Saturday, January 17, 2015

SugarHouse Poker Promotions include Guaranteed Money and more..

It's a New Year. So we can expect new promotions that create customer brand awareness from all the casinos. Look no further than the latest marketing moves from SugarHouse Casino in Philly. They have the newest Poker room in the region with the most accessible location.
Starting Monday, January 19th, they will offer guaranteed poker tournaments. These tournaments will be accompanied by an industry appreciation night. Casino employees can show their id cards and receive $10 in free food comps.

                                           Here is a break down of the poker related events.

If that's not enough then check this out. If you're a new player and you sign up for a player's card, you are eligible to win a 2015 Mercedes Benz. This is open to slots, table games and poker players. The key is that you are a new sign up. All new members are guaranteed at least $25 in free play. As a bonus, one new member will win the car by the end of April. This promotion is well timed with the Philadelphia Auto Show coming Saturday, January 31 – Sunday, February 8, 2015 to the Pennsylvania Convention Center. The Center is less than 12 minutes from the casino. Here is the app that breaks down the floor plan of the auto show if you plan to attend that event, after you sign up for your new players card. Get a glimpse of the Benz you may win.
                             Download for Apple Devices | Download for Android devices

The poker room has 24 state-of-the-art poker tables with a total of 240 player positions.  The staff is waiting to accommodate you.

Philly loves a Winner!

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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Top Five News and Views of 2015

 Happy New Year!!! Have a great 2015

If Chris Rock can do it, so can I.
These are my top five press releases of 2015 from the major players of their respective industries. Each of these are revelations of what to expect in gaming, media and entertainment.

In its December magazine, Forbes has profiled Amaya Gaming Group CEO David Baazov, detailing his bold 2014 acquisition of privately held poker operator Rational Group (owners of PokerStars and Full Tilt). The magazine labels the young CEO of Amaya Gaming Group, as the new ‘king of online gambling’ having pulled off an incredible industry coup. The igaming and sports betting industry will further await the highly anticipated launch of Amaya Gaming’s sports betting and casino product, as the firm looks to broaden its online gambling product inventory.

Comcast now offers an Internet Plus package with everything that constitutes "the basics" for $49.99 a month for 12 months. It also offers free access to Comcast's Xfinity TV Go app, which allows for streaming and viewing on a TV set, tablet or other mobile device.
AT&T's U-verse, the fastest growing TV provider in the country, is embracing the idea of moving to a universal watching experience.
It offers a TV Everywhere app, which allows customers to take AT&T content with them on mobile devices, tablets and computers.
"We kind of see it as complementary," said John Blinkiewicz, assistant vice president of U-verse TV marketing. "As we continue to grow customers, we see them using our TV everywhere as a complement to their TV service."
Boosting Internet speeds and expanding networks has become a huge focus for AT&T and Comcast, which could help both the cable providers and the non-traditional TV streaming services.
"As TV has grown up, so have the devices. We need to serve customers where they want, when they want," said Blinkiewicz.

Verizon Communications Inc. has approached AOL Inc. (AOL) about a potential acquisition or joint venture with the Internet company to expand its mobile-video offerings, people with knowledge of the matter said.
Verizon hasn’t made a formal proposal to AOL, and no agreement is imminent, said the people, who asked not to be named because the discussions are private.
Merging AOL’s programmatic advertising technology -- the automated buying and selling of ads online -- with mobile video content can help Verizon catch up with AT&T Inc. (T) as wireless providers enhance their offerings. AT&T last year struck a $48.5 billion deal to acquire satellite TV provider DirecTV.
A joint venture would also focus on advertising technology, one of the people said. Verizon is seeking expertise in three areas: online content, mobile video and advertising, one person said. The company also has held talks with several of AOL’s peers about how to bolster those businesses.
The programmatic ads platform could be paired with a future online-video product, two people said.
With a takeover, Verizon would also gain AOL’s 2.3 million paying members and Internet brands including the Huffington Post, TechCrunch and Engadget. It’s unclear if Verizon is interested in those media properties, which draw more than 200 million unique visitors a month, the fourth-most in the U.S., behind Google Inc., Yahoo Inc. and Facebook Inc., according to November data from researcher ComScore Inc

Google is a powerhouse, but it's a powerhouse in transition.
In 2014, Google's search engine -- the largest in the world -- continued to dominate the market. In the US, the company has 67 percent of the search market on desktop computers. Globally, it's a $50 billion business in revenue annually.
Google has been making big investments in YouTube, its premier online video platform. The company has fought to keep its top creative talent on the service, especially as rivals like Facebook and startups like Victorious aim to crowd YouTube's turf.
There's good reason for that investment. YouTube gets more than a billion unique visitors every month and streams about three months' worth of video to viewers every minute. eMarketer predicted that video ad revenues from YouTube in the US would hit $1.13 billion by the end of 2014.

Summit in Philly
Forbes has chosen Philadelphia as the permanent home of its 30 Under 30 Summit - a gathering of young entrepreneurs that organizers hope will become the nation's most elite networking event for the next generation of business and political leaders.
The announcement Monday was timed to coincide with the release of the magazine's annual "Forbes 30 Under 30" list, a who's who tally of 600 entrepreneurs and leaders under age 30 that seeks to be as buzzy as its annual billionaires' list.
Forbes' 30 Under 30 Summit made a four-day debut here in October, and Forbes officials toyed with the idea of moving the fledgling confab to a different city each year. The decision to stay in Philadelphia was made after several months of negotiations between Mayor Nutter and top Forbes officials.

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Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas Wish List for the Gambler in You

This is my Christmas Wish List for The Gambler in you. This hypothetical list is for the person that loves gaming entertainment and would get ecstatic about any of these wishes.

In Theatres Now!
My top ten:

10). You win a spot on "So You want to be a Millionaire" and the categories selected that day are subjects that you have unlimited knowledge about. $$$.

9).You are a blackjack player and the count is in your favor. Only people playing are you and the dealer.  

8).You just met a comedian and he is at the start of his career. You help him. Then you reconnect 30 years later. See Steve Harvey for how it turns out.

7). You bought stock in a start up name Google at the very beginning and income average 50 a pay for the 1st three years. Google trades at the market price of $516.35.

6). You bet a 10 team parlay in NFL and your 1st nine games have covered. The last game is Monday Night. You wager half of what you'll collect on the parlay ticket on the other team, guaranteeing a profit of 50% for you.

5). Dream the numbers for Powerball. You wake up that morning and play them. They come out that night.

4). You're at the WSOP and you have pocket aces. The flop has the other two. You are at the final table and the other player goes all in.

3). On the crap table and the shooter rolls for 90 minutes. You start with 64 across and you press every other time a bet hits.
Gamblers love a streak!

2). You bets sports and you wager on a team that goes on a streak. Example, Golden State in NBA basketball just won 16 in a row. You bet using the money line so the spread doesn't matter.

1). That just one of these things happens to you in your lifetime.

                                                   Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!  

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Friday, December 19, 2014

What works in 2015 Gaming - Part Two

I promised to give another key that will help grow the market in your gaming region. Since things are now communicated spontaneously, you must ask yourself is your organization doing that. Not just with your clientele but internally. How are you utilizing your e mail systems? Is everyone in the loop when special events and promotions are occurring? If marketing and/or food and beverage are aware, the front line personnel must be involved to serve as ambassadors. Even if they only have knowledge of the basics. The when, what, where of the event places the employees in a position that they can relay information to others.
This is successful
Because they know about it
The use of signage at the front desk and the entrants is important too. Don't leave out the restrooms either. There always someone going in or coming out. If you have the space, a communication board always works. Keep the employees aware of property updates and developments. Change the board daily so it stays fresh and gives the staff a reason to look at it.  Let them know when the home team is playing and what concert is coming to town. Some the attendees at those events may frequent your establishment and this information will serve as a conversation piece.
What's great about all of the things that I've suggested is they are cost effective. I'll give another
key to growing your market in a future post. I'll focus on your customer and share some innovation as to how to connect in real time.

Meanwhile, I provided a list of the top ten best places to work in Philly. The entire list can be found

1. Keller Williams Realty, Austin, TX


Friday, December 12, 2014

Is Sports Betting the next gaming revenue stream?

Adam Silver, the Commissioner of the NBA has come out with a stance that the public has been waiting for. He stated in an open letter to the New York Times that it was time to embrace sports betting and change the laws that prohibit Americans from doing so. The social acceptance of gaming  has prompted this position. A poll conducted by the Seton Hall Sports Poll on Legalizing Sports Betting  concluding on Wednesday Nov. 19, cites that the vast majority, 72%-20%, agreed with him that gambling has become a popular form of entertainment.

This come at a time when states are in dire need of revenue. For instance, at least 44 states and the District of Columbia have reduced overall wages paid to state workers by laying off workers, requiring them to take unpaid leaves, freezing new hires, or similar actions. State and local governments have eliminated over 380,000 jobs since August 2008, federal data show. Such measures are reducing not only the quality of services available to state residents but also the purchasing power of workers’ families, which in turn affects local businesses and slows recovery.
Sports betting is an activity that is being conducted on line in homes throughout the country illegally. If not electronically, then via telephone or face to face with a bookmaker.  The above mention activities do not generate any tax revenue. They are not secure either. A site could conveniently close on you while they owe you money. The bookie could discontinue taking your action. But if I wager with an established betting parlor, I am guaranteed to get my money . The rules of accountability apply to everyone. The league gains due to the increase interest in the game.

Halftime,in game wagers and prop bets would raise NBA toward NFL popularity. Okay, I am excited  but you get my point. Creating interest in the game makes people watch. If you have a wager you will tune in. The wider the fan base, the larger the audience. Marketing and advertisements increase their spend.
2015 AttendanceHomeRoadOverall
22Pacers9   143,50215,94487.8   11     18,379   94.9     20      17,283      91.8
The fans may decide to go to more games and attendance goes up.
All from the possibility of making a bet on a game. It's being done in Europe without any problems. It's done in Nevada without difficulty. Read David Weinberg's article in the Press of Atlantic City. I love his analogy comparing wagering in two casinos. So why not here?
Silver said he plans to speak to Congress. Are they prepared to listen?
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Friday, December 5, 2014

What works in 2015 Gaming?

I am seeing a shift in what works with gaming entertainment. I've watched the operation side go  from build it and they'll come to less is now more. Atlantic City is the perfect example. They are expecting an increase in revenue numbers. This is due to the remaining casinos accommodating their former competitor's customers.
October's casino numbers did not bear this out. Casino revenues were $197.7 million, down compared to $216.9 million in October 2013. The casinos cut those losses in half, however, with another $9.5 million in online gaming revenues that did not yet exist in Oct. 2013. Of the latter figure, $2M of that was from online poker.
The amount of money in play decreased and the market did not grow. There are less rooms and parking spots available.  The cost of parking and rooms will  inevitably go up. This is not the recipe for attracting conventions and long term stays at the shore.
The new rules for gambling in America are different from the late 90's and early 2000's. Two rules are in play for me. Engage your customer. Not just when he/she gambles. Interact with the entertainment information they show interest in. The second rule is brand with the taste of the customer. If the customers likes Starbucks, provide them with specials that they can obtain through you. This not only helps you, but now Starbucks gives you a play as well.  The new rules encompasses food and beverage and events targeting millennials. These are two avenues that can bring new and former customers in.

Expect a new look in Connecticut
Foxwoods is making a move in this direction. In 2015, they are downsizing the casino product and looking for more revenue from the non gaming side. Boyd Gaming Corp. told investors in August it planned to change out a few of the restaurants and other nongaming attractions inside several of the company’s area casinos to boost overall revenue. This week, Borgata Casino announced details.
A $13 million dollar property-wide renovation is taking place over the next several months. Improvements include a complete redesign of the Borgata Buffet, renovations to Spa Toccare, the casino floor, front desk, suites, and back-of-the-house areas.
These types of plans have been met with success along the Las Vegas Strip, but have been slow to be embraced by regional markets. In a future post, I'll provide more insight that will help you grow your market share. Some innovative ways that will work without spending your entire budget are coming. Also,learn more about online gaming and how it can shape your future entertainment experiences.

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Friday, November 14, 2014

Philly's 2nd Casino License: The Odds

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is holding a meeting Tuesday in Philadelphia to decide about the 2nd gaming license. The 4 remaining applicants are awaiting this decision. The existing 4 operators are also concerned. Market conditions indicate that gaming revenue is not at a premium on the east coast. But the board has the final say in this.  So I decided to set  a betting line as to who the odds favor in this process.
Philly Live has an impressive track record(Maryland Live). Live has partnered with Parx Casino and both have strong numbers in their respective markets. Great location near stadiums. They will have a synergy with Xfinity Live. A existing hotel site in place. 2-1

Casino Revolution has a location near the stadiums and is accessible to major highways. I-95 and Delaware Avenue come to mind. They have plans to develop an amusement park that will cater to families. They state they can open faster than any other applicant (15 to 18 months). 3-1

Market Eight has the development of the center city Gallery area to draw on. Major stores that cater to millennials are part of this renaissance. This group has the most disposable income.  Easy access by public transportation. They are located near major hotels and the convention center. 4-1
The Provence has the most original design of the 4. They plan to have a international flavor to their casino. Note the name. They 'll have a spa and world class restaurants. This will appeal to the business clientele that surrounds them in the heart of center city. 4-1

The Board could also differ a decision until 2015 when Governor -elect Tom Wolf can weigh in. They are politically appointed and able to vote without responding to the influence from the governor's office. 7-1
The Gaming Board could also look at the state of gaming on the east coast and feel that the region is not ready for another casino. This would maintain the balance that currently exist. Each existing operator has it's own niche. Harrah's Philly has the Total Reward brand that works nationally. Parx and Valley Forge have the outlying areas of Philadelphia and the suburbs to draw from. SugarHouse Casino has the prime location and is approximately 10 minutes away from center city. 
                                   Odds of not granting a license to anyone. Even Money.

          You can't bet these propositions anywhere but you can talk about them everywhere.
                                              What do you think will happen?

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