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Power Trio

When Clarion Gaming purchased Global Gaming Business and its assets, the goal of becoming the world's largest and most important provider of gaming information is one step closer to fruition.

Power Trio

By now, many of you will have heard the news that Clarion Gaming has purchased the assets of Casino Connection International, namely Global Gaming Business (GGB) Magazine and its three annual supplements—Casino Style, Tribal Government Gaming and Progressive Products Preview (P3)—as well as its online assets including GGB News.

For me, it’s the end of a long journey. As I approached my 70th year on this planet—I turned 73 last month—I realized that I needed an exit strategy to ensure the company and the GGB brand would survive and thrive beyond my day-to-day involvement. My health scare last year made it even more imperative. We talked to several potential suitors but I had three conditions that had to be fulfilled before I’d pull that trigger.

First, I wanted to partner with a company that had the same level of integrity, transparency and commitment to the gaming industry as we did at GGB. Over the last 22 years, GGB became the voice of the industry, but not its mouthpiece. We try to focus on the health of the industry, and that sometimes gives us a different viewpoint than some other publishers.

Responsible gaming has been a cornerstone of our business from the start. Before GGB, I covered that issue extensively with my previous publication. I attended the very first conference put on by the International (then National) Center for Responsible Gaming. We’re proud to have emphasized RG and the advancements that have been made in the field. In September, the American Gaming Association’s Responsible Gaming Month, we use our GGB News Daily Update to promote all the different viewpoints of RG by the experts in the field.

We’re also proud to have pointed out the hypocritical stance of some in the industry when it comes to smoking bans. How can you say you have the best interests of your employees and your guests in mind if you still advocate for smoking on the casino floor?

So we wanted to partner with a company whose values aligned with ours, and we got that with Clarion Gaming.

Second, we have always taken the “Global” in Global Gaming Business seriously. Our very first issue in 2002 was dedicated to gaming in the Caribbean, an often overlooked area of the industry. The second reviewed the state of gaming in Europe. And the following year, I attended the opening of the Venetian on my first of many trips to Macau to cover the burgeoning Asian gaming industry.

But at our roots, we’re an American publication whose strength is our relationship with the operators and manufacturers in North America. So our relationship with Clarion Gaming and its flagship publication, iGaming Business, fulfills that goal of further internationalization as well as a deeper dive into the iGaming industry, while augmenting Clarion’s U.S. presence.

Third, I wanted to ensure that our staff remains intact. You’d be hard-pressed to find a more loyal and dedicated group of employees. They proved during my absence last year that they were quite capable, and essentially ran the business without me when I was out of commission for several months. They are some of the most respected journalists, individuals and artists in the industry.

Frank Legato is a slot legend and knows more about the technology side of the business than any other journalist. Our young managing editor Jess Marquez has blazed a trail and become very knowledgeable about everything gaming. Art Director Monica Cooley is responsible for the attractive and easy-to-read way the magazines are laid out.

Sales and Marketing Director Terri Brady is beloved by her clients. Her experience on the supplier side before joining GGB gives her credibility that is hard to match. And of course, my wife, COO Becky Kingman-Gros, ties all the pieces together financially and operationally, and without her guiding us through the rough waters of the pandemic—and my illness—we may have followed several of our former competitors who didn’t make it.

When combined with Clarion Gaming’s amazing team led by Alex Pratt, Sophie Webster, Richard (Dickie) Linn and Robin Harrison, there will be no company that can surpass the expertise and level of professionalism that is the new Clarion Gaming group.

I’d be remiss to not mention some of the journalists who contributed along the way. The late Dave Palermo was a legend in Indian Country. Marjorie Preston has been part of our team for most of our history and always steps in with her elegant prose. And our late webmaster, Rob Rossiello, is sorely missed.

As for myself, I’m not going anywhere for a while. I’ll be guiding the company for the next year and then consulting for Clarion Gaming to ensure that we continue to raise the profile of GGB and iGB as we move forward.

So thanks to everyone who made this possible—including our original investors who put their faith in me—and join us for the next chapter of GGB. Now Clarion Gaming and GGB are one. And the sky’s the limit.

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