- Activity in Mexico continues to be positive for AGEM members and the industry. The recent three-day virtual Gaming Symposium hosted by Olga Sánchez Cordero, the Mexican government secretary for the interior, along with SEGOB Director Alma Itzec De Lira Castillo, was a great success. Olga Sánchez Cordero spoke of the need for a new federal law and the importance that its evolution reflects today’s technology, economics and culture and that bad practices of old be eradicated. She also called for the cancellation of the proposed Norma Oficial Mexicana (NOM) certification that would add a further layer of certification to gaming machines. AGEM Mexico Committee Chair Carlos Carrión of Aristocrat represented all suppliers at the event and also spoke and adjudicated on some panels. The event, along with the positive discussions, signals a new change for Mexico and is welcomed by AGEM as it continues to work with all the parties involved to ensure its members get the best representation.
- AGEM’s unregulated gaming machine campaign received some good news recently when Virginia Governor Ralph Northam confirmed that the one-year provision he granted for unregulated machines to operate would not be extended past July when it expires. Last year, even though the Virginia legislature passed a bill to ban the machines, Northam vetoed the bill due to Covid-19 so a $1,200-per-machine monthly fee could be used for a pandemic relief fund. There was concern the operators were lobbying for an extension, but the governor has kept to his word and plans to enforce the one-year-only timeline.
- Fifteen months after it was first established, the Japan Regulatory Gaming Commission has recently issued its framework for both operators and suppliers and opened up a public comment period, which AGEM is very pleased about, having previously suggested to the commission that comment be allowed on the draft regulations. AGEM is working with GLI on reviewing the wording and will make a decision whether to submit comments if there are any red flags, although early indications are promising.
- The new date for this year’s AGEM/AGA 22nd Annual Golf Classic presented by JCM Global was recently confirmed as September 28, and will be held at Cascata, Boulder City, Nevada. The event usually takes place in April or May but has been postponed due to the pandemic. AGEM members approved a $10,000 contribution request that will provide joint title sponsorship with the AGA. The event provides a fundraiser for the International Center for Responsible Gaming (ICRG) and it is hoped, this year as all others, AGEM members will ensure it is well supported.
- The AGEM Board approved the application of High 5 Games as a Bronze member. Founded in 1995 and based in Mahwah, New Jersey, High 5 Games is one of the industry’s largest independent casino games providers, developing content for the land-based, mobile, online and social markets, both B2B and B2C.
- AGEM members approved a $5,000 sponsorship request for the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) Indian Gaming Tradeshow & Convention, which is now taking place in in Las Vegas at the new Caesars Forum July 19-22. Clarion, the event organizer, has reported 306 exhibitors are planning to return to the show this year, compared to 325 exhibitors that were going to exhibit at the 2020 event in San Diego before it was canceled due to the pandemic. In addition, seven new companies have contracted to exhibit. Registration to the show opened April 15, and all indications are the show is being supported well and attendance will be positive.
The AGEM Index increased by 12.33 points to 764.13 points in March 2021, a 1.6 percent gain from February 2021. Over the month, the majority of AGEM Index companies reported decreases in stock price, with five trending positively and eight moving negatively. The AGEM Index’s March 2021 growth was driven by a 13.1 percent increase in the stock price of Aristocrat Leisure Limited (ASX: ALL), which rose from $30.36 to $34.35. The stock was responsible for 35.77 points of the AGEM Index’s monthly growth. The other significant index contributor was Crane Co. (NYSE: CR), which added 12.21 points due to a 12 percent stock price gain from $83.86 to $93.91. The major stock indices also performed strongly over the month as the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 experienced monthly gains of 6.6 percent and 4.2 percent, respectively, while the NASDAQ grew by 0.4 percent.