Raving’s 2009 Cutting Edge Table Games Conference

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.

“The conference was invaluable to our company because it was aimed specifically at our target market, consisting of casino table games decision-makers,” said Cary Lucier, president of Unlimited Concepts/FortuneTellerGaming. “All of the attendees at this conference were focused, dedicated and honest with their opinions when it came to reviewing the games. The managers and executives who voted have given our game their stamp of approval, and I doubt we could’ve gotten the same thing anywhere else.”

Silver Award winners - Galaxy Gaming’s Erin Hess (from left), Bob Pietrosanto, Rob Saucier, Nina Rieger and Dean Barnett

Bob Pietrosanto, sales manager for Silver winner Galaxy Gaming (last year’s Bronze Award winner), was equally enthused. “Once again we are honored to have one of our new games be recognized and win an award. What makes it special is the very people who voted our game one of the best are ultimately the ones who will decide to put it on their casino floor.”

Bronze Award winners - John Bonito (from left), Jimmy Barber and Ken Barber of Rock ’n Roll Dice

“The showing at the conference confirmed our belief that we have a great product,” said Jimmy Barber, vice president of marketing for 2009 Bronze Award winner 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 chris@ravingconsulting.com. Information is also available at www.ravingconsulting.com.