Labor Day took on a whole new meaning this year seeing how crippled the labor force has become since the pandemic exacted its damage on the economy and the wellbeing of millions of Americans. But being resilient is a necessity rather than an option during these times, and the gaming industry has certainly led by example.
For the fall edition of Gaming America, we dedicate this issue to celebrating a dynamic cross section of CEOs, each with their own story about how they reached the heights of their profession, and the diligence it takes to maintain them. Land-based operators certainly have had their work cut out for them as properties shut throughout the spring. Green shoots started to appear in the summer, but there were setbacks, and although some Q2 results show signs of promise, the revenue losses from lost foot traffic speak for themselves.
The word on the street is that numbers won’t properly recover before 2022, so between now and then, the added hard work and fresh ideas need to be enforced. “Anyone can be a CEO in good times; it’s about who can be a good CEO in tough times,” declares Golden Nugget CEO Tilman Fertitta on page 24. “You’ve got to make tough decisions and that’s what I did, and that’s why we’re still here.” He certainly doesn’t sugar coat anything, which is why either big or small, the companies that have been able to bounce back quicker reacted to the risk early on and made the tough decisions others weren’t ready to make. For many, once a decision was finally made, it was too late.
On page 32, Bill Hornbuckle, president and CEO of MGM Resorts International, is equally steadfast in enduring the body blows to his properties and bottom line. Particularly in Las Vegas, he says, this will be the most impactful crisis we’ve had to endure. But endure he will. “We’ve been resilient as hell, the team has been amazing, the customers have been amazing; their resilience and desire to want to come here,” he says, pulling no punches. “Despite some closed amenities, they still come and are excited to be here. It’s manageable now and getting better every day but obviously we still have a journey ahead of us.” We also hear from Twin River, PointsBet, Ocean Resort Casino and DraftKings. They might have different origins but they are equally resolute in their determination to beat the overwhelming challenges of today and tomorrow, no matter the odds.
Gaming America speaks with Mike Dreitzer, President of Gaming Arts, to find out the gaming supplier’s key to creativity and plans for the rest of the year.
Dennis Tsalikis, CEO of Fantasy Sports Interactive (FSI), speaks about reaping rewards in the US due to timely partnerships fuelled by a determination to compete in the big leagues.
Chad Hoehne, CEO, president and founder of Table Trac Inc. has known for a long time that preparation is vital for longevity in business. Here, he discusses how inspiring customers is the key to making his systems work, especially now with increased measures in place to ensure personal safety.
Amelco head of business development Brandon Walker speaks to Iqbal Johal about the supplier’s expansion into the US, and why it’s the market everyone in the industry wants to be in.
From a home office in a spare bedroom to the multi-billion-dollar public corporation it is today, CEO Jason Robins tells Tim Poole the DraftKings story.
Golden Nugget CEO Tilman Fertitta talks to Iqbal Johal about his ongoing success in business, how the casino operator is getting through the pandemic, and why the future of the gaming industry lies equally in the land-based and online sectors.
PointsBet US CEO Johnny Aitken speaks with Owain Flanders about his bookmaker background and how he helped turn an Australian brand into a staple of the US sports betting market.
Twin River Worldwide Holdings CEO George Papanier speaks to Ezra Amacher about the excitement of transforming Atlantic City from the late 1970s, and the company's journey over the years.
Five years after leaving Revel, Ocean Casino Resort CEO Terry Glebocki talks to Tim Poole about returning to the property in its new form – with aims of a very different outcome this time around.
MGM Resorts International president and CEO Bill Hornbuckle speaks to Gaming America a year after his interview as company COO, and discusses with Tim Poole about his transition into the role and how it was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.