Canada's Premier Gaming Industry Magazine
Spotlight on Innovation From apps to the casino floor, tech is redefining gambling
Vol. 14 No. 1
THE BIG BENEFITS OF CANADIAN GAMING The industry is growing and active in almost every corner of the country
CanadianGamingSummit.com June 18-20, 2019 Edmonton, AB
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One Connection Changes Everything 2â&#x20AC;&#x201A;|â&#x20AC;&#x201A; Spring/Summer 2019
Spring/Summer 2019 Publisher
Volume 14 No. 1
Chuck Nervick firstname.lastname@example.org 416.512.8186 ext. 227
Editor Greg Furgala email@example.com Advertising Sales
Chuck Nervick firstname.lastname@example.org
Proudly owned and published by:
President Kevin Brown
President & CEO Paul Burns
MESSAGE FROM THE CGA
The Big Benefits of Canadian Gaming
The industry is growing and active in almost every corner of the country
SPOTLIGHT ON INNOVATION SECURING YOUR BUSINESS
Senior Vice President Chuck Nervick email@example.com
Canadian Gaming Business is published four times a year as a joint venture between MediaEdge Communications and The Canadian Gaming Association To advertise: For information on CGB’s print or digital advertising opportunities: Chuck Nervick 416-512-8186 ext. 227 firstname.lastname@example.org
Self-Defence Protecting the gaming industry’s intellectual property in Canada
15 INDUSTRY INNOVATOR: NQUBE
It’s Not Rocket Science — It’s AI nQube has brought artificial intelligence to the casino floor, and it’s achieving inhuman results
16 ENTREPRENEURIAL ASSIST
Copyright 2019 Canada Post Canadian Publications Mail Publications Mail Agreement No. 40063056 ISSN 1911-2378
Guest editorials or columns do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Canadian Gaming Business magazine's advisory board or staff. No part of this issue may be reproduced by any mechanical, photographic or electronic process without written permission by the publisher. Subscription rates: Canada $40* 1 yr, $70* 2 yrs. USA $65 yr, $120* 2 yrs. International $90* 1 yr, $160* 2 yrs. *Plus applicable taxes. Postmaster send address changes to: Canadian Gaming Business Magazine 5255 Yonge Street Suite 1000, Toronto, Ontario M2N 6P4
The Canadian Competitive Advantage Tax credits and accessible funding that enable good ideas to go a long way
17 INDUSTRY INNOVATOR: CASINO HOUR Appointment Gaming Casino gambling goes live(streaming)
Why Blockchain is the Future of Gaming The new technology is ready for the industry, but is the industry ready for it?
Go Green, Save Money Environmentally friendly investments pay more than just moral dividends
26 INDUSTRY Q&A
Cashless Gaming Is the industry ready to give up hard currency?
28 THE 2019 CANADIAN GAMING SUMMIT
Official Publication of the Canadian Gaming Summit
Canadian gaming is changing fast, but CGS 2019 will keep you in the know
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Day at the Races The biggest bets are being made off track and outside of casinos THE TYPICAL race day bet involves up to a mile of track, a handful of colourfully-named horses and good-natured shouting from the stands. It’s an old form of entertainment that, at its heart, hasn’t changed much since ancient Roman riders and charioteers tore around the Empire’s various stadia. Horses, then and now, explode from the starting gate, and spectators, wagers made and tickets in hand, still cheer them on to the finish line. An ancient Roman citizen could probably visit the Woodbine Racetrack and feel relatively at ease. Outside of the tracks, another hyperactive betting scene has emerged, and it’s doubtful the old Roman would cop on to it. Canadian start-ups are taking the gaming industry by storm, each one attracting investors who think they’ve picked the right horse. There’s no one track, though. New technology and sectors like cashless wagering, artificial intelligence, social gaming, gaming analytics and others have become modern coliseums, with new ones emerging regularly. With each one, a new call goes out: “investors, place your bets.” Investors continue to do so, and Canadian innovators are proving up to the task, but they need to be wary of not just being overtaken by the competition, but having their ideas taken over. Our Innovation Spotlight, headlined by “Self Defence” (page 14), by Marks & Clerk patent agent John Koh, reviews how tech and gaming entrepreneurs can best protect their ideas and businesses from others, because every good idea needs adequate legal safeguards. This issue also features: • Our cover story is a review of the Canadian Gaming Association’s national economic benefits study (page 8), an intensive number crunch of the gaming industry; • The case for making your casino sustainable in “Go Green, Save Money” (page 22); • And a Q&A with the AGLC’s Niaz Nejad (page 26) on cashless wagering and responsible gaming. The start-ups sprinting off the line have a longer way to go than race horses, ancient or otherwise. The track isn’t straight, either, and there’s no finish line in sight. But that doesn’t stop the excitement — far from it. Canadian gaming innovation has become the race to watch. Gregory Furgala Managing Editor
Canadian Gaming Business | 5
A Time of Tremendous Growth BY PAUL BURNS, PRESIDENT AND CEO, CANADIAN GAMING ASSOCIATION
IT HAS BEEN A TIME of tremendous growth and change for the Canadian Gaming Association (CGA). Since the rollout of our new strategic plan, CGA 2.0, in spring 2018, the CGA has initiated a number of important projects to improve our communication, focus our work and prepare the association for long-term sustainability. I would like to thank the CGA’s Board of Directors for its leadership, support and efforts, as it has been a very busy and productive year. I am proud that the CGA currently represents a growing and diverse group of members involved in the Canadian gaming industry. Work first got underway with changes to the CGA Board structure. We have now established a larger and more diverse Board which represents a broader spectrum of the membership, and for the first time we have non-member representation, with Shelly White, CEO of the Responsible Gambling Council, becoming a member of the Board in 2018. We have updated the CGA’s membership and fee structure, making our fee structure clear, transparent and publicly available on the CGA website. The association has welcomed seven new member companies since the beginning of 2019, with more to come. Additionally, we have created an affiliate membership category for provincial and sectoral gaming industry associations to improve integration and communication with these groups. We welcomed the Gaming Security Professionals of Canada, Commercial Gaming Association of Ontario, the British Columbia Gaming Industry Association and the Gaming Standards Association. The Board approved the establishment of Industry Committees to invite broader participation in the CGA, including a Committee on Regulatory Innovation that brings together provincial regulators and industry representatives to discuss regulatory innovation, emerging technologies and topical regulatory matters. In late fall 2018, the CGA launched Get to Know Gaming Canada as a platform for promoting the industry’s success, innovations and contributions to the communities in which we operate. 6 | Spring/Summer 2019
In February, the CGA hosted a Get to Know Gaming Canada event at Canada House in London, U.K., during ICE, where industry representatives from 40 European-based B2B gaming suppliers learned about the benefits of Canada as a place to invest and grow. As you will read in the coming pages the CGA has released its latest National Economic Benefits Study, highlighting the gaming industry’s benefits to the Canadian economy and local communities. We are creating more member networking events and proprietary data studies and materials to increase the value of association membership. We continue to speak for the industry with the media and other key stakeholders on gaming matters and opportunities like online gaming and single-event wagering with a particular focus on aggressively correcting misinformation and educating media on the role of the industry in Canada. Layered throughout all of this is the association’s advocacy work. Fall 2019 brings us to another federal election, and the CGA will be ramping up over the summer to educate MPs and other candidates about the importance of Canada’s gaming industry. Given the investment made in new communications channels, products and materials, the association is wellpositioned to promote Canadian innovation as well as the investment being made by our industry in the communities where we operate. When reflecting back on this year, I am proud of the both the quality and the amount of work that was accomplished. The focus going forward will be on our members, and on increasing the amount of activities and materials we provide to them. These are exciting times in the Canadian gaming industry.
Paul Burns President & CEO Canadian Gaming Association
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Contact your Scientific Games Account Executive Today! www.SGgaming.com. The look and feel of the game and its individual components and displays are trade dress of Scientific Games Corp. and its Subsidiaries. TM and ÂŠ 2019 Scientific Games Corp. and its Subsidiaries. All rights reserved.
THE BIG BENEFITS
OF CANADIAN GAMING The industry is growing and active in almost every corner of the country BY THE CANADIAN GAMING ASSOCIATION
8 | Spring/Summer 2019
The National Economic Benefits study of the Canadian gaming industry is the latest research by the Canadian Gaming Association (CGA) to demonstrate the contributions and positive benefits that gaming makes to the Canadian economy. The study is part of the CGA’s mandate to create a better understanding of the gaming industry by sharing industry data and key facts so that Canadians can get to know the benefits of gaming in their communities. The following pages provide highlights of study, covering the economic benefits from gaming operations to the total economic benefits of Canada’s gaming industry. We hope that you will take time to review our industry’s accomplishments. If you’d like to download any of the material, or a copy of the full study, you can find it all at canadiangaming.ca
Canadian Gaming Business | 9
A LARGE, MATURE INDUSTRY AND MAJOR CONTRIBUTOR TO THE CANADIAN ECONOMY
The Ca nadia n g a ming indust r y is a la rge, mature industry that is present in every region of t he cou nt r y a nd g ener at e s si g n i f ic a nt benef it s a nd ac t iv it ies across t he broader Ca nadia n economy. I n 2 017, the indust r y produced $16.1 billion in g aming w in and a n a dd it ion a l $1.0 billion i n non- g a m i n g revenue (food and beverage, entertainment, accommodations, retail, etc.) for a total of $17.1 billion. The Study shows that legalized gaming, at $16.1 billion, continues to: • Be a pillar of the broader hospitality industry; and • Raise signif icant non-tax revenues to fund key government and charitable programs and initiatives. Gaming in Canada directly supports more than 105,605 full-time jobs (and almost 182,50 0 jobs including indirect and induced impacts) and generates $9.2 billion annually to fund government and communit y prog rams and services. The size and scope of the industr y have created a positive economic environment, as the majority of goods and services needed to sustain operations are now produced and/or offered in Canada, and a number of Canadian companies export gaming-related products and services internationally. In 2017, the Canadian gaming industry spent $7.8 billion to sustain gaming operations. These advancements made by the Canadian gaming industry to deliver increased access to gaming options is in direct response to market demands, consumer tastes and societal and technological change. CROSS-COUNTRY GAMING
Gaming activity is available in all regions of the countr y and, excluding New foundland and Labrador, includes 114 casinos and casinost yle facilities containing more than 65,0 0 0 electronic gaming machines and 2,000 tables. Off the f loor, Canadians make use of more than 30,000 lottery ticket terminals, congregate at more than 20 0 bingo halls and wager on horses at 227 racetracks and tele-theatres. While internet g aming isn’t considered a g aming sector, it’s nevertheless a thriving segment of the market where Canadians have access to it (internet gaming isn’t available in Alberta and Saskatchewan). 10 | Spring/Summer 2019
The industry generated
of gaming win in 2017
and an additional of non-gaming revenue (i.e., food and beverage, entertainment, accommodations, retail, etc.)
a total industry revenue base of
$17.1 billion. Casinos accounted for approximately
of total industry win in 2017. In addition, casinos also accounted for approximately
billion of non-gaming revenues that the industry generated. Commercial lotteries
25% VLTs 16% charity lotteries 6% and bingo accounted for approximately of total win followed by
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coverstory CAPITAL EXPENDITURE
Total Economic Benefits of Canada’s Gaming Industry The operation of all gaming activity and spending of gaming profits by governments and charities in Canada generated:
• $33.5 billion of total Gross Output
In addition to the economic benef its generated from the operation of gaming activity, the industry has also generated substantial benef its from the construction and redevelopment of facilities and the purchase of capital equipment. By the end of 2017, the industry had invested almost $13 billion in capital assets, a figure that’s expected to increase as new facilities are constructed and existing facilities are expanded or refreshed. Moreover, gaming and non-gaming equipment, furniture and fixtures are continually being replaced. METHODOLOGY
• $14.6 billion of total Purchases of Goods and Services • $18.9 billion of total Value Added GDP (gross domestic product) • VLTs (Video Lottery Terminals) – 4,680 sites containing over 34,000 VLTs
(all provinces except British Columbia and Ontario).
• Commercial lotteries – over 30,000 lottery ticket terminals
The national economic benef its study was prepared for the CGA by HLT Advisory, a business consultancy focusing on the Canadian and International hospitality, leisure and tourism industries. The information in the study was sourced from published annual reports from various government gaming entities and private sector organizations. Where data wasn’t available, HLT estimated its numbers based on its past work experience with the Canadian gaming industry. If you’d like to download any of the material, or a copy of the full study, you can find it all at canadiangaming.ca
• Charity lotteries and bingo – Almost 200 permanent bingo halls and
numerous facilities where bingo events are regularly held.
for bingo games and break-open tickets in designated bingo
British Columbia, Manitoba and Ontario also contain over 12,000 electronic gaming machines halls/casinos.
• Pari-Mutuel or horse racing – 227 racetracks and tele-theatres locations (all provinces except Newfoundland and Labrador). • Internet gaming, while not considered a gaming
sector, is currently available in all provinces except Saskatchewan
* Casinos include gaming machines at other gaming facilities such as racetracks and bingo halls and are operated like a casino.
12 | Spring/Summer 2019
Labour Income/Employment / Average Salaries The operation of all gaming activity and spending of gaming profits by governments and charities in Canada also generated
in total Labour Income, which supported almost 182,500 jobs with an average annual salary of almost $65,000.
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Visit SGgaming.com The look and feel of the games and their individual components and displays are trade dress of Scientific Games Corp. and its Subsidiaries. TM and © 2019 Scientific Games Corp. and its Subsidiaries. All rights reserved.
SELF-DEFENCE Protecting the gaming industry’s intellectual property in Canada BY JOHN KOH
In common with other businesses in the entertainment industry, gaming companies, including casino operators, strive to engage and retain customers by providing an experience that is satisfying and exciting. Doing so requires an understanding of players’ desires and no small amount of creativity from the gaming companies, all in a rapidly changing environment that is becoming increasingly digital in nature. Like seemingly every other disrupted industry, gaming has become fertile ground for tech startups, and the effort and creativity that young companies are investing into their products could result in significant advantages and improvements in the industry. But high-value intellectual property needs to be protected, and failing to do so could be the death knell of any young start-up.
14 | Spring/Summer 2019
spotlightoninnovation The consequence of forging ahead without legal cover is falling f lat in a thriving industry. In Canada, the total revenue from all forms of gaming, including revenue from casinos, VLTs and lotteries exceeded $17 billion in 2017. These forms of gaming also directly provided 135,000 full-time jobs. In view of these numbers, it is not surprising that gaming is the largest segment of Canada’s entertainment industry. Of course, the gaming industry in the United States is even greater and generates revenue in the neighbourhood of US$150 billion and directly provides over 700,000 jobs. INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
The constellation of intellectual property rights includes copyright, trademarks, industrial designs (known in the U.S. as design patents) and patents (also known in the U.S. as utility patents). Each one has a specific purpose.
It’s Not Rocket Science — It’s AI
nQube has brought artificial intelligence to the casino floor, and it’s achieving inhuman results By Stasi Baran and Jason Fiege
Winnipeg-based nQube Data Science specializes in artificial intelligence solutions for casinos, with a focus on optimizing the mix and arrangement of slot machines on the casino floor. Founded by Dr. Jason Fiege, who has a day job as an astrophysics professor, and Dr. Stasi Baran, nQube has already generated its share of buzz. Fiege and Baran won the GiGse 2017 Launchpad Experience, getting them off to a sprinting start. nQube’s flagship product, Reel AI, is at the heart of the conversation. It’s a sophisticated piece of software built around an elaborate mathematical model that describes how slot players interact with the floor. This model, which Fiege and Baran half-jokingly refer to as “slot floor physics,” has gone through many iterations since its inception and now fits transactional data from the slot management system to astounding accuracy, limiting the error to less than one per cent. Reel AI truly is intelligent: it learns the nuances of how players interact with the slot floor, considering millions of alternative floor configurations — something that no human is able to do. Reel AI easily finds untapped efficiencies on the slot floor, with a 10 per cent increase in theoretical win often possible with a typical yearly slot purchasing budget. The AI-powered optimization system at the heart of nQube’s products was first built by Fiege in 2002 and has been under constant refinement ever since. Fiege and Baran have applied nQube’s core technology to other disciplines, but their focus today is on optimizing slot floors — and they’re not stopping there. nQube is currently developing applications for online and social casinos, marketing database segmentation and have started planning for AI-driven sportsbooks.
• Copyright protects artistic or literary expression and can apply to software. • A trademark is a form of protection for brand names. It indicates the source of a product or service and can give consumers confidence that they are purchasing from a familiar and reputable supplier. A trademark can also reassure consumers that the quality of a product or service will be consistent. • Industrial design protects the aesthetic aspects of an object such as its shape or pattern. • Patents protect useful, functional inventions. They’re relevant and important in the gaming industry, but special attention should be paid to the application of patent protection to digital technologies. It is also possible that a single product is protected by more than one type of intellectual property. For example, a patented product could be marketed under a registered trademark. PATENTS
A patent is an exchange between an inventor, who teaches the invention, and the government, which grants a limited monopoly. The patent owner can prevent others from making, using or selling an invention for a specified period of time. A patent application includes a description and drawings that teach the invention. A patent application also includes a set of claims that define the scope of the invention. After filing at a government patent office, the application is examined by a patent examiner, and if the application is successful, a patent is granted. To be patentable, an invention must be new, inventive (i.e. not obvious) and useful. The invention must also be directed to “patentable subject-matter” such as processes, machines and manufactured articles that meet certain criteria. An invention is often framed as the solution to a practical problem. An invention need not be in an entirely new field of technology (“pioneering patent”), as patents can also be granted for improvements to existing technology.
Patents can provide many benefits. One important benefit is the ability to exclude others from practicing the patented invention to gain a competitive advantage. The patent owner can license the invention in exchange for royalties, thus producing a stream of revenue. Patents can be important assets in negotiations. For example, if each party owns an invention that the other would like to use, they may agree to cross-license. Since patents are granted by governments, a separate patent is needed in each countr y or region in which protection is sought. Of course, there are differences between countries and regions in patent laws and practice. However, there are mechanisms that can simplify seeking patent protection in more than one jurisdiction. COMPUTER-IMPLEMENTED INVENTIONS AND GAMING
Traditionally, patented inventions were typically a physical object, such as a tire, or an observable process, such as a process for making cement. Conventional technologies can rely on conventional patent practice. For example, determining whether a new mechanism for a folding chair is patentable is unlikely to present difficult challenges because the issues are familiar and have been collectively considered over a long period of time, but new classes of inventions have less experience f itting within traditional frameworks. Patent law and practice may raise new issues when applied to recent or leading edge technologies that are being used in new practical applications. As computer processing power has grown exponentially, computers are becoming omnipresent in our lives. We have moved away from stand-alone computers towards networks of systems and devices. Software is moving from a one-time purchase (with possible updates) to software as a service in which Canadian Gaming Business | 15
spotlightoninnovation software is licensed on a subscription basis and is typically accessed over a network. Not surprisingly, “computer-implemented inventions” has become an important class of inventions. These inventions involve a computer which is programmed by software to achieve an objective by following an algorithm. The gaming industry uses computerimplemented technology in countless ways. A great deal of ingenuity and investment goes into the various digital systems that dominate the typical gaming operations, including surveillance systems that provide physical security and deter fraud and cheating; mobile and web applications that reach and engage players; and cashless payments that reduce cost and improve logistics. Other examples of computerimplemented technology include tracking software to combat money laundering; and customer relations software to better understand players and build loyalty. A search of the Canadian Patents Database using the search term “wager” shows that recent patent applications include those relating to electronic gaming machines, including machines which support in-game advertising; machine detection of wagers; and net work ing of casino management computer systems. PATENTABLE SUBJECT-MATTER
The Canadian Competitive Advantage
Tax credits and accessible funding enables good ideas to go a long way By Ron Segev, Partner, and Tanya Borycki, Legal Assistant, Segev LLP
It’s no surprise that Canada is home to one of the largest gaming industries in the world, considering the major competitive advantages readily available to gaming technology companies across the country. From tax credits, funding programs and a favourable tax climate, to an abundance of exceptionally skilled and multi-lingual talent, Canada has developed a reputation as one of the best places to build a gaming company. The Scientific Research and Experimental Development tax credit provides Canadian companies sizeable tax credits to supplement technology research and development costs, to a maximum of $2 million of expenditures. Federal tax credits range from 20 per cent to 35 per cent of eligible costs, determined based on a company’s profitability and whether the company is a Canadian Controlled Private Corporation, whereas provincial refund amounts vary from province to province. Expenditures can include, but are not limited to, consultants, employees, software, hardware and lab equipment. The Industrial Research Assistance Program provides technical and business innovation advisory services, financial assistance and industry connections to over 10,000 small and medium-sized enterprises annually. Recognized as one of Canada’s best funding programs, the Industrial Research Assistance Program offers large grants that are typically focused on creating original software, developing new products, and accelerating the growth of businesses. For interactive digital media companies, such as video game developers, the Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit is calculated as a percentage of eligible salary and wages incurred in each tax year. The credit is calculated at a rate of 17.5 per cent in British Columbia, 37.5 per cent in Quebec, 40 per cent in Ontario and 50 per cent in Nova Scotia. This list comprises only a handful of the many federal and provincial incentives available to Canadian gaming, tech and media companies. This substantial level of government support combined with access to highly skilled local talent certainly explains why so many gaming and technology entrepreneurs are attracted to Canada as the place to establish their business. For more detailed information on what advantages are available, to determine your eligibility, or to find out how our gaming team can assist you, please email email@example.com or give us a call at 604-629-5400.
Patenting technology relating to computer-implemented inventions can pose challenges from the point of view of subject-matter. In Canada, as in many other jurisdictions, a patent examiner will raise an objection if the examiner considers that the invention is not directed to patentable subject matter. The criteria for what constitutes patentable subject matter depends on the country or region in which patent protection is sought. In the United States, recent case law provides some guidance from the courts in determining what is patentable subject matter. Canada does not have as many court decisions to provide guidance, and the policies of the Canadian Intellectual Property Off ice (CIPO) play a very signif icant role in determining how inventions are assessed by the patent examiners employed there. CIPO considers an invention to be a solution to a practical problem. That solution must be something with physical existence or a process that produces a discernible effect or change. Regarding software, CIPO takes the position that where it appears, “The computer is required to resolve a practical problem, the computer may be considered an essential element of the claim.” Thus, if a computer program solves a practical problem in a way that requires use of a computer, then the invention may be patentable. How the invention is described and claimed in a patent application and which elements are emphasized, however, can significantly affect the probability of success. For example, an invention characterized simply as 16 | Spring/Summer 2019
an algorithm that is run on a computer could be difficult to patent. If the invention does not provide a discernible effect or change, the invention could be considered to be abstract and disembodied. In analyzing a computer-implemented invention, the computer might be considered to be “non-essential.” For example, if a method is computer-implemented, but the computer is considered to be a mere convenience and the method could be carried out using pen and paper, then CIPO may consider that the computer is not part of the invention. Under these circumstances, for the purposes of determining patentability, the invention could be reduced to an algorithm that’s abstract and unpatentable. Therefore, a patent application for a computer-implemented invention should, where appropriate, discuss why a computer is necessary to solve a practical problem. It is easier to argue that a computer is essential if the computer is presented as one component of a system that interacts with other components. Examples include using a computer to transmit data to remote servers, retrieve information from databases and write files to memory. Where possible, physical steps such as measuring speed or saving resources should be discussed and exemplified. It may be helpful if the problem addressed by the invention and the solution provided by the invention are discussed from a technological point of view. For example, the patent application could use language to emphasize technical details of implementation instead of language relating to human
spotlightoninnovation activities (such as accounting, conducting business and financial transactions). ENGAGING PROFESSIONAL SERVICES
invention requires detailed of knowledge of the law, an understanding of the practices of the patent office, and awareness of strategies that have been recently successful. In seeking the help of a patent agent, consider someone who has an active practice in this area and is familiar with recent developments.
Patent agents and trademark agents are experts in obtaining protection for their respective form of intellectual property protection. If you have developed or acquired intellectual property, John Koh is an associate and a Canadian Patent Agent, Barrister and consider engaging the services of a professional to guide and assist Solicitor for Marks & Clerk (Ottawa, Canada). you in obtaining an appropriate form of protection. In addition, a patent agent, a trademark agent or a lawyer may be able to help develop an overall strategy that will make the most of your Appointment Gaming intellectual property. Casino gambling goes live(streaming) By Matt Jarvis If you are seeking patent protection, consider engaging the services of a patent Casino Hour is a game show network for your phone where you can win real cash agent very early on, preferably as soon as a every day in 15-minute live-streamed shows focused on casino games. The company is decision is made to seek patent protection. breaking ground by merging the immense popularity of live-streaming with the proven A patent agent can draft and file a patent business model traditional gaming. application to protect your invention in The company’s management team includes Matt Jarvis, CEO and former World Series Canada and abroad. An experienced patent of Poker champion; Justin Simon, CMO and former executive director at Fox Sports; agent will help ensure that the patent and Sam Chandola, director and founder of V2 Games, and exiting to Victory Square Technologies. application is properly drafted to avoid risk At the Canadian Gaming Summit, Casino Hour will be announcing a large partnership of rejection, to help avoid costly mistakes and investment by one of the world’s largest consumer technology companies focusing and to assist in obtaining the broadest on entertainment content for Millennials. The company’s existing investors include Phil possible protection including obtaining Hellmuth, the number one poker player in the world; Jonathan Duhamel, 2010 WSOP international rights. main event winner; and Alex Le, senior vice president of product at Reddit. Maximizing the chances of successfully patenting a computer-implemented
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Canadian Gaming Business | 17 2019-05-03 2:18 PM
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18 | Spring/Summer 2019
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THE IMPORTANCE OF CLEANING IN A PUBLIC FACILITY Many building owners and managers still view cleaning as a “cost.” But cleaning should be regarded as an investment. It helps improve team spirit, enhances worker productivity, improves employee attendance, helps protect building assets, and when viewed in dollars-andcents terms, cleaning pays for itself many times over. Those are big, bold statements on the value of effective cleaning. So, just to prove our point, let’s examine some studies on the benefits of cleaning, and we’ll let you decide if cleaning is a cost or investment. Improved Productivity According to ISSA, the worldwide cleaning association, one of the many benefits of a clean facility is the decrease of harmful contaminants in the indoor environment. A clean and hygienic facility gives building occupants a visual comfort level and reduces potential
risks that may be associated with buildings that are not as clean.
locations so that private discussions can be kept private.
And this can result in dollars-and-cents savings. For instance, ISSA notes employees’ productivity levels were found to be heavily influenced by the cleanliness of the facility they worked in.
To help trim costs, the insurance company decided to do two things:
Preserving Building Assets A major North American insurance company installed carpet in their hundreds of office locations. The carpet had to be cleaned once or twice per year and in most cases, only lasted roughly three or four years. Maintaining and replacing the carpet cost the insurance company hundreds of thousands of dollars every year. The insurance company toyed with the idea of removing the carpet, but found that when they did so, agents and customers felt a lack of privacy discussing their insurance needs. Carpet helps quiet
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They cut the carpet cleaning frequencies to about once per year, hoping to save thousands of dollars every year. They hired a cleaning consultant to suggest ways to help them find a way to keep the carpet lasting longer.
To their surprise, the cleaning consultant advised the company that they needed to increase cleaning frequencies, not decrease them. Reluctantly, the insurance company followed his advice and set up a pilot program. In a select number of locations, instead of carpet being cleaned just once per year, it was cleaned two, three, and in some cases, four times per year depending on carpet soiling.
After two years, the insurance company analyzed the outcomes. What they found was that the carpet cleaned more frequently was now lasting five to seven years, instead of only three. This meant the carpet did not have to be replaced as often which resulted in the insurance company saving thousands of dollars annually. This result was mirrored in studies by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) and the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI). They found that a planned carpet maintenance program that involves more frequent carpet cleaning extends a carpet’s useful life, “well beyond the manufacturer’s estimated life cycle, ultimately paying for itself in deferred replacement costs.”
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IS THE FUTURE OF GAMING
The new technology is ready for the industry, but is the industry ready for it? BY GREGORY FURGALA
Imagine a global gaming industry that enables a player to seamlessly place bets in Macau, Vancouver and Berlin, then another at a Johannesburg-based website for good measure, while ensuring the principles of player safety and anti-money laundering are adhered to.
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THAT PLAYER has a profile and digital wallet, and they’re recognized as the same person in each jurisdiction. The time, amount and result of a bet made on one side of the world is indelibly stamped into their history, followed by the next one, and the next and so on. Suspicious transactions would stand out, as would patterns of addictive gambling. In those, events, their run of luck, good or bad, would cease. Players’ interactions with online casinos would be verifiably above board, as well, and bets there would get added to the profile. They wouldn’t have to worry about their profiles getting hacked; it’s just not technically feasible. It’s a global gaming landscape enabled by blockchain. “In the blockchain world, the player is more recognized, more appreciated, more compensated,” says Earle Hall. “Their e-wallet and digital identification is readily available to move where they want to play.” Hall is the CEO of AXES Network, a provider of fintech-related cloud information management services, and he’s convinced that the emergence of blockchain in gaming is inevitable. He’s also boiled it down to a three-word maxim: blockchain is trust. OLD PRINCIPLE, NEW TECHNOLOGY
The term “blockchain” is thrown around so much that it almost feels like a meaningless buzzword. But blockchain isn’t empty corporate-speak, and it’s certainly capable of doing more than just backing up cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum (blockchain is the technology that makes them possible, but blockchain is not a cryptocurrency itself). A blockchain is a ledger. It records exchanges like bookkeepers have for centuries, with each new entry, or block, linked to a preceding one. But instead of a closed book, it’s completely open, decentralized and, while not technically unalterable, it’s nevertheless considered secure by design. Blockchain is new enough that its limits are still being explored, but as a recent study in Gaming Law Review put it, blockchain is “comparable to the Internet in its capacity to transform a host of fundamental financial, legal, commercial and monetary functional processes.” Just like doubleentry bookkeeping revolutionized medieval finance, blockchain is poised to transform modern life, gaming included, and it will do more than just underwrite a new means of trading money. Its application spans regulation, anti-money laundering, responsible gaming and even day-to-day operations, which can be made more efficient and cost-effective. So blockchain is more of a surrogate for trust than actual trust, but the gist of Hall’s maxim stands. By creating a lasting, open, verifiable record, regulators, operators and players all have a common reference for each others’ activity. “Blockchain brings in a way ensuring trust, traceability and transparency, which brings down all the risk of money laundering, anonymous clients moving money where they shouldn’t, and a way of tracing the playing of the player to make sure that if they do get in trouble, or get sick, or dependent, there’s ways of tracking them and limiting them,” says Hall. THE SUPERJURISDICTION
Hall brings up Poland by way of example. The Baltic nation recently passed stringent responsible gaming laws that are
predicated on blockchain technolog y. No matter where players in Poland are playing, their blockchain-enabled profiles, which are tied to a national identification, track their playing. If the Isle of Man, for example, passed similar legislation with the same technological backing, the two jurisdictions could come to an agreement over anti-money laundering and responsible gaming and let Poles and islanders play freely. That implementation is obviously a significant hurdle, but blockchain constitutes a common, compatible system to build those kinds of agreements on. The hardest one will be the f irst, but after that, Hall expects the pace to pick up. “The first day that two jurisdictions talk to each other, the third will show up, then the fourth and the fifth until we move to a global industry that’s protecting itself.” “That’s my dream at this point,” continues Hall. “Jurisdictions will start saying, ‘Why don’t we marry together our unique identifier codes,’ which means the responsible gaming profile of a player from one country on one platform would be recognized on another platform in another country. That’s where blockchain beats its loudest drum.” Blockchain’s real potential is as a regulatory tool that can turn several national gaming industries into a secure, transparent global one, both land-based and online. “Blockchain brings out a notion of compatibility and sharing that other technologies lack,” says Hall. “As other legislators get more and more educated on blockchain, they’ll realize that that technology is their best friend.” Better yet, neither the player or the operator should ever notice a difference, and in tandem with privacy laws that ensure players’ data remains their own, global prof iles can improve player experience and make cash management a much easier, more eff icient task for operators. Traceability and transparency are baked into blockchain, and by design it removes a tremendous amount of inefficiency from the system. In the wake of money laundering scandals in Canada, it’s a logistic, legal and operational boon. HURDLES
Implementing blockchain is less a question of technology than will. Hall is convinced that buy-in demands education, first and foremost. “Because [regulators] don’t know what blockchain can do, because the number of technology suppliers that are offering technology solutions are very few at this point in time, education needs to be the primary focus.” Blockchain also needs more leaders will to take the plunge, particularly established suppliers of casino management software. They also need to be willing to adopt blockchain on behalf of their customers and not charge them exorbitantly for the privilege. A high capital cost paired with what’s still a new and uncommon technology is unlikely to win waves of new adherents. But the result of doing so could be both groundbreaking and invisible, like trading in a gas guzzler for a Tesla: you’re still be driving a car, but everything underneath the hood will be radically different. In Canada, it’s a quiet revolution just waiting for someone to step out in front. Canadian Gaming Business | 21
Environmentally friendly investments pay more than just moral dividends BY GREGORY FURGALA, WITH FILES FROM KAVITA SABHARWAL-CHOMIUK
Casinos aren’t crowned by towering smoke stacks. They don’t produce ammonia-laced tailing ponds. Disaster scenarios aside, in the event of a catastrophic operational failure, it’s unlikely that a casino would do much more than temporarily close. A casino certainly isn’t going to rupture and gush oil anywhere (its owners might get into a new line of work if it did). In terms of environmental impact, casinos aren’t nearly as visible as international shipping, marine plastic pollution and fracking. BUT THEY’RE not per fect. Casinos and resort hotels produce tonnes of organic and inorganic waste that also needs to be hauled away. Hauling staff uniforms and linens off to get laundered costs carbon and money as well. Casino and resorts’ biggest impact, however, is energ y usage. A 2005 study by the United States’ Environmental Protection Agency notes that ca sinos a re ex t remely energ y intensive due to their 24/ 7 operations, high ventilation requirements and high energy loads. By way of example, the EPA report found that the Turning Stone Resort and Casino in New York used 57.6 million k ilowatt hours of energ y per year to power its 750 rooms, 50 0,0 0 0 square foot casino f loor, 22 | Spring/Summer 2019
30,000 square foot event space and amenities. To put that in perspective, in 2016, the entire city of Hamilton used 351.6 million kilowatt hours. Turning Stone is a massive resort, but the EPA study makes it clear that casinos and casino resorts, with their abundance of lights, g ames and massive open spaces, demand more energ y per square foot than other lodgings. Managing down that usage might at first glance seem like a thankless, capital-intensive task, but it can quick ly pay div idends, both environmental and f inancial. Steve Stone, the director of facility management at Fallsv iew Casino Resort in Niagara, recently found that out for himself.
AN EFFICIENT PLAN
“It beg a n as we rev iewed the efficiencies of our programs and the associated costs,” says Stone. “As we made decisions on what programs could be improved and reviewed for opportunities for capital investment, it became clear that creating these ef f iciencies would work handin-hand w ith sust ainable and environmentally friendly programs.” The initial goal was to cut operational costs, but it led Stone to making investments in projects t h at dovet a il w it h sust a i n abilit y and energ y eff iciency. Most of the changes are what you would expect. Stone’s team installed variable speed drives on fans and pumps, switched to LEDs, added automatic lighting
controls in under-used areas and i n st a l le d energ y- s av i n g w i ndow treatments. Fallsview even added a f ilm to the southwest-facing side of the building that ref lects UV light, relieving the HVAC system of some stress. Rebates helped offset some of those costs, as well. “Energ y audits are an imperative p a r t o f t h e pr o c e s s i n o r d er t o ensure that we are comprehensively review ing opportunities for efficiency and to create a baseline for our programs,” says Stone. “Once we established a baseline we were able to identify and prioritize opportunities t h at wou ld a l low u s t o i nc rea se efficiency.” Some of the biggest benefits came from unex pected places, ex plains S t o n e . D y s o n h a n d d r y e r s , fo r example, allowed Fallsview to get rid of paper towels in washrooms. That eliminated a signif icant chunk of their waste disposal, which in turn decreased the amount of haulage ne e de d t o g et r id of it , a nd t he amount energy required to process it. The results at Fallsview bear out an MIT study concluding that Dyson’s dryers had the least environmental
impact compared to other dr yers and paper towels. Dyson estimates it costs 97 per cent less than paper towels to run its dryers, and 81 per cent less than slower dryers. Bringing laundry in house brought on a similar cascading series of benef its, and, given Fallsview’s “always-on” nature, lighting controls were another boon. Routine operational reviews yielded other small ways to make Fallsview more efficient, as well. Despite Stone’s overall success, t h e r e w e r e ch a l l e n g e s . O n - s it e organics disposal, for example, was p a r t ic u l a rl y d i f f ic u lt . To work , staff have to sort waste perfectly. Otherwise, the disposal units break dow n. “Even just a small fraction of the waste being misallocated will cause the loads to be rejected and caused almost daily breakdowns in equipment,” says Stone. “This is a real challenge when you are relying on a large population to per form the procedures perfectly every time with little to no margin for error.” W hen the machines worked, Stone says they worked well. But too often they didn’t. Given the chance to do it over again, Stone says he’d purchase
smaller machines and work in smaller loads, which would make it easier for his staff to keep the waste stream clean. Operationally, the cost-benef it o f Fa l l s v i e w ’s g r e e n i n it i a t i v e s have worked out in its favour, but the env ironment al benef it might y ield mo r e r e venu e u nt o it s el f . Green Keys global, an international environmental certif ication body, awa rded Fa lls v iew it s 4 Green Key rating. Green Key desig ns sustainability programs specif ically for the hotel industry, and Stone says the rating helps signal to potential client s a nd g uest s that Falls v iew a c t i vel y work s t ow a rd re duc i n g its environmental footprint. It’s a moral value-add to go along with the traditional amenities for Fallsview guests “We want to ensure that their ex perience is a good one while on property, therefore we inform them of the environmental benefits behind the changes made that impact them,” says Stone. “If we make the guest feel as though they are making an environmental impact, they are likely to accept and have more positive feelings about these changes.” Canadian Gaming Business | 23
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In aggregate, re-tooled processes, retrof its and guest-facing changes ca n ma ke a sig nif ica nt impact on overhead. Bring ing in cer tain pr o c e s s e s , l i k e l au n d r y, help e d Fallsv iew meet its goals, but p a r t ic u l a rl y l a r g e f a c i l it ie s c a n con sider br i n g i n g i n t hei r ow n power generation. In a 2007 report, t he Un it ed St at es E PA a n a ly zed energ y use at two casinos, the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, and the Seneca Niagara Falls Ca sino in New York st ate. B oth recently h ad combined heat a nd p ower (C H P) s y st em s i n st a l le d w it h t he a i m o f r e du c i n g t hei r ca rbon foot pr int s. In a nut shell, CHP systems generate energy more eff iciently than traditional power sources. I n a process somet imes called cogeneration, heat created by power generation is contained and channeled toward a useful purpose, l i k e heat i n g or co ol i n g , m a k i n g produc t ive use of wh at would otherwise go to waste. The results were staggering. Rio has 2,800 suites, 15 restaurants, theatres, lou n g e s a nd , of cou r se, g a m i n g rooms. Before its CHP system was installed, Rio’s annual energ y bill was $9 million. Once installed, the CHP system generated 40 per cent of Rio’s electricity, heated 60 per cent of its water and managed 65 per cent of the resort’s heating. With 95 per cent up time, Rio saved $1.5 million annually. Seneca Niagara installed its CHP system to operate in the event of a power outage (its installation was partially a response to the 2003 Northeast blackout). Its system was designed to meet the thermal load of the facility, provide heating and cooling, and heat water, as well. The report goes on to say that during the summer months, Seneca Niagara’s CHP system will meet 100 per cent of its thermal needs, and at peak load, 73 per cent of its electricit y needs. The numbers at Connecticut’s Foxwoods Resort & Casino are even more impressive. The Alliance for Industrial Efficiency, a sustainability advocacy, reported that Fox woods’ 15 megawatt CHP system met 100 per cent of its heating and cooling needs and 60 per cent of its electricity needs. In three years, it recouped $36 million.
T h a t ’s m o n e y t h a t c o u l d b e r ei n ve s t e d i nt o t he o p er at io n a l sav ing s, or ex pansion, or st aff raises to reward per for mance a nd at t r a c t ne w t a lent . It cou ld be doled out in bonuses or go to shareholders. Wherever it goes, the source is the same: investment into green initiatives. Eff icienc y saves money, and the cost of things like L EDs and solar panels have both consistently decreased over the past decade, making simple retrofits and upg rades that much cheaper. The entire electr ical system could be reconfigured around a CHP system, or bulk soap dispensers could replace individual bottles. Both help. GREEN INK
Despite his overall success, Stone caut ions other facilit y ma na g ers about just diving into going green. “Before mak ing any big decisions in st ar ting g reen initiatives, it is crucial to fully understand the needs of your business as a whole. Each business is a unique entity and while some initiatives may look desirable on paper, it is imperative to think th roug h the potent ia l impact on guest and staff experiences.” Fallsview didn’t invest into energy eff icient retrof its and processes out of environmental guilt. The money Stone spent improved its bottom line and guest ex perience. For casinos and resor ts, sustainable practices a re a new mea n s t o a n old end. They just have the added benef it of reducing waste and environmental i mp a c t , a n d , fo r n o w, c o i n c i d e with consumers’ approval of green practices. Sustainability has improved Fallsview’s bottom line and its public standing. “We are proud to have set ourselves apart as a green leader in the communit y,” says Stone. Not only have we implemented many green initiatives on our properties, but we also work to educate our employees on g reen prac t ices in hopes that they will carry some of it to their own homes.” T h er e a r en’t s m o k e s t a ck s o r tailings ponds, but there is plenty of room for improvement. There’s also thousands of dollars — in some cases millions — left on the table. It just takes a bit of investment to get it.
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NEW MONEY Digital payment methods promise a cashless future, but is the industry ready to give up hard currency? Casinos and cash are a natural (and necessary) pair, but digital payment technology is making its way into land-based casinos, promising players a more convenient means of gambling than ever. But while cashless gaming is promising, the new tech raises questions about its safety, utility and even whether customers are really clamouring for it. People like handling money, current responsible gambling strategies revolve around physical cash and privacy has become a top-of-mind issue for everyone. Canadian Gaming Business spoke to Niaz Nejad, COO and vice president of gaming and cannabis at Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis, about what both the industry and customers can expect from cashless gaming, and how the technology can be used going forward.
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This interview has been edited for length and clarity
WHAT’S THE FUTURE OF CASH?
Niaz Nejad: There will always be cash in the gaming industry. To think the gaming industry will ever in our lifetime be completely cashless is probably unrealistic. I don’t even call it cashless, to be honest. I really like the term digital payments, because we live in a digital world right now and we have many different methods of paying for things, whether it’s Apple Pay, tap-and-go or any type of other credit and debit payment. But cash will always exist. You have to factor the convenience of cash into the casino industry and the responsible gambling aspects of cash. I also think a lot of people like to carry cash in their wallet, and they’re uncomfortable with digital payment methods. [Customers might ask] “where’s my data going? Is my data safe? Who has access to it? Can it be hacked?” I think for a lot of those reasons, the industry will be hard-pressed to go completely cashless in the near term. But I think we’ll see more adoption as technology moves into land-based gaming, and you’ll certainly see adoption on the legal online gambling side. But as far as land-based casinos, I think cash will still be predominant for many years to come.
FROM A PLAYER PERSPECTIVE, WHAT DO YOU THINK CASHLESS MEANS? NN : From a customer perspective, I think it means
convenience. It means the ability to just use your digital device or some other type of credit card feature, or debit card feature, to actually pay for purchases. I think it really boils down to convenience for consumers when they think about cashless or digital modes of payment.
HOW CAN CASINOS USE CASHLESS TO IMPROVE PLAYER EXPERIENCE? NN: You want to cater to a multitude of clients and a multitude
of preferences. My preference may be digital, while your preference may be cash. Casinos will have to offer all those solutions to their patrons because everyone has different preferences and perspectives on what digital or cashless might mean to them. The way that casinos should be preparing themselves is, one, offering those solutions, and two, working with technology providers to ensure that they have safe and accessible digital payment options for patrons.
WHAT KIND OF ISSUES ARE THERE FROM A RESPONSIBLE GAMING PERSPECTIVE?
NN: Responsible gambling really is critical. It’s part of the core
of our business, and I don’t know the answer to that right now. But the entire industry needs to work together. Collectively, the technology providers, the payment companies, the casino operators and the regulators have to find a way to ensure they bring more convenient payment and digital options to their casino floors, and that it’s not to the detriment of the great work they’re doing with respect to responsible gambling and responsible use. I don’t know what that silver bullet looks like, but there will have to be a collective effort to ensure that it’s easy and convenient to tap, and that that doesn’t get away from a person, that they’re not spending more than they intend to spend, and that they’re still keeping it fun and entertaining. That’s going to take a lot of collective effort and a lot of discussion. It could mean things like notifications that pop up that advise you about how much you spent, how long you’ve been gaming — it could be a multitude of things. It really needs the industry to come together to help educate consumers so that they make informed decisions.
AS A REGULATOR, DO YOU SEE ANY SIGNIFICANT REGULATORY HURDLES TOWARD TAKING UP CASHLESS PAYMENT OPTIONS? NN: Modern-day regulations allow for technology. It just has to be in the spirit of ensuring that it’s not going against the regulations that exist in the various provinces. That’s something that, depending on the solution, would have to be discussed with the various regulators. The complexity of that is there’s different regulations in different provinces. As a payment provider or a technology provider, it could get a little tricky when you’re trying to cater to different regulatory requirements and regimes.
WHAT’S THE BEST APPROACH FOR THIS TECHNOLOGY TO BE TAKEN UP SAFELY? NN: It goes back to collaborating and working together as an
industry. In Canada, it’s really about getting the regulators, operators and payment providers together, and finding a solution that will actually achieve the objectives that everyone is trying to achieve, which is ultimately offering digital payments for patrons that choose to utilize that method.
Canadian Gaming Business | 27
A CHALLENGING INDUSTRY, AND A PROMISING FUTURE Canadian gaming is changing fast, but the 2019 Canadian Gaming Summit will keep you in the know
There’s boundless potential in the Canadian gaming industry. New technology has provided casino operators with new tools to increase revenue, new products for players to engage with and even new money to spend — when there’s actual cash involved at all. Sports betting, effectively legalized in the United States, is on the precipice here, while social gaming has enabled established casinos to increase their footprints and new start-ups to get into the business Canadian gaming isn’t without obstacles, though. The same technolog y that’s the source of so much potential also has its pitfalls. Personal data is routinely collected to enable smoother, seamless gaming, but protecting it is a n i m men se respon sibi l it y. New met ho ds of payment make it easier and more convenient to play, but t hey dem a nd a re - ex a m i n at ion of respon sible g a m ing prac t ices. I n novat ion is dr iv ing Ca n adia n gaming for ward, but ever y success provokes another challenge. 28 | Spring/Summer 2019
The 2019 Canadian Gaming Summit won’t respond to those challenges; it will get ahead of them. “Driving Cha ng e” is this yea r’s theme, a nd CGS’s Indust r y Forum panellists and presenters will take 360-degree approach toward realizing that goal, ensur ing delegates leave with a balanced analysis of the myriad subjects in their constantly-evolving industr y, and a path for ward in it. Keep reading for a look at what CGS speakers have in store for delegates.
CASHLESS WAGERING: HOW TO PAY TO PLAY
A recent sur vey found that 63 per cent of Canadians hardly or rarely carry cash and only 12 per cent of pointof-sale transactions are done with cash. By 2030, cash will account for just 10 per cent of all money spent. Canada’s gaming industry needs to prepare for this shift in customer preferences. This f irst panel will focus on what Canadian casinos can learn from the experiences in other jurisdictions, and what technologies are currently available and how are they being used. AML: A STRONG PATH FORWARD
Money laundering has become a top issue for the federal and provincial governments, and also for the Canadian gaming industry. This panel will provide a wide-ranging examination of the money laundering challenges being faced by the gaming industry as a whole, and also discuss anti-money-laundering measures going forward. HOW TO SET UP A SPORTS BOOK IN CANADA (WHEN OUR FEDERAL GOVERNMENT LETS US)
U.S. states are wasting little time passing legislation to open sports books now that it is legal for them to do so, and professional leagues are developing technologies that will give them data for new betting opportunities. This is where the sports wagering experience is going. As we wait for Canada’s federal government to act, what lessons can Canadian gaming operators learn from land-based casinos, online operators and the professional leagues so that they can hit the ground running when their time comes? ESPORTS: WHY IT MATTERS TO CANADIAN CASINOS
The world of competitive e-sports is a fast-growing international industry with millions of fans and billions of dollars in prizes. Sponsorships, streaming services, dedicated venues and live events have turned gamers into stars who can rake in seven-figure earnings, massive brand endorsements and millions of fans. As Canadian casinos look to attract new customers and revenue streams, e-sports may offer an attractive option. SOCIAL GAMING: THE BEST ONLINE MARKETING TOOL FOR CASINOS
Social gaming has moved far beyond Candy Crush and Farmville to become one of the best marketing tools that a casino can use to extend targeted offers to players and drive them back into brick-and-mortar locations, and at a fraction of the cost of traditional marketing.
THE FUTURE OF CASINO INCENTIVES: TOP 5 INNOVATIONS TO EXPECT
This presentation will be a lively overview of how casinos of all sizes have been succeeding — and failing — to create the next generation of incentives to inspire patrons to visit and engage in commerce. The session will explore five interesting innovations that are shifting how gaming companies inf luence patron and employee behaviour in responsible, enjoyable and profitable ways. EXPLORING EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES
Blockchain, A I and cr yptocurrency technologies are widely discussed these days, but what do they mean for Canada’s gaming industry? Canadian innovators who have developed gaming applications using these emerging technologies will discuss possible future applications and examine the pros, cons and risks that will have to be managed to adopt them. AN OVERVIEW OF SKILL-BASED GAMING
Skill-based gaming is a widely popular and entertaining form of gaming, but as skill-based products find their way into the playfor-money world of casinos, what should the Canadian gaming industry know? Who plays these games? Do they have a place in provincial VLT networks? If they are pure skill, do they need to be licensed? This panel will examine the emergence of skill-based games in Canada. THE GAMING EXPERIENCE IN 2025
O ver the last day-and-a-half we have ex plored and discussed a large number of topics ranging from new payment methods to technologies and products that could change the way we offer gaming. Now we are going to bring it all together: if you think ahead to 2025, what will the gaming experience look like? THE GREAT SUMMIT DEBATE
Prov incial governments have been stewards of the Canada’s g aming industr y for more than 30 years, nurturing the growth of an industry that now supports over 180,000 jobs in hundreds of communities across Canada, and provides billions of dollars in revenue to governments, charities and First Nations. These are significant achievements under the antiquated provisions of the Criminal Code, but will this arrangement continue to serve the best interests of Canada’s gaming industry over the next 30 years? Be it resolved that Canada’s gaming industry would be better ser ved with provincial governments having absolute jurisdiction over gaming laws in Canada. Canadian Gaming Business | 29
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