G2E 2016 has begun in Las Vegas at the Sands Expo, the largest event of the year dedicated to the North American gambling industry and beyond. Day one featured five session tracks, Compliance, Law & Regulation, iGaming Congress, Security & Surveillance, Tribal Gaming and Global Gaming Women in addition to the Global Gaming Awards (GGA) luncheon. The expo floor opens on day two and continues through days three and four along side keynote speeches and more sessions.
Today’s 3rd annual GGA, organized by Gambling Insider in partnership with the American Gaming Association, Reed Exhibitions and G2E, served as a kick off for the conference. The awards are unique as they represent the convergence of land based and digital gaming, two aspects of the industry that are no longer running in parallel. The luncheon serves a celebration of innovation and excellency in gaming industry, with the winners determined by “industry insiders” only.
NYX has been the lead partner of the GGA for all three years and David Johnson of NYX said they are already looking forward to year four and described the GGA as “an important curtain raiser for G2E”.
A total of 12 awards were delivered today, swiftly over lunch with networking opportunities provided before and after in the Bellini Ballroom at the Sands Expo. Here is a list of all the winners revealed today:
Best casino product- IGT
Digital product – Microgaming
Digital Acquisition Program- Unibet
Customer Loyalty Program- MGM Resorts International
Land-Based Industry Supplier- IGT
Digital Industry Supplier- Playtech
Land-Based Gaming Innovation- SG Interactive
Digital Gaming Innovation- NYX Gaming Group
Land-Based Operator- MGM Resorts International
Digital Operator- 888 Holdings
Responsible Business- GeoComply
North America Executive – Maureen Sweeny
NetEnt’s Per Eriksson attended today’s awards and he spoke with CalvinAyre.com about the new products his organization will be discussing with delegates at G2E 2016. NetEnt’s main product release is a live casino mobile offering, the best experience on the market according to Eriksson. A VR product is also in the works, to be demoed during G2E but Eriksson confirmed the big reveal will be taking place at ICE 2017 so watch this space.
Eriksson also emphasized the success his company is enjoying with their “NetEnt Rocks” slots and said the Motörhead version launched just last week have been the most popular yet. NetEnt’s North America expansion is also going well, its smooth sailing in New Jersey and Eriksson is looking forward to imminent opportunities in Pennsylvania as well.
Over at the iGaming Congress, the “Making the Market: Players, Participation, Promotions” panel featured Nicky Senyard of Income Access, Bryan Bailey of Casinomeister, Huw Thomas of NYXGG and Luisa Woods of Tropicana Entertainment. The purpose of the panel was to educate professionals with a land-based background on the benefits of digital acquisition strategies including the use of affiliates.
Traditionally, land-based operators with online offerings have been weary of affiliate marketing, not fully understanding the value they can provide. Senyard told CalvinAyre.com a shift has taken place and land-based operators are now more educated on the benefits of affiliate marketing and are more accepting of the idea. Senyard said affiliates are beneficial for three main reasons:
1)Affiliates provide exposure for free.
2) Operators receive a lot of brand equity in a marketplace: affiliates serve as an advocate in the market and are seen as third party reference sites.
3)Operators only pay for what they get, paid-for results.