G2E Wrap-up: Mims reports on panels in Las Vegas – new tech, diversity, Covid measures, M&A, and more
The G2E 2021 concluded last Thursday after a two-year in person hiatus. The top gaming conference in the world did not disappoint the crowd in terms of living up to expectations. The Venetian Exposition Hall was crowded with attendees. The most impressive display was IGT with Vanna White hosting a celebrity Spin to Win Tournament, promoting the Wheel of Fortune Slot Machine.
I am big on the educational seminars that take place in the areas adjacent to the main conference floor. The conference started off with Wayne Kimmel, Managing Partner of SeventySix Capital, talking with Las Vegas Gaming Executive Seth Schorr. They stressed the importance of universities and schools playing a part in the new wave of innovation for gaming and sports betting.
Todd Fuhrman and Ben Fawkes, two prominent sports media personalities, were on panels that gave opinions about the future of sports betting and the role of media in promoting it. James Van Stone, the President of Business Operation of Monumental Sports and Entertainment, cited the importance of working with the American Gaming Association to encourage betting responsibly. MSE is a setting the standard by having a sports book within the confines of their venue, the Capital One Arena. A recent AGA study found that 44% of all American and 63% of NFL fans like the prospect of having a sportsbook in a sporting venue. I anticipate other teams to follow suit.
Gaming initiatives in Diversity, Equality and Inclusion were address by a panel of industry executives along with Suzanne Clark, President of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. One of the executives, Jyoti Chopra cited this quote from Verna Myers about diversity. “Diversity is being invited to the party. Inclusion is being asked to dance Belonging is feeling free to dance however you want.” This quote is indicative of what all companies, gaming or otherwise, should be doing to promote women and people of color.
The merging of the sports betting and the slot gaming world was presented by Acres Manufacturing Co. introducing the PayAction Sports Bonus. The bonus uses a live feed of a team you select that will activate a bonus round if they score while you are playing. Cashless products offered by IGT’s Resort Wallet & Pay Products are attracting attention. These types of products are being propelled by Covid preventive measures. Digital fund transfers are going to be the prevalent within the next 3 years.
The business segment of my audience will be happy to know that the merger & acquisition activity will continue in the gaming industry. Sports betting will be the center of conversation. Keep in mind that any company that has a gaming platform along with sport wagering will be more appealing and should be part of your portfolio. Goldman Sachs forecast iGaming could increase from a 1.5-billion-dollar industry today to 14 billion in 2033.
Look for more Gaming news from me as I attend the East Coast Gaming Congress in Atlantic City later this month. The dates for that event are 10/26 and 10/27. Follow me on Twitter @GamingguyM for gaming & sports betting.