Latest gaming technology exhibited at G2E not always so new

Slot machines with 3D visuals. Multi-player games with arcade themes like Pac-Man. Illuminated, towering slot machine cabinets with images of movie characters.

For many guests at this year’s Global Gaming Expo, it’s all old news.

“Everything’s kind of the same,” said Kristine Clemons, who works in email marketing for iGaming provider GAN in Las Vegas, as she toured slot machines on the show floor. “Basically, just the pictures change.”

The G2E conference gives vendors an opportunity to show off the latest gaming technology, but some of the attendees at the 2018 G2E said they were underwhelmed by this year’s technology.

Same old, same old

“There’s a fair amount of similarity,” said Benjamin Sutherland, co-founder and CEO of San Francisco-based game development studio Present Creative. He said some machines on the show floor had fallen into old routines. He pointed out a fruit-themed jackpot game standing nearby.

“It looks great, but it looks like any other fruit game,” he said. “There’s a particular customer type who wants more of the same. … So it makes sense that there’s a lot of safe plays going on here.”

Rom Hendler, founder and CEO of travel and hospitality company InnoVel Travel Tech in Israel, decided not to attend G2E this year because he believes the expo’s technology is “more or less the same” every year.

“The gaming industry is not really going through disruption,” he said via email. “Disruption is the mother of all innovation since it forces you to adopt.”

Hendler said executive directors are often too focused on margins, immediate threats and expansion. New technology often falls to the wayside.

“(Innovation) is a cost center for them at best,” Hendler said. “We need to become more attractive than other (industries) for emerging technologies. … We need to go out to look for those technologies and not wait for them to come to us.”

A slow change

Michael Richards, managing director of investment bank Merit Harbor Capital in Seattle, said he didn’t see any drastic changes on the show floor this year. But he believes the gaming industry has been innovative, even if it has been a slow change. He said skills-based games and slot machines have been some of the most creative in finding ways to target younger generations.

“It’s a very innovative industry recently,” he said. “Not year-to-year, but compared to seven or eight years ago, it’s slowly innovative … As a new generation of millennials and players that don’t play as much of the traditional games like craps or roulette or horse racing, they’re trying to find a lot of new ways to appeal.”

Jay Sevigny, the president of VGT, an Aristocrat company, said the company has been bringing in innovations to the floor, such as a bar top game with a new cabinet design.

“I think we all come here looking to see what innovation is coming to the market,” he said. “There’s a lot more than games here, too. There are a lot of people bringing new technologies for the industry to incorporate into the way we run our business.”

First-time attendees

One of the new names exhibiting this year was one familiar to arguably every attendee of G2E.

Google ran one of the smaller booths on the show floor. Representatives from the tech giant and its partners showed a digital whiteboard that uses Google’s internet storage services and hawked Google’s artificial intelligence product for call centers

“Hospitality is an area where we can really grow,” said William Nilli, a partner manager for BenQ, which works with Google on the digital whiteboard product. “We want casino operators to see the possibilities.”

A couple of exhibitors said they found success at other trade shows and decided to finally go directly to the casino operators.

Las Vegas resident Cory Gamberg brought a batch of his LED-lit poles. He hoped to persuade casino operators to put the poles at their nightclubs, bars and restaurants. He also wants to try to sell them to airports and banks.

“I’ve really found success at these trade shows,” the Lytepost president said. “It helps to bring someone over and say, ‘see what my product can do for you.’”

Not every new vendor tried to appeal to attendees’ eyes and ears.

Michael Schmidt had different size models of his OdorStop product blowing at his exhibit booth.

Schmidt, based in Hamburg, New York, wanted to add more customers to his generators of ozone, used to deodorize and sanitize large spaces from mold, mildew, tobacco, smoke and other smells.

Schmidt said he counts MGM Resorts among his customers.

“We’ve been doing great so far,” he said. “Some people I’m confident will make purchases after the show. Some people are just buying units off me with cash. It’s a real surprise.”

Contact Bailey Schulz at bschulz@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0233. Follow @bailey_schulz on Twitter. Contact Wade Tyler Millward at 702-383-4602 or wmillward@reviewjournal.com. Follow @wademillward on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Business
Bellagio, MGM Resorts International’s luxury hotel turns 20
The more than 3,000-room Bellagio hotel is situated on the site of the former Dunes Hotel. The Dunes was imploded in 1993, and construction of the Bellagio started in 1996. It cost $1.6 billion to build, making it the most expensive hotel in the world at the time. The Bellagio was former Wynn Resorts Ltd. Chairman and CEO Steve Wynn’s second major casino on the Strip after The Mirage. MGM Resorts International acquired the property from Steve Wynn in 2000. (Tara Mack/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Facial recognition software at G2E – Todd Prince
Shing Tao, CEO of Las Vegas-based Remark Holdings, talks about his facial recognition product. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former NBA player, Shaquille O'Neal, speaks about his new Las Vegas chicken restaurant
Former NBA player, Shaquille O'Neal, speaks about his new Las Vegas chicken restaurant. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Bobby Baldwin to leave MGM
MGM Resorts International executive and professional poker player Bobby Baldwin is set to leave MGM.
Caesars has new armed emergency response teams
Caesars Entertainment Corp. has created armed emergency response teams. They are composed of former military and law enforcement officials. "These teams provide valuable additional security capabilities,” Caesars spokeswoman Jennifer Forkish said. Caesars is hiring Security Saturation Team supervisors, managers and officers, according to LinkedIn. The company did not say how many people it plans to hire for the units. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas, airlines prepare for CES
CES in January is expected to attract more than 180,000 attendees. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
AGS partners with Vegas Golden Knights
AGS is the nation’s second-largest manufacturer of Class II slot machines used primarily in tribal jurisdictions. It announced a marketing partnership with the Vegas Golden Knights NHL team. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Lehman Brothers bet big on Las Vegas
Lehman Brothers collapsed 10 years ago, helping send the country into the Great Recession.
Fremont9 opens downtown
Fremont9 apartment complex has opened in downtown Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Ross & Snow launches in Las Vegas
Luxury shoe brand Ross & Snow has opened in Las Vegas, featuring "functional luxury" with premium shearling footwear. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Remote Identification and Drones
DJI vice president of policy and public affairs discusses using remote identification on drones. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Drones and public safety in Nevada
Two representatives in the drone industry discuss UAV's impact on public safety. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Frontier Airlines to launch flights from Las Vegas to Mexico
Frontier, a Denver-based ultra-low-cost carrier, will become the first airline in more than a decade to offer international service to Canada and Mexico from Las Vegas when flights to Cancun and Los Cabos begin Dec. 15. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren addresses Oct. 1 lawsuits
MGM Resorts International Chairman and CEO Jim Murren addresses criticism his company has received for filing a lawsuit against the survivors of the Oct. 1 shooting. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International opens the doors on MGM Springfield
Massachusetts’ first hotel-casino opens in downtown Springfield. The $960 million MGM Springfield has 252 rooms and 125,000-square-feet of casino. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International prepares to open MGM Springfield
Las Vegas-based MGM Resorts International gave news media and invited guests a preview of the $960 million MGM Springfield casino in Massachusetts. The commonwealth's first resort casino will open Friday, Aug. 24. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
A Walk Through Circus Circus
It only takes a short walk through Circus Circus to realize it attracts a demographic like no other casino on the Strip: families with young children. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Morphy Auctions, a vintage slot machines seller, wants gaming license
Vice president Don Grimmer talks about Morphy Auctions at the company's warehouse located at 4520 Arville Street in Las Vegas on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada's venture capital money doesn't stay in state
Zach Miles, associate vice president for economic development for UNLV, said there’s venture money in Southern Nevada, “but trying to find the right groups to tap into for that money is different.” According to a 2017 report from the Kauffman Foundation, Las Vegas ranked number 34 out of 40 metropolitan areas for growth entrepreneurship, a metric of how much startups grow. With a lack of growing startups in Las Vegas, investment money is being sent outside of state borders. The southwest region of the U.S. received $386 million in funding in the second quarter, with about $25.2 million in Nevada. The San Francisco area alone received about $5.6 billion. (source: CB Insights)
Neon wraps can light up the night for advertising
Vinyl wrap company 5150 Wraps talks about neon wraps, a new technology that the company believes can boost advertising at night. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Nevada on the forefront of drone safety
Dr. Chris Walach, senior director of Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems, talks to a reporter at NIAS's new Nevada Drone Center for Excellence of Public Safety, located inside the Switch Innevation Center in Las Vegas. K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal @KMCannonPhoto
Motel 8 on south Strip will become site of hotel-casino
Israeli hoteliers Asher Gabay and Benny Zerah bought Motel 8 on the south Strip for $7.4 million, records show. They plan to bulldoze the property and build a hotel-casino. Motel 8 was built in the 1960s and used to be one of several roadside inns on what's now the south Strip. But it looks out of place today, dwarfed by the towering Mandalay Bay right across the street.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like