Endless Summer

From what I can tell reading comments from all the slot executives, each and every one of these mergers is capable of conjuring up multiple usage of the term "synergy."

Endless Summer

This is always a wacky time of year for me. I’m always running around in Las Vegas, Reno, Chicago, Austin and elsewhere visiting slot manufacturers, looking at the games they’re bringing to the G2E show, while simultaneously writing, editing and proofreading the September issue of Global Gaming Business you hold in your hand, or, if you prefer, on your mobile device (we’re here to serve).

While I’m doing all that, I’m writing for, editing and proofreading the annual G2E Preview—which, if you’re lucky, came in a handy bundle with this month’s issue of GGB—and performing various and sundry other writing, editing and proofreading-type duties.

I also sing, dance, tell jokes and do assorted parlor tricks. (Available for weddings, bar mitzvahs and smokers. Rates reasonable.)

This year, as you’d have it, this normal and expected little bundle of annual fun is augmented, as it were, by a parade of huge slot-company merger announcements, each bigger than the last.

I suppose that before we get on with the mirth, I should make some comment on the big slot company mergers, since, you know, I write about big slot companies. All I’ll say is that if Theodore Roosevelt were alive, he’d be sharpening his trust-busting sword.

From what I can tell reading comments from all the slot executives, each and every one of these mergers is capable of conjuring up multiple usage of the term “synergy.” I noted this before, in a simply hilarious column written the last time consolidation happened on the operations side.

In that column, I mentioned (with the usual degree of hilarity) that every executive comment on a merger noted the “synergies” inherent in the deal, before talking more about synergies, and synergistic synonyms of synergy.

Some believe synergies are really just functions shared by teams within each original company that can be “synergized” into a single entity in the new, merged company.

Sample boardroom discussion on synergy, Columbia Pictures, circa 1933:

“Gentlemen, I think our merger of the comedy teams ‘The Four Stooges’ and ‘The Six Stooges’ creates a kind of synergy that will result in a sensational new act.”

“I agree, J.T.! Now, what should we call the merged comedy troupe?”

OK, the slot manufacturers are using the “S” word to talk about how the qualities of each pre-merged company complement those of the other company. But someone’s always the odd man out in these things, or the odd woman out. And yes, I do realize how weird that sounded.

But you know, this time of year, not much can compare with working on that 100-page G2E Preview. Many of those hundred pages are devoted to giving all the suppliers of the industry some press on what they think is their best product for the show. That means I theoretically get to read everything about every product that can possibly be squeezed inside a casino’s walls.

Our preview supplement is just loaded with information on the casino trade. I realize this every year, because I’m quite possibly the only person who reads every word of the thing—twice, counting editing and proofreading.

Of course, I love the professional editing process. And hey, who wouldn’t consider pondering the intricacies of backward-compatible software, CPUs and general-purpose reloadable prepaid programs just a little slice of heaven?

I mean, it’s not like I want to walk in front of a train after I read and re-read all the technological jargon.

Really, it’s not like that at all.

I put all the product information together in a section called “Progressive Products,” where you can read about dye-sub printed ropes, with accessories in leather, naugahyde, velour, or… wait for it… braided polypropylene.

With posts, too. I know. I read it twice.

After reading the entire G2E Preview, I generally go to sleep and dream about magical dancing quad core processor configurations clocked at up to 2.7GHz, superheroes whose powers include multi-channel funds access, and mythical monsters that breathe fire while performing cloud-based analytics.

And of course, all the while, I’m thinking about potential synergies. For instance, I bought a pair of Labrador retriever puppies recently—little siblings who are, as I write this, likely chewing my entire house to smithereens.

I’m thinking there are synergies I can take advantage of here. Yes, puppy synergies. Maybe I can have one of them chew virtual couches beamed over the internet cloud.

Egad, I need to get a life.

Frank Legato
Frank Legato is editor of Global Gaming Business magazine. He has been writing on gaming topics since 1984, when he launched and served as editor of Casino Gaming magazine. Legato, a nationally recognized expert on slot machines, has served as editor and reporter for a variety of gaming publications, including Public Gaming, IGWB, Casino Journal, Casino Player, Strictly Slots and Atlantic City Insider. He has an B.A. in journalism and an M.A. in communications from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. He is the author of the recently published book on gaming, How To Win Millions Playing Slot Machines... Or Lose Trying.