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STATESIDE


mobile sports books and making sports betting more accessible than even Nevada.” What about the brick-and-mortar properties? So many


feared that mobile sports betting would cannibalize from their earnings, but again, New Jersey proved them wrong. Overall, September’s earnings for gaming rooms, sportsbooks and online wagering increased 40% from 2020. Sportsbooks are both social experiences and betting opportunities. Consumers want choices that includes how to fund their


bets and receive their winnings. Operators must offer multiple platforms to suit any preference. The industry is moving closer towards more cashless gaming transactions. When CEO/President Bill Miller joined the American Gaming Association (AGA) in 2019, he aimed to make cashless a key AGA goal. Many suppliers agree with Miller. At the ECGC, 888 Holdings Senior VP Yaniv Sherman claimed younger customers will not tolerate waiting in line for things like cashing in chips or vouchers. They carry little cash and will patronize a less time-consuming casino. Ironically, Covid-19 has expedited the implementation of contactless and cashless transactions. Drawing from his prior business development experience


in Israel’s high-tech and defense sectors, Sherman strongly advocates cashless. He labeled the US among the last holdouts. Getting back to G2E, how did the rest of the exhibitors


fare with a markedly smaller audience? What about actual booth visits? Mask mandates, restricted booth sizes and layouts, plus directional walkways probably curtailed the free flow of movement. I can also imagine more difficult conditions for personal company/customer interaction.


What was the solution for the show and the future should we experience these conditions again? I’m not sure, but with enough planning, I bet many savvy organizations developed and will improve on some very creative customer communications methods. At home, I viewed keynotes and multiple seminars


virtually. More on them next month. Would arranging a Zoom-like session to display and explain their products or services make sense? We have all adjusted to this form of communication, so maybe G2E could develop a hybrid approach that welcomes everyone from everywhere. I can envision that scenario. Gaming people are


resilient and adaptation falls within the industry’s DNA. From Day One in the mid-1900s, casino operators often fought for mainstream acceptance. Or maybe it is the constant need to update so the same old thing isn’t the same old thing. No pessimism for AGA’s CEOs who always rise to the challenge. The newly-launched Gaming CEO Outlook survey reveals confidence in expanded industry growth in 2022. Of those who participated, almost half expect improved business conditions because of anticipated new hiring increases (71%), wage growth (63%) and capital investment (39%). Any CEO apprehension stems from uncontrollable elements like disastrous global supply chain shortages, labor shortages, health concerns and decreased meeting and event contracts. Despite planning, executives must prepare to react to unexpected obstacles. More next month on the two shows and election results affecting gaming. I feel positive as we end 2021. I’m so ready to get back in the saddle on that horse or seat on that bike.


NOVEMBER 2021 9


castenoid/Adobe Stock


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