AGEM Board of Directors Actions for May 2020
- AGEM Executive Director Marcus Prater continues to hold twice-weekly calls regarding the Covid-19 situation with Nevada Gaming Control Board Chairwoman Sandra Douglass Morgan, the Nevada Resort Association and representatives of restricted gaming licensees. Recently, these meetings have been dominated by a timetable for Nevada casino reopenings as other states such as California start to open. Many operators are currently working on “How to Prepare” plans that have to be submitted to the Gaming Control Board seven days prior to opening. Chairwoman Morgan has been very helpful and supportive of AGEM throughout this period by sharing information, and she will continue to work with the association as the reopenings occur.
- AGEM is coordinating with Nevada Industry Excellence (NevadaIE.com) on the new NevadaWorksTogether.com website designed to introduce furloughed gaming employees to job openings in other Nevada businesses and industries. Former Nevada Gaming Control Board Chairman and state Senator Mark Lipparelli helped connect AGEM to this effort, and the membership will receive notice when the website is fully functional. Meanwhile, gaming company human resources departments can review the site and share pertinent information with those who have been furloughed or laid off.
- AGEM and the AGA’s campaign against unregulated gaming machines continues, despite a recent setback in Virginia in which Governor Ralph Northam approved a one-year extension, allowing skill games to be taxed in an attempt to boost Covid-19 relief revenues. It is hoped that this approach will not be adopted by other states. Discussions related to unregulated gaming continue in Pennsylvania and Missouri, but it’s unknown how the virus crisis will impact legislative priorities in the coming months. AGEM is also active in helping shape the discussion in Wyoming, as the gaming commission and legislature there await recommendations from committees reviewing gaming’s role in the Cowboy State going forward.
- Will Wise, vice president of Reed Exhibitions, along with Korbi Carrison, event director for G2E, and Allie Barth, senior vice president of industry relations for the American Gaming Association, addressed AGEM members at the May meeting to give an update regarding G2E Las Vegas. They reiterated that their prime interest is ensuring the health and safety of exhibitors and visitors alike, with any decisions on what the show will look like based foremost on these priorities. Over the past six weeks, they have had discussions with more than 200 exhibitors, and the feedback has been varied, due to the continually evolving situation. As a result, they have decided to conduct a research project using a third-party company to gauge true credible insights from buyers and operators, and will publish the initial results to exhibitors by mid-June so firm decisions can be made about the next show.
- AGEM welcomed a new Associate member in May. Sparks Marketing Corporation, based in Las Vegas, is an award-winning experiential marketing agency that creates brand moments for activations, events, trade show exhibits, digital and retail. This takes AGEM’s global membership to 180 companies—an all-time high.
The AGEM Index increased 63.52 points in April 2020 to 376.04 points, a 20.3 percent gain from March 2020.
Eleven of the 13 AGEM Index companies reported significant stock price increases as global markets began to rebound from the initial shock of the Covid-19 pandemic. The stock price for Aristocrat Leisure Ltd. (ASX: ALL) increased 19.4 percent, accounting for a 40.13-point improvement in the AGEM Index, while International Game Technology PLC (IGT) experienced a 26.7 percent stock price jump that led to an index contribution of 5.82 points.
All three major U.S. stock indices increased as the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 experienced monthly gains of 11.1 percent and 12.7 percent, respectively. The NASDAQ also experienced a gain of 15.5 percent.