- AGEM members had an in-person pre-show ICE presentation from Clarion Events Managing Director Alex Pratt, along with brand ambassadors Kate Chambers, Roy Student and Tom Nieman. They reassured members that although the situation has changed recently in the U.K., Clarion is closely monitoring events and putting procedures in place for a safe and secure show to take place in February. Clarion will be stepping up communications in the runup to the show to keep exhibitors and visitors informed of any changes. They were keen to state they will listen to the science as well as the market regarding keeping to the February dates. AGEM members expressed support for Clarion but insisted the utmost importance must be placed on keeping employees and visitors safe, as well as ensuring restrictions would not impact the considerable investment it takes to exhibit at a trade show.
- AGEM’s unregulated gaming machine campaign has had some positive developments recently. Following a contact AGEM Executive Director Marcus Prater made at G2E in October, a Zoom meeting was held with the FBI’s new Integrity in Sport and Gaming Unit in Washington to raise awareness of unregulated gaming at the federal law enforcement level. AGEM was also able to take advantage of a public comment period on the Gambling Devices Act of 1962 announced by the Department of Justice, by providing a submission that calls for the DOJ to ensure companies that have been alleged in media reports to be manufacturing so-called “skill” games and other variants to file official registrations for their gambling devices as well. These latest developments with the FBI and DOJ signify a significant step forward along with pending bills in Missouri and Pennsylvania in the fight to address the spread of unregulated machines.
- AGEM’s efforts that began in 2019 asking the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) to review regulatory language that prevents certain popular game types from being approved in the commonwealth has finally resulted in a positive result. The AGEM Compliance Committee submitted specific language recommendations to PGCB Executive Director Kevin O’Toole, and after some lengthy reviews, AGEM received a letter in early December that provides clarity to the situation and at the same time thanked AGEM for highlighting these issues and helping the Gaming Control Board to be more flexible as games and general technology evolve—a good result for all.
- The ECA Diversity Scholarship sponsored by AGEM, Clarion, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas International Gaming Institute and the European Casino Association (ECA) recently announced the winners for this year’s awards. In its fourth year, the Diversity Scholarship is open to all ECA member employees from the land-based casino industry, and offers the chance to attend the renowned Executive Development Program (EDP). Due to the virtual format of the event, the ECA decided to award four candidates to take part in the program with each sponsor covering the cost of a winner. The winners are: Joanna Petit, Casino de Monte-Carlo, Monaco; Shalini Kolling, Casino Compel, Sweden; Jan Pecha, Olympic Casino Slovakia; and Darko Devic, Casino Mond, Slovenia. Well done to all!
- SuperBook Sports, based at the Westgate in Las Vegas, was approved as an associate member at the December AGEM meeting. Established in 1993, SuperBook consistently provides a best-in-class experience for in-person and mobile app betting. This now brings the total membership to 171 companies across 22 countries worldwide.
- AGEM members approved to support the 4th EKG Slot Awards Show with a contribution of $2,500 that covers sponsorship of one of the awards. Organized by Eilers & Krejcik Gaming and held virtually last year, the 2022 event is back in-person and will be held at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas on February 24.
In November 2021, the AGEM Index fell by 117.72 points to 960.19, marking a 10.9 percent decline from the prior month. Compared to one year ago, the index reported significant growth, gaining 328.47 points for an annual growth rate of 52 percent. In the latest period, all AGEM Index companies reported decreases in stock price. The recent decline in the overall index can be attributed to a number of factors, including rising concerns of the omicron variant which trigged stock sell-offs, poor quarterly earnings performances, instability in the U.S. dollar exchange rates and rising inflation. The largest decline to the index was attributed to Aristocrat Leisure Limited (ASX: ALL). Due to a 5.5 percent decline in overall stock price, Aristocrat Leisure Limited had a negative 48-point contribution to the AGEM Index. Scientific Games Corporation (NASDAQ: SGMS) saw a 20.1 percent decline in stock price, which resulted in a 27.11-point decline for the overall index. Meanwhile, Konami Corporation (TYO: 9766) reported a 10.1 percent decline in stock price, subtracting 13.91 points from the index. Despite the sharp decrease in November, the index remained among its highest levels in tracked history and has tripled in value since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020. Two of the three major U.S. stock indices saw decreases over the month, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 declining by 3.8 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively. At the same time, the NASDAQ experienced a 0.1 percent increase.