Limited stakes
needs its own Expo

Dec 5, 2006 12:41 AM

Last month I attended the Global Gaming Expos (G2E) in Las Vegas. There were multiple important conference sessions and activities: in the décor tract coupled with the cocktail waitress uniform pageant, Matching Drapes and Carpets; in the security tract, Gotcha’ you Cheatin’ Bastard; and in the marketing tract, Is Trump’s Onion Loaf Sexy with Todd Moyer?

Foremost, G2E is a gigantic trade fair. The hosts did a fantastic job putting together the mother of all gaming shows, and should be commended. To cover the sessions from the viewpoint of how it affects the Colorado limited stakes gaming market was my challenge.

While walking the trade show floor, attending seminars, and meeting with all sorts of people, it occurred to me that while much offered tangentially affected the peculiar market of Colorado such as new slot product (love Shuffle Mater’s Table Master Video Royal Match 21 blackjack game — the heir apparent to BJ Blitz), marketing techniques (it’s all about e-marketing), and food and beverage options (gourmet-it-up cowboy), there was nothing explicitly addressed to our humble market.

From this mega-exposition I discovered a rationale for the regional or operation divisional gaming show. Like a trade show manifestation of a Cheesecake Factory, there is simply too much on the menu and the portions are too gargantuan to garner a complete understanding of what is going on in one’s own little corner of the gaming world.

This is not to suggest that the show does not serve its purpose, which is to offer a smorgasbord of gaming information in one place at one time, but rather that specific information and significant attendee interactivity needs to be found elsewhere.

While there are academic conferences such as the International Conference on Gambling and Risk Taking at UNR and UNLV’s Las Vegas International Hospitality and Convention Summit, regional conferences like Southern Gaming Summit, Florida Gaming Summit, or East Coast Gambling Congress, and even genre conclaves like the Gaming Technology Summit, The Symposium on Racing & Gaming or the multiple national and regional National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) gatherings, there is not a single jamboree for those working with limited stakes gaming.

Granted, only two states practice limited stakes gaming (Colorado and South Dakota), but combined, these states boast nearly 100 independent casinos that produce significant revenue for themselves and their respective host locations.

These properties, big or small, must face similar challenges including but not exclusive to how to make table games profitable, what are appropriate re-investment levels, and how to avoid player contact burnout.

Since many of the topics of gaming operation are transferable, a limited stakes gaming focused conference would not need to be held to proverbially re-invent the wheel. This conference, which I propose, would be an opportunity for operators that work in a unique market and do not traditionally intermingle to have an environment conducive to sharing information and learning.

Hopefully, this forum could subsequently lead to providing a better product to respective casino’s limited stakes gaming guests.

(Founded in 1996, Yarborough Planning, LLC partners with select clientele to better understand and address business process issues. Core competencies include providing reliable and valid research, strategic / analytic marketing, and accountable Customer Relationship Management (CRM) development and implementation. David Paster is accepting new clients and may be reached at (702) 813-5062 or [email protected])