Wednesday, January 30, 2013

G2E & G2E Asia Conference Updates 2013

By Mike Johnson, Director of Sales & Industry Development

A lot of work is underway for both the G2E and G2E Asia conferences. For Asia, we’re putting the final touches on this year’s program in Macau which will be coming online in the next week. This year’s agenda will again feature our popular Global Markets Forum program on day 1, analyzing a series of existing and emerging/expanding markets in the Asia Pacific region. Look for dedicated sessions on Taiwan and the Philippines, as well as a two part series on Macau discussing the remaining Cotai projects as well as Henquin island.  In the core program on days 2 and 3, we’ll feature a number of general sessions including an analysis of the current Chinese consumer, a discussion of VIP vs. mass market gaming and establishing a healthy mix, a two part series on gaming technology innovations, and much more. Overall I’d like to thank our G2EAsia Conference Advisory Board for their efforts in helping to craft this year’s topics. We are very grateful for their time and guidance.

For the G2E Las Vegas conference, we just held our first Conference Advisory Board meeting of the year last week in Las Vegas which went very well. We talked a lot about “Futurism” which is an early potential angle for this year’s “Insights on Operations” program on the final day of the show. In the coming week’s we’ll be having detailed discussions with the members of each track committee to discuss the major trends happening in each segment of the gaming industry. I’ll keep you posted here as things come together, and of course, if you have any suggestions please always feel free to email me at Until then, be well!

Code of Conduct Anniversary

By Brian Lehman, AGA Communications Manager

Welcome to the G2E blog – you may have gotten here via a link from Twitter or Facebook. Ten years ago, if I had written the same sentence it wouldn’t have made sense because Twitter and Facebook hadn’t been created yet and the term “blog” hadn’t reached the level of cultural saturation that it has today.

A lot can change in a decade, as evidenced by the rapid development of new communications and information technology. That is why in conjunction with the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Gaming, the AGA released an updated version of the Code.  last week. The new Code acknowledges that the commercial casino industry is now marketing to customers via Internet and email communications and social media platforms, and addresses new technology and how it changes the way gaming companies interact with customers.

When it was adopted in 2003, the Code of Conduct was the first document of its kind, creating a consistent, industrywide approach to responsible gaming across all of the AGA’s member companies. It is a pledge to employees, patrons and the public to promote responsible gaming in every aspect of the casino business—including employee training, the prevention of underage gambling, responsible alcohol service, and responsible marketing and advertising.  

Gaming companies across the country used the anniversary as a chance to remind employees, patrons and the public about their commitment to responsible gaming. The National Center for Responsible Gaming also helped promote the anniversary through a front page story in the most recent issue of Responsible GamingQuarterly.

For all the latest AGA and industry news, including updates about online poker legislation, visit the AGA website, follow the AGA on Twitter or “like” us on Facebook.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Al Zajic on Casino Security & Surveillance

By Mike Johnson, Director of Sales & Industry Development

Check out this interview from G2E 2012 with frequent speaker and G2E Conference Advisory Board member, Al Zajic, who shares a bit about what’s happening in casino security and surveillance. Al is an independent, Nevada-licensed security consultant with more than 35 years of security industry experience. He’s also a certified protection professional with ASIS International and a certified surveillance professional with the International Association of Certified Surveillance Professionals. Enjoy.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

NCRG Grant Funding

By Judy Patterson, Senior Vice President and Executive Director, American Gaming Association (AGA)

The gaming industry is, unfortunately, accustomed to reading negative media stories that all too often rely on outdated or disproven research—or junk science—to make their case.  A recent story in the New York Times claiming that slot machines cause gambling addiction is yet another example.  Four decades of experience with a dramatic increase in the number of slots but no corresponding increase in the rate of pathological gambling (consistently 1 percent) is apparently not evidence enough.  Nor is a recent University of Iowa study reaffirming earlier research by Harvard Medical School and other major institutions.

What is true is how seriously the industry takes the issue of pathological gambling.  As one example of that, the National Center for Responsible Gaming (NCRG), the only national organization exclusively devoted to funding such research and the American Gaming Association’s affiliated charity, just announced it has allocated nearly $1 million in grants for 2013 to study gambling disorders.  These grants range in size from $1,500 travel grants to $25,000 seed grants to $75,000 large grants.  In addition, for the first time the NCRG is offering an Addiction Fellowship for two years that will help prepare qualified individuals for careers that could have a significant impact on the understanding and treatment of gambling disorders.  All of this activity is under the direction of a Scientific Advisory Board comprised of leading scientists who follow the National Institutes of Health criteria for scientific merit.

This organization, and the body of work it has supported, has taught us much of what we know about the field of gambling disorders.  Among the numerous findings are:  promising treatments for gambling disorders;  more evidence for the role of genetics in the development of the disorder;  the first national survey of gambling on college campuses; and a model for evaluating self-exclusion and treatment programs.
To learn more about the NCRG grants program and the impact of research funded by the NCRG, visit

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Highlights from the 2012 Ultra Lounge Fashion Show

By Kimberlie I. Leon, Director of Marketing

One of my favorite parts of the show each year is the Ultra Lounge Uniform Fashion Show sponsored by CINTAS. I love to see the innovative and fashion-forward uniforms that are being unveiled. And I also get a kick out of watching the audience respond with such awe as the models make their way down the catwalk!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Lessons on Leadership

By Holly Wetzel, VP of Communications American Gaming Association (AGA)

Happy New Year! With January suddenly well underway, one of my resolutions is to grow as a leader in 2013 – a goal I’m sure I share with many of my colleagues in the gaming industry.

Now, as most readers likely are aware, the AGA announced this week that Frank Fahrenkopf, president and CEO of the organization since its inception in 1995, is stepping down from his position at the end of June. Thinking about my resolution, it strikes me there are many lessons to be taken from Frank’s long career that can help me and others become better leaders in 2013 and beyond:

Embody Integrity—Frank is as straight a shooter as you’ll ever meet, and his honesty and integrity have made him one of the most respected leaders in Washington, D.C. and throughout the global gaming industry.
The lesson: Be honest ALWAYS. Hold yourself to a higher standard, and expect the same of your employees. It’s a lot easier to get your employees to buy into your vision and succeed when you walk the walk first. Also, people want to do business with folks they know they can trust.

Seek Collaboration—Frank’s political career has been marked by his ability to reach across the aisle and collaborate with leaders from both sides of the political spectrum. As head of the AGA, he’s honed that skill in bringing together competing interests to achieve common industry goals.
The lesson: Every viewpoint is valuable, and there’s always common ground to be found. When you find it, leverage it, and then use the talents of the group to achieve something great. Also, there’s more than one right way to do things, and always respect your opponent—they just might become an ally down the road. 

Nurture Talent—Frank has an uncanny ability to indentify his employees’ strengths and to let those talents flourish to the greater benefit of the individual and the organization. He provides seasoned guidance and creates leadership opportunities so his employees can succeed.
The lesson: Be a good teacher, but know when to step back and let your employees lead the way. Recognize accomplishment—even a simple “great job!” can serve as a powerful motivator. Provide constructive feedback and remember that employees want to grow—find ways to help them do it.

Have a Sense of Humor – Anyone who’s spent time with Frank knows he loves a good story and is quick with a joke. Work is serious business, and we accomplish a great deal at the AGA, but we’re never too busy to have a little fun.
The lesson: When you create a work environment where your employees are happy, comfortable and often laughing (sometimes even at you!), it’s amazing the level of success you can achieve. Happy employees mean better ideas, better collaboration and a better end product.

These are just some of the lessons I’ve taken from Frank over the years. I’ll be keeping them in mind as I endeavor to become a better leader in 2013. Best of luck to everyone keeping YOUR resolutions, and happy new year!

Recommended links:  G2E 2012 Welcome Remarks from Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

IGT's Staci Alonso talks to G2E TV!

By Mike Carlucci, Director of Strategic Accounts

At G2E 2012, IGT was busy unveiling a number of new slot machines from Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5 to CSI and Family Guy. They did a great job of engaging our attendees.