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The Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers works behind
the scenes of the industry to smooth out problems suppliers face,
deal with legislative issues and give suppliers a common voice.
Marcus Prater, President of AGEM, explains to Casino International
how the organisation works…
here are gaming organisations all over the We’ve become a central point for suppliers in terms
world, and most of them support the of the issue of addressing problem gaming,
operator – but AGEM works exclusively for contributions to different causes to support
the benefit of its members, suppliers to the responsible gaming… We have an educational
gaming industry based all over the world. component to our mission too – we have funded a
Marcus Prater explains to CI how the organisation’s slot technician curriculum at the College of Southern
international partners are every bit as important as Nevada in Las Vegas, we did the same thing with a
its North American members, because AGEM’s remit college in Atlantic City, We’re talking to the UNLV
is worldwide. [University of Nevada, Las Vegas]…
We deal with trade show issues too. We reach out
to the organisers of trade shows around the world,
Casino International: Where did AGEM come and we talk to them about costs, dates, rules,
from, how long has it been around? everything associated with the show. If you want to
Marcus Prater: AGEM was formed in 2000, because keep your customers happy, talk to AGEM first, run
of a potential issue, which came up in the Nevada
Marcus Prater
legislature, where the casinos were trying to
“Our remit covers legislative,
potentially tax the suppliers on participation games.
So Bally, WMS and IGT got together informally to talk
regulatory, education,
about the potential issue. Ultimately that meeting
problem gaming, trade
resulted in letting the casinos know we didn’t think
the tax was a good idea. The tax never went anywhere
shows – any issue that
– but the beginning of AGEM was formed
comes up and affects
when those companies got together.
I was Bally’s rep on the board from 2000
through 2007, and all the North America-
based slot machine companies joined up in ideas by us if it’s something that affects our members.
ensuing years. It was basically decided at The goal is for you to have a successful show, let’s all
the time that there would be other issues work together so our members are happy and sell lots
that come up which affect all suppliers; of product, lots of customers attend…
with the big slot machine companies being the Our remit covers legislative, regulatory, education,
anchor of the supply base, AGEM was needed, and problem gaming, trade shows – any issue that comes
was necessary, and over time that has proven to be up and affects suppliers.
CI: The education aspect sounds very
CI: What’s the mission statement of AGEM? interesting…
MP: Our mission is broad; I like to say that my MP: We give the college $300,000 over three years,
mission is that if there is any issue affecting suppliers in order to set up a slot technician curriculum. We
to the gaming industry no matter where it is in the have found we had a hard time finding people with
world, if it affects multiple members, I want to know the right skills as slots have evolved into high-tech
about it! The reality is our specific mission statement devices, trying to find talent that can work on
centres on regulatory issues which can be in the US, computers. It used to be that a slot tech could be a
or anywhere really. Other states outside Nevada, handyman type, but not any more. We wanted to start
other regions – it might be tax increases, or fees… a curriculum that would graduate student that,
22 JANUARY 2010
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