The UNLV Gaming & Hospitality Education Series 2018
Player Development — December 13, 2018
Ground Up: Building the Perfect Casino Host • 9:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m.
Some of your most valuable employees are your casino hosts. But what is a casino host? There are some common characteristics—outgoing, friendly, persuasive—but they also come in all shapes, sizes and colors. People who can make your players feel at home and salve the sting of a loss can be invaluable. At this session, an experienced casino host will explain what makes a great host and how to find them. Yes, you can hire someone from off the street, but developing hosts in-house is often more efficient and cost effective.
Speakers: Nick Ippolito, President, Player Development Systems, Inc.
By the Numbers: Rating Your Players… And Your Hosts • 9:30 a.m.-11:00 a.m.
While the days of a casino host picking up a phone and calling their players aren’t over, today’s technology brings a lot more advantages to both the hosts and the casino. The ability to touch your players on a daily basis via texts, social media or play-for-fun casinos can enrich your relationship with your players. At this session, learn how technology can better evaluate the profitability of every player, why today’s casino hosts must engage it and how technology can help you measure the effectiveness of your casino hosts.
Moderator: Brian Wyman, Innovation Group
Speakers: Cath Burns, Senior Gaming Executive
Andy Caras-Altas, Founder & CEO, TraffGen Global
Garrett Stolle, Chief Commercial Officer, VizExplorer
BREAK 11:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
In the Trenches: Trials and Tribulations of Casino Marketing • 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
There is both an art and a science to casino marketing. At this session, seasoned casino marketing executives will go through the nuts and bolts of building a successful casino marketing department, how to maintain relationships inside and outside the casino, and how to prioritize your efforts for a more efficient operation. They’ll also share some stories of notable casino marketing campaigns, players and historic hosts.
Moderator: Roger Gros, Publisher, GGB
Speakers: Anna Romanova, Senior VP Europe/ Middle East Marketing, MGM Resorts
Jackie Yee, Senior Asian Player Development / Marketing Executive
Michael McNamee, President, Bay Group Consulting
EPISODE SPONSOR: Scientific Games
The Perils and Possibilities of AML and Payment Processing — December 13, 2018
Casinos, the Federal Government and AML (FinCEN) • 1:00 p.m.-1:30 p.m.
Since 2013, when the leader of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) chastised the gaming industry at G2E for not being proactive enough to fight money laundering, this has become a priority in gaming. Since that time, according to the latest head of FinCEN, the industry has made vast improvement and has been cited as a model in the money laundering battle. Greg Lisa served as interim director of FinCEN before joining Hogan Lovells, and earlier served at the Office of Enforcement at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. He will outline the current efforts at FinCEN and within the industry to curtail all money laundering at online and land-based casinos.
Speaker: Gregory Lisa, Partner, Hogan Lovells US, LLP
Moving Money: Why Payment Processing is Crucial to Industry Success • 1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m.
If society runs on cash, then casinos are the kings. But regulations, AML laws, and often just “it’s the way things are done” make it somewhat clumsy to accept or disburse payments. Casino patrons cannot use credit cards in the traditional way other industries do, so what is the solution? At this session hear from experts on the unique ways that casinos are finally moving into the 21st century by using e-wallets, pre-loaded debit cards and other electronic methods that consumers can trust and understand. Speakers will explain how to reduce overhead and how to better manage the cash using products that are offered today.
Moderator: Tim Richards, Chief Product Strategy Officer, Everi Holdings Inc.
Speakers: Joe Pappano, Senior Vice President, Worldpay
BREAK 2:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
iGaming Payments: Online All The Time • 3:00 p.m.-4:30 p.m.
One of the biggest hurdles to the success of online gaming—and now mobile sports betting—is the acceptance of credit cards. Many of the largest card issuers, including JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and American Express, still don’t allow their cards to be used for online gambling or sports betting. Conflicting federal and state laws are part of the problem, but there are also concerns about what might happen if the credit card holder failed to pay. At this session, hear about the latest trends in online gaming payments and how the recent legalization of sports betting may move the process along more quickly.
Moderator: Angela Segovia, Director, Product Marketing, Everi Payments
Speakers: Christopher Justice, President, Global Payments Gaming Solutions
Omer Sattar, Co-Founder and Executive Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, Sightline
EPISODE SPONSOR: Everi
SUPPORTING SPONSOR: Global Payments
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(October 25, 2018)
Esports & Sports Betting
Supreme Decision: What Does the Expansion of Sports Betting Mean to Nevada? • 9:00 a.m.-10:30 a.m.
For many years, Nevada was the capital of sports betting in the United States. Now that the Supreme Court has invalidated a law that prohibited sports betting outside Nevada (and three other states where only lottery sports betting is legal), how will Nevada respond? Can it remain the capital of sports betting by focusing on the expertise it has accumulated throughout the years? Or will other states usurp Nevada’s position? Nevada has had many “firsts” in gaming, and mobile sports betting was another. Understand what the state can do to remain the prime mover in a vastly expanded sports betting industry.
Moderator: John English, Partner, Global Market Advisors
Speakers: Joe Asher, President and CEO, William Hill US
Matt Davey, Chief Executive Officer at SG Digital
Lee Richardson, Founder and CEO , Gaming Economics
Mark Lipparelli, Founder and CEO of Gionco Ventures, LLC and former Nevada State Senator
Vic Salerno, President, USBookmaking
The eSports Phenomenon: Can Casinos Cash In?
11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
One of the activities enjoyed by millennials is playing video games, which includes the genre of eSports. Over the past 10 years competition in eSports has ramped up so it now approaches traditional sports. In the effort to attract a younger audience the gaming industry has already invested millions in eSports, from hosting tournaments to building eSports centers. Experts at this session will explain about the opportunities and challenges that casinos will face when considering the implementation of eSports activities, including the possibility of instituting betting on eSports. Learn how to make money with eSports.
Moderator: Robert Rippee, Director, Hospitality Lab, UNLV International Gaming Institute
Speakers: Drew Brunson, Vice President of eSports, Caesars Entertainment
Ben Fox, Partner, Gameacon
Alex Igelman, Executive Chairman, Millennial Esports
Rahul Sood, CEO, Unikrn
EPISODE SPONSOR: Scientific Games
SUPPORTING SPONSORS: Panasonic and Total Gaming Academy (TGA)
NETWORKING SPONSOR: Millennial Esports
(May 17, 2018)
The Caesars System: How to Use Data to Boost Your Visits & Loyalty
Sponsored by Cognizant
David Norton spent eight years at Harrah’s/Caesars Entertainment as chief marketing officer, helping to bolster the industry’s leading loyalty program, Total Rewards, and several other marketing and operational capabilities. Norton just published a book, The High Roller Experience: How Caesars and Other World Class Companies Are Using Data To Create an Unforgettable Customer Experience. He’ll discuss his time at Caesars and trends he sees in the gaming industry today. He currently works with great brands like BMW, David’s Bridal and others.
Speaker: David Norton, Chairman and Chief Marketing Officer, GALE Partners
Data Dump: How to Organize and Prioritize Analysis
Any casino resort produces millions of bits of data on a daily basis. Processing the data isn’t difficult with today’s technology but interpreting it and prioritizing it can be. At this session, the leader of one of the industry’s leading data analysis companies, will explain what’s important to the everyday operations of a casino resort and what should be considered when looking at the long-term health of a property. He’ll explain how data can be used to reduce expenses and boost revenues.
Speaker: Ralph Thomas, Ph.D, Chief Data Scientist, VizExplorer
Doing the Numbers: Data Analytics & Gaming
Gaming has always been about numbers: theoreticals, drop, hold, house edge, share of wallet and more. But when you talk about interpreting data gathered from customers via loyalty programs, frequency of visits, games played, time played, likes/dislikes and much more, the industry lags behind. Gathering effective data is one of the most important things a casino can do today. At this session, experts in data analytics will explain how the industry can improve its data analysis and add to a rich customer experience creating more spend, more customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Moderator: Brian Wyman, Principal, Innovation Analytics
Speakers: Marco Benvenuti, Co-Founder & Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer, Duetto
Rob Jacks, Vice President Of Professional Services, Agilysys
Marilyn Janssen, Vice President, Marketing Operations, Caesars Entertainment
Ayman Taha, Vice President, Enterprise Technology Solutions & Innovation, MGM Resorts International
(March 22 , 2018)
Casino Games: Spanning Generations
Sponsored by GLI
Kids out of the house. Mortgage paid off. More leisure time. What are we going to do? Gamble! This has been the formula for at least five generations in the U.S. and around the world when growing your casino’s customer base. But suddenly casino executives are doubtful that millennials will follow this trend. Is it true? What impact would that have on the casino floor? How can executives prepare? Is it even a problem? Hear a panel of current and former casino executives and experts discuss today’s market and what it portends for the future of the casino floor.
Moderator: Frank Legato, GGB Editor
Speakers: Melissa Price, Sr. VP, Gaming, Caesars Entertainment; Charlie Lombardo, Former Corporate Senior Vice President of Casino Operations, Seminole Gaming; Steve Sirianni, Vice President of Slot Operations and Marketing, MGM Grand Hotel & Casino; Kevin Sweet, Vice President of Slot Operations & Marketing, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
Drill Down: Free Play, Slot Promotions, Bonuses, Tiers and More
Best practices on the slot floor can change from year to year if not from week to week. At this session, gaming legend John Acres will explain trends on the slot floor and what it means for your casino. Many casinos are removing slots and spreading out the floor. How does this impact your players? Free play is a double-edged sword. It can eat at your bottom line but players are now demanding it. The tiers in your players club can be aspirational, but can also be disappointing. Learn how to structure your tiers and communicate their benefits effectively. At the core of your slot floor, however, is customer service. Understand how to make every player feel special.
Speaker: John Acres, Founder, Acres Gaming
Missed this information-packed session?
(April 24, 2018)
Non-Gaming Revenue: The ROI Details
Sponsored by Agilysys
Increased gaming competition means casinos must do more to differentiate themselves from casinos nearby. The answer is to develop non-gaming attractions that add revenue to the bottom line and excitement to the gaming experience. But what makes the most sense? It often depends on the casino’s location, the regional preferences, the offerings of the competitors and more. At this session, learn what non-gaming amenities work best, what is the initial cost and how long the return on investment will kick in. And find out how to interpret and use data to get the best ROI out of your hotel rooms and non-gaming amenities.
Moderator: Stowe Shoemaker, Dean, UNLV William F. Harrah College of Hospitality
Speakers: Jason Gastwirth, President of Entertainment, Caesars Entertainment; Oliver Lovat, Founder and Managing Director, Denstone REA; Elena Shampaner, Vice President, Strategic Initiatives | Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc.; Tom Soukup, Sr. Vice President & Chief Systems Product Officer, Konami Gaming
Cash Registers Ring: The Diverse Elements of Non-Gaming Attractions
The days of using the hotel, food-and-beverage and spas as loss leaders are gone. With gaming revenue flat, the requirement for every casino executive is to find other sources of revenue. At this session, a respected gaming and hospitality executive will break down the various elements of non-gaming, discuss revenue possibilities and explain how those attractions can contribute to the bottom line. He’ll discuss efficiencies and multi-use spaces; entertainment options; MICE activity, food-and-beverage opportunities and much more.
Speaker: Bob Boughner, Principal, Global Market Advisors and Board Member of Boyd Gaming