TNT (Transformational New Technology) blowing up the casino industry By Ben Fox, Casino Esport Conference June 14, 2022 at 7:56 pm From the outside, the casino industry contests “all is well,” but I see a different narrative, albeit more long-term. Things can’t all be so rosy if operators keep insisting that esport players will one day be slot players or that they will buy more steak dinners and have bottle service. Please keep in mind that even though many properties have great bars and restaurants, they will only occupy a person for a couple of hours. What will they do with the rest of their time? Casinos have long been known for having some of the best world-class entertainment and play. So, take away the play, and what is left? Well, originally living on the East coast and outside NYC, I can tell you that I can throw a quarter down the street, and it will land in front of the best bars and nightclubs available. If casinos are indeed this special place providing entertainment not found anywhere else, wouldn’t it make sense to provide the best technology entertainment possible? What is Transformational New Technology? Or, as we like to call it, TNT, because it is like dynamite blasting the way forward. My brother Ari and I came up with TNT to describe what we are trying to help operators include in their business. TNT, at its core, is all the “New Tech” available that can be monetized to create an entirely new revenue stream. I recently received an email survey from one of the top three casino operators in the US, and at the end of the questionnaire I saw the following question: Which of the following newer elements of gambling are you interested in? Select all that apply. Metaverse (e.g., digital/virtual gaming) Online gambling Gambling with cryptocurrency None of the above I am pleased to see the attempt to see what is amiss and check in with the customers. The problem with this approach is that they targeted the wrong demographic – through their current customer database. If you ask all your current slot players the question above, you will not get the answer you will need to provide for the three generations that follow. Send the same question to all of your 21-50 demographic, and you will get a much more age-relevant picture. In an age of TNT, you need first to understand the tools you have to work with. Those tools will help attract, entertain, and captivate your customers with the things relevant to them. Ergo, know your customer and ask the correct questions to the right people. When I say tools, I am referring to metaverse, cryptocurrency, VR, AR, and MR (amount others). If you saw these terms and thought of them as “technobabble”, you’re not alone. Let’s overview, because I see each one as a potential new stream of revenue. I do not expect you to become a TNT nerd or even begin to understand it all at once. The Metaverse (a major part of Web3) What it is: The metaverse is a virtual world that combines aspects of AR, VR, and Mixed Reality (MR) and combines them, forming a virtual world that mimics the “real” world. Where it came from: “The term “metaverse” was first used in Neal Stephenson’s 1982 novel, Snow Crash. Stephenson’s metaverse was a virtual place where characters could go to escape a dreary totalitarian reality. In the early 1990s, Sega introduced VR arcade machines like the SEGA VR-1 motion simulator, which many enjoyed in arcades around the country. In 1998, Sportsvision broadcast the first live NFL game with a yellow yard marker and the idea of overlaying graphics over real-world views quickly spread to other sports broadcasting. In 2010, Palmer Luckey, an 18-year-old entrepreneur and inventor, created the prototype for the Oculus Rift VR headset. With its 90-degree field of vision, potential for personal ownership, and use of computer processing power, the revolutionary headset reignited interest in VR. Ernest Cline released the book Ready Player One in 2011, giving us another peek into a completely immersive world we could enter to escape reality. The book became a runaway hit, and director Steven Spielberg made it into a movie in 2018.”* It would seem now that the next chapter in the metaverse is in your hands. Do I need this for my business? In my eyes, asking if you need the metaverse for your business is the same as asking, “do I need a website”? As society keeps evolving with newer and newer ways to communicate, you must have more of an interactive tool for your customers. What the metaverse will do for you is enhance your brick and mortar and, at the same time, provide you with more marketing tools to get more and younger customers who will demand you “get with the program.” If, as most casino operators say, my floor space is my valued possession, imagine the same type of real estate but in a 3D interactive computer, tablet, cell phone, and laptop experience. Cryptocurrency Cryptocurrency is a decentralized digital currency recorded to a blockchain with every transaction. Casinos are already using a “type” of cryptocurrency. For example, the poker chip is a stable coin (a type of cryptocurrency pegged to a standard currency, like USD) with the same value as what is shown on the chip (i.e., $5.00, etc.). These chips are not traceable but a crypto coin is. Crypto could change how comp programs work and provide a smoother transition within the casino ecosystem. Casinos can even mine (acquire more of it through computations) their cryptocurrency, allowing holders or patrons of their coin to earn value on a decentralized exchange (like one can use Bitcoin today). It is also a great way to track and prevent fraud, knowing that all crypto has a unique code assigned to their owner. VR, AR, and MR VR or Virtual Reality is an immersive experience or computer-simulated reality. Headsets generate sound, images, and other sensations to mirror a real-world environment. With VR, a casino operator could bring their casino environment directly into someone’s consciousness with this TNT. No need to get in your car as the casino will come to you! AR or Augmented Reality is a live overlay of the real world, increased by computer-enhanced sound, video, images, and GPS data. This AR product could be used to enhance the current resort environment by providing interactive maps, info, and more. MR or Mixed Reality is a form of TNT that fuses the online and real world. A perfect example would be allowing users with their smartphones to learn from AI programs about games like roulette or craps by simply holding up their phones to explain the action. The above are just some of the many new products and tools that will provide great TNT in a fast-changing world. TNT is a major focus of our CEC (Casino Esport Conference) and CEC-U (University) events from February 27- March 1, 2023, at the Alexis Park Resort in Las Vegas. We hope to see you there!