Mar/Apr 2021

Editors Letter

Americans have a lot on their plate these days. Heavy weather, pandemic fatigue and political chips waiting to fall where they may following the election unrest are in steady headline rotation. While these events affect gaming in a variety of ways, this edition of Gaming America focuses on the state of Tribal gaming across the country and its profound impact and importance to the industry.

There's a particular nod to the progress being made in California, with, among other features, talks with Matt Hosman, Kambi's US director, and Matthew Mingrone, general manager of Central Valley's Eagle Mountain Casino. But we can't ignore that one of the biggest stories from Las Vegas this year is that, despite the run of play of suspended conventions, reduced visitor numbers and mid-week closures, major properties are due to open on the Strip, and one of them is the highly-anticipated Virgin Hotel where Tribal gaming operator Mohegan Sun will run the casino. Oliver Lovat of the Denstone Group asks if this kind of strong statement to challenge the established order will set a tone of possibilities in the years to come. If successful, he says, it will help to usher in "a new wave of credible ownership and unprecedented investment in Las Vegas, with much of Tribal and regional gaming watching and waiting to see what happens."

Back out West, Lovat adds, California Tribes like the Manuel Band of Mission Indians and the Pechanga Tribe of Luiseno Indians could follow the Seminoles' Hard Rock to expand their footprint. And lest we forget that, looking east (but not that East), Oklahoma's WinStar, which the Chickasaw Nation operates, is the largest casino in the world. "Native American Tribes are the quiet giants in hospitality," adds Lovat and it's easy to see why with all the resources, experience, established customer databases and available capital at hand. OIGA chairman Matthew Morgan also says that the new Biden administration bodes well for Tribal gaming, seeing as the President hails from gambling-friendly Delaware. "We are hopeful that the increased urgency of the Biden administration regarding the vaccine rollout and COVID-19 response will lead to our industry and gaming facilities returning to doing business in a more normal manner and at more normal occupancy levels," he says.

These are equal parts fascinating, nerve-racking and exciting times no matter your perspective, but Tribal is an area worth paying particular attention to with all its potential, and actual, success in play.

In The Magazine
Sports Betting Strategy For Market Share

Industry experts from Betfred USA, Novomatic Americas, Amelco USA, Bet.Works and Sportradar discuss the key to sports betting strategy for market share, as states continue to legalize.

Sports Betting: The Main Course?

With more states now legalizing sports wagering, the buzz around it has never been stronger since PASPA was overturned. But The Innovation Group president Michael Soll helps us explore whether sports betting itself is the entrée, or just the appetizer for players cross-sold into other verticals.

Opportunity Knocks

Kamran Hedjri, CEO of PXP Financial Inc, the US branch of PXP Financial Ltd, talks to Gaming America about the opportunity US gaming's digital and cashless transformation can present to payment providers.

The Madness Of March

Keith Whyte, executive director of the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG), discusses March Madness, college athletes and responsible gambling in the US sports betting market.

Ahead Of The Game

Despite the ongoing economic and health crises, Las Vegas will see two major new market entries in 2021 with international gaming giant Genting debuting Resorts World and Mohegan Sun, the Tribal gaming operator, running the casino at the new Virgin Hotel. Will these statements set a tone of revival for the next decade? Oliver Lovat of the Denstone Group consultancy, which has a focus on casino resorts, explores why Las Vegas still has allure for gaming and hospitality operators, and why these new openings could herald a new age.

This Way To Produce

Gaming America gets a few minutes with Andrew Burke, CEO at Bluberi, to talk about exciting new products in the pipeline and growth for the company.

Setting The Pace

By launching a diversity and inclusion initiative to help minority-owned businesses, Pace-O-Matic helps customers recover from pandemic shutdowns. Michael Bartlett finds out more from CEO Michael Pace.

Timing Is Everything

By illustrating a case study of a delayed launch, Ainsworth director of product marketing and strategy Mike Trask discusses with Ezra Amacher the ever-increasing need to stand out from the crowd.

Where The Action Is

Tina Hodges, CEO of Tennessee startup Action 24/7, discusses with Ezra Amacher what it takes to outslug the biggest operators in sports betting.

In A Flash

Lightning Box CPO David Little discusses the quickfire growth in the US online casino market, with Michigan a frontrunner.

All In One And One For All

Eric Cunningham, training and marketing manager for Table Trac, explains the benefits of cashless gaming for casinos, and how they can now offer a true one-card or cardless solution

No Turning Back

In his first interview with Gaming America this year, Matthew Morgan, chairman of the Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association, gets us up to speed on progress made and optimism building for the future, especially with sights set on the Conference and Trade Show this summer.

Can Tribes Capitalize?

Kambi’s US director Matt Hosman speaks to Gaming America about the opportunities sports betting can present to the tribal gaming sector.

Class Ii Act

Lead designer at Eclipse Gaming, Jimmy Kowalski, provides Gaming America with an update on how the tribal gaming industry can recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Greater Good

Despite being hard hit by the pandemic with furloughs, layoffs and squeezed revenue, tribal gaming in California has been a benchmark for perseverance. Ezra Amacher examines the hard work and patience required by tribes, especially those in the Central Valley, to enable not just growth in gaming, but more prosperous communities.

A Year Of Caution

Matt Davey, Tekkorp Capital and Tekkorp Digital CEO, speaks to Gaming America about what US investors are looking for in digital firms, as well as the benefits of merging into a SPAC.

Single-track Approach

Paul Burns, president & CEO of the Canadian Gaming Association, speaks exclusively to Tim Poole about the legalization of single-event sports wagering in Canada and online gaming in Ontario.

What In The World

We’re just a few months away from the most anticipated Las Vegas Strip opening in over a decade. On the site of the former Stardust, Resorts World Las Vegas, developed by Genting Group, is already making a massive statement in its scale, complexity and offerings despite convention saying it’s business suicide to go all in on a land-based complex of this ambition during a pandemic. But status quo be damned. In this episode of the GI Huddle, we catch up with Scott Sibella, president of Resorts World, who speaks about stepping up and standing firm in order to usher in a new era for the city.

Skin In The Game

Jeff Silver, Of Counsel, and Patrick Sullivan, Associate, at Dickinson Wright explore tribal sports wagering and how it can evolve alongside shifting regulations in order to compete in the big leagues.

From The Top: No Way, Parlay

With single-event sports wagering set to be legalized in Canada, Tim Poole assesses the anticipation that’s building around the potential billion-dollar market.

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