Conferința The Mobile & Tablet Gambling Summit va avea loc între 27 și 28 Octombrie în Atlantic City, Statele Unite ale Americii.

Din dorința de a atrage cât mai mulți participanți organizatorii au dat publicității lucrarea Casino Online Initiatives Beyond Real Money Wagering, un fel de Carte Alba a jocurilor online, lucrare scrisă de Andy Choy, un reputat specialist internațional al industriei de gambling.

În cele ce urmează publicăm un extras al lucrării, în original, așa cum ne-a fost transmis de către organizatori:

Casino Online Initiatives Beyond Real Money Wagering

COMMERICAL CASINOS

Since the late 1980’s, the casino industry in the United States has experienced steady growth with some form of gambling now legal in
48 states. In the past, additional capacity in new jurisdictions had been readily absorbed as the market was simply underserved. Unfortunately,
this is no longer the case. Casinos across the country are struggling with five closing in Atlantic City alone. Overbuilt and overleveraged,
casinos today face the need to increase revenues without additional capital despite increased competition from newer and nicer facilities
opening up in their backyards.
Additionally, opportunities for revenue growth have become harder to identify as marketing programs have already been fine-tuned and
optimized over the past few years. Historically, business was built on personalized relationships with a small number of high rollers. Harrah’s
(now Caesars Entertainment) changed all that in the last decade with Total Rewards, a continuous relationship marketing program built
around direct mail offers. The rest of the industry was quick to follow and nearly every casino now has the ability to send personalized offers
to their entire database of players on a monthly basis.
As recently as last year, online gambling was heralded as the next big revenue opportunity for the casino industry. The logic seemed sound:
online gambling would allow casinos to make money from patrons wagering in the convenience of their own homes without the need to
build expensive bricks and mortar infrastructure. Unfortunately, initial online gaming revenues have been well-below initial projections with
disappointing starts in Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware. Consumers do not appear to be enticed by the current online offerings. Most
industry experts agree the disappointing results can be attributed to the poor user experience – specifically to difficulties consumers have had
funding their accounts. While online casinos and payment processors are undoubtedly working to improve this situation, the non-trivial risk
of fraud and increasing reporting requirements by the US government present unavoidable long-term obstacles. Most commercial casino
operators appear to be lowering their expectations for real money online wagering and pulling back at this point in time.

SPORTS WAGERING

The one notable success story for online gaming is sports wagering in Nevada. As opposed to more traditional online casinos, sports books
require patrons to open and fund accounts at a physical location in person. This additional step allows the sports book operator to verify
identity, source of funds, and wagering intent; thereby alleviating the biggest issues that have plagued other online casinos. In fact, online
wagering now accounts for over 50% of the race and sports book handle in Nevada. However, this success was years in the making
as Canter Gaming (now CG Technologies) and American Wagering (now William Hill US) invested millions on geolocation verification
technology alone.

POKER

Poker sites such as Station Casino’s Ultimate Poker have attempted to institute a similar policy allowing patrons to fund accounts at
physical locations. However, poker faces the additional challenge of needing to attract a critical mass of players across a spectrum of game
styles and monetary denominations at all hours of the day, a problem referred to as “liquidity”. Online poker is currently only legal in Nevada,
Delaware, and New Jersey with patrons initially limited to competing against people in their own state. While Nevada and Delaware have
signed an intra-state compact, the combined population of these two states is still less than 4 million people. New Jersey has close to 9
million residents but has yet to sign an intra-state compact and may be reluctant to do so given the state’s current problems in Atlantic
City. California with nearly 40 million residents is the best short term solution for this liquidity shortage but efforts to legalize online poker in the Golden State appear to be stalled yet again. A federal law legalizing online poker does not appear to be forthcoming in the near future
either. An intriguing option may be if Native American casinos attempt to provide online poker. However, the legality of them doing so is
unclear as most gaming compacts were written well before online casinos were contemplated.

NATIVE AMERICAN CASINOS

One Native American casino taking a proactive stance with online gambling is Foxwoods in Connecticut. Foxwoods has partnered with
their direct competitor Mohegan Sun in lobbying the Governor and State Legislature for legalized online gambling in the state. While these
efforts are underway, Foxwoods has formed Foxwoods Interactive as a separate, standalone company and launched an online free-to-play
casino (play.foxwoods.com). The main purpose of this initiative was to learn the intricacies of marketing and operating an online casino
versus a traditional bricks and mortar one. Players in their online casino need to register for a new online account and have the option to link
their real-world Players Club number. The online casino uses a virtual currency which players receive free on a regular basis with the option
to purchase more for cash. Using this virtual currency, players can win items such as dining vouchers and hotel stays redeemable at the real
world casino. This online casino environment provides Foxwoods with an intriguing new marketing channel to not only interact with
their patrons but also the ability to test new offers, promotions, and even slot titles. Foxwoods can now spread their brand not only to
people living in the surrounding area but anyone worldwide with an internet connection and will have an invaluable head start when
online gambling is approved in Connecticut.

POTENTIAL

With the exception of sports wagering in Nevada, most commercial casino online endeavors are more focused on website-based
solutions and largely ignore the important differences a mobilefirst solution offers – always on and always connected. The primary
reason is undoubtedly the industry’s bias that the core casino customer who generally skews older has yet to adopt smart phones.
As noted earlier, the lackluster results from the first few months of legalized online real money gambling has not helped to change this
perception.
Although much work is being done in the digital currency space, very little appears to involve the gaming industry. Mobile wallets
may very well solve the problem of players’ inability to fund their accounts and thereby enabling widespread growth of online
gaming.
The ability to send timely push notifications via geofencing presents an intriguing potential for casino marketers. Players could be
directed in real time to certain areas of the casino floor. Restaurant promotions could be timed to help smoothen out issues with
seating capacity. Valuable Free Slot Play offers could be delivered only as players were about to enter a competitor’s property. Mobile
technology enables an entirely new level of granularity on the old casino marketing adage of the right offer to the right person at the
right time.
Wearable computing might usher in an entirely new class of gaming device. The dominant wagering form factors of the table
game and the slot machine have not changed materially for many years, arguably since the advent of video to the slot machine.
Wearables could add some much needed novelty to the wagering experience.

IN SUMMARY

For the most part, the US Gaming Industry has been preoccupied with geographic expansion as new domestic jurisdictions have been
opening across the country. However, this expansion period is coming to an end. Legalized online gaming has only recently been approved
and largely underperformed expectations. Mobile technology has the potential to transform the industry but developers will need to provide
compelling use cases to overcome exists biases.

About the author

Andy Choy is the founder of Casino Offer Network LLC, a mobile marketing platform designed specifically for the casino industry. Andy
has been directly involved in a broad set of gaming industry disciplines including database marketing, revenue management, strategic planning,
mergers and acquisitions, government relations, and development.
He has worked with the entire spectrum of properties from standalone local casinos to major Las Vegas Strip properties to international
five-star integrated resorts. He was previously the President and Chief Executive Officer of Riviera Holdings Corporation and Senior
Vice President of Operations with Las Vegas Sands overseeing the Sands Macao and the Four Seasons Macao. Prior to that, Andy worked
in interim senior management roles within Icahn Enterprises’ asset portfolio including American Casino and Entertainment Properties.
Andy started his career as a consultant with McKinsey and Company and had an extensive career as a seasoned manufacturing and supply
chain expert focused on distressed assets before entering the gaming industry. Andy graduated summa cum laude from the University of
California, Berkeley with a degree in Statistics and received an M.B.A. with distinction from Stanford University Graduate School of Business.
Andy is currently the Chief Gaming Officer for Melco International
Development Limited.

Participanți la eveniment, nume sonore în industria jocurilor online, precum: MGM, Caesars, Ultimate Gaming, Pokerstars, Bwin.Party, Gamesys US, Paddy Power, Foxwoods, Cherokee Nation, Senatorul Raymond J. Lesniak, dar și mulți alții.

Conferința este locul ideal pentru a afla ultimele tendințe și parteneriate din mult discutata și mult disputata industria a gamblingului online.

Rămâneți alături de Casino Life & Business Magazine, prima revistă a industriei de gambling din România, pentru a fi la curent cu cele mai noi știri din lumea jocurilor de noroc.

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