- AGEM members are exploring a game/cabinet/table census project to primarily assess the makeup of the roughly 1 million gambling machines in North America. A working group met in June to discuss possible content for a scope document, and the information is now being collated. Once this is finalized, an outside company will be identified to bid on executing the census.
- AGEM is looking at how the recently approved Nevada Assembly Bill 75 language might be implemented into regulations in other states. The bill speeds up the approval process as it takes out a layer of regulation that manufacturers have to deal with when partnering with non-licensed third parties, so each individual licensed partner assumes responsibility for who they do business with and for the content in products. Five states have been highlighted, and AGEM is currently looking at suitable legal partnerships that are able to review the language and make the correct recommendations locally.
- AGEM and its members continue to monitor gaming expansion developments in Pennsylvania and support the introduction of video gaming terminals (VGTs) through its membership in the Pennsylvania Video Gaming Association. House lawmakers passed a bill that could bring as many as 40,000 VGTs, but the Senate version stalled and a state budget has been put forth without any gambling expansion. The debate in Harrisburg continues, but the full legislature may not officially address gambling expansion again until possibly September.
- The Illinois Gaming Board has recently demanded that all manufacturers introduce “cryptographically sound” random number generators (RNGs) within a six-month timeframe. This is as a result of news reports regarding Russian hacking of machines where they have been able to determine a pattern in the RNG. AGEM is supportive of this implementation, but acknowledges six months is not a feasible timeline. AGEM members agreed to draft a letter to request a meeting with the IGB so they could ask them to consider a more workable lead time.
- As part of AGEM’s support of responsible gaming initiatives, the membership approved significant contributions. The Problem Gambling Center based in Las Vegas will receive funding of $50,000 as an annual contribution. This is vitally important for this worthy organization, as it receives limited funding from the state and will go a long way to help benefit problem gamblers. In addition, AGEM once again agreed to support the National Council on Problem Gambling with a contribution of $40,000 for the year.
- AGEM welcomed two new members in July, bringing the membership to a total of 151. PariMAX, a historical racing content supplier based in Hunt Valley, Maryland, was approved as a Bronze member, while Digital Gaming Corp., based in the U.K. and delivering cutting-edge gaming software, was voted in as an Associate Member.
The AGEM Index reached another record high in June, continuing the momentum from previous months. The composite index stood at 421.95 points at the close of June 2017, which represents an increase of 31.77 points, or 8.1 percent, when compared to May 2017. The AGEM Index reported a year-over-year increase for the 21st consecutive month, and has climbed 161.94 points, or 62.3 percent, since May 2016. During the latest period, 10 of the 13 global gaming equipment manufacturers reported month-to-month increases in stock price, with five up by more than 10 percent. Three manufacturers reported decreases in stock price during the month, with one posting double-digit declines.