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Gambling in the USA

Innovation is Making Waves in the Gambling Industry

George Miller

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Union Gaming analyst John DeCree
Photo Source: wsj.com
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

As the gambling industry continues its unprecedent expansion throughout the world, the competition among gambling operators is becoming fierce. That applies to both online and land-based operations. As competition increases, gambling operators are looking for ways to protect the bottom line. If a casino operation is struggling to increase revenues, it has to consider lowering its overhead for survival.

Last week, MGM Resorts announced it was looking at the possibility of eliminating jobs through the use of new automated technologies. The new 2020 plan would seem to be in response to the company’s stock taking a significant hit in 2018 when the company saw its shares plunged from $34 to $25, a 26 percent decline, in spite of a nice spike in revenues.

The decrease shook investors who believe the gambling industry is poised for growth as country after country has been passing the needed legislation to legalize certain forms of gambling.

Stock price rising
The stock has ticked up in recent weeks due in large part to the company announcing strong Q4 revenues totaling $3.052 billion, topping the forecast from analysts of about $2.98 billion. Full-year revenue totaled $11.76 billion with the company’s two Macau resorts being responsible for $3.2 billion.

Still, MGM Resorts has a responsibility to its stockholders to create value. If rising revenues aren’t enough to get the job done, the company has to look at lowering costs. Automation of certain positions could certainly help. Among the possibilities is using automation to fill drinks orders going to customers on the casino floor.

These drinks are usually prepared by “back of house” bartenders who do not interact with the public. Preprogramed automated machines have the ability to prepare drinks to order for waiters and waitresses. There’s also new technologies that allows patrons to pay at the table instead of a cashier. All told, MGM’s initiative is to eliminate 2,100 jobs by the end of the year 2020.

In Las Vegas, the MGM will have to work around the powerful Culinary Union to get approval for such changes due to union contract obligations. The Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and Bartenders Union Local 165 represent 60,000 workers in Las Vegas and Reno.

Gambling Growing Online and Offline
The announce certainly got the attention of union representatives. According to Culinary Union Secretary Geoconda Argüello-Kline, “Contracts have innovative automation and technology language, which set clear goals for worker retention, job training, advance notice of implementation, and severance package based on years of service if workers are laid off.” She added that the union “will be monitoring the situation closely … to ensure that the company follows the contract.”
Additionally, MGM’s proposal is receiving less than optimum support from investors. According to Union Gaming analyst John DeCree, “We found very few investors giving credit to the MGM 2020 initiative, and many questions were asked about timing and examples of cost saves.”

These kinds of changes are not likely confined to the US or land-based casinos. Certain innovations could affect online operations, like the ones found here at casinomir.com/gambling-sites, and land-based casinos all over the world. Online gambling sites are getting more and more popular for every year.

All gambling operators are in a battle for customers. At the same time, profitability is still the number one concern. As the gambling industry exposes itself to new technology and innovations, jobs are going to be put at risk.

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Gambling in the USA

Evolution Selected for PointsBet US Live Casino Rollout

George Miller

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Evolution Selected for PointsBet US Live Casino Rollout
Reading Time: < 1 minute

 

Evolution Gaming, leading provider of Live Casino solutions, announced today that it has been selected by PointsBet, a premier global sportsbook operator, for its rollout of Live Casino services in the US online gambling market.

Originally founded in Australia, PointsBet is currently operational in New Jersey, Indiana, and Iowa, offering both online and land-based sports betting. PointsBet entered the US market in July 2018 when it gained a commercial licence to operate as an online corporate bookmaker in New Jersey and commenced taking bets in the Garden State in January 2019. Since then, PointsBet has built a national footprint by entering into a number of other agreements to expand US operations into other states, subject to the passing of enabling legislation.

Evolution opened its first US Live Casino studio in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in August 2018. A second Evolution studio is currently under construction in Pennsylvania with go-live scheduled for H2 2020, as well as a third in Michigan, scheduled for go-live in 2021.

Commenting on the partnership, Seth Young, Chief Innovation Officer at PointsBet, stated: “We are thrilled to partner with Evolution Gaming to launch Live Casino technology in US jurisdictions, where we plan to offer our proprietary online casino platform. The addition of Evolution Live Casino extends the appeal of PointsBet’s premium product in the rapidly growing US market.”

Sebastian Johannisson, Chief Commercial Officer at Evolution Gaming, added: “Evolution’s Live Casino portfolio offers PointsBet a rich mix of world-leading online Live Casino games including classic table games, online Poker variants that are big favourites with US players, and our new generation of award-winning, record-breaking game show games. In addition, PointsBet will have the option of exclusively branded dedicated tables and environments, should they require these.”

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Gambling in the USA

Virginia Lottery launches IWG games becoming the Company’s 23rd WLA/NASPL iLottery launch

George Miller

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Virginia Lottery launches IWG games becoming the Company’s 23rd WLA/NASPL iLottery launch
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Long-standing collaboration with NeoPollard produces fastest integration to-date

Today IWG digital instant win games launched on the Virginia Lottery’s iLottery gaming platform, making it the 23rd WLA/NASPL-member lottery to launch the instant win supplier’s games portfolio. The integration took just weeks to complete, a timeline made possible by the long-standing collaboration between IWG and NeoPollard Interactive, the Virginia Lottery’s iLottery platform provider.

Following the execution of a five-year contract agreement, the completion of a streamlined integration process, and the implementation of IWG’s locally-deployed Remote Game Server (RGS), the Virginia Lottery has elected to roll out the provider’s top-performing games. An extensive portfolio of games is planned into the Lottery’s roadmap.

Among the titles now available to Virginians is Cash Expander, a customized game from IWG that has been designed specifically for the Virginia Lottery. The gameplay, which utilizes the developer’s core ‘match three cluster’ mechanic, includes gold, silver and bronze Virginia state symbols that activate the bonus round when three appear on-screen.

The release of Virginia Cash Expander marks the fourth iteration of this instant win game appearing in the North American iLottery market, following previous localized versions in Michigan, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania. These custom-made releases have proven hugely successful, with players appreciating the content that’s been adapted for their own respective markets.

The launch of instant win games with the Virginia Lottery highlights the supplier’s impressive lottery client network, with its content already live across the growing North American iLottery markets, including Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania in the US, and the Atlantic Provinces, Québec, and British Columbia in Canada.

Rhydian Fisher, IWG CEO, said: “We’re so excited to be live in Virginia, our 23rd iLottery launch. The Virginia Lottery and its entrepreneurial approach to iLottery combined with the support of its platform vendor, NeoPollard, made it possible for us to execute a contract, integrate our RGS platform, and localize a set of games, all in a very short period of time. Clearly, the leading iLottery platforms have proven they can support the integration of independent game providers, like IWG, right during a program’s initial launch.”

Kevin Hall, Executive Director of Virginia Lottery, said: IWG has done a tremendous job delivering the first of many games from its portfolio to the Virginia Lottery. They, along with our partners at NeoPollard, completed this integration within a very demanding timeline. Having seen the success of Cash Expander with other lotteries in North America, we’re confident our own localized version will also appeal to a wide range of players here in Virginia.”

 

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Gambling in the USA

AGA to Report on Q2 U.S. Commercial Casino Gaming Revenue

George Miller

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AGA to Report on Q2 U.S. Commercial Casino Gaming Revenue
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The American Gaming Association (AGA) will host a press call on Thursday, August 13, 2020 at 11:30 a.m. EDT to provide an overview and analysis of the commercial gaming industry’s financial performance during Q2 2020. Data discussed will include national and state gross gaming revenue (GGR) broken down by gaming vertical.

 

WHO:          Bill Miller, AGA president and CEO.

 

WHAT:        Press call to discuss commercial casino GGR from Q2 2020 and YTD.

 

WHEN:          Thursday, August 13, 2020 at 11:30 a.m. EDT.

 

WHERE:      Register for the Zoom call here.

 

About the Report

AGA’s new Commercial Gaming Revenue Tracker provides state-by-state and cumulative insight into the U.S. commercial gaming industry’s financial performance based on state revenue reports. The first issue highlights second quarter results, ending June 30 (Q2 2020), and year-to-date comparisons.

 

 

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