What I learn from what you read! By Jeffrey Compton October 12, 2013 at 12:25 pm In his far-too-short tenure as CDC Gaming Reports Flash Editor, the late Jeff Simpson repeatedly told me “Check out which news stories our subscribers click and read. It will improve the products, plus you will learn a lot about the industry.” He was right on both counts. Through the wonders of web technology, I am able to see which of the two-dozen stories we feature each day (in the Flash or the Adams Report) are hot and which create no buzz whatsoever. And though I have developed some sense, over the last two years, as to what will be popular, I am still amazed enough by the numbers to keep my job interesting. Here are the most popular stories we have run so far this month, and a best guess as to why. AGA: Gaming Industry Impact of Federal Government Shutdown (October 1) When I asked the AGA for permission to publish (and announce via a Late Breaking News notice) Geoff Freeman’s letter to the gaming industry regarding the potential impact of the Federal Government shutdown, I knew many of our readers would be interested – but I did not expect over 4,400 opens and 1,500 click-throughs – a site record. Why did this happen? The subject’s immediate importance, to be sure but I also think that Freeman’s travel (and travel regulation) background was also a factor. The main effects of the shutdown are not in gaming regulation or enforcement, but in things such as Homeland Security, FAA, Amtrak, visa processing – and the AGA’s President knows that terrain as well as anyone. Californians to vote on off-reservation tribal casino (October 2) Terms of Caesars restructuring, spinoff company set (October 5) Of all the news items that do not involve specific people, the two most-read were an attempt to put a 2014 California ballot proposition restricting new Indian casinos (to tribal lands), and plans by Caesars Entertainment to restructure (and possibly spin-off) various assets, including Planet Hollywood. Considering the importance of California tribal gaming and Caesars, the popularity of these articles was not a surprise. Kelley Resigns as Executive Vice President of Station Casinos (October 11) Daniel Lee appointed chief executive officer of the Palms Casino Resort (October 3) Randy Black out as COO of Mesquite Gaming (October 8) The item on Kevin Kelley’s resignation from Station Casinos was sixth on the list in the Flash. It was not the headline nor was it mentioned in the subject line. Yet over 400 people (so far) went to the page to read the entire story. Two years ago I would have been surprised – but not anymore. Our most clicked-through and read items are those involving gaming executives and other industry folk, as evidenced by the three stories above. (Friday’s story about Scott Kreeger taking over at the Revel would have been as popular if it did not appear on a paywall site.) Ken Adams, who surpasses me by a few years in age, and by a millennium or so in gaming wisdom, explained this phenomena: “Much of our readership are executives who have worked for several gaming companies and with hundreds of people over their careers. A sizeable number know and care about the person in the story – and a much greater percentage know someone who knows and cares about the person.” Gaming can be a small town – and I mean that in a positive way. On the Sunday evening before G2E I had dinner with a gentleman, currently stationed at Nellis, who is leaving the Air Force after several years, and is considering going into the gaming industry. Among the (hopefully good) advice I gave him was that you really have to like the people you work or otherwise associate with to be successful (and especially happy) in the gaming industry. I know successful doctors, lawyers, CPAs, college professors, bankers and manufacturing executives who do not like many people in their profession, and who spend as little time with those other people as possible. That does not work well in gaming. One reason people come to the industry is that they are people-people. Gaming folk are not nosy, and they are extremely non-judgmental, but they like to know (and they care about) their fellow gaming travelers as human beings, not just super-competent executives, supervisors and employees. And when something good or bad happens, they want to know about it. It’s what makes the gaming industry the gaming community.