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Gambling in the USA

Gavin Isaacs, Frank Legato Honored as Recipients of Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers (AGEM) Memorial Awards Honoring Jens Halle and Peter Mead

George Miller

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Gavin Isaacs, Frank Legato Honored as Recipients of Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers (AGEM) Memorial Awards Honoring Jens Halle and Peter Mead
Reading Time: 6 minutes

 

The Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers (AGEM) announced today that Gavin Isaacs has been selected as the recipient of the 2018 Jens Halle Memorial Award Honoring Excellence in Commercial Gaming Professionalism, and Frank Legato has been selected as the recipient of the 2018 Peter Mead Memorial Award Honoring Excellence in Gaming Media & Communications.

AGEM previously announced the creation of this unique annual awards program to acknowledge the lasting impacts on gaming by Halle and Mead, two distinctive industry veterans who died unexpectedly in 2015. Honorees will be announced each year at the Global Gaming Expo (G2E) in Las Vegas, and this year’s awards ceremony for Isaacs and Legato will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 10 at 4 p.m. at AGEM booth No. 3700 near the main entrance to G2E at the Sands Expo.

Currently Vice Chairman of the Board of Scientific Games, Isaacs, 54, has a long history of success and respect in the global gaming industry. Previously, from 2014-2016, Isaacs was President and Chief Executive Officer of Scientific Games and a Board Director. Before joining Scientific Games in 2014, he served three years as the Chief Executive Officer of SHFL entertainment. Prior to that, Isaacs served five years as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Bally Technologies. Earlier in his career, Isaacs served nearly eight years with Aristocrat Leisure Limited. During his tenure, he held key management positions, including General Manager, Legal and Compliance; General Manager, Marketing and Business Development; and Managing Director, Europe, before being named Americas President in 2003. Before joining Aristocrat, Isaacs was a partner with the leading Australia law firm DLA Phillips Fox.

“Few people in our industry’s history have traveled the world shaking hands, meeting customers and sharing his unique personality more than Gavin has during a distinguished career that has also taken him to the top leadership position at multiple respected companies,” said Tom Nieman, President of AGEM. “The nominating criteria strictly guide the selection of these awards every year, and Gavin’s general path and dedication to customer relations are very similar to the traits Jens displayed. I know Jens and Gavin were friendly competitors when they were both circling the globe and it gives AGEM great pleasure to honor both Gavin and Frank Legato this year.”

With a background in gaming dating back 35 years, Legato, 61, has served as Editor for Global Gaming Business (GGB) magazine since 2002 and is the leading voice for new slot titles and gaming technology from both the industry and player perspectives. His career in gaming journalism began as Associate Editor for Public Gaming magazine in 1984 and he launched and served as Editor of Casino Gaming magazine in 1985 before moving on to Casino Journal, where his focus on slot companies and their new offerings became renowned throughout the industry. On the player side, Legato started sharing his humorous tales with readers of first Atlantic City Insider and then Casino Player in 1997 and also guided Strictly Slots magazine and its focus on slot and video poker players. A sought-after speaker and trade-show moderator, Legato is also the author of two books on gaming, “How To Win Millions Playing Slot Machines… Or Lose Trying” and “Atlantic City: In Living Color.” He has a B.A. in journalism and M.A. in communications from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh.

“When it comes to slot machines and relationships with game companies, no one can touch Frank,” said Marcus Prater, Executive Director of AGEM. “My personal history with Frank goes back to 1996 and I’ve witnessed a commitment to his craft that is unparalleled. He has certainly experienced and written about more slot titles than anyone ever and he does it with an understanding and wit that conveys the entertainment aspect of the suppliers’ place in this global gaming industry. And let’s not forget that Frank is a household name for slot players all over the country who have been reading his hilarious stories of success and misfortune for more than 20 years.”

Halle, a longtime Bally and Novomatic executive in Europe who was most recently CEO of Gauselmann Group’s Merkur Gaming based in Florida, died suddenly on May 20, 2015 at the age of 57. Mead, the founder and publisher of Casino Enterprise Management magazine, died suddenly in Las Vegas on June 24, 2015 at the age of 54.

Current gaming professionals were nominated for these memorial awards based on the following criteria that aim to capture the unique attributes displayed by Halle and Mead during their storied careers:

Jens Halle Memorial Award Honoring Excellence in Commercial Gaming Professionalism
“Nominees must have experience working in the global gaming supplier sector for a minimum of 10 years and possess the following traits and qualities that Jens displayed throughout his working life: Professionalism, business success, international scope, attention to detail and timely follow-up; a willingness to ‘go the extra mile,’ both figuratively and literally; a sense of humanity in an oft-times cutthroat business; a recognition of the importance of a handshake and a fair deal for all; and a dedication to the health of the industry as a whole.”

Peter Mead Memorial Award Honoring Excellence in Gaming Media & Communications
“Nominees must have experience working in the mainstream media, gaming trade press or individual gaming company PR/communications for a minimum of 10 years and possess the following traits and qualities that Peter displayed throughout his working life: Quality reporting and communication with an emphasis on personal contact to generate ideas and gather information; taking risks and questioning the status quo; challenging the industry to consider new ideas; and identifying trusted partners to improve the overall product.”

Chief Executive Officer and President of Novomatic Americas Rick Meitzler and Global Gaming Business (GGB) founder and Publisher Roger Gros were the recipients of the AGEM memorial awards program in 2017. Ainsworth Game Technology founder and current Executive Chairman Len Ainsworth and then-Golden Entertainment Director of Corporate Communications and longtime Las Vegas Review-Journal gaming columnist Howard Stutz were the initial recipients of the AGEM memorial awards program in 2016.

AGEM is a non-profit international trade association representing manufacturers and suppliers of electronic gaming devices, lotteries, systems, table games, online technology, sports betting, key components and support products and services for the gaming industry. AGEM works to further the interests of gaming equipment suppliers throughout the world. Through political action, regulatory influence, trade show partnerships, educational alliances, information dissemination and good corporate citizenship, the members of AGEM work together to create benefits for every company within the organization. Together, AGEM has assisted regulatory agencies and participated in the legislative process to solve problems and create a business environment where AGEM members can prosper while providing a strong level of support to education and responsible gaming initiatives. For more information, visit www.AGEM.org.

The current AGEM membership roster, 160 companies strong based in 22 countries, is a who’s who of the supplier segment of the global gaming industry: AGEM Gold Members: AGS, Ainsworth Game Technology, Aristocrat Technologies, Everi, International Game Technology (IGT), Konami Gaming, Merkur Gaming, NOVOMATIC Group, Scientific Games and Sega Sammy Creation. AGEM Silver Members: Action Gaming, Aruze Gaming America, Betson Enterprises, Casino Technology, Crane Payment Innovations (CPI), Gaming Partners International (GPI), Inspired Gaming, JCM Global, Ortiz Gaming, Quixant PLC, Suzo-Happ Group, TCSJohnHuxley, TransAct Technologies and Zitro. AGEM Bronze Members: Abbiati Casino Equipment, Ace Systems Mx, Alfastreet, Amatic Industries, APEX gaming, Atlas Gaming, Astro Corp., BetConstruct, Bingotimes Digital Technology, Cammegh Limited, Century Gaming Technologies, CG Technology (CGT), Cole Kepro International, DR Gaming Technology (DRGT), Euro Games Technology (EGT), Exacta Systems, FBM, Galaxy Gaming, Gamblit Gaming, GameCo, Gaming Arts, Gaming Support, Glory Global Solutions, Grand Vision Gaming, Incredible Technologies, Interblock USA, Jackpot Digital, Jumbo Technology, Matsui Gaming Machine Co., Metronia, Patriot Gaming & Electronics, PDS Gaming, RCT Gaming, Spintec, Table Trac, Weike Gaming Technology, Wells-Gardner Technologies, Win Systems and Worldpay Gaming. AGEM Associate Members: 3M Touch Systems, Adlink Technology, Advantech-Innocore, Agilysys, ArdentSky, Arrow International, Asimex Global, Atrient, Automated Cashless Systems, Automated Systems America, Inc. (ASAI), Axiomtek, BDO USA, British Group Interactive (BGI), Capco, Carmanah Signs, Catapult Global, CDC Gaming Reports, CMC Trading Engineering (International) Ltd, Comer Holdings, Comtrade Gaming, Cooper Levenson, Deloitte LLP, Digital Instinct, DiTronics Financial Services, Dominode, Duane Morris LLP, E4 Gaming, EFCOtec Corporation, Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, Elite Gaming Technology, Fantini Research, Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, Fox Rothschild, G2 Game Design, Gambling Compliance, Gamesman, Gaming Capital Group, GAN, Ganlot, Gary Platt Manufacturing, Gasser Chair Company, Genesis Interactive Technologies, GET IN Global, Global Gaming Business (GGB) Magazine, Global Gaming Group (G3), Greenberg Traurig, GSL Gaming Group, House Advantage, Howard & Howard, Impact Display Solutions, Intel, IPS, James Industries, James Industry Research Group, Jones Walker, JP Morgan Chase, KEY-BAK, Kiron Interactive, Kontron, Lazcano Sámano, Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie, Lightstone Solutions, Majestic Realty, Millennial Esports, NanoLumens, Nanoptix, Olsen Gaming / Spectronix, Outpost Creative, Patir Casino Seating, Plus Studios, Portilla Ruy-Díaz y Aguilar, Posiflex Business Machines, Proforma GPS, Regulatory Management Counselors (RMC), Rising Digital, RMMC, RSM US LLP, SAP, SCA Gaming, Sightline Payments, Southco, Southwest Manufacturing Services, Spin Games, StylGame USA, Taft Stettinius & Hollister, Talent Associates, The Bright Group, The United States Playing Card Company, Touch Dynamic, Tournament One, TOVIS, TraffGen USA, Veridocs, Wells Fargo, Young Electric Sign Company (YESCO) and Zebra Technologies.

George Miller started his career in content marketing and has started working as an Editor/Content Manager for our company in 2016. George has acquired many experiences when it comes to interviews and newsworthy content becoming Head of Content in 2017. He is responsible for the news being shared on multiple websites that are part of the European Gaming Media Network.

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Gambling in the USA

A Sure Bet: Cruise Ship Casinos Pay Off with Jackpots, Friends and Making Guests Feel at Home

Zoltan Tundik

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With slots, low-entry table play and tournaments, cruise ship casinos are more popular than ever for their fun and friendly environment and interactions with crew members and fellow guests . Photo courtesy of Princess Cruises.
Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

When Texan Glenda Ostrokol gets on a ship she has a plan: Get to the casino as soon as it opens. She does not gamble on land. But in cruise ship casinos, she’s a big player, and receives all the perks that go along with that status.

“Carnival Cruise Line just makes it so much fun,” Ostrokol says. “I do love slot machines, and I play them all. And the casino team takes really good care of me.”

David Simpson of Leesburg, Fla., says arriving at a ship casino is akin to coming home. He and fellow Carnival Cruise Line players communicate through a dedicated Casino Fan Facebook page.

“We go in there and meet other friends we cruise with from all over the U.S.,” Simpson says. “There’s always somebody we know, people from TexasIdahoNorth Carolina. And there’s not a ship that we go on that we don’t know the casino team.”

Unlike with casinos on land, cruise guests are typically on board for a week or more, time for relationships to develop.

“We offer them a warm and friendly environment where they can interact with fellow cruisers,” says Marty Goldman, senior vice president of global casino operations for Carnival Corporation. “And we have an engaging casino team that takes the time to understand guest needs. We want to ensure that we are different from a typical casino in that way.”

Since joining Carnival Corporation from Caesars Entertainment in 2012, Goldman has overseen tremendous growth in the casino realm – as the world’s largest cruise company has expanded its gaming operations around the world.

Casino play is popular on all the cruise lines under the Carnival Corporation banner. In addition to Carnival Cruise Line, this includes Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Cunard, Seabourn, German line AIDA Cruises, Italian line Costa Cruises, British line P&O Cruises and P&O Cruises Australia.

Across the fleet, the most popular gaming option is slots, with Americans and Australians particularly big fans. With more than 100 casinos, Carnival Corporation sees a guest spinning the reels on a slot machine 112 times per second, making it by far the most popular form of gaming.

Tournament play is tremendously popular on ships in North America, and Carnival Corporation has plans to expand slot tournaments elsewhere around the world.

The company paid out more than $1 million in tournaments in the past year. This includes special branded events with tie-ins to Wheel of Fortune and Monopoly, the latter being for the biggest prize money the company ever paid. With guests flocking to these events, they will be expanded across the fleet, with a marquee Spin & Sail event on Carnival Cruise Line in 2019.

Though blackjack is preferred in the United States, the casinos cater to a wide array of tastes for games offering roulette, baccarat and a variety of poker games in different markets.

Goldman says the gaming crowd appreciates innovation, so his team is always on the lookout for what’s new and what people want to play on a regional basis.

Among options trending now are arcade-style games for adults and lottery-style scratch tickets.

“We are always looking at what else may be popular,” Goldman says. “We want to appeal to as broad an audience as possible.”

For frequent players, Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Players Club is “unlike anything else anywhere on land or sea,” Goldman says. Players clubs are also available on Princess Cruises, Holland America Line and expanding to some of the corporation’s international brands.

Based on play, perks for players include everything from complimentary drinks to free cabins. Special events see top players invited to participate in unique and exciting experiences, which elevates the energy in the casino for all guests.

“People like engaging with other people who play,” says Goldman.

Behind the scenes, a new casino management system will allow more customized incentives for players.

“We will be able to offer an incentive based on what you are playing in real time,” Goldman says.

As it looks to expand its audience, Carnival Corporation has strategic partnerships with casinos on land, with qualified players offered a certificate for a free cruise. This enables the cruise company to draw new-to-cruise players to its casinos.

There are some differences in cruise ship play. With a more relaxed atmosphere, game table minimums are typically lower, for instance. While they vary by ship, itinerary and even time of day, it’s rare to find a minimum over $25.

In the friendly, guest-centric environment waging limits are adjusted based on a player’s personal preferences. “We have some very high limit players, not much different than you would see with land-based casinos,” Goldman says.

With nearly 60 cruises under her belt since 2002, Ostrokol has stories to tell – like the time earlier this year when she won $14,790 on a slot machine on the Carnival Vista, a ship with more than 250 machines.

“I thought I had won $1,400, and said, ‘Okay, I can play tomorrow.’ When I realized it was more, I screamed,” she says, laughing. She used her payout for a down payment on a wheelchair accessible van.

Simpson, a blackjack player who occasionally dabbles in slots, plays a few times a year in Las Vegas, but says ships are decidedly friendlier places. His biggest shipboard win was a $25,000 blackjack hand, “on the Lucky Ladies.” He also won a slot tournament on the Carnival Breeze.

“The best way to describe what time of day you can find me in the casino, is whenever it’s open,” Simpson says with a laugh. He’s been known to play well into the night and hit a ship’s 24-hour pizzeria to watch the sunrise.

Simpson says in addition to gaming, he enjoys Carnival Cruise Line’s specialty dining, such as La Cucina for Italian and Gigi’s for pan-Asian cuisine.

And then there are all the additional virtues of cruising. In traditional gaming resorts, you are in one place with one focus. On cruise ships, gaming comes with a wealth of other fun entertainment and activities – including visiting several exciting destinations during your vacation.

Carnival Corporation offers a variety of casino experiences, whether guests want to dress up like James Bond or go completely casual. There are classic casinos on Holland America Line and P&O Cruises in the United Kingdom, and smaller, more intimate experiences on ultra-luxury line Seabourn. You can even play while crossing the Atlantic on a luxurious Cunard ocean liner.

“From a casino perspective, we can offer something for everybody, every day, all across the globe, which no one else can do,” Goldman says.

Fun facts from Carnival Corporate Global Casino Operations:

Slot machines on Carnival Corporation ships produce more than 3.5 billion hand pulls per year.

More than 56,000 slots jackpots are paid out each year, an average of more than 155 per day.

On Carnival Corporation ships, blackjack players older than 60 are twice as skillful as players younger than 30.

In the largest annual tournaments, on Carnival Cruise Line and Princess Cruises, players vie for a share of a $200,000 pot.

The 2,600-strong Carnival Corporation shipboard casino team represents 79 nationalities.

SOURCE Carnival Corporation & plc

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Gambling in the USA

AGA Names Bill Miller as New President and Chief Executive Officer

Zoltan Tundik

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Photo source: worldtopinvestors.com
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Miller Selected as Next CEO to Lead $261 Billion U.S. Casino Gaming Industry

The American Gaming Association’s (AGA) Board of Directors today named Bill Miller as the trade association’s next president and chief executive officer, effective January 14, 2019, following a comprehensive search and selection process.

During his tenure as senior vice president at the Business Roundtable (BRT), Miller helped grow the organization’s brand and advocacy footprint in Washington, leading the association’s outreach to Capitol Hill and the Administration.

“I am honored to join a team with a well-earned reputation for advancing the casino gaming industry’s legislative and communications priorities and addressing the issues that matter most to its members,” said Miller. “Much to the AGA’s credit, this is a remarkable time for gaming in America. The industry is growing, acceptance of gaming as mainstream entertainment has never been higher and the opportunities to continue to advance gaming’s agenda are abundant. I am eager to help lead the industry in this next era.”

A broad, seven-member search committee was formed in June, led by Tim Wilmott, CEO of Penn National Gaming and Chairman of the AGA Board of Directors.

“Bill’s extensive work with federal policymakers and as a seasoned leader of membership and industry advocacy organizations was critical to our decision,” said Wilmott. “He joins a successful organization at a time when our industry is enjoying great momentum, thanks in part to a major policy achievement – the ending of the federal sports betting prohibition. On behalf of the AGA Board, I am excited to welcome Bill to the team.

“The Board is extremely thankful for the leadership of Stacy Papadopoulos and Sara Slane, and the commitment of the entire AGA team during this period of transition,” continued Wilmott.

With senior level experience at leading business groups and trade associations including BRT and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Miller joins the AGA at a time when the gaming industry is growing both in size and popularity. The May 2018 Supreme Court ruling overturning the federal ban on sports betting was a landmark policy achievement for the industry. Revenue grew in twenty states with commercial casinos in 2017 and the commercial gaming industry as a whole brought in $40.3 billionin gaming revenue, while tribal casinos tallied $32.4 billion in total gaming revenue.

About AGA: The American Gaming Association is the premier national trade group representing the $261 billion U.S. casino industry, which supports 1.8 million jobs nationwide. AGA members include commercial and tribal casino operators, gaming suppliers and other entities affiliated with the gaming industry. It is the mission of the AGA to achieve sound policies and regulations consistent with casino gaming’s modern appeal and vast economic contributions.

SOURCE American Gaming Association

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Gambling in the USA

Record Number of Legislators to Attend Winter Meeting of Legislators from Gaming States, January 4-6 in New Orleans

Zoltan Tundik

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Pictured in the New Orleans skyline is One Shell Square (towards left), New Orleans' tallest building, standing at 697 ft (212 m) as well as Place St. Charles, Plaza Tower, First Bank and Trust Tower, and Energy Centre.
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

A record number of legislators from a record number of states will attend the National Council of Legislators from Gaming States Winter Meeting, January 4-6 in New Orleans. NCLGS will welcome 42 legislators – and counting – from 18 states during its three-day conference.

Registration for the NCLGS Winter Meeting is open to the public at http://www.nclgs.org/meetings.html. Although the room block at host Harrah’s New Orleans is sold out, numerous nearby hotel options are posted on the conference website.

“After setting the all-time record for attendance at our conference this past summer, I am happy to see that we already have even more legislators confirmed to attend our Winter Meeting in New Orleans,” said NCLGS William P. Coley II, a Senator from Ohio. “These are the legislators who will be determining gaming policy in their respective states throughout the country, and we invite everyone who is interested in great public policy to join us in New Orleans.”

More than 200 attendees are expected to attend the three-day NCLGS Winter Meeting. The conference agenda includes:

  • Keynote Luncheon Address from former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, whose arguments before the Supreme Court resulted in overturning the federal prohibition on sports betting
  • Six legislative committee sessions: Casinos, Emerging Forms of Gaming, Lotteries, Pari-Mutuels, Sports Betting/iGaming, and State-Federal Relations
  • The Big Picture: Focus on Freshman Class of Legislators – an introduction to gaming
  • Two Masterclasses presented by the International Masters of Gaming Law
  • Thursday evening and Friday evening welcome receptions
  • Saturday afternoon back-of-house tours of Harrah’s New Orleans
  • Sunday general session focusing on the relationship between gaming and tourism

The Winter Meeting has been approved for 10.25 and 10.0 Continuing Legal Education credits by the Louisiana and Nevada bars, respectively, underscoring its importance as a premier gaming policy forum.

To view the NCLGS Winter Meeting agenda, register, and book hotel rooms at the host hotel at special attendee rates, visit http://www.nclgs.org/meetings.html

For sponsorship information, contact events@nclgs.org. Legislators and others seeking NCLGS membership information should contact Wayne Marlin at wayne.marlin@nclgs.org.

NCLGS is the only organization of state lawmakers that meets on a regular basis to discuss issues relating to gaming. Members of NCLGS serve as chairpersons or members of state legislative committees responsible for the regulation of gaming in their state legislative houses. NCLGS does not promote or oppose gaming but is primarily concerned with the regulation and economic and social impacts of the industry. The NCLGS Foundation is the educational and research arm of NCLGS. The 501(c)(3) non-profit is a source of non-partisan data on issues of gaming legislation and regulation.

Spectrum Gaming Group, which has performed advisory and consulting work for gaming operators, regulators and legislatures in 36 US states and territories and in 47 countries on six continents, serves as the Executive Director of NCLGS.

 

SOURCE National Council of Legislators from Gaming States

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