Table games – ‘more volatile than slot machines’ – subject of next UNLV education session Buck Wargo, CDC Gaming Reports · April 14, 2019 at 4:00 pm A University of Nevada Las Vegas series on gaming education will focus on table and electronic table games. The session, titled “Table Games & ETGs: Setting the Bar” will be held April 23rd on the UNLV campus and be available for streaming live across the country starting at 9 a.m. “We’re focusing on table games in general because it’s become a more crucial part of the casino floor these days,” said Roger Gros, publisher of Global Gaming Business, one of the sponsors of the series. “Because it was so far in the background for a lot of years, there aren’t a lot of people that really understand how table games work and how you can really make money on them. They are a little more volatile than slot machines, and you can get a lot of players who either are very smart or sneaky at winning the table games. If you really know how to manage them, they can become a big profit center for the casino.” Gros said in putting together the program to understand table games he turned to Max Rubin, the author of the 1994 book Comp City and who’s worked for casinos for more than 30 years. “He’s famous in table games, especially blackjack, and holds the Blackjack Ball every February where he brings together players and executives,” Gros said. Operators and manufacturers will talk about how the industry is evolving and what are the latest innovations on the ETG market. The gist of the program is that table games have made a resurgence in gaming in the last 10 years through the use of technology and bonuses found on slots, Gros said. That has made them more exciting and compelling and millennials have gravitated to them for social interaction and camaraderie, he said. “Electronic table games have become a great introduction for new players who may be intimidated by other players, for players who may not be able to afford high table game limits or for players who enjoy a more solitary experience,” Gros said. The mainstay of the program will be Bill Zender, a casino consultant specializing in table game protection, management training and table game performance. He’s the former president and director of casino operations of the Aladdin Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Zender will give an overview presentation on table truths, myths and facts and moderate all of the panels. “He’s a guy that’s really experienced and when he ran the Aladdin,” Gros said. “Back in the day, they had some of the best table game rules and knowledge how to run them. He has come up with some interesting stats on (electronic table games) and their low-hold percentage. I am not sure how electronic table game industry will respond to that. They tell the casinos they make a lot of money, and they do drive a lot of people in there to play more games in more time and more people, but there’s not the same hold as tables.” The first panel discussion is how to evaluate and value table games. The speakers are London Swinney, vice president of casino operations at MGM Grand Las Vegas; Vic Taucer, president of Casino Creations; and Earle Hall, CEO of the AXES Network. A session on electronic table games features John Connelly, CEO of Interblock; John Hemberger, senior vice president of table products with AGS; Roger Snow, senior vice president with Scientific Games; Brandon Knowles, executive director of table games with Aruze; and Steph Nel, general manager with TCS John Huxley America. The final session is on the human factor with table games. “Some casinos only see players as data points that contribute to the bottom line,” Gros said. “Others recognize that people are the heart of the casino and table game players are the soul.” The session will address the hiring, staffing and training of table-game workers and how they can often make or break a department, Gros said. It will also touch on events and promotions that can bring the best players to a casino at challenging times, he said. The panel includes Swinney, Taucer and Snow.