Sightline Payments Co-CEO previews G2E: Can we pull it off?

July 26, 2023
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Sightline Co-CEO Omer Sattar says he's planning a 'spectacle' for G2E this year, if only he and his company can pull it off.

What can you tell us about any exhibits Sightline will have at G2E this year?

The one I’d like to tell you I can’t tell you just yet. I’ll know in a couple of days. It’ll be fun if we can get permission for it.

That sounds pretty intriguing.

Yeah, we’ll find out. Firstly, I need to find out if it’s possible. Then we need to go to Reed and talk to them about it.

But it’s going to be a spectacle if we can pull it off.

You’ve been going to G2E for some years now. What do you look forward to most at the conference?

It really is an awesome con. It really is the best time of the year.

Listen, sometimes it’s technology. Mostly it’s not technology. Mostly it’s reconnecting. Some of it is with customers. The reality is everyone is so busy. Everything runs. Either you’re late or everything is running in 15-minute blocks.

So does actual, real work get done at G2E? Probably not. Because real work takes focus. If you’re really designing something and building something, you need to spend six hours with someone, not 15 minutes. And that’s the reality. But it’s the reconnecting with folks, which is always great.

And then it is fun seeing what the IGTs and the Light & Wonders of the world are doing, and the Artistocrats and the Konamis and the big suppliers. I like G2E a lot.

What do you think the big headlines or big takeaways will be from G2E this year?

There’s going to be a bunch of people talking about AI. It’s a little disingenuous and I’ll be honest with you, we are so far behind in data – the casino industry. It’s embarrassing. I’ve been saying this for years.

We easily in the industry latch onto terms. A few years ago, we were talking about machine learning. Now we’re talking about AI. We’ll talk a whole bunch about omnichannel.

But we want executable, real products. When you sit down with folks out of Silicon Valley and others that are, in fact, good at data, or way better than we are, it give you a perspective of how bad we are. It is rudimentary what we do. We might as well as well be in 1950, not 1980 or 1990. We’ve got a long way to go in what we need to do in the world of data.

There are companies that are working on it. There are folks that are working on it. But we’re nowhere near where we should be.

So, I think you’re going to hear a bunch of stuff about AI. I think you’re going to hear about responsibility in advertising, which is good. I think we are to some extent making the same mistakes that were made in Europe and we didn’t have to. But we are doing the same thing and that’s unfortunate. The pendulum will come back.

Our goal is to make sure the folks who talk about omnichannel are actually talking about it the correct way, hopefully, and are really committed to it. Because the example I give often is, the pandemic changed a lot of this, but if you look at a Door Dash or an Uber Eats – we sit at home and eat, but we also go to restaurants and eat.

Those things are not mutually exclusive. That is the world of omnichannel and that’s what’s going to happen in the casino business. Any casino who does not embrace it, it is going to be problematic.

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