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Commentaries

Six hours not enough time to study gambling bill




Last week the Pennsylvania House passed the biggest expansion to gaming in over a decade. Ironically, the bill was originally introduced to provide for better gambling addiction treatment, yet it now authorizes fantasy sports gaming, online gaming, online lottery, airport gaming,… [continue reading]

Wall Street execs see plenty of positives in gaming industry




Money talks, and when those who handle the money talk, casino leaders listen. Such was the case last week when four experts gave Wall Street’s perspective of the gaming market. The presentation was part of GameOn, a two-day conference for… [continue reading]

And they’re off … at the Sigma Derby horse race




The retro Sigma Derby gaming machine, in theory, is a poor product to have on a casino floor. It takes up valuable real estate. Compared to the roll of the dice or the push of a slot, it is incredibly… [continue reading]

Beating Blackjack is Easy




There are more ways to beat blackjack than any other casino game. It’s amazing the game can survive at all given its multitude of game protection conundrums. In this article I will share a few of these ways. Before I… [continue reading]

Diverse Coalition Launches to Repeal Failing Federal Sports Betting Ban




Today, AGA launched the American Sports Betting Coalition (ASBC), a collection of a diverse group of stakeholders dedicated to ending the 25-year-old failing federal sports betting ban, which prohibits sports betting outside Nevada. The ASBC unites law enforcement, states rights’… [continue reading]

LVCVA vote on Convention Center upgrade will be a slam-dunk




Asked after a meeting this month for a prediction about how the vote would go on the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority board of directors’ consideration of the $1.4 billion Las Vegas Convention Center expansion and renovation, LVCVA board… [continue reading]

Betting a 20-1 Longshot Bomb in the Belmont




It took wunderkind racehorse trainer Chad Brown a decade to capture his first Triple Crown trophy. I’m betting his second one comes just three weeks later. Is it a longshot? Yeah, it’s a longshot, especially because the horse he’s sending… [continue reading]

Universal embarrassment: Okada suspended from company he founded




Kazuo Okada is known as a proud man. For a long time he had much to be proud of. He founded and built Universal Entertainment Corp. into a gaming machine powerhouse, overcoming controversies and establishing himself as one of the… [continue reading]

Every Casino’s Nightmare is Here!




Our worst nightmare has happened; a casino in the Philippines was the target of an armed attacker.  In a world dominated by real and imagined terror attacks, everyone is worried about the potential of an attack in their immediate environment. … [continue reading]

Lessons Learned from Juegos Miami




Here are a few of The Innovation Group’s takeaways from Juegos Miami last week: There is a push for regulation. Regulatory bodies are becoming more sophisticated and adding legitimacy to managing what has been a fragmented industry in much of… [continue reading]

He won a slots gamble before, so why not take another?




Back in 2009, John Brunetti Sr. took a risk. He invested in refurbishing a decayed Hialeah Park race track, with the goal of getting a slot license. Today, Brunetti’s race track is averaging $6 million a month in revenues from… [continue reading]

Gaming Small Business Jobs Tour Makes Second Stop in Missouri




The American Gaming Association joined Congressman Lacy Clay (D, MO-1) outside St. Louis last week in the second stop on our nationwide American Gaming Small Business Jobs Tour. These activities are critical to our efforts to develop new Congressional champions… [continue reading]

Legalized Gambling Would Fuel Another Rise For ESPN




ESPN has a problem. It’s shedding subscribers fast. The ongoing trend soured an otherwise positive first quarter for parent Disney, whose theme parks and movie division performed exceedingly well. Of course, this is hardly news. The network’s problems have been… [continue reading]

The Black Book Series, Part One: Notorious men, and a pug named Garcia




The first class of characters placed on Nevada’s infamous “List of Excluded Persons” in 1960 was a mostly notorious lot. Newspaper readers of the day probably recognized the names of several of the 11 men inducted into the so-called “Black… [continue reading]

You Can See Macau’s Soaring Casino Revenue, But Don’t Be Blinded




May casino revenue numbers bear out what I saw during a week in Macau: a comprehensive recovery is in full swing. Cotai and the peninsula are both enjoying resurgent gaming volumes, and there are more guests staying longer and coming… [continue reading]

Aspinwall firm’s growth shows casinos’ broad economic impact




When Carol Philp started a business in her basement in the mid-1990s, she had three young sons, experience running a small gift shop and confidence in her dream. “I never thought that it wouldn’t work,” she recalls about launching CPI… [continue reading]

For WSOP competitors, Vegas is often more about business




Las Vegas has more than 42 million visitors a year, so you could argue a measly 100,000 or so really doesn’t make much of a dent. Especially if they don’t drink much when they gamble. But many of them will… [continue reading]

Freeman’s four-year effort has changed AGA’s direction and mission




Many of us would love to have Geoff Freeman’s airline points. Take his travels during May. Freeman, 42, chief executive officer of the Washington D.C.-based American Gaming Association, jetted to Tokyo to take part in the Japan Gaming Congress. From… [continue reading]

Babe Ruth: Gillis Gathering a Reminder of Vegas Past




About the time the ventriloquist with the Groucho bird puppet began chirping and chattering, I decided Ruth Gillis’ birthday party wasn’t going to be just another Sunday affair. Gillis, the longtime Las Vegas singer and entertainer whose first appearance on… [continue reading]

How to handle bad reviews




Good word-of-mouth can be a blessing for a business. And bad word-of-mouth — especially in the age of Yelp, Facebook and other social media — can be a curse. Handling it well can be a life saver. “The best prevention… [continue reading]

Five Strategic Initiatives That Transformed My Company




On Monday, April 17, MGM Resorts International Chairman and CEO Jim Murren visited Wharton’s campus to meet with students and speak to a packed house as part of the school’s Leadership Lecture series. The following is an edited and condensed… [continue reading]

Vegas for Everyman (and Woman)




Back in January 2015, the Stratosphere launched a marketing campaign aiming to capitalize on people who miss the old Las Vegas. “Take Vegas Back,” declared a series of billboards. Since then, the casino has amplified that message, promoting an alternative… [continue reading]

A Not So Grand Bargain




The Illinois legislature is attempting to devise a compromise budget bargain that will satisfying both political parties and the governor.  The state is in a two and half year budget crisis that started when Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed the first… [continue reading]

Casino businesses push for expansion, but public clamor is lacking




I live in a county in Florida that is somehow still growing, which means more strip malls, which means another McDonald’s on every new outparcel. Last week, while seeing yet another one going up, I realized: Hey, we have enough… [continue reading]

Lessons Learned from G2E Asia




The Innovation Group came away with countless invaluable takeaways from our time at G2E Asia. Our top lessons learned include: 1. All things related to the emerging Japanese gaming market were on the minds of virtually every conference attendee. While… [continue reading]