AGEM Board of Directors Actions for February 2021
- Following the January AGEM meeting that saw J. Brin Gibson, the new chairman of the Nevada Gaming Control Board, outline his plans for the year, the AGEM Compliance Committee provided input for a working group meeting between AGEM and the NGCB to discuss a review of the language for two pending bills in the Nevada legislature—AB 7 and AB 8. This was a good meeting that resulted in some of the language flagged by AGEM’s Compliance Committee after being reviewed and the suggested content incorporated into the draft. Although this was only a small step toward overall regulatory reform, it signals a good start to working relations between AGEM and the new chairman and his team, including Jim Barbee, chief of the Technology Division.
- The Nevada legislature reconvened recently in Carson City, albeit with limited lobbying, press and people, due to the pandemic. Currently, there is not much industry activity in this area, but AGEM was highly encouraged when Governor Steve Sisolak recently reached out to Executive Director Marcus Prater to see if AGEM needed anything on a legislative level addressed. This is a positive and reassuring move that indicates AGEM is on leadership’s radar and they are receptive to industry needs.
- The chairman of the AGEM Mexico Committee, Carlos Carrión of Aristocrat, made some significant developments recently when he met with new SEGOB Director Alma Itzec De Lira Castillo. Two in-depth meetings took place in which Carrión was able to give a full overview of how the supplier sector operates in the region and how this differs in other areas around the world. AGEM is committed to working with the new regime supporting and educating on industry issues. Encouragingly, both sides are opposed to the proposed “NOM,” or new federal rule, that has the potential to require an additional level of certifications for machines coming into the country. SEGOB recognizes manufacturers are key to the industry, and the new director has expressed he is happy to work closely with AGEM for the greater good.
- Following the recent contract agreement between AGEM, the American Gaming Association (AGA) and Reed Exhibitions in relation to the Global Gaming Expo trade show, it was decided to establish a steering committee that will meet four times a year. The first of these meetings will take place on February 17, where two members each from AGEM, AGA and Reed will decide major issues that ultimately shape the show.
- AGEM members recently approved a one-year contract for Executive Director Marcus Prater, instead of the usual three-year term, as it was announced he will be stepping down and a new executive director will take over the helm March 1, 2022. Prater has agreed to a further six-month term up to G2E 2022 to ensure a smooth transition period. A recruiting committee has been set up consisting of AGEM officers and one non-board member who will start their search now to find the right candidate. Connie Jones, director of Responsible Gaming, also had a one-year contract approved at the same time.
- After two previous postponements in April and June, the organizers of the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) trade show have confirmed the event will now take place in Las Vegas at the new Caesars Forum July 19-22. The RES (Reservation Economic Summit) will also take place around the same date, and both event organizers will work together to ensure attendance is strong.
The AGEM Index improved by 8.96 points in January 2021 to 696.08 points, a 1.3 percent gain from December 2020. Overall, the majority of companies in the AGEM Index reported declines in stock price over the month, with eight trending negatively and five moving positively. The AGEM Index’s monthly growth was due in large part to an increase in the stock price of Konami Corp. (TYO:9766). The company’s stock price increased by 13.4 percent and contributed 18.22 points to the AGEM Index’s January gain. Additionally, the stock price for Ainsworth Game Technology (ASX:AGI) increased 66.7 percent, which led to an index contribution of 2.47 points. Change for the major stock indices was mixed during the month. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 declined by 2.0 percent and 1.1 percent, respectively, while the NASDAQ grew by 1.4 percent.