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Casinos of the future

Dec 2, 2003 7:47 AM

The transition to more cashless slot machines, the automation of casino services, advances in gaming technology and other factors will cause the gaming floor of 2020 to look significantly different than it does today, according to final results of a poll conducted at G2E.

The Future Watch Series poll is an original research series conducted in conjunction with G2E. Preliminary results of this year’s survey gave a snapshot of how 35 of the casino industry’s leading gaming operations executives thought the gaming floor of the future might look.

"Just like every aspect of G2E, the Future Watch Series is intended as a tool for operators, suppliers and others to consider the latest trends and developments in gaming," said Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr., president and chief executive officer of the American Gaming Association (AGA). "Data collection for this survey is an interactive process that allows us to capture the pulse of the gaming-entertainment industry."

According to the poll results, 77 percent of respondents said automation and technology would cause the casino floor of 2020 to look totally or quite a bit different than it does today.

A majority (60 percent) also believe new technology-intensive games will continue to gain market share, replacing traditional reel machines in many cases. While the traditional reel machine does have a future, respondents predict it will be in smaller markets or at more low-end properties.

In addition to developments on the show floor, the G2E Future Watch survey also predicted the future of casino resort design.

According to results, 61 percent of respondents said that, contrary to some claims that the era of themed casino resorts is over, casino resorts of the near future will continue to rely on property themes to about the same extent they do today. Thirty-five percent predict casinos will somewhat move away from theme-based designs.

Respondents are split, however, on their vision of the future of casino design in Las Vegas. While 53 percent believe the billion-dollar mega-resort concept will continue to be the gold standard in Las Vegas, 47 percent think there is a brighter future for smaller, boutique casino operations similar to the Palms.

Respondents to G2E’s 2003 Future Watch survey include a wide range of gaming executives, including chief executives, general managers, directors of slot operations and more.

Next year’s G2E is set for Oct. 5-7. For a summary of survey results, visit www.globalgamingexpo.com.