Flights are booked; hotel reservations have been made; hundreds of millions of dollars in have been invested around research and development of slot, table, and skill game themes for the active gambler which will be proudly displayed over the last few days of September at the Las Vegas Sands Convention Center.  Trade show appointment calendars are filling up, and more than likely are being structured around the all the usual stops: the major manufacturers, bill validators, chair suppliers, et. al.

G2E 2016 is upon us again.

The routine routing of trade show floor visits and vetting of show specials is an integral part of the business; the show is principally about an annual refreshing of casino floors which constitute, according the AGA, a nearly $70 billion dollar domestic industry. With the exception innovative future-state content is shown to the select few within the inner-sanctums of multi-million dollar booth build outs that stand for the entirety of 19 open-show hours, G2E is principally an exercise in getting excited about the products that can be drop-shipped to casinos in the next few quarters.

The trade show panel content of the numerous events leading up to G2E is often indicative of where industry interest lies.  Daily fantasy sports; eSports; the mind of the Millennial; skill gaming. From I.C.E. to N.I.G.A to the Oklahoma Indian Gaming Convention, these topics have garnered an outsized share of headline panel content and talking points.  At the main event-G2E- how those 19 trade show floor hours (and numerous hours of panels coordinated pre-floor opening) are spent by operators is a reflection whether or not the industry is putting putting money behind where its interests lay.  Are operators filling the booths of suppliers creating products that engage Millennials? Are they meeting with architects at the show to discuss building out digital content spaces and entertainment venues? Meeting with social gaming platform providers? Finding ways to incorporate eSports into their facilities?

In an industry that is insulated by regulation, its easy to forget that you- the operator- are no longer just competing against a referendum to allow for casino expansion in your region, but for your players time-share, mind-share, and certainly not least wallet-share in an world of on demand entertainment options. The ethos of G2E historically hasn’t been about solving these types of existential challenges that the industry faces; it’s a forum of building deeper connections with the suppliers that are integral to driving and maintaining foot traffic to casino enterprises day after day; its about reconnecting with former colleagues and loved ones in the space.  G2E 2016 should remain about all those things, but with the top of mind awareness that entertainment preferences are changing, and the digital domain is poised to take more than its fair share of your player’s wallet.

This summer, Caesars sold Slotomania – a social casino it acquired for $100 million - to an investment consortium primarily comprised of Chinese entities for $4.4 billion dollars. That’s nearly twice the ticket price of Ameristar when acquired by Pinnacle Entertainment in 2013.  How much of your mind share at G2E is dedicated to the domain that is, reflected by dollars spent, where your players are placing their their wallet-shares?  Are you looking at increasing your investment in digital marketing? Analytics tools to better understand the big data produced across your enterprise? Social gaming? Mobile concierge?

As your tightly coordinate your limited calendar time at the show, I encourage you to pen-in time with the suppliers in social gaming, skill gaming, fantasy sports, and otherwise that can influence not only what your players do online, but encourage those players through rewards integrations to return to your offline facility.  As online gaming platform and services supplier, we couldn’t be more honored by the partnerships we’ve been able to build these last three years in US: MGM-Borgata, Isle of Capri, Jack Entertainment, Maryland Live!, Empire City Casino, San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino, American Casino and Entertainment Properties, the Chickasaw Nation, and more.  We welcome all operators seeing to understand the online space and engage their players online. 

On behalf of GAN, have a wonderful G2E and please feel welcome to visit us at Booth 1416!

Dana Takrudtong

VP of Sales and Marketing

GAN