain Health at the University of Texas at Dallas, who will outline how neuroscience has proven that your innovative thinking is pivotal to your business success.