AGEM members had an in-person presentation at the October Board of Directors meeting by Bo Bernhard, executive director of the International Gaming Institute at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He highlighted that an announcement for the new executive director at the International Center for Gaming Regulation was imminent, which will fill the spot vacated by Andre Wilsenach last December. He also updated the group on developments at the UNLV Harry Reid Research and Technology Park that will see tenants such as Intel, Microsoft, LG, Adobe and Cox start to move in as early as November. He said the American Gaming Association is considering taking space in the park, and AGEM should do the same in the future. He encouraged gaming technology suppliers across the board to consider tenancy, and said UNLV’s Gaming Innovation Program will also be located at the park and continue to provide a pipeline of new games and other patented ideas to the gaming industry as a whole.
AGEM members were also updated at the board meeting on new developments related to the organization’s interaction with the Nevada Gaming Control Board. It was noted the Technology Division has been more responsive to consistency and speed-to-market issues of late and that improvements to the New Innovation Beta (NIB) program are being considered. The GCB has also reached out to AGEM for input on potential updates to the “assume responsibility” language in current regulations. AGEM also provided a statement to the GCB that it is opposed to minors being able to participate in charitable lotteries and other activities within Regulation 4A that is being debated by both the GCB and the Nevada Gaming Commission.
The AGEM board approved an expenditure to provide an amicus brief in support of the New Hampshire Lottery’s court case challenging the Department of Justice’s interpretation of the Wire Act that could dramatically impact the gaming industry at all levels throughout the U.S. if the DOJ’s position wins out. Press reports citing legal experts say the case is likely to ultimately be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.
With G2E looming, the members were updated on pending important meetings with a delegation from the Japanese government as well as both operator trade organizations from Mexico. It was noted at the board meeting that press reports claiming Mexico President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has outlawed any future casinos in the country were inaccurate, and that enough approved licenses exist to potentially double the number of casinos from the current 353 to more than 700.
AGEM welcomed a new associate members Central Account Management System (CAMS) and U.S. Bank. CAMS was recently acquired by former Nevada Gaming Control Board Chairman Mark Lipparelli.
- The long-running Executive Development Program (EDP) is set for November 9-17 in Lake Tahoe, Nevada. AGEM is a supporter through the awarding of the annual Gender Diversity Scholarship, along with the European Casino Association and Clarion Gaming. This year’s winner is Dolly Sananes Bascou, head of marketing and communications, gaming operations, at Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer.
- The AGEM-sponsored Eastern Europe Gaming Summit is set for November 19-20 in Sofia, Bulgaria.
- AGEM will host a fundraising event for Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak on November 18 at IGT in Las Vegas.
The AGEM Index increased by 27.33 points in September 2019 to 500.69 points, a 5.8 percent jump from August 2019. The growth was driven largely by an 18.6 percent increase in the stock price of International Game Technology Plc. (IGT), which increased from $11.98 to $14.21. The stock was responsible for 8.14 points of the AGEM Index’s monthly gain. Konami Holdings Corp. (TYO: 9766) experienced an 8.4 percent stock price gain from ¥4,815 to ¥5,220, which led to an index contribution of 6.5 points. Overall, most AGEM Index companies reported increases in stock price during the month, with 10 trending positively and three moving negatively. The major stock indices performed well as the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 experienced monthly growth of 2.0 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively. The NASDAQ experienced a modest gain of 0.5 percent.