Small G2E exhibitors play key gaming role

Many Global Gaming Expo attendees almost naturally gravitate to the exhibitors with displays the size of houses and flashing lights by the thousands.

But much of the nuts and bolts of industry — in some instances literally — are found in booths about the size of closets.

Because they are relatively small and privately held, the Las Vegas-based companies exhibiting in these spaces are not widely known. Selling items such as light bulbs, game layouts and cash-handling machines, they operate with a glamour deficiency but are vital components of any casino.

In several instances, they cement the city’s connection to the world as the U.S. head offices of foreign companies. As such, they provide some ballast to the local economy because their fortunes do not rise and fall with the fortunes of the Strip alone.

The following is a cross-section of those who exhibited.

Rye Park Gaming

Casinos regularly replace their table game layouts as the color wears off, players spill drinks on them or burn them with cigarettes.

Rye Park Gaming President Randy Ying tries to convince casino managers that aesthetics matter, too.

“We think we can liven up a normally boring part of the casino,” he said.

He will come up with custom designs and different color schemes well beyond the traditional green. But for good measure, he also pitches his layouts as using a dying process that retains the color longer.

Ying started the company in 2003 in Tempe, Ariz., and moved to Las Vegas early last year. Although the company had a branch office here before that, he now wants to boost his local presence after selling more elsewhere in the Southwest.

Besides the layouts, Rye Park Gaming builds casino furniture such as tables and rolling drink carts, many on a custom basis.


With massive and grandiose having gone into hibernation, design work now focuses on the more mundane questions of function.

“A lot of the conversations we have with casino owners revolve around what’s working and not working, what can we do to improve operations,” said Jon Sparer, a principal with the YWS architecture firm. “There is very much a tightening of the control over budgets.”

For example, YWS is redesigning the entrance to Planet Hollywood Resort, which Harrah’s Entertainment acquired this year. It is the only property on the Strip that not only downplays the entrance through obscure signs, but elevates it above street level and creates a bypass for pedestrians. Work is to start in January.

Other adjustments might come from converting a high-limit poker room to a lounge or switching a steak restaurant to a more informal barbecue format.

“If you can’t do the smaller project, you will have trouble staying busy,” Sparer said.


Although the Astrosystems once again bought a G2E booth to display its cash-handling hardware, managers are much more excited about gasoline stations these days than casinos.

Regardless of how the economic cycle turns, the company sees an ongoing slide for bill acceptors as the industry increasingly installs ticket in-ticket out machines. The one bright spot is selling replacements at lower prices than the original manufacturer.

Coin acceptors have already largely disappeared.

As a result, operations manager Mike Welter said, the demand for bill acceptors at gasoline stations that charge customers $1 to pump up their tires looks much more promising, as does the expanding use of do-it-yourself checkout stations at supermarkets and discount retailers.

But on the gaming floor, he said, “We can go after the small manufacturers. We don’t pursue the big guys like Bally (Technologies), IGT (International Game Technology) and Aristocrat (Gaming).”

Astrosystems is a U.S. subsidiary of China’s Astrotech Group, which makes electronic devices ranging from appliance controls to pest control devices through other subsidiaries.

 Secure Mobile Destruction

When a representative of a client walked up to the booth of Secure Mobile Destruction, Vice President Alex Thomson cheerfully greeted him with the line, “We’ve destroyed for you.”

For 11 years, the North Las Vegas company has driven its semi-trailers to casinos to obliterate unneeded tokens, chips or casino coins. Not only can the detritus be recycled, he said, but the work can be done on site within view of casino managers if they wish.

But similar to Astrosystems, Secure Mobile Destruction has seen its market erode due to ticket in-ticket out technology. When cashless gaming first came into vogue about six or seven years ago, Thomson said, the company saw a burst of token destruction, but demand is slowly fading.

The Bright Group

Best known among equipment makers for it wiring harnesses, Bright Group is trying to live up to its name.

Its main push is for light-emitting diode signs and slot machine toppers to replace ones lit by conventional bulbs or fluorescents. Although the company normally sells to manufacturers, President and general manager Martin Glazman said he hopes to convince casino managers that the savings from longer life and cooler operations, reducing air conditioning bills, make the up-front costs worth it.

The Bright Group parent company, which is based in Sydney, chose Las Vegas last year as the base for its U.S. subsidiary.

“The owners determined that if they were going to grow, they had to have a presence here,” Glazman said.

That has included not only sales and front office people, but a warehouse and some final assembly work.

In addition, Bright Group has a manufacturing wing in China.

BMM Compliance

The slot machine makers put a lot of effort into an enticing exterior. BMM Compliance worries about what happens inside.

The firm, started in Australia in 1981, moved its head office to Las Vegas eight years ago because of its pre-eminence in the industry, particularly on the regulatory side. BMM tests machines, for state agencies or casinos, to ensure that they are operating and paying out according to standards.

The industry slowdown of the past couple of years has reached testing services, too, Senior Vice President Richard Williamson said, so the firm has pushed to broaden its base. In June, for example, BMM became part of the first test lab in South Korea, part of growing presence in Asia.

Contact reporter Tim O’Reiley at or 702-387-5290.

Holiday Parade Lights Up Downtown Summerlin
Holiday parade lights up Downtown Summerlin every Friday and Saturday night through Dec. 22.
Nevada's solar industry on the rebound
In 2015, the Nevada Public Utilities Commission voted in favor of a new tariff structure that reduced net energy metering buyback rates and increased fix fees for residential solar customers.
Apartment complexes selling fast in Las Vegas
Las Vegas’ apartment vacancy rate is among the smallest in the country, and rents are climbing faster than the national average. (LVRJ)
Aristocrat Opens $45M Campus In Summerlin
Aristocrat Technologies Chairman Ian Blackburne discusses the company's growth. (LVRJ)
Sunrise Hospital celebrates 60 years
Sunrise Hospital opened its doors to patients on Dec. 15, 1958. Employees of more than 35 years celebrated at a luncheon Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. Jessie Bekker/ Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Maya Cinemas to open soon in North Las Vegas
Moctesuma Esparza, CEO of Maya Cinemas, talks about the newest location in North Las Vegas, set to open Jan. 10. The aim of the theatre chain is to serve latino-centric, underserved communities.
Holiday shopping and returns make this the busiest time of year for UPS
The UPS Las Vegas South facility is the company's busiest pre-load operation in the country, and it's even busier this time of year. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Primm’s outlet mall has fallen on hard times
The mall, attached to Primm Valley Resort, opened in 1998. Back then, it was a “textbook, perfect outlet-center location." But now, Primm’s outlet mall has fallen on hard times. Las Vegas Boulevard has endless shopping spots. And there are other outlet malls that don’t require a hefty drive to the state line. Its mortgage-holder foreclosed on the mall in late September.
Miltary auction at Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers
Humvees, ammo cans, construction equipment, field gear and more is on the auction block Friday and Saturday at Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers. About 10,000 items in all are for sale in what GovPlanet bills as the largest auction of its kind.
Las Vegas residents discuss avoiding holiday scams
Las Vegas residents discuss their donation habits and how they avoid giving money to scam charities during the holiday season. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Tesla’s Nevada Gigafactory ahead of economic impact expectations
The Tesla Gigafactory’s economic impact on Nevada has exceeded projections, bringing in more than 7,000 jobs. In 2014, Nevada agreed to give the automotive and energy company $1.3 billion in tax abatements. In return, Tesla promised to meet certain requirements in areas like employment and capital investment. As of June, Tesla has brought in a total of $6.05 billion in capital investment, surpassing the $4.95 billion projection. The original contract gave the company until 2024 to make $3.5 billion in capital investments in Nevada. Derek Armstrong, deputy director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development.
Land sales near the Las Vegas Raiders stadium
Land around the Las Vegas stadium site has been selling for high prices. A few months before the stadium’s groundbreaking, Global Trust Group acquired a 2.5-acre parcel just north of the stadium site. The property sold for $7.25 million, or $2.9 million an acre. Osprey Real Estate Capital and Huntington Hotel Group acquired a 2-acre industrial site just west of the stadium site in late November. The property sold for $6.5 million, or $3.15 million per acre. That's roughly 12 times the average price of land in the valley this year as tracked by Colliers International.
T-Mobile Tech Experience Truck parks in Toshiba Plaza at T-Mobile Arena
The Tech Experience Truck is a state-of-the-art showroom on wheels, with demonstrations that put connected drones, smart cities, augmented/virtual reality and smart tracking. The exhibit shows new wireless technology – including 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT). (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Steve Siegel, CEO of the Siegel Group, speaks about helping families and other needy residents
Steve Siegel, CEO of the Siegel Group, speaks about helping families and other needy residents to keep them from teetering off into homelessness. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vrgas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Crowds camp out for Chick-fil-A opening
Dozens of customers camped out 24 hours ahead of the 6 a.m. Thursday opening of the new Chick-fil-A on Rainbow Blvd.
Cheapest listings for sale in Las Vegas
Listed for $39,990, 585 S. Royal Crest Circle, Unit #9 is one of the cheapest homes currently listed for sale in Las Vegas. (Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM's sports betting deals
MGM Resorts International signed a sports betting sponsorship agreement with the NBA in July It was the first professional sports league to have official ties with a legal sports betting house. The deal came just two months after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a law prohibiting sports betting in most states. In October, MGM became the first gaming company to sign a sports betting partnership with the NHL. In November, MGM became the first gaming company to sign a sports betting partnership with the MLB. Financial terms of Tuesday’s deal and earlier partnerships have not been announced.
Terry Miller discusses Convention Center
Project Manager Terry Miller explains the phases of Convention Center construction.
Zappos treats their team members on Cyber Monday
Zappos rolls out a variety of food, drinks and special activities for all team members at their downtown Las Vegas headquarters for Cyber Monday. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Team Hybrid at the 2019-Model Motor Trend International Auto Show
Among the companies showing off the 2019 model cars, Team Hybrid shows off its modified cars. Las Vegas resident David David talks about the team, which is in its ninth year exhibiting at the show, and his show car.
Black Friday Shoppers at downtown Summerlin and at the Arsenal
Black Friday shoppers at downtown Summerlin and at the Arsenal. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfYe
Black Friday shopping in Las Vegas
Black Friday sale shopers express their shopping experience. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Las Vegas Livestock recycling Strip food waste
Las Vegas Livestock collects and recycles food from many Las Vegas Strip companies. (Nicole Raz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Black Friday at Fry's
Shoppers line up for deals early on Black Friday at Fry's Electronics on Las Vegas Boulevard South. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Black Friday shoppers at Best Buy at 5 am
Black Friday shoppers at Best Buy at 5 am on Nov. 23. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Black Friday - 1am Closing Time
Quiet night.
Black Friday - 12:30am - Best Buy Arroyo Crossing
Sam's Town Holiday Lighting Ceremony
On Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2018, Mystic Falls Park opened with its annual tree lighting ceremony, hosted by Boyd Gaming Executive Chairman Bill Boyd. The attraction features a Winter Wonderland theme and holiday-inspired laser light show, available daily Nov. 23 to Jan. 1. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
What Is A Smart City?
George Karayannis, vice president of CityNow, Panasonic’s smart-city arm, explains. (Nicole Raz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Walmart uses virtual reality to train employees
Walmart Academy Facilitator demonstrates the VR training program being used by Walmart stores across the country.
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like