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Featured Editorials

A year to forget

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The American Gaming Association looks back on 2020. By David McKee

Bleak.” That was American Gaming Association President Bill Miller’s one-word summation of the gaming industry’s 2020, the year that Coronavirus brought gambling to a grinding halt nationwide. First the bad news: Industry winnings fell to a level not seen since 2003. As for the good news, customers found different—and legal—ways to gamble, as online sports betting and Internet gambling boomed. Sports-betting handle was $21.5 billion, of which operators kept $1.5 billion, a climb of 69 percent from 2019. Meanwhile, I-gaming grew 1,990 percent, as it spread to new jurisdictions and as sheltering-at-home players turned to their computers and mobile devices in search of a fiddle.

Moving Beyond Recovery

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By Lisa Waterfield, The LW Consulting, LLC

With the worst pandemic ever in our rear-view mirror, the gaming industry is on the road to a strong recovery. Vaccines have provided the well needed economic shot in the arm for Vegas, lifting mask restrictions and bringing capacity levels back to 100 percent. Tourism, bookings and gaming win hit the highest levels since February 2020.

Changes made during the early stages of the pandemic, resulted in a flurry of activity with several industry-changing outcomes. With casinos shut down in 2020, online casino play was accelerated together with the rollout of sports betting across North America. The pandemic forced traditional casino operators to embrace online gaming and sports betting in states where it has been legalized.

Japan IR Timeline Update

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By Joji Kokuryo, Bay City Ventures, Managing Director

The land of the rising sun has definitely been taking its time when it comes to implementation of integrated resorts (IR). The long and arduous procedure has reached the very important stage in which local municipal governments select their IR operators through a public tender. The three of the four candidate locations, Osaka, Yokohama and Nagasaki are expected to select their respective IR operating partner between June and October. The fourth candidate site, Wakayama, decided to move forward with the Clairvest consortium in early June.

AGUA CALIENTE CASINOS WELCOMES THE WORLD

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Cultivating Success

Saverio Scheri and his Agua Caliente workforce reap awards for their combined efforts. 

“Team” is a word you’ll hear a lot from Agua Caliente Casinos COO Saverio “Sal” R. Scheri III, a lifelong baseball fan. (Even after years in California, he is still a die-hard Yankee fan.) It’s key to the passion that infuses his leadership of one of tribal gaming’s most exciting ventures. The Coachella Valley-based gaming empire has transformed a patch of bare desert into award-winning Rancho Mirage resort. It’s got a premier night spot in downtown Palm Springs with a cool vibe. And it braved the Covid-19 pandemic to finish and open its Cathedral City casino, a smaller but distinctive variant on the Agua Caliente brand.

Local Gaming in the Coachella Valley

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Bill Healey chats with Augustine Casino’s Jef Bauer

Southern California’s Coachella Valley is well known for its many golf courses, its eight casinos, multiple music festivals, and notably as a winter destination for vacationers from Canada and the northern states. It is also home to the Augustine Band of Cahuilla Indians’ Augustine Casino.

Augustine Casino was the first modern-day business enterprise of the Augustine Band of Cahuilla Indians when it opened in July of 2002. Though a short two hour drive from Los Angeles, the casino remains a draw for locals within a 15-mile (25km) radius.

Casino Life Magazine was fortunate to catch up with Jef Bauer, the general manager at Augustine Casino.

Building the Future

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Give us a bit of a background of your involvement in the casino gaming industry. What led you to Jin Bei Group?

Considering myself still new to the industry, and having the need to continually learn and improve based on vast information and strategies of the business to be executed in this challenging environment. I was recruited by Jin Bei Group to be part of the pre-opening team, now looking after two hotel and casino properties packed with a myriad of entertainment options with a total construction area of 50,000 square meters and 60,500 square meters. We started construction in 2018 and we officially opened on the March 9 2020.

What is your position, and what are your responsibilities with Jin Bei Group?

SUZOHAPP Making Gaming Service and Support Priority Number 1

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Tim Kennedy, Vice President Sales EMEA, SUZOHAPP shares with Damien Connelly

2020 was a considerably challenging year for the gaming, leisure and entertainment sectors. What would you say were amongst SUZOHAPP’s most impressive achievements during the course of that year?

DR Gaming Technology: Challenges Excite Us

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DR Gaming Technology: Mexico’s Managing Director, Alfredo Moreno, and Group CEO, Jurgen De Munck speak with Peter White

Over 1,000 beds delivered in a single day, a record as far as I understand; well done! This assistance though is not your first, how did your Company get involved with this specific NPO?

Jurgen: As we’ve grown Peter, specifically here in Mexico, I have become far more aware of just how important communities, that in many cases are just massive families, are. As you know I moved here about two years ago, quite soon after we established an office here in 2017; the culture, and the sense of community I feel here is very different to what I grew up with in Belgium, and in a good way. Those that ‘have’ today help those that ‘have not’ today, because tomorrow the shoe will in all likelihood be on the other foot.

Britain’s Gambling Act Review – Building Back Brighter

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Simon Thomas Chief Executive, Hippdodrome Casino

In June last year, as Britain emerged from its first population and business lockdown, the country’s prime minister, Boris Johnson called for a programme of societal renewal under the slogan ‘build back better’. While the current priority for hard-hit casino operators is survival rather than reinvention, the recently commenced Gambling Act review – which seeks to ensure legislation is ‘fit for the digital age’ – provides an opportunity to support the rhetoric of renewal with action. As Simon Thomas, CEO and chairman of London’s Hippodrome Casino articulates, ambition and innovation have never been more important for the future of Britain’s casino entertainment sector.

Ocean Casino Resort Lights The Way To A New Day

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Terry Glebocki, CEO of Ocean Casino Resort, shares her knowledge and expertise with Casino Life. By: Damien Connelly