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Join In and Out!

Join In and Out!

The gaming industry has been woefully behind the curve when it comes to the internet. For years, resorts, hotels and restaurants have been marketing themselves online, taking reservations and creating online “communities,” while the casino industry has only recently begun to recognize the power of the internet.

Maybe that’s because existing casino customers enjoy the personal touch at which the gaming industry excels. The casino host is an animal that doesn’t exist in any other hospitality business, so for a long time, there was no need to become more internet-savvy if you were happy with your core customers. In fact, initially, there was a resistance by these very customers to logging on to the internet to make reservations, receive confirmations or do anything that had to do with their visit to a casino.

And there was always the question of internet gambling. While gaming companies would love to offer their customers the fun of gambling online, the legal status is so uncertain, very few are willing to even consider it and risk their valuable licenses. But by doing that, the industry put itself behind the eight-ball.

That mentality is diminishing rapidly. Most casino companies now have websites that allow existing customers and new prospects to do all of the above and more. There are vendors who seek to build these online communities that create loyalty, spread the good word about your casino(s) and actually allow players to enjoy their favorite games, using play money, of course, but receiving some ultimate rewards at the properties.

On the vendor side, it’s even worse. Companies that sell goods and services to the industry have long been frustrated by the inability and unwillingness of purchasing directors, slot executives and others to review their offerings online. What should be a perfect platform for demonstrations of systems, slot products and hospitality services has generally been ignored by those in the business.

On the publishing side, we’ve been struggling to get our arms around the new media possibilities on the internet.

At Global Gaming Business, we’ve been approaching this slowly but thoughtfully. We’ve launched a new website (www.ggbmagazine.com) within the last six months that still isn’t perfect, but it’s a quantum leap from our last site. You’ll find our latest edition online by the first of each month, and be able to access archives as we go forward.

Soon after we launched the company seven years ago, we introduced Global Gaming Business Weekly, delivered to your desk every Monday morning in a PDF format. It is now the industry’s only weekly electronic newsletter that brings you the news of the gaming industry around the world. It is read by all the top executives in the industry and 500 additional subscribers, ranging from Wall Street gaming analysts to the world’s leading regulators.

Two years ago, we launched the Global Gaming Business Podcast , a weekly audio interview with the leading figures in the gaming industry that you can download to your computer, iPod or MP3 player. More than 1,000 people on average download the podcast each week, and executives are lining up to be interviewed for this product.

And last month, we introduced the Casino Connection Blog, the only blog dedicated to the worldwide business of the gaming industry. The writers employed by Casino Connection, the parent company of Global Gaming Business, are the recognized experts in their fields and every day, one or more add their thoughts and observations to the Casino Connection Blog. We also offer space on the blog to anyone in the gaming industry who thinks they have something to contribute to the discussions of the state of casinos today. If you’d like to contribute as a “blogger,” simply contact me at [email protected], and I’ll make it happen. And you can always post your perspective on the views of our bloggers by
clicking on the comment button.

So let’s not continue to ignore the online community that we can create in the gaming industry. The more people who participate in the varied way offered by Global Gaming Business, the closer we all become and the quicker the industry will advance. Simply log on to our website (www.ggbmagazine.com) and join the fun. You won’t regret it.

Roger Gros is publisher of Global Gaming Business, the industry's leading gaming trade publication, and all its related publications. Prior to joining Global Gaming Business, Gros was president of Inlet Communications, an independent consulting firm. He was vice president of Casino Journal Publishing Group from 1984-2000, and held virtually every editorial title during his tenure. Gros was editor of Casino Journal, the National Gaming Summary and the Atlantic City Insider, and was the founding editor of Casino Player magazine. He was a co-founder of the American Gaming Summit and the Southern Gaming Summit conferences and trade shows. He is the author of the best-selling book, How to Win at Casino Gambling (Carlton Books, 1995), now in its fourth edition. Gros was named "Businessman of the Year" for 1998 by the Greater Atlantic City Chamber of Commerce, and received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Gaming Association in 2012.

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