Friday, June 24, 2016

This Week in Gaming Review

This week, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed a preliminary bill to expand gaming.
This expansion will include IGaming, Daily Fantasy Sports and slot machines at airports.

This is what online gaming enthusiast have been waiting for.Pennsylvania need the revenue and the public demand for gambling online is increasing every year. While the projected revenue varies, it will be at least 9 to 12 months before implementation. The next step is the bill moving to the Pennsylvania State Senate. While nothing is guaranteed, I like the chances of this passing.

New York made headlines with a reversal. They authorize Daily Fantasy Sports just months after issuing a ban on FanDuel and DraftKings. The following is an except from Sports Illustrated.
"Indeed, this was the reason for the cease-and-desist orders in 2015. Now, however, amended laws will seek to bring clarity to the matter. The full bill can be found here. Crucially, it alters the state’s gambling laws to include “regulated interactive fantasy sports contests with an entry fee.”

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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

NBA Draft: Who is Number 1?

The Sixers are on the clock. There is speculation as to who they should take with the top pick in the draft. Brandon Ingram and Ben Simmons are the top two names that are floating around. Jamal Murray from Kentucky is getting some consideration as well.
This is one that the Sixers can not miss on. The fan base has endured 3 straight years of losing on purpose. Who ever they pick must make an impact on and off the court. Jahlil Okafor was a good pick last year but they need a player to market the team around. Some of Okafor off court actions don't translate well to Madison Avenue.

Ben Simmons has more upside. While he did not perform or shoot as well as his critics would like, he is a tremendous passer and ball handler. I see him as a Lamar Odom if and when he develops a outside shot. That may take a season. Simmons has not worked out for any team other than the Sixers and did not attend the combine.

Brandon Ingram is a shooter and a scorer. While he is very slight and will need to gain weight, he is what the Sixers need right now other than a point guard. He would score at least 15 to 20 every night as is. I see him being as a junior Kevin Durant. He also worked out for Sixers.

The pick: If I work for the Sixers I go for what I see. Simmons is good and was touted as the next Lebron out of high school. He did play for a poorly coach and underachieving LSU team. He did not make them better. He is ready physically.
Ingram played for Duke and lead his team to the NCAA tournament. He will provide an immediate need. If I am patient I go Simmons. But if I want now then I go Ingram.
Best Scenario: Sixers trade Okafor to Lakers for number 2 pick and take Ingram and Simmons. I start going to Wells Fargo Center again.

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Friday, June 17, 2016

After the NBA Finals: The Next 7 weeks.

The next 7 weeks is the slow period. Since we don't cover baseball until the latter part of the season,there is a lull.  So here is the agenda. We will do a #HisandHers chat featuring @kesiscuties and myself on Twitter. This feature will appear every Friday at 8PM. We will preview our conversation on Wednesday at the same time.

We will have #GTLivechat every Tuesday and Thursday at 7:30 until NFL football returns. We will cover OTAs,training camps, rookies and injuries. We will do a Hall of Fame Edition where we discuss the inductees as well as people we think should be in.

There will be Olympics Coverage from Rio De Janeiro on the popular events.
We also have casino news with interviews from the top executives and organizations.
We will have the best photos from Atlantic City and Las Vegas on Facebook & Instagram.
The readers can submit pictures as well via Twitter.

Don't forget to check out the website and my Smart Responsible Gaming app.

We are going to have fun this summer.

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Saturday, June 11, 2016

This Week in Gaming Review

Atlantic City News dominated the media with the announcements that Revel and Showboat were going to reopen. This would be in time for the summer season. Showboat will have a non gaming
facility with a hotel only. Revel will reopen as a casino hotel. It appears that Revel will offer slots
only for now. The slot gaming experience should return in August. This will be timely since this is
Atlantic City's peak time and hotel occupancy is up.

The International Conference on Gambling and Risk Taking was held in Las Vegas and concluded yesterday. Jan Jones Blackhurst was a speaker and address the group about the lack of women and minorities in top gaming positions. Attendees reportedly came from over 250 cities. The next conference sponsored by UNLV will take place in 2019.

No news from Pennsylvania about online gaming. Since the budget talks are heating up, I expect this and a expansion of gaming into Fantasy Sports to be part of the new revenue for the Commonwealth.

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Thursday, June 2, 2016

NBA Finals - The Rematch

This is the one everybody wanted to see. OKC wanted to see this too! Cavs vs Warriors.

 Steph against Lebron.

Love matched up with Green.

Both teams playing well. Both teams shooting a high percentage from outside 3 point line.
Vegas has the line set at +180 for series if you take the Cavs. You lay a price of -230 if you
like the Warriors.

Cavs are rested. Warriors are coming off a hard fought series against OKC. The Dubs would not even
be in the NBA Finals without Klay Thompson. I expect him to have a good series and dominate his match up with J.R. Smith or Shumpert. Irving will have something to prove and will score consistently against whoever plays him.

Curry and Lebron will cancel each other out with both having outstanding moments. Curry is more proficient in the clutch. Iguodala will match up with James and will start if the Cavs go up a game
on them.

Tristan Thompson will dominate Bogat in the middle. Andrew looked spent in game 7. Expect to see Eziel more.

Harrison Barnes is X factor. He is due for a breakout game. Channing Frye is X factor for Cavs. They may leave both of these guys open and they have ability to make opponents pay.

Both Benches are strong. Slight edge to Warriors.

Coaching edge goes to Kerr. Lue does have the pulse of his team. I am curious about his ability to adjust on the biggest stage of professional coaching career.

Fantasy Picks.
Lebron James is averaging 24.6 points,8.6 rebounds and 7 assists.
Kevin Love has 9 double double in the playoffs so far.
Draymond Green has 6 double double and 1 triple double in the playoffs.
Curry is averaging 26 points,almost 6.0 rebounds and 6.0 assists.
Thompson is dropping 26.2 with less production in rebounds and assists
Irving is averaging 24 points but give minimal numbers in the other categories.

Go with solid across the board and take Lebron over Curry.

Go with the champs in 7 and grab the Warriors. Don't let the price or the Lebron got help this time
sway you. Warriors dominated the Cavs in last meeting. The homecourt advantage is the difference.
I will add the video highlight of each game so you can get the top play of  #NBA Finals.

Game 1: Curry No look pass to Iguodala. Video.
Game 2: Warriors work the ball for an open 3. Video
Game 3: Lebron catches lob pass from Irving. video

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Wednesday, June 1, 2016

East Coast Gaming Congress - Day Two Recap

Day Two of The East Coast Gaming Congress was insightful because the panels were tackling issues that had the old guard vs. 21st Century thinking. I shuttled between Gender Equality in the Gaming Industry and Atlantic City.. And North Jersey?  They were in adjacent areas so I was able to cover both.

Virginia McDowell

The Gender Equality Panel consisted of Jan Jones Blackhurst,Vice President of  Government Relations at Caesars Entertainment, James Allen, CEO of Hard Rock International and Jane Bokunewicz,Assistant Professor of Tourism Management from Stockton University.  The moderator was the esteemed Virginia McDowell, President  and Board Chair of Global Gaming Women. This session should have been held by itself.  The turnout was light but the message was powerful. Women are underrepresented in management positions and are paid substantially less than their male counterparts. But the message and the numbers do not resonate unless they are heard by everyone. Most of the attendees were women and minorities. The data supports that companies that are diverse do better than one's that are not. Companies that have women in position of leadership are making more money than those where only men are present.
The Atlantic City ...And North Jersey panel had the most fireworks. The groups were divided by the trio that wanted a gaming expansion into North Jersey and one that was opposed. The Atlantic City group wants to maintain the momentum that they have by citing the increases in hotel occupancy and revenue over this time two years ago. They feel that casinos in North Jersey would derail that growth.
The North Jersey supporters of Jeff Gural and Paul Fireman, the two primary investors of the proposed Meadowlands and Jersey City project respectively, think that they are going after a market that Atlantic City does not have presently. No happy medium was reached.
The Casino Floor of Tomorrow gave a glimpse at what everyone thought the future gaming floor would look like. The consensus of this panel was that while we can't forget about our present customers, we must allocate a percentage of our space that will engage a younger crowd.

Geoff Freeman

Geoff Freeman, President & CEO, American Gaming Association, requested that the gaming industry do 3 things. The industry should expose the problems, see the opportunities and unify the stakeholders. This includes Sports Betting and Daily Fantasy Sports.

Part Two of the Day 2 recap will be on my Facebook and Twitter  mediums.

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Monday, May 30, 2016

East Coast Gaming Congress - Day Two Recap (Part 2)

The afternoon sessions of the East Coast Gaming Congress featured the CEO panels. This is the highlight of the conference. This year was unique because the organizers of the conference had a fashion show as to quote Lloyd Levenson, "To lighten things up."
Lloyd Levenson  (standing) with Mark Frissora

Here our two images of the Fashion Show Presentation by Cintas.

I decided to give bulletin board material to all of my readers. This can be used as food for thought and came directly from the CEOs that were on the last two panels.

James Allen

James Allen- CEO of Hard Rock International: "One size does not fit all. Look for a Return on Investment of 15 to 17% before committing to a deal."

Bobby Soper- CEO of Mohegan Sun :"Innovation drives business. Right size your investment"

Felix Rappaport- President & CEO of Foxwoods Resort Casino: "Go after brands that are highly engaged in social media."

Keith Smith

Keith Smith- President & CEO of Boyd Gaming: "Trying to predict the future is impossible. Don't lose sight of the core customer of today"

Tim Wilmott- President & CEO of Penn National Gaming: "Combine all platforms to your Loyalty Programs"

Greg Carlin - CEO of Rush Street Gaming:  Carlin was the most innovative with his presentation.
He incorporated a video that dealt with the fantasy sports betting issue. He got the biggest rise from the crowd.  My take from his presentation is that you have to engage your audience and your customer to keep them in tune to your message.

The CEO panel also included Mark Julliano, President Sands Bethlehem, Dave Cordish, Chairman of Cordish Companies and John E.Taylor Jr., Chairman of Twin Rivers Worldwide Holdings.

This year's Conference was the best one I have ever attended. This is the only conference that you can get an intimate conversation with the CEOs and network with your peers at the same time. Worth the money! I would double down next year and await  #ECGC21.

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