Power of Technology

How to cope with changing technical standards in the industry

Not long ago, a co-worker forwarded me his 14-year-old daughter’s PowerPoint presentation, which cited a loophole in her punishment forbidding her from visiting any website requiring a subscription to watch television shows. Her argument: since iTunes is an application used to download media without a subscription, media purchased via iTunes was fair game.

Several of us (including a proud papa!) debated the merits of her argument, though I’m guessing you know how this worked out for her.

In reading through her presentation, I thought to myself: Technology has come a long way since I was 14. Can you imagine going back to only being able to watch your favorite television show at a designated time and day? With commercials? Personally, I love hitting “Purchase,” and—voila!—an entire ad-free season of Downton Abbey is immediately available for my streaming pleasure.

And let’s not even get started about teenagers providing their parents with PowerPoint presentations discussing loopholes to a punishment. I can’t remember when I learned to put one of those together, but I’m fairly certain it wasn’t at 14. It gives me a lot to look forward to, considering I’m a parent to almost 4-year-old twins.

Whatever you think about technology, there’s no denying its effect on our daily lives. And, when it comes to gaming, how do we best leverage technology within our industry as it evolves? According to a recent article by the Marketing Research Association, Generation Y—also known as millennials—is a larger group than baby boomers, and currently accounts for at least $1.3 trillion in consumer spending. The article also noted that current projections indicate this group will represent more than half of the total workforce in the next five years, and they will spend a lot—nearly one-third of all retail spending—in that same time period.

How do gaming manufacturers see this influence affecting them now, and how do they plan to address the “millennial question” going forward? We can see the Generation Y influence in the form of increased non-gaming activity for gaming operators, like day-clubs and nightclubs, which have been incredibly successful additions to the fantastic restaurant and spa options which round out a player’s non-gaming experience.

How will gaming operators address this influence within their operations, and what sort of technologies appeal to this group? Based on the millennial propensity to reach for their gadgets as early adaptors of social media and other technologies, what do legal and regulatory teams see as the challenges that come with the possible exchange of personal information and other player data?

Setting some of these questions aside for a minute, how well do you, as someone within the gaming industry, use LinkedIn, Twitter and other similar websites now, and could you do more to enhance your personal brand? What are the other technology-based tools available to you that you may not know about, and how can you use these tools to help you work smarter, not harder?

To answer these and other questions, Jennifer Carleton and I, on behalf of Global Gaming Women, have assembled dynamic leaders throughout our industry in an upcoming “Power of Technology” conference to take place June 16 at the Palms Casino Resort. Under this technology umbrella, the conference will host several distinct panels aimed at providing perspective on the effect of advances in technology within gaming.

One panel highlights technology trends through the lens of a gaming supplier, examining ways that the gaming supplier business has evolved in the past, and will continue to change. A second panel focuses on the operator’s perspective, examining both the challenges and advantages that technology poses in growing its business. A third panel focuses on the legal and regulatory climate. In addition to panels, speakers will share their insights on technology’s effect on our daily lives and provide practical tips to conference attendees about using tech to enhance their personal brand.

The panelists appearing in the Power of Technology conference represent a cross-section of women leaders throughout the gaming industry, and include women from various parts of the operator and supplier space. As of the writing of this article, panelists include:

• Punam Mathur, Punam Mathur, LLC

• Jennifer Carleton, conference co-organizer and shareholder, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck

• Juliet Lim, EVP payments, general counsel and corporate secretary, Everi Holdings, Inc.

• Phyllis Gilland, SVP and general counsel, American Casino & Entertainment Properties

• Sylvia Tiscareño, general counsel, William Hill US

• Valerie Spicer, executive director, Arizona Indian Gaming Association

• Eileen Moore, regional president, Caesars Entertainment Corporation

• Debra Nutton, executive vice president of gaming operations, Wynn Resorts

• London Swinney, vice president of casino operations, MGM Grand Las Vegas

• Elena Shampaner, vice president of strategic initiatives, Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc.

• Kelly Shaw, vice president games and systems sales-North America, Aristocrat Technologies, Inc.

• Lauralyn McCarthy, vice president strategic projects, Scientific Games Corporation

• Rachel Barber, senior vice president and chief technology officer-gaming, IGT

• Ann Simmons, president and CEO, the Simmons Group

On a personal note, conference planning makes me feel incredibly fortunate to be a part of Global Gaming Women. Everyone I’ve encountered to date has been incredibly generous.

The community at large supporting Global Gaming Women causes, including the Global Gaming Women board of directors, have been generous with their time in providing guidance to a conference planning newbie like me.

I am so thankful to count these women among my mentors, educators and friends, and look forward to hearing the insights of the Power of Technology panelists come June 16. I hope you will join us, as I’m confident you will find this conference valuable to your daily interactions. More details about the Power of Technology conference are available on the Global Gaming Women website at globalgamingwomen.org.

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