When I gamble and lose at local Las Vegas casinos, I tell myself that at least I am helping the economy.
Maybe I am.
In connection with last week’s Global Gaming Expo (G2E) held at the Sands Expo & Convention Center, a report issued by the sponsoring American Gaming Association noted that the $261 billion U.S. casino industry supports 1.9 million jobs nationwide.
The October 15, 2019 report also notes that 44 percent of American adults visited a casino in the last year; 49 percent have a favorable view of the casino gaming industry; 49 percent say that casinos help the communities where they are located and two in three Americans think the gaming industry provides high-quality entertainment.
Gambling, like politics, isn’t embraced by everyone, but because so many people are attracted to gambling and its associated entertainment, the annual Global Gaming Expo is a popular event for gaming professionals. The education offerings that are part of G2E are as important as the expo itself. Among this year’s educational subjects were, “Using Technology to Extend the Casino Floor and Increase Revenue”, “What Managers Can Learn from the Me Too Movement”, “Risk Management and Responsible Gaming”, “The Playbook for a Reinvented Sports Book”, and “Non-Gaming Products and Services for Today’s Generation of Consumers: Threats, Opportunities, or Both?”
The expo show floor was ablaze with lights and videos (often on the backs of chairs for players) as gaming manufacturers introduced updated and new games and guests punched buttons and gave them a try. Manufacturers of peripheral equipment were present as well, willing to provide everything from management software and slot stands to coin accepters and legal services.
I visited G2E last Tuesday, a crowded day at the expo. I am not a casino/sports-book owner or executive, but I enjoyed walking around with camera in tow. Lots of noise, color and brand names. Who wants to punch buttons on a plain machine when one can play a Crazy Rich Asians machine (a new Aristocrat slot title based on the movie)?
And finally, from the report: 43 states plus the District of Columbia will soon have some form of casino gambling or sports betting. That bodes well for the future of G2E.