GameON, AGS’s annual user conference held last month at WinStar World Casino and Resort, offered an interesting mix of company updates and neutral educational content; if anything, it was skewed toward the latter.
We cover the company piece in an Event Review article starting on page 10. Below you will find excerpts from some of the other items that were on the GameON program:
Sean Boyd, strategic business partnerships officer, The Chickasaw Nation Department of Commerce, on the WinStar/Dallas Cowboy marketing partnership: ‘It really is a true partnership. You can go out and sponsor teams—we have plenty of other teams and programs—but for us the Dallas Cowboys and the Jones family have been meaningful for a long time. We were able to work with the NFL, where Steven Jones sits on the NFL Business Ventures Committee. He and I and a group of folks got together and asked, why are casinos regulated in the NFL market the way they are today? So prior to our new partnership, no casinos could ever use the mark of an NFL team… you couldn’t run ticket promotions or anything that actually aligned your casino with an NFL brand. Caesars was actually right behind us with their own NFL team partnership [Baltimore Ravens and then the LV Raiders]. We took a plan to the committee that got us about 90 percent there; the only thing they took out was the ability to have a branded cabinet or any kind of branded gaming device, but we hope to push for that along the way. That’s really where we hope to get; as Jerry Jones says, ‘push until the glass breaks.’ We’re going to do that.”
Matt Davey, president and CEO, Tekkorp Capital and founder of NYX Gaming Group, on the potential of digitized in-play sports betting: “In the UK, in-play betting is hugely popular with soccer fans there. Sports betting operators have educated the players there about what they can and cannot do. The actual margins on in-play bets are lower than wagers placed before a game starts but it drives turnover dramatically. We’ve seen 30 to 40 percent increases in betting behavior because the opportunity to place wagers during the game makes it so much more interesting.
“The other aspect that’s happened now is the evolution of in-play. People who place wagers during a game can cash out of those events before they’re finished. For instance, if you’ve place a bet on Arsenal vs. Man U and Arsenal is up 3-0, Paddy Power will actually let you cash out with 70 percent of your bet. Or if it looks like you’re winning, they’ll let you cash out with 120 percent of your bet because it reduces their liability. Now players in the UK don’t see it as they’ve placed 20 pounds on this event and that’s the operator’s money until they win, they think of that as their money right now. It’s much more like owning stock in the stock market; they can trade out that bet at a discount or at a premium during the event. You can’t do that in a land-based retail sports market, you really have to have a digitized product to do it.”
Joe English, e-sports expert and futurist on e-sports players: 65 percent of e-sports players are people between the ages of 18 and 34. Sixty percent are men and 58 percent of e-sport fans aged 25 and older are people with kids in their households; a lot of them are moms and dads. Forty-three percent have an annual income of $75,000 or higher. Most importantly: 49 percent spend most of their free time around e-sports. Half of these people spend almost all of their free time playing e-sports. The number increases to 56 percent in households of $50,000 to $99,000. Sixty percent of these people are willing to travel to see their favorite games, tournaments and players and 67 percent bring friends and acquaintances to the games. This is their source of community.”
Jenny Holaday, president, Fuel Leadership, on multi-generational management: “When you combine Boomers and X’ers and Gen Z’s and Millennials, they’re about the exact same size group. But the thing that’s going to change is the birth rate, which is at a 30-year low. The Millennial/GenZ age cohort is probably going to be the most dominant generation for the next four decades because there aren’t a lot of people coming after them. Millennials are already everywhere; they became the largest segment of the U.S. workforce back in 2016, so figuring out how to work with this younger mindset is really critical for us Gen X’ers or Boomers if we really want to move our business forward.”