For most gaming enthusiasts, the Global Gaming Expo (G2E) event is regarded as the Superbowl of the gambling industry. With approximately 27,000 representatives swooping in to see what’s next in the gambling industry, it’s one of the most anticipated events of each year. Some of what these representatives are eyeing for include the latest product releases, innovations like free slots on theinternetslots.com, top executive gatherings, and C-level executive appearances.
The just-concluded 2019 events packed lots of excitement, and it was a blast for anyone who was in attendance. In case you missed it, here’s a breakdown of what stood out the most in this year’s expo.
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G2E Convention: Day 1 Overview
Day one of the conference was mainly just the warm-up as the luncheon for the Global Gaming Awards was featured to open the event.
The event had 12 different categories of well-respected awards in the event. It was also stated that there would be 100 judges at the event, including some of the biggest names in the industry, which gave us a clear view of how big the expo was.
With over 100 judges with 12 different award categories to be won, this year’s event was one of the biggest yet. For sure, bagging a Global Gaming award on any category is a true sign of excellence and a clear indicator that a company is making the right moves to get closer to the audience.
David Lopez, the CEO of AGS, who received the ‘American Executive Award of the Year’ honour, shared his reactions stating how they initially thought they were not fit to win any G2E award. But after being recognized as worthy, he was elated and humbled at the same time: “It must be the employees and the amazing executive team around us that really made it happen,” he said in excitement.
Other than David Lopez, many more top gambling companies such as Aristocrat, known for incredible demo slots were awarded as well. In case you want to know more, here is a list of all the recipients of the Global Gaming Expo 2019 awards:
- Land-Based Operator Winner: Eldorado Resorts
- Digital Operator Winner: DraftKings
- Digital Product Winner: Scientific Games- OpenSports
- Land-Based Product Winner: Interblock Gaming- Stadium
- Digital Industry Supplier Winner- Kambi
- Land-Based Industry Supplier Winner- Aristocrat
- Property Winner- The Venetian Macao
- Customer Loyalty Program Winner: MGM Resorts International- M life
- Slot Winner: Aristocrat- Buffalo Diamond
- Product Innovation Winner: Incredible Technologies- Infinity V55 Edge
- American Executive Winner: David Lopes-AGS
- Responsible Business Winner: Gaming Laboratories International
Importance of Blockchain and AI – Earle G. Hall
After the awards ceremony, Earle G. Hall of AXES.ai and GSA Blockchain led the conference on how emerging technologies can create tools that will assist with fostering responsible gambling. He spoke on how the gambling industry could use blockchain and AI to protect its customers from risky gambling behaviours. More areas that blockchain could help include compliance with regulations via smart contracts plus secure information sharing between jurisdictions.
Hall also explained how a mature jurisdiction, that has an efficient blockchain with a liable gambling policy, would share information with the next authority conveniently. This is because the blockchain will see to it that all parties involved will adhere to all the game terms, even when it comes to demo games. An example of the policies that must be followed is the GDPR privacy policies that all casinos based in Europe must be compliant with.
Benefits of Free-to-Play (F2P) in Sports Betting- Daniel Kustelski and Wes Ehrecke
We couldn’t help but notice that sports betting in America was a huge topic in the Global Gaming Expo 2019. The CEO and Co-founder of Chalkline Sports, Daniel Kustelski, who has extensive experience in sports betting, spoke on the advantages of free-to-play offers (F2P). Furthermore, he explained how that technology would be useful for sports operators who wanted to venture the U.S. sports gambling space.
According to Kustelski, F2P will allow many operators to go into a state, then offer a particular engagement that will open doors for collection of player’s data like emails and mobile numbers. Kustelski also went ahead and explained how data could then be sold to many different firms in the field for profits but, of course, in an ethical manner.
However, Wes Ehrecke of the Iowa Gaming Association still believes that many gambling operators will first assess sports betting opportunities before they invest in online gambling. Ever since the PASPA (Professional Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992) was repealed, the state of Iowa has recently opened its doors to sports betting with the possibility of online gambling regulation in the near future.
According to Mr. Wes, more and more states are considering to legalize sports betting because of huge revenues enjoyed in states with already regulated sports betting services. Ehrecke also explained why it is essential to visit the Global Gaming Expo conference to learn how the regulations work and the companies that are operating in that space. Additionally, by visiting the conference, you will learn what successful states like New Jersey are doing differently to prosper in gambling.
G2E Convention Day 2 Overview
On the second day, we can say that the G2E Vegas 2019 was in full effect, with over 30,000 representatives from all over the world. More than 500 exhibitors anticipated the enormous crowd, all tense to enjoy the latest product releases, celebrity appearances and announcement of partnerships.
One of the celebrities spotted here was Jeopardy’s contestant, James Holzhauer, at the IGT booth. His booth had huge jeopardy-branded video slots, most of which were new releases to be promoted by the presence of Jeopardy James. Phil O’Shaughnessy, the VP of IGT’s Global Communications, said they are at the G2E Vegas 2019 to release the jeopardy game on an 11-foot cabinet. He also added that they started with one slot, the Wheel of Fortune slot, but they are now expanding to many more franchises.
Bluberi Announced Partnership with WWE
Bluberi, the ground-breaking creators of “I Like Big Bucks,” once had promised to feature a special celebrity appearance, and they did not disappoint. They shared their big news of partnering with WWE by crowning their partnership with some of the big names in WWE. This included Steve Borden (Sting) and Becky Lynch (The Man), both of whom were happy to bond with the crowd.
Mike Starzynski, the CEO of Bluberi Gaming, added that they had built a relationship with WWE that will prove to be fruitful in the long run. From what we could gather from his words, they will be working closely with WWE to produce bespoke slot games that will change the game by injecting new immersive experiences. Unlike what you’ll find in other brands, it will be a level of engagement which goes far much more than just having the permission to use the brand name in a slot.
Aristocrat’s New Slot Technology – “Hyper Arc”
The presence of Aristocrat continued to impress the audience with a huge booth space as usual, but this time, they were introducing a new innovative slot design by the name “Hyper Arc.” One of the Hyper Arc creators, Kaminkow, later said that it was just an idea they had been goofing around with for a while, and after that, a fantastic prototype came out of it, and they had to bring it to the show.
He added that the Hyper Arc doesn’t take up more space like many competitor innovations in the gaming business. And even though it is not playable on portable devices like mobile phones, it creates an exclusive thrill, with next-level immersion for anyone who dares to fire up the game.
IMG Arena’s Newly Formed Partnership with UFC
The provider of top-notch sports content and official rights to data also announced their new partnership with UFC. The IMG Arena’s CEO, Freddie Lounge, explained the importance of their collaboration to the emerging sports betting industry. He clarified that they had created a new data feed that meets the standards of the industry, especially when it comes to speed and accuracy. Being that it is official from the UFC, it means that new betting markets can now be opened as a result.
He added that it is a somewhat subjective sport, so the fact that it comes with the official stamp from the UFC is the central part of its success in the future. For a fact, working hand in hand with the UFC is vital because many other bookies will have the opportunity to create and manage betting markets with accurate information.
G2E Convention: Day 3 Overview
The belief in blockchain technology has been getting stronger over the past few years, especially with Bitcoin cryptocurrency. With more and more people coming to understand the benefits of blockchain technology, the third day of the Global Gaming Expo was all about bringing it closer to the gaming population.
However, if, when, and how most gambling companies will use the Blockchain technology remains unknown. They still need to know more about the inventive ways in which it can be used and how to integrate it into their systems the best way.
Bridge Technology by Bitboss
Bridge technology is a simple and sensibly priced device that can be installed in a physical slot machine to allow casinos to efficiently route cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin or credits, to and from the slot machine to the player’s mobile wallet.
This technology will also allow casinos to collect player data, which will, therefore, create new and innovative ways for the players. “So that’s really why we developed it because we think there’s a huge divide right now between mobile app adoption and the players,” BitBoss’ CEO added, and that’s why casinos require an application that can substitute the less efficient Ticket-in-Ticket-Out (TITO) technology.
Instead of having a TITO ticket, this mobile wallet-based solution allows gaming content creators to connect with fellow players conveniently.
Insights on Blockchain Technology by Unikrn Crypto Wallet
To learn more about blockchain, a company like Unikrn knows best as it sits right in the middle of eSports, blockchain, and regulated real-money gambling.
Rahul Sood, the CEO of Unikrn, talked about the crypto wallet and how it offers customers a way to bet online. He added that they had integrated a virtual betting platform, which involves taking old matches and putting them on an RNG software that allows people to bet on these past matches. The new platform also lets players watch their favourite streamer on the likes of Mixer and Twitch and place wagers. So, if you have your favourite streamer on these platforms, you can now bet live on their streams while they stream on the results of the game via Unikrn.
Why Casinos Must Engage Millennials by Robert Rippee
At the event, Robert Rippee of UNLV’s delivered an amazing presentation on the reason why casinos must find a strategy to engage millennials or else they will be left behind. He showed several examples of companies and events which are doing a great job in relating to younger generations.
He talked about how different gambling companies can establish the changes to their casino products that will appeal to younger players and advised that his first tip is to study the generation but not making any assumptions. Only after understanding a generation will you get insights as you interact with them. By researching the things that are popular with them and understanding the reason behind it, you will have a better opportunity to serve them and engage them in a new light.
From his speech, Robert Rippe’s talk, GameCo, is an excellent example of a company that is leading in engaging younger millennials on the casino floor because their entire focus is on video games for gambling with real money. As reported by Blaine Graboyes, GameCo’s Co-Founder and CEO, their field trial in Nevada is one of their most significant accomplishments.
They now have incredibly engaging games at Caesars Link Property, MGM Grand, Atlantis and Park MGM. He went on to say that they have two basketball-themed games going by the names ‘Nothin But Net 2′ and ‘All-Star Hoops,’ each coming with different styles of gameplay. These games are an impressive combination of video gaming and gambling, nothing like the same old slot machine games. You are just playing real money video games on the casino floor.
From what the CEO said, GameCo also goes an extra mile by rewarding their players differently. Instead of cash prizes, they have watches or a party in a nightclub, concerts, and anything of the sort. It makes their products much more exciting, especially for the younger generation.
Another company that is focused on engaging the younger generation is Competition Interactive by being more innovative in the slots and virtual sports betting market. They said they are debuting Running Rich Reels as a video game and a hybrid slot machine skill-based game. We all can’t wait to see what it’s all about!
G2E Convention: Day 4 review
For one last time, gambling industry professionals came back to the G2E Sands Expo to get the final fix and conference sessions. For the first three days, themes that were mainly discussed involved engaging the younger generation on the casino grounds with new methods, new sports betting opportunities and ways to ensure that gamblers play responsibly.
Many land-based casino operators, who wish to expand their business online, are looking for the perfect partner who will help them do so. And that is precisely why Europe based GIG also attended the conference. GIG has a ton of experience when it comes to online gambling. They offer everything that a land-based casino operator requires to start successfully and monetize an online gambling establishment.
James King of GIG proudly indicated how they have managed to do it successfully with Hard Rock in New Jersey and New York, and he is certain choosing GIG is the best move. GIG are not just about the services: they also help in managing the casino services by providing a platform that comes complete with online help and support. According to James King, GIG can bring every tool that you need to effortlessly manage the entire digital presence of your casino from the moment of launch and stand by you as you grow bigger online.
Engaging the Younger Generation
David Lopez, the recipient of the prestigious Global Gaming Awards Executive of the year, is at the apex of introducing casino products that younger people enjoy. In an interview during the conference, Lopez stated how they are trying to bring what is seen in the slot game section into the table game space to introduce a new level of excitement.
Keith Winters, the Chief Creative Executive of Competition Interactive, revealed how you can now win different progressives across a selection of levels, spin the wheel and win several prices. It doesn’t necessarily have to be conventional cash, and you can also grab tickets to posh events and concerts, among other cool gifts. He added that this year, they have decided to do something new instead of just producing a skill gambling game. They are aiming at slowly introducing skill games in slot machines, in the form of in-game bonus features. It’s a remarkably creative way of adding more excitement to the regular slots.
Virtual Media Group Partnering with Competition Interactive to Engage Millennials
After partnering with Competition interactive, Virtual Media Group went ahead and created a new virtual racing game that they hope will engage millennials more. During the event, Jonathan Strause of Virtual Media Group said that they are the first to have pari-mutuel virtual sports and virtual horse racing. This means that people can engage in pool betting and have life-changing payouts worth up to $100k or even a million dollars for pick 3 and pick 6 bet type.
Strause also indicated that players could also put their horses into a race and manage their horses on mobile devices. Other than horse races, they also have Cart racing in the mix, geared towards the younger generation.
Geocomply and its Partners Raise over $45,000 to Give Back to the Community
The global leader in geolocation compliance technology, Geocomply, has enjoyed immense success in the US market since it started operating in 2012. As enthusiastic as they are about accomplishing their gaming agenda, they are also dedicated to giving back to the community.
In this year’s G2E conference Geocomply and its partners SG Digital, Worldpay Gaming, Sightline Payments, VAIX, GameSecure, and other individual donations raised more than $45,000 to counter problem gambling.
The CEO of Geocomply, David Briggs, went ahead and explained why this initiative is so vital for him and his company. They wanted to raise money for the National Council on Problem Gambling since by his words, “More money is being spent on marketing gambling, but it comes at a social cost.”
He emphasized that as an industry, it is also important to give back to society at such huge events like the G2E. It is not only about spending money on fancy booths and striking partnership deals but also about showing that the industry can use huge gatherings to raise funds for other important causes.
Final Thoughts About the G2E Conference 2019
For 18 years, the G2E has been giving gambling fans a glimpse into what we should expect for the coming year, with top performers receiving merit as well. This year’s 19th installment was remarkable, with brands introducing new technologies while others struck deals that will take us to the future of gaming.
While a lot of strides will be made thanks to the innovations, we are still eager to see what changes blockchain technology will bring to the business. Perhaps, that’s something we should wait for in the 20th G2E Conference, which will be held in Asia.
Among all the new products that were announced this year, which do you think is the most impressive? Which among them would you like to get your hands on ASAP? Let us know right here in the comments section!