OUT OF THE PIT, INTO THE LIGHT
by Christine Faria
October 1, 2009
Battling declining revenues, casinos have been targeting their table games for financial relief. Some have drastically cut their pit areas while others have taken exactly the opposite approach and allocated additional resources to them, banking on renewed interest. What direction is exactly the right direction?
Reno, Nev.-based Raving Consulting Company took the lead in addressing this issue last year by creating Raving’s Cutting Edge Table Games Conference. It returned this year to Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on August 17-19 and was attended by representatives of commercial, tribal and racetrack casino properties from more than 15 U.S. states and Canada. More than 60 companies turned out.
One aspect of this innovative get-together was the opportunity for table games professionals and attendees to experience, analyze and vote for their favorite new games from a pioneering group of exhibitors. “Casino Journal’s Best New Table Games Competition” was created specifically to recognize and honor new table games, which often are overlooked in the sea of new slot machines and technologies introduced each year. This year, attendees gave the Gold Award in “Casino Journal’s Best New Table Games Competition” to Fortune Teller Blackjack by Unlimited Concepts. The Silver Award was given to Emperor’s Challenge Bonus by Galaxy Gaming. The Bronze Award was given to Rock ’n Roll Dice.
Gold Award winner — Cary Lucier, president of Unlimited Concepts, developer of Fortune Teller Blackjack.
Silver Award winners — Galaxy Gaming’s Erin Hess (from left), Bob Pietrosanto, Rob Saucier, Nina Rieger and Dean Barnett
Bronze Award winners — John Bonito (from left), Jimmy Barber and Ken Barber of Rock ’n Roll Dice
In the midst of the most challenging times the industry has faced, the conference also provided table games professionals a rare opportunity to trade information and insights and meet old friends and network for new ones.
“Because of the continuing erosion of table game revenues it’s important to have a venue to talk about important issues,” said Dennis Conrad, president and chief strategist of Raving Consulting Company. “The traditional table game model has gotten old and stale. This conference is a way to bring everyone together and share ideas that maybe haven’t been considered and find ways to start thinking outside of the box when it comes to table games. There is really no other venue or event where this can occur.”
Conrad extended a special thanks to the exhibitors and sponsors who took part, including: Dejo Gaming Enterprises, Bunko Bucks, Gary Platt Manufacturing, Gaming Partners International, Imperial Casino Games, Jesse James Hold ’Em, MGC, MVP Gaming, Raving Service, SCA Gaming, Score Gaming, Barona Resort & Casino and Casino Journal.
For more information about Raving’s Cutting Edge Table Games Conference and “Casino Journal’s Best New Table Games Competition” contact Christine Faria, vice president of operations for Raving Consulting Company, at +1 775 329 7864; or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Information is also available at www.ravingconsulting.com.
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