Steve Bonner, President at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa, takes Casino Life inside this upgraded resort casino. By Damien Connelly
I flew in to Tampa on the red eye from Las Vegas. I wasn’t hopeful. Tampa? What did I know about Tampa? It’s in Florida and … in truth, that’s all I knew. Oh, and that people go to Florida either to have a family vacation or to retire.
Then I got a proverbial waking up, even if my eyes were still red. What a city. It might well be the best kept secret in the U.S. Tampa has a lot of assets that make it a great city. The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa (“Hard Rock Tampa”) may well be Tampa’s best asset. Hard Rock Tampa is one heck of a resort. It is a destination property you won’t want to leave.
A network effect is the positive impact on a product or service when additional users are presented. It becomes significant after the critical mass has been achieved and resulting in a positive feedback loop. In fact, the ability to leverage the network effect of a platform gives an advantage over competitors in every industry. It is evident by seeing the results from Microsoft Windows in the 90s and Apple’s iTunes store over the last decade.
More recently, Uber and AirBnB are examples of some of the most disruptive companies in their respective industries that leverage the network effects when a new technology arise. The network value leads to a snowball effect that allows these companies to dominate the multibillion dollar markets. This should also apply to gaming, and I believe this will happen for those who can first utilize the future use of technologies.
Glyn Thomas Chats to Co-Founder of Gamban, Matt Zarb-Cousin
Self-exclusion is a difficult thing in the gaming industry. Casinos are frequently fined for not enforcing their own rules. What is the responsible player to do? Fortunately, there is a one-step solution on the market, in the form of Gamban. While the software was developed with British casinos and regulation in mind, it is available universally through the Internet and can be quickly installed on one’s computer. (Gamban developer Matt Zarb-Cousin wisely made it compatible with both Windows and Macintosh computers.) Gamban has been taken up by GambleAware and the National Health Service. This undoubtedly contributed to Gamban’s recognition as the RegTech Provider of 2019. It’s a fascinating story ... but best we let its developer tell us in his own words.
Ryan Eller rakes the chips for Genting Group’s lavish Resorts World Catskills. By David McKee
Genting Group made a high-stakes, $1.2 billion bet on reviving the casino business in New York State’s mountainous Catskills region. Their gleaming destination-resort project opened in February 8, 2018 and there’s never been a dull moment since. The megaresort is a work in progress, with some amenities only just coming online now. It also finds itself in the jaws of a nutcracker, considering fierce competition from other upstate New York casinos, as well as ones in northern Pennsylvania—especially the former Sands Bethlehem (now Wind Creek Bethlehem) which was already deeply entrenched with New York City gamblers.
Following Global Gaming Expo (G2E) in Las Vegas, DRGT™ CEO, Jurgen De Munck, DRGT™ Mexico MD, Alfredo Moreno and DRGT™ LatAm and the Caribbean MD, Alex Stiglich discuss what products and technologies drew the most interest from local operators.
G2E is the core exhibition for your local markets Alex and Alfredo. Did the event live up to expectations?
Alex: I believe so. Our market is a lot more mature than Alfredo’s and as such the upgrades to our current Tables Management System, as well as our new drReelBonus slots Bonus game were the key talking points.
The fact that all table configurations can now be done in the Cage, and our ability to now do FOREX transactions in cash at individual Tables was really well received, as was the ability for Tables players to now be able to cash out directly to their player card at the Table.
Allie Barth, VP of Industry Relations with the American Gaming Association, and Korbi Carrison, Event Director for Global Gaming Expo at Reed Exhibitions. By Damien Connelly
As the AGA’s Allie Barth commented: “There are elements of push and pull around Global Gaming Expo (G2E). Attendees ask for specific topics to be covered (that’s the pull) and the AGA pushes select topics to our industry.
Tiina Siltanen, General Manager, Casino Helsinki chats to Peter White
Casino Helsinki General Manager Tiina Siltanen hasn’t just encountered the glass ceiling, she’s busted through it. After a six-year sojourn in the Swedish casino industry, she returned to her native Finland just in time to participate a ramping up of Casino Helsinki, including the introduction of new entertainment and Sports Bar. By her own description, Siltanen continues to grow and develop as an executive. Casino Life was fortunate to get time out of her busy schedule for this chat.
How did you start your career in Casinos and what attracted you to work in an industry that is almost a way of life?
Peter White chats to Glenda Nelson Chairperson of Enterprise Rancheria Tribe and Mark Birtha President of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sacramento at Fire Mountain
Interview Originally Published Casino Life September 2019
It’s not often that one Native American tribe looks to another to manage its gaming operations. But when the Enterprise Rancheria Tribe wanted to build a new casino, they turned to Hard Rock International, a Seminole-owned company with arguably the most potent brand equity in the casino business. Now Hard Rock Sacramento at Fire Mountain is ready to open. Tribal Chairwoman Glenda Nelson and Casino President Mark Birtha give us a virtual tour of the Tribal Showpiece.
Zitro Games has been leading the video bingo market for some time, and now, with its immensely successfully Bryke video lots product line that includes dynamic progressive slots such as Link King, Link Me and Link shock, and its branched out into Internet-based social gaming and real money igaming, it prepares itself to become a global leader in the gaming industry. What will Zitro be bringing to Global Gaming Expo? We sat down for a few minutes with founder Johnny Viveiro Ortiz to learn more
Why is G2E Las Vegas such an important Exhibition for Zitro Games?
G2E Las Vegas is one of the most important trade shows in the world where the global gaming industry comes together. It is a perfect place and moment to show to operators our best performing products as well as exciting new games and cabinets, which surely will contribute significantly to our expansion plans and improve our already privileged position.
Since its launch in 2005, casino life magazine has grown to become the leading business-to-business publication that focuses on Casino Operations and, Manufacturers and Suppliers of Gaming Equipment and Services.