AGEM Board of Directors Actions for October 2020
- AGEM will once again be partnering with the European Casino Association and Clarion Events for the Executive Development Program (EDP) Gender Diversity Scholarship. Due to the current situation, this year’s EDP, titled, “All the Crises, All the Time,” will be a virtual event that will run November 15-21. This important scholarship is open to women with two to three years experience in the land-based casino sector. Eligible candidates have to be employed by a direct or indirect member of the ECA and show ambition for holding a leadership position in gaming and a desire to further their professional education. The process for selection will conclude by the end of October with the winner announced shortly after.
- Two very useful web resources (NevadaWorksTogether.com and TheManufacturingInstitute.org) continue to be active to help gaming employees who have been furloughed or laid off with new postings daily. Nevada Industry Excellence has recently secured funding for a new training program that gives up to $2,700 per hire for cross-training gaming employees to work in new industries.
- The Nevada Gaming Control Board recently rescinded its policy that now allows developers, manufacturers or distributors of new games or gaming devices to be able to collect revenue during field trials, provided they are properly licensed to do so. This change of policy has been discussed for some time but is thought to have been fast-tracked to assist suppliers during this challenging period.
- There has recently been a lot of activity surrounding unregulated and illegal gaming machines in the U.S. Earlier this year, AGEM and the American Gaming Association released a fact sheet designed to help combat the spread of unregulated machines in multiple markets throughout the U.S. and is following these developments closely. In Virginia, legislation passed earlier this year to prohibit skill games, but on July 1 the governor proposed a 12-month reprieve applying a $1,200 per machine monthly fee to generate revenue for a Covid-19 relief fund. In Pennsylvania, SB 1256 had a hearing, with its introduction aimed at expanding lawful VGTs beyond truck stops to other licensed establishments in the state. The proposed expansion of VGTs and skill games will require them to go through the same full licensing procedures as slots. Casino operators have joined together to lobby against this expansion. In Missouri a court ruling stated that an unregulated gaming machine popular in convenience stores constitutes a form of illegal gambling. Policymakers have been seeking clarity on the legality of skill games while they also consider legislation to authorize VLTs.
- AGEM recently welcomed House Advantage as a Bronze member. The company, headquartered in Las Vegas with offices in Macau, Boston and Memphis, offers a loyalty management platform for the marketing of casino, resort, leisure and entertainment properties. AGEM members now number an all-time high of 185 companies globally.
- The AGEM Memorial Awards in honor of Jens Halle and Peter Mead will take place as a virtual video presentation on October 28 between 8:30 a.m. 8:45 a.m. PT. The ceremony, which usually takes place on the show floor of G2E, will still be aligned to the event October 27-28. The winners will be announced in the morning and a video will be posted for all to view after.
The AGEM Index increased by 48.85 points in September 2020 to 530.87 points, a 10.1 percent gain from August 2020. Five of the 13 AGEM Index companies reported stock price increases despite downward trends in major U.S. stock indices in September. The stock price for Scientific Games Corporation (SGMS) increased by 68.7 percent, accounting for a 37.05-point improvement in the AGEM Index, while Konami Corp. (TYO.9766) experienced a 11.1 percent stock price jump that led to an index contribution of 10.87 points. All three major U.S. stock indices decreased as the NASDAQ dropped by 5.4 percent, the S&P 500 fell by 3.9 percent, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined by 2.1 percent compared to August 2020.