Gentle Persuasion

• Executive Director of Regional Premium Account Management, Marina Bay Sands

Elaine Ho is a diplomat and a detective, a strategist and a psychologist, a counselor and occasionally a confessor.

Ho is executive director of regional premium account management-Asia at Marina Bay Sands—in other words, a bill collector.

In most cases, Ho uses tact and finesse to get past-due high-value clients to pay up.

“My boss taught me that people need to feel good about paying you,” says Ho, who’s based in Singapore and also oversees collections in Macau.

“I didn’t understand it at first, but it’s so true. This may be a returning customer who’s having a down time. He may want you to understand and listen to his problems.

Six months down the road, when he’s happy, he remembers you. He remembers that even though he owed you money, you didn’t treat him like a criminal.”

Born in Malaysia and educated in the U.K., Ho is a former barrister who joined MBS as part of the legal team.

Five years later, at the urging of Christopher Melton, senior VP of global collections for the Las Vegas Sands Corp., she took “a giant leap of faith” to cross over to the casino side.

She’s become an expert at the sensitive, cross-cultural relationship-building that’s critical to her job.

“Different patrons of different nationalities in different jurisdictions require different approaches.

Chinese patrons, for example, will talk to you about the balance they owe, but it can be very difficult when it comes to funds transfers (from China).

Gentle Persuasion Elaine Ho Then we have Japanese patrons.

I learned you have to go to dinner with those patrons and not talk about the debt. And they will somehow pay some of the balance.”

She recalls one customer in financial straits who described himself to her as “a wounded dragon,” but promised he would make good when he was able.

With tact and understanding, Ho was able to retain that patron’s long-term loyalty.

Gentle Persuasion Elaine Ho “He thanked me for my patience,” she says. Legal action is a last resort.

“Many of these patrons are high-caliber,” says Ho. “Some are rich and famous.

If you sue, the casino doesn’t look good. Most of the time if you call them, you find they overlooked the balance, or were unhappy about something—a misunderstanding with a host or a bad F&B experience.”

Ho calls the MBS legal department her university, and its executives her mentors.

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Tribes Caught by Surprise

It’s been more than three years since.

BGC chief Robert Lytle brought down a web of political corruption and official misconduct on the state and its regulatory system.

Lytle in December 2014 was charged in a formal accusation by the state Attorney General’s Office with violating conflict of interest and confidentiality laws in connection with his consulting work for a card room targeted in a $119 million skimming investigation.

It was also disclosed that Lytle, later stripped of his card-room ownership and consulting licenses, issued an opinion letter days before retiring from the BGC in 2007.

That the player/dealer position in California/Asian games needed not be rotated, but merely offered each player at the table.

The Lytle opinion, which meant untold millions of dollars to the card rooms, angered the tribes.

The AG would later rescind the opinion, but it remains a guiding directive for much of the industry.

Tribes Caught by Surprise Meanwhile, card rooms in the Los Angeles area began stopping the collection fees in California/Asian games, clear evidence they were profiting off TPPPs in apparent violation of state law.

Although long suspicious the BGC exhibited a sympathetic bias toward the card rooms, the tribes were nonetheless not at all concerned with the industry’s evolution toward banked games.

They made light of the industry’s inability to control its internal operations and the GCC and BGC’s failure to regulate and enforce gambling laws.

“The tribes kept their eye off things for a few years,” says a tribal regulator who trained BGC agents. “The card rooms weren’t a threat.

We didn’t pay any attention them.

“So the card rooms kept pushing the rules. Nobody was interested in tangling with the card rooms because it wasn’t worth the time, and they had all these campaign contributions going to the state.

“Then all of a sudden you have all these violations of the rules and regulations. Then the Lytle thing flares up.

Then the card rooms stop taking the collection fees, which is supposed to be their only legal source of income.”

Tribes Caught by Surprise Cutting into the tribes’ market of high-end table game players was the proverbial straw.

The play at the tables for some Indian casinos amounts to 10 percent or more of gross revenues.

And unraveling the morass that is the California gambling regulatory system won’t be an easy task.

It will certainly make sports betting, internet gambling, online poker and DFS a quandary for both stakeholders and state officials.

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BOOTH 3659 I GT will present a diverse range of gaming solutions within its G2E booth 3659, including a portfolio of best-in-class casino systems products.

One of many standout systems products is IGT’s M5.

Building on the success of IGT’s Media Manager, M5 is IGT’s latest version of the proven media display solution.

M5 enables operators to leverage a slot machine’s Service Window to showcase bonuses,

loyalty programs and promotions, and to give players access to a variety of options such as booking a dining reservation, ordering a drink and more.

Currently deployed at multiple casinos throughout the U.S. including Las Vegas-based Station.

M5 INTERNATIONAL GAME TECHNOLOGY Casinos, M5 enables customers to operate exciting floor-wide promotions such as Station Casino’s Big Time Bonus.

Additionally, M5 enables operators to deliver highly personalized player communications and promotions, advertise amenities, and promote property-wide events directly to the player.

M5 is one of the only media management solutions that offers a full-screen takeover for an impactful presentation.

M5 is compatible with IGT’s full suite of slot bonuses including player favorites such as Carded Lucky Coin and Random Riches.

Built with HTML 5, M5 gives operators the flexibility to manage all media and monitors from one house-run program. The flexibility and versatility of the solution can lead to operational efficiencies and cost savings.

M5 INTERNATIONAL GAME TECHNOLOGY This technology also enables casino operators to build a casino

Promotion once, and utilize it across all compatible channels and with a consistent user experience.

M5 enhances the player experience, too.

Rather than interrupting a play session, it enables players at M5-equipped slot machines to manage.

Conveniences such as making reservations, booking a hotel room, ordering a drink and more on screen, while they continue to enjoy what matters most—the game.

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Scientific Games understands the importance of loyalty,

Player Boutique SCIENTIFIC GAMES Player Boutique Lite is a system-agnostic version, which allows casinos on other core systems to harness the power of Amazon fulfillment services.

Casinos are given a unique web portal for their players to access for redemption via the web or mobile device. Casinos will have full access to Amazon’s complete inventory and Prime delivery services.

Qualified players are able to visually see their progress towards gifts via a progress bar, which displays during the promotional period directly at the iVIEW 4.

Gifts selected through Player Boutique are quickly and seamlessly delivered directly to the player’s designated address in only two days utilizing proprietary capabilities developed by Scientific Games and Initial Rewards Technology, fulfilled by Amazon (AWS).

No longer will patrons need to stand in long lines only to find out that the property has run out of stock.

Casinos will have access to over 1.8 million items via Amazon with real-time inventory availability, and they will have the support of a 24/7 customer service team.

• Amazon Two-Day Prime delivery

• Reduce or eliminate all inventory

• Multiple gift selections per promotion

• Over 1.8 million prize options available

• No rainchecks or overstock issues

Player Boutique SCIENTIFIC GAMES Player Boutique Lite is a system-agnostic version, which allows casinos on other core systems to harness the power of Amazon fulfillment services.

Casinos are given a unique web portal for their players to access for redemption via the web or mobile device. Casinos will have full access to Amazon’s complete inventory and Prime delivery services.

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Doubt Me. Please!

Adam Wexler

CEO, Performance Predictions

Adam Wexler has always operated by the motto, “Doubt me, please do.”

Early in his career, he fed off hearing from those who didn’t believe his hard work and late nights would pay off, constantly challenging himself to quiet the doubters by working harder, learning what he could from any failure, and applying the lessons he learned to each new endeavor.

He now enjoys hearing words like “resilient” or “does not accept no” to describe his execution style.

After graduating from the University of Georgia, Wexler debated whether to pursue a career in either the sports industry or the music industry.

Wexler has been CEO of the business since its origins five years ago.

When looking back on his career, Wexler is most proud of never giving up and maintaining his entrepreneurial beliefs even when things looked bleak.

His decision to remain on the entrepreneurial path was the biggest one he’s made in his life.

Doubt Me. Please! Through it all, Wexler learned that the success of any company starts with its culture.

After graduating from the University of Georgia, Wexler debated whether to pursue a career in either the sports industry or the music industry.

He believes it is the most important and biggest competitive advantage an organization can have, and hopes that this mentality is leaving an indelible impression on the PrizePicks team.

It was here she met Josh Swissman. “He was the first person in the gaming industry that took a chance on me,” Rankin says. “Throughout my career he has been the single most influential person. He invested his own time and effort in my learning and growth.”

Each member of the Swissman team met with Rankin weekly for updates.

“Yet he insisted we come prepared with questions whether they related to work or personal.

I learned casino analytics, staffing, yielding and so much more working alongside Josh,” she says.

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Nobody makes more

Nobody makes more game parts than SUZOHAPP, founded

Fresh off the ICE show in London,

SUZOHAPP had a wealth of new technology to showcase, which it does in this conversation with Damien Connelly.

The natural choice With sports betting on the upswing, this is a

particularly opportune time for technology companies to turn their attention to that sector and capitalize upon it.

 As company President Sim Bielak says,

The natural choice it’s a very exciting time.” SUZOHAPP was ready with sports-betting terminals and a line of replacement parts.

SUZOHAPP’s focus is happily divided between what’s new and what’s old. In the latter case, retro, reel-spinning slots are making a comeback, something upon which Bielak is poised to capitalize.

As for the new, that would be jurisdictions like Brazil and Ukraine, which have been flirting with casino.

development for some time and seem finally poised to take the plunge.

The natural choice in Technology That’s quite a long way for a company that started out making coin doors for arcade games.

Nobody makes more The natural choice in Technology Bielak brings us up to date on SUZOHAPP’

s new frontiers and what it has to offer a rapidly expanding gaming industry.

How was ICE London 2020?

ICE London was a very successful show for us and was a great

xperience to see what’s new in the industry.

Traditionally, ICE has given us the opportunity to meet with our customers and find out what new projects they’re

working on and showcase solutions that may help them develop new ideas.

What surprised us most this year, however, was the number of new faces at the show. 

The natural choice in Technology With the rise of sports betting, the

gaming industry is growing and evolving rapidly as technology advances to support this new sector.

What were amongst your most popular products at ICE London this year? We have a number of well-known products and brands in the gaming sector.

Our ELO and VisionPro monitors are vey popular, which are our premium products for electronic table games.

Stepper games, otherwise known as mechanical reel games, have renewed appeal as a retro item and are making a comeback.

While digital games are certainly still pushing the boundaries of innovation and looking for new ways to

appeal to customers, the attachment to traditional gaming methods remains strong and we aim to be a primary supplier for that market.

As sports betting is on the rise worldwide, our sports betting terminals and components for these terminals were also of key interest.

Our offering includes a variety of

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Destination in the Desert

Destination in the Desert


THE SYCUAN CASINO AND RESORT MAY HAVE originated as “a humble bingo palace,” but the property in El Cajon, San Diego County, California has grown into a premier tourist destination and literal oasis in the desert.

Operated by the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation, the property recently embarked on a major $226 million expansion that will add a 12-story luxury hotel with 300 rooms including 50 opulent suites.

The contemporary tower in the semi-arid climate of the San Diego Valley will be surrounded by lush greenery,

gardens and palms; a pool and garden area with cabanas; a bar and grill; a rolling lazy river feature; and dedicated adult and family pools.

The hotel will also feature an 8,000-square-foot spa and fitness area with full-service treatment rooms offering steam and sauna.

A multi-purpose 11,400-square-foot ballroom will do at least triple duty, serving as a conference space, a 1,200-capacity concert hall, and banquet facilities with seating for 700.

A junior ballroom overlooking the pool, gardens and surrounding hills will be the picture-perfect spot for weddings, parties and other social functions.

A mix of restaurants will include everything from fast-casual to fine dining and a craft brewery. The expanded casino floor space will accommodate a total of 2,500 Class III machines, 300 Class II machines and 80 table games.

An additional 21,000 square feet of gaming space will be added in a planned Phase II expansion, which will also add an additional hotel tower.

“It is with great excitement and pride that we are making this investment,” says Cody Martinez, chairman of the Sycuan Tribal Council.

“This is not only on behalf of the tribe, but on behalf of our team members and our guests. We are taking Sycuan to the next level.”

The expansion will be complete in December 2018.

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Casino Slot Machine


Much of the focus on chairs in a casino environment relates to slot machines because slots generate the most revenue. But chairs have their own affinity with certain table games, notably blackjack.

Patrons still stand while playing craps and to an extent, roulette. And for good reason. “Mostly this is because of practical concerns.

TablesandSeating Placing bets in roulette would have players standing anyway, and shooting dice while sitting down would take much of the excitement out of craps,” Schwartz says.

Chairs for blackjack tables need to be solid, having a firm center of gravity, while being easy to slide into position and be very comfortable, Alvarado says.

Blackjack is more of a social game, with more interactions between players that can have an effect on play, Keranen says.

“Think about when someone wins a jackpot on a slot machine; people stop and think, ‘Wow, that’s cool. Hope I win like that!’ Compare this to table games: ‘Look, we are all winning. Keep this streak alive.’

That drives other players to want to come join, hence, more seats are needed around the table for one game,” he says. Blackjack players stay and play hour after hour, Corrick says. “If they aren’t comfortable or experience discomfort in their legs or body, they leave.

TablesandSeating Sitting in an uncomfortable chair leaves you feeling physically exhausted; you constantly move your legs, hips and back to make yourself more comfortable.” There’s that word again. Comfort.

Chair design differs when it comes to table games.

Ongoing development of proper ergonomics based on posture of the player is a focus, specifically with table game patrons, as they tend to sit differently than slot players, Weiss says.

“We often see table game players leaning forward, whereas, a slot player is more likely to be leaning against the chair back,” he says.

As designers studied table games, they found that chairs needed to add different heights to ensure the participant is at the optimum height, Corrick says. “The result is much less fatigue to a player’s body or arms. Our research has also led us to create chairs with specialized lumbar sup

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Straight Up

Sometimes, the robot is… you.

Straight Up Smartender, from the Smart Bar company of Henderson, Nevada, is a self-contained portable automated device that can pour hundreds of cocktail choices.

from martinis and specialty drinks to juices and soft drinks at the touch of a button. Any authorized individual can use it on behalf of a company.

A dispense head ensures the accuracy of the pour within 1/20th of an ounce, officials say.

The liquor drawer holds room for 16 bottles and 12 mixers with easy access to replace empty ones.

A bartender starts the process by tapping the device and inserting an unlock code. Player cards and room keys can also be swiped.

A selection menu includes soft drinks, shots, martinis, tropical drinks, recently poured, user favorites, specialties and liquor/mixer to build one’s own drink.

Straight Up Ice is taken from a dispenser, the glass put under the head, and voila! A drink in seconds, perfectly poured, recorded on a database and placed in a spreadsheet-type list of drink type, time of day and who used it.

Smartender has a feature telling the operator when a bottle is empty.

It also connects to the mixer bay.

And like an ideal employee, it can relocate. In this case, from room to room. Used in stadiums, theaters, hotels and casinos, Smartender is among the family of products trumpeting large savings.

Seemingly minor elements of the bartender-under-pressure scenario become costly. Smartender officials estimate a staggering loss for a simple overpour.

Take the average price of a drink at $5. Multiply that by 15 cases of liquor. In one year, that can amount to more than $175,000 in losses—that’s for one-eighth of an ounce. Imagine a slightly more substantial overpour, not to mention giveaways. Double the loss for drinks costing $10.

There’s overpour, spillage and theft.

Bar owners have long been wary of these problems, employing everything from mystery shoppers to security cameras to curb their impact. Now comes something just as useful to them, and, to some bartenders: another sales associate.

Throughout the industry, automated bar service is gaining momentum. The technology of tomorrow greets the patrons who wanted the drink yesterday, and it’s working. Pick the stylish presentation of a robot or the savvy engineering of a portable drink factory

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