Juegos Miami 2016 Day 2 Recap

Juegos Miami 2016 Day 2 Recap

Today returned to the Biltmore Hotel for the second day of Juegos Miami 2016.

Today was just as productive as yesterday, with delegates coming in for sessions delivered by regulators, operators and suppliers with expertise from inside and outside Latin America.  Topics ranged from Millennial marketing to going mobile, sports betting integrity, regulation best practices, the marriage of online and land based, online strategy and social gaming.

Roberto Coppola of YWS spoke this morning on the hot topic of marketing to “Millennials”, a group that can be defined as those born between 1980 and 2000.  Coppola said there are 80million Millennials in the United States, 190 million in Latin America and 200 million in China, so a huge opportunity here for the LatAm gambling market.

Companies that don’t adapt will not survive, he said.

Before getting into the meat of his material, Coppola shared several quotes from influencers in our industry to illustrate how important it is for operators to adjust their thinking to accommodate Millennials:

Its the non-gaming that has always been the real story. A roulette wheel is a roulette wheel anywhere in the world.  It’s about the experience you create“.

– Steve Wynn

Millennials are about socializing in groups.  They want a Starbucks type of environment that feels authentic and, of course, they demand everything on mobile.  We need to develop demand by responding to what they respond to“.

– Swanhild Musikka, Director of Casino Marketing, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana

Coppola went on to explain Millennials are more diverse, they are tech savvy and they are collaborative- they want to socialize together and work in teams.  They are shaped by technology and value experience over things, they want everything “NOW” and seek “social collision”, environments where peers can connect and meet people “like them”.

Millennials notoriously have a negative view of slots, using terms such as “boring”, “for grandma”, “anti-social’ and “confusing” to describe them.  Coppola said gambling professionals have a hard time understanding how slots could be considered confusing, but plenty of players don’t even know why they won or what the side-games or bonus rounds even mean.

“If your product is not intuitive, it’s dead on arrival”, Coppola said.  An iPhone doesn’t come with instructions and Millennials can’t live without them, he pointed out.

The customers to be thinking about are “the ones who want a gaming experience, but want an experience- above and beyond- they can’t get anywhere else”, he advised.  “Tomorrow’s gaming floors will consist of targeted, re-envisioned micro environments with gambling as the anchor”, he said.

Marcus Nylen, COO of LeoVegas, delivered a short presentation summarizing his company’s mobile-first story and explained why the Latin American market is now on their radar screen.

As a recognized brand in the UK and Scandinavia, LeoVegas execs have had to make a number of trips to Latin America and develop relationships with local companies and regulators.  Nylen said the market is about to explode and LeoVegas wants to secure their footing in the LatAm countries best suited for their offering as soon as possible.

This afternoon Oscar Fonrodona, CEO of Akamon, delivered a presentation on how land based casinos in Latin America and benefit from a social gaming offering.  Akamon as a company focuses on South Europe and Latin America, avoiding more “competitive” markets such as the USA and Oceania.  They are leaders in their target markets and see the most potential in Latin America.

In order to build relationships in Latin America, Akamon execs have been traveling constantly to the region, similar to LeoVegas, to meet face-to-face with partners.  Fonrodona said its easy for him to build relationships with these operators as Akamon know what they are doing when it comes to social gaming, they are experts and its clear to potential and existing partners.

Fonrodona said there is overlap between “real casinos” and social, especially if they are branded in the same way.  An example of how a partnership can work is when you have a user playing social games online and to claim prizes they need to visit a land based casino.  This way the user must identify themselves on-site and the casino can then begin to collect data on the user and continue to engage them once they leave the premises.

At the conclusion of the event we spoke with Ewa Bakun of Clarion to find out how Juegos Miami went from her perspective and from the perspective of speakers, sponsors and delegates.

Bakun confirmed the event was a success from both perspectives and emphasized the importance of educating Latin American gambling professionals on best practices that have worked for the gambling industry in more mature markets.  She agreed the location of the event was perfect, with plenty of positive feedback from her happy delegates.

Looking back over the past few days here in Miami, the experience has been positive and everyone was impressed with the quality the event, especially considering it was the first one of its kind.  For some the fun will continue on Friday with a networking golf tournament, one final opportunity to solidify and make new connections.