Canada's Premier Gaming Industry Magazine
Vol. 7 No. 2
Modernization Game Plan The Blueprint for Lottery and Gaming in Ontario
Inside: Canadian Gaming Industry Awards Driving Change Through Gamification The Newest Spins in Slot Machines
June 11 - 13, 2012 Award Winners & Summit Sponsors See pages 31-38
Summer 2012 Volume 7 Number 2
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Canadian Gaming Business is published four times a year as a joint venture between MediaEdge Communications and The Canadian Gaming Association To advertise contact: Richard Swayze 416-512-8186 ext. 246 email@example.com Copyright 2012 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 $47.25 per year, $84.00 two years. All rates are payable in Canadian Funds only. Postmaster send address changes to: Canadian Gaming Business Magazine 5255 Yonge Street Suite 1000, Toronto, Ontario M2N 6P4
Official Publication of the Canadian Gaming Summit
MESSAGE FROM THE CGA
Blurring Lines in Social Media Gaming
INDUSTRY AWARD PROFILES:
OLG's Modernization Game Plan : The blueprint for modernizing lottery and gaming in Ontario OLG’s RFI Opportunity
The Newest Spins on Slot Machines
Lorne Weil: CEO of Scientific Games Building Your Casino Brand
Chuck Bridges: Vice-President, Corporate Affairs – Atlantic Lottery The Power of Play Canadian Gaming Industry Award Winners
Canadian Gaming Lawyer June Edition
Canadian Gaming Business | 3
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The Summit thunders into Niagara Falls Here we go again! That noise you're likely hearing is the roar of the 16th Annual Canadian Gaming Summit in full swing in Niagara Falls. But if you're reading this after the Summit, then that noise is likely the sound of attendees still buzzing about the innovations, technologies, and ideas showcased during this exciting industry exhibition and conference. Once again, Canadian Gaming Business is proud to be on the ground f loor of this exciting event. And, much like the Summit itself, we've dedicated this issue to examining biggest issues inf luencing the gaming stakeholders across the Great White North, beginning with our cover story, “OLG's Modernization Game Plan”. Then, in our industry roundt able feat ure, “Building Your Ca sino Bra nd ”, marketing f irm Marshall Fenn Communications leads casino marketers in a talk about building brand identities in an ever-shifting landscape. Our look in to the future of gaming continues in our Gaming Trends feature, “The Newest Spins on Slot Machines”. Within these pages, you will also find the latest edition of Canadian Gaming Lawyer. Editor Michael Lipton and his colleagues have assembled another informative and incisive look at the laws and regulations affecting our industry. This is a “must read” for anyone with a stake in Canadian gaming. Please also read with interest our prof iles on Chuck Bridges, Atlantic Lottery's Vice-President of Corporate Affairs; and our Executive Q&A with Lorne Weil, CEO of Scientific Games. As is tradition in every Summit issue, we've dedicated a section to the recipients of the 2012 Canadian Gaming Industry Awards and the First Nation Canadian Gaming Awards. I'm sure you'll agree this year's honourees are absolutely deserving of the recognition. I’d also like to introduce and welcome aboard CGB's new publisher, Richard Swayze. Richard is also part of the Gaming Summit’s sales efforts and he brings years of trade show and publishing experience to our team. We both look forward to seeing everyone soon at the 2012 Summit. Enjoy the issue, and please take a moment to say hello! Matthew Bradford, Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org
4 | Summer 2012
It’s a jungle in here.
Tarzan® is the breakthrough game from Aristocrat that brings the legendary Lord of the Jungle™ to the slot floor. Housed in the award-winning VERVE hd ™ cabinet, it’s the very first title to appear in a gigantic 31.5” portrait monitor. And with our Nteractiv™ LCD programmable button deck, getting into the jungle is even more engaging.
IT’S NOT JUST A GAME. IT’S AN ARISTOCRAT GAME.
aristocratgaming.com © 2012 Aristocrat Technologies Australia Pty Limited. TARZAN™ and TARZAN YELL™ are registered trademarks of EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS, INC. and Used by Permission. LORD OFTHE JUNGLE ™, Tarzan and Jane™ and Forbidden Temple™ owned by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. and Used by Permission. © 2012 Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., All Rights Reserved.
Winds of Change
By Bill Rutsey, President and CEO of the Canadian Gaming Association
By now, most everyone is well aware of Ontario Lottery and Gaming’s (OLG) plan to modernize its lottery and gaming operations, including an enhanced role for the private sector in the ownership and operation of gaming assets and business channels. Unlike many crown agencies, OLG did not undertake this planning in a vacuum. Rather, they engaged in thorough consultation with their stakeholders (including the Canadian Gaming Association) and looked far beyond the boundaries of the province for industry best practices. The process produced three key messages: • The business should become more customer focused. • Private sector capital and operating expertise should be leveraged. • OLG should clarify and re-define its role. In over v iew, the moder nization initiative includes divestiture of existing gaming assets, departure from dayto-day operations, closing or re-locating underperforming facilities, allowing for new facilities in locations closer to customers and with tourism potential, ex panding slot facilities beyond racetracks, improving the mix of games available, and allowing for private sector operation and development of new technologies and games for its lottery network and to-be-implemented online offerings (see our cover story for greater detail). O L G i s n o t a l o n e i n O nt a r io w it h re g a rd s t o modernization. The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has begun a process to introduce meaningful regulatory reform that will usher in more 6 | Summer 2012
compliance and risk-based approaches across the various industr y segments that it regulates. AGCO is on an announced path to ensure that its regulatory priorities and objectives are properly aligned to present-day risks and expectations, which includes an environment of multiparty private sector ownership and operation. The combined modernization plans of AGCO and OLG will fundamentally change the Ontario gaming landscape and may well auger change elsewhere in Canada. The Ontario approach significantly minimizes investment and operational risk for the public sector and shifts it to the private sector together with commensurate opportunity for reward. This type of regulatory, ownership, and operating environment is familiar to most companies operating in the gaming industry internationally and will result in greater choice, improved product, and an enhanced experience for gaming customers, whatever their preference. W hat is v it ally impor t ant at this st age is for the private sector to offer well-thought-out and meaningful feedback to both OLG and AGCO as they proceed down the modernization path. This is a unique opportunity to share best practices and assist in the improvement of both the regulatory and operational environments of a major market. It’s time for all of us to come together with OLG and AGCO to help chart the way forward. There are still plenty of questions to be answered and hurdles to overcome as the winds of change blow and the process unfolds. We look forward to working together with AGCO, OLG, and the industry-at-large to make this initiative the unqualified success it deserves to be.
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OLG's Moderniz Game Plan The blueprint for modernizing lottery and gaming in Ontario
In what’s billed as the most significant transformation of a Crown Agency in Ontario’s history, OLG is taking steps to build a 21st century model for lottery and gaming in the province. This modernization initiative will bring a sharper focus to bear on the customer, expand the involvement of the regulated private sector and renew the agency’s role in oversight. It will create new jobs, spur new investment and increase the agency’s contribution to the province. It will change the way the agency does business. It will change the entire industry in the province. Since it was c r e at e d i n 1975, the O n t a r i o L ot ter y and G a m i n g C or porat ion (OLG) – owned by the people of the province – has returned in excess of $34 billion in prof its to the prov incia l g over n ment. This money has gone to suppor t health care, education, community infrastructure, charities, and the training of amateur athletes. Beyond that contribution, OLG has been an important partner in m a n y p r o v i n c i a l c o m mu n it i e s , providing good jobs, contributing investment, and generating some $3.7 billion in economic activity in fiscal 2011 alone. There are also a number of groups that benefit directly from gaming proceeds, including Ontario First Nations and the municipalities that host facilities.
Some 8 million people play the lot ter y ever y yea r a nd about 2 .7 million Ontarians visit a casino or slot facility at least once annually. Customer connections were forged in the early d a y s o f O nt a r io’s prov i nc i a l lot t er y. I n the 1970s, OLG’s f lagship product was Wintario, a weekly lottery that offered a grand prize of $100,000. I n it s t i me, W i nt a r io w a s more than a lotter y – it was a cultural phenomenon w ith a half-hour of prime-time television programming devoted to its draw. In those days, it must have seemed like OLG would always be about Wintario; but things change. Times and tastes change. Like lottery and gaming jurisdictions across the country, OLG has evolved since those early days. As it has grown and changed, OLG has continued to make an important contribution to the revenues of the Ontario government – just under $2 Canadian Gaming Business | 9
“There is potential to be more innovative, more efficient, and more effective.” billion a year for the past seven years. Today, OLG is still the Ontario government’s largest non-tax revenue source. In order to maint ain and protect that contribution in an increasingly competitive marketplace, OLG must look at ways to stay at the forefront of the industry and bring continued improvement to its product offering. There is opportunity for growth. On average, Canada’s lottery and gaming corporations generate an average of $595 in revenue per adult in the province. In Ontario, however, that number is $459 per capita. There is potential to be more innovative, more efficient and more effective.
The Internet is rapidly changing the marketplace by changing personal behaviour. 2. Competition from traditional gaming options Casinos along the Canada-US border have been challenged by the higher Canadian dollar, issues related to crossing the border and a number of new gaming facilities in the United States. This has led to a sharp decline in the number of Americans entering Ontario. The combined impact is difficult to overstate. A decade ago, OLG’s border casinos were returning a net profit of $800 million a year. Now, that profit is less than $100 million and falling. 3. Changing tastes in gaming preferences In 2000, one in three adults in Ontario under the age of 45 regularly played the lottery. By 2015, it is estimated that number will be one in 14. It is a popular form of entertainment, but the customer base is shifting. One of the key challenges is that Ontario has a paper-based lottery system in an e-based world. And that’s not all. Today, almost 90% of OLG’s casino and slot facility revenue is from slot machines. But slots have limited appeal to people under 45.
In order to achieve growth in this sector, in this province, OLG and the industry need to address some key challenges including: 1. Competition from new gaming options The advent of the Internet and new digital gaming options has been a boon for unregulated off-shore operators. In Ontario alone, it is estimated some $400 million is spent annually with off-shore gaming sites. There are now over 2,000 such sites where Ontarians play every week. 10 | Summer 2012
THE NEW OLG OL G a nd it s sh a reholder, t he O nt a r io Government, have recognized the challenge and are moving forward. Working under the direction of a highly engaged Board of Directors, a streamlined management team has developed a plan for a “new OLG”. The particulars of the plan, approved by government, were announced publicly on March 12 at a news conference at Queens Park. OLG will become more customer-focused. In any business, it’s the customer who tells you what he or she wants. OLG needs to be where customers want it to be, providing games they want to play. Sites need to be where customers are, and need to consider the current preferences and realities of the market. OLG is also expanding the regulated private sector delivery of lottery and gaming. The lottery network has 10,000 points of sale. There are 23,000 slot machines and over 500 games tables in the 24 facilities in the province. In varying stages, all of these things will require updating. In an era where hospitals are built with public-
private-partnerships, it makes sense to move capital investment away from government. Currently, regulated private sector operators employ a majority (60%) of the people delivering gaming in Ontario. These employees work at places like Fallsview Casino Resort and Casino Niagara, Casino Rama and Caesars Windsor. In the future, their ranks will swell to include the 6,000 employees that, today, work directly for government through the OLG. Overall, the benefits of OLG modernization will be substantial: an additional $1.3 billion annually to the province, new private capital investment of some $3 billion, and over 6,000 new private sector jobs, either in gaming or in related spin-off industries (like hotels, restaurants and entertainment among others). GAMING ZONES A s a first step in the process, OLG recently released Requests for Information, or RFIs—a standard way of collecting information about the capabilities and interest of potential privatesector suppliers. It will help OLG understand the level of ability that exists out there as it relates to lottery and gaming operations. OLG has proposed 29 potential Gaming Zones across the province. 24 of them have existing OLG gaming facilities, so the proposal includes the potential for five new facilities. Gaming Zones are geographic areas where regulated private-sector providers will be allowed to operate a single gaming facility, subject to approvals. The zones are based on a business model that is designed to maximize revenue for the province. Factors such as prox imit y of a g aming location to other gaming facilities and residential areas were measured to determine the zones. The five new zones, where no current facility exists, are in Bellville, Collingwood, Kenora, North Bay, and the Greater Toronto Area. New facilities could be groundbreaking in their approach to design and customer interface. Inside gaming zones, each operator will be allowed to establish a new facility (for new zones), operate the current facility, or relocate existing facilities within the boundaries of the zone, subject to relevant approvals. The RFI will be followed in due course by a Requests for Proposal (RFP). OLG will look for the best private sector partners, outline the specific terms of what their role would be and invite them to bid on a specific product or service. It is through this transparent and competitive process that the future of gaming and lotteries in Ontario will begin taking shape. OPERATING MIND AND REGULATION In the future, OLG will continue to conduct and manage all gaming and lotteries in the province,
meeting and exceeding its statutory obligations under the Criminal Code. A leaner, more focused OLG will be responsible for market management, oversight, and important priorities like Responsible Gambling. OLG will continue to lead the continent in its Responsible Gambling standards and prog ramming, ex panding its suppor t for prevent ion, t reat ment a nd resea rch a nd treatment. Ontario dedicates more than $50 million annually to the prevention, treatment, and research into problem gambling. That’s the highest funding level in North America. OLG w ill continue to work positively and actively with its regulator, the Alcohol a nd Ga ming Com mission of Ont a r io (AGCO). The role of the AGCO is central to the modernization of lottery and gaming. Effective regulation is a key to upholding public conf idence in gaming activities. The AGCO is also going through a transformation of its own, evolving from a traditional “one size fits all” approach to regulation to a riskbased model that targets outcomes against legislated standards. The vision is clear: Regulated private sector enterprises provide services for existing and new gaming sites and certain aspects of the lottery business. OLG will continue to oversee and, in legal terms, conduct, and manage all gaming and lotteries in this province. It will bring greater attention to customer and market management. It will work in concert with a regulator, the AGCO, that’s guided by the principles of honesty, integrity, and social responsibility. OLG needs to be where people want to go. OLG needs to provide the games they want to play. The opportunities for a renewed and well-regulated industry are substantial. OLG is tak ing steps to seize upon those opportunities for the good of the agency, the industry and, above all, the people of the Province of Ontario. Canadian Gaming Business | 11
OLG's RFI Opportunity The Crown is convinced of the transformation imperative; now it is the private sector's turn to step up By Rob Moore It was almost 12 months ago that the results of the OLG’s Strategic Business Review were presented to the Board of Directors. The Ontario lottery, casino and online gaming market was presented to the board as an eco-system. The case was made that if OLG continued to work within this current system, if the economy remained relatively stable, if the board made tough decisions, and if OLG was able to invest in modest expansion, given the requirement for government capital investment; it was likely that OLG’s profit or contribution to the province could increase by $150 million annually after 5 years. In most scenarios, a $150 million – or approximately 3% bottom line increase – compared to a historical 10-year decline of 2% would be welcome. However, it was clear that the largely private sector, value maximization, and transactionally oriented Board of Directors, led by Paul Godfrey, expected more. The context for the board’s consideration of the strategic plan: Do you know what is better than a $150 million annual increase in 5 years? A $1.3 billion annual increase in those same 5 years. However, this growth could not be achieved with incremental action; it required a transformation of not only OLG, but of the industry in Ontario; a transformation that would require fundamentally changing the eco-system and the incumbent models in the Ontario gaming market
Incremental VS. Changes is doing something better without challenging underlying beliefs and assumptions; it is limited in scope and is often reversible
12 | Summer 2012
Over the next year, the board, along with a new president and CEO, educated and convinced the Government of Ontario of this transformation imperative. The March 12 announcement and subsequent release of Requests for Information (RFI) is a clear indication that the Government and OLG are committed to transforming the gaming industry in Ontario. The success of the strategy required two distinct groups to be convinced of the scope of the transformation opportunity, and be prepared and committed to act. The OLG management team and board should be commended for their effective effort to convince the “shareholder” or government of the imperative for major transformation. And now, it is time for the second group – the private sector – to step up so this unprecedented transformation opportunity can be realized. PRIVATE SECTOR OPPORTUNITY
All transactions require a willing buyer and seller to realize value on both sides. Although the OLG process is not a typical acquisition transaction given the requirements for the Crown to effectively “Conduct & Manage” gaming in Canada, the multi-billion dollar opportunity will not be realized until the private sector engages. Operators, developers, and investors need to fully embrace the concept that this is not just an opportunity to improve on the way OLG
Transformational Changes is challenging the underlying assumptions and structure; the scope is much broader, and as a result fundamentally change the way a system of organization operates
provides gaming today, but it is about building the foundation for an entirely new gaming marketplace for the next 10 to 20 years. OLG has articulated the required changes and opportunities that they are inviting private/market operators to deliver. These opportunities are about new, younger adult customers who want to game where and when they want, and are not interested in the traditional games of chance that rely on random number generation for excitement. It is about expanding gaming with the goal of more people gambling less. It is about expanding community building and the social dynamics of gaming is the objective, with gambling as an exciting component within an integrated entertainment experience. Creating environments and games that attract new and different customers is the goal, seeking customers who have clearly indicated that slotintensive facilities and paper-based games at convenience stores do not appeal to them. These points are crucial for the success of the OLG Modernization Plan, and therefore critical to the private sector interests that are considering how to take advantage of this unprecedented transfer of public sector revenue generation. The rationale is simple: Those who will be successful in winning the opportunity to provide regulated gaming in Ontario will do so as a result of maximizing the return to the Province of Ontario. Furthermore, OLG’s valuation of the oppor tunities are leveraged against this transformation imperative, and cannot be achieved by those that approach this as merely an opportunity to improve on the current state. Put succinctly, what OLG operates today is just a starting point; success will be achieved by the delivery of transformed gaming experiences and products by the private sector with oversight by OLG. TRANSPARENT PROCESS
Another critical challenge for OLG in unlocking value was to ensure an open, fair, transparent bidding process that is beyond reproach, yet still achieves maximum results from a full market
coverstory evaluation of the potential opportunities. In other transaction or auction environments, the parameters and processes are largely defined and understood. For example, when a corporate entity has determined that a transformation or alternative ownership structure should be considered to maximize value for shareholders, there is usually a starting valuation point, such as a multiple of earnings. Transaction or strategic advisors are then retained and begin a process of outreach to seek a valuation that is in excess of the starting point, and eventually an auction will occur to ensure that the maximum value for the assets is obtained. This is not a process available to OLG. First of all, because the assets are not ultimately for sale; although the opportunity to operate is valuable, it is not the same as acquiring assets in the traditional sense. Secondly, the crucial role of “shopping a deal” is not appropriate or achievable within government procurement processes. OLG needed an iterative valuation mechanism that would engage the private sector and ultimately let the market determine that most valuable configuration of opportunities that could be maximized (a concept depicted in the graphic to the right). This was actualized in the spring of this year, when OLG released Requests For Information. This is the opportunity for interested parties to engage the “sell side”, to inform and influence the Requests For Proposal process later this year. OLG has clearly signalled its intent to transform gaming in Ontario. This is not the simple offering of an option to assume operations that were previously government-run. Instead, it’s an opportunity to re-think how lottery and gaming are offered in one of North America’s largest integrated gaming markets. On the land based gaming process - to define it in the simplest terms - maximum value will not be achieved through one bidder acquiring 29 zones, nor through 29 bidders getting one zone each. The RFI is the opportunity for bidders to define the cluster of zones that would support the transformation of gaming as defined in the Modernization Plan. Current locations, partners, gaming mixes, affiliated offerings – for the most part these have not been elements that the market has considered, as they were pre-determined and OLG operated within historic boundaries. Bidders that do not: a) substantially move beyond incremental improvement on the status-quo; and/or, b) demonstrate in the RFI how the formation of the opportunities would achieve transformation risk missing out on the most exciting public to private transition process in gaming to date. This same approach applies to the OLG lottery operations. In many ways, the transformation opportunities in lottery exceed the potential on the land based gaming side. A limited view of incremental improvement on the 10,000+ blue terminal locations and operating platform will miss the significant value to be realized both in driving efficiencies in the current logistics and systems of the lottery network, but more importantly in developing new channels and games. Throughout this process, many assumed that OLG and the government would not think big or be courageous enough to make the numerous and profound changes that are necessary to not just make Ontario a better gaming market, but to truly create the conditions for massive change. That assumption has been proven wrong. The Modernization Plan is bold and will transform the marketplace. Now it is up to the other crucial player in this dynamic to step up and match the creativity and innovation of the Crown – that is the private sector.
Rob was the Senior Vice President of Marketing, Communications, Stakeholder Relations & Strategy at the Ontario Lottery & Gaming Corporation from 2008 to 2011. He led OLG’s Strategic Business Review, the recommendations from the Review culminated in OLG’s Modernization Plan. Rob is currently the Interim CEO of Canadian Business for Social Responsibility and is consulting jurisdictions outside Canada on lottery and gaming privatizations and building private sector consortiums to bid on opportunities in Ontario.
and prioritize 1Define objectives
objectives 3. Determine eligibility
3 Private Operator Agreement
Ask the market what it can provide / how to drive value
Requests for Information OLG Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation PR244158 and PR244909 OLG has issued Requests for Information for Modernizing Land Based Gaming in Ontario and Modernizing Lottery in Ontario. OLG is using the MERX™ electronic tendering system to issue this RFI. MERX™ is a national service designed to facilitate the procurement process within the public and private business communities. You may obtain more information by referring to their web site at www.merx.com/olg, or by telephoning 1-800-964-MERX(6379) or by faxing 1-888-235-5800 and quoting reference numbers PR244158 and PR244909.
Canadian Gaming Business | 13
The Newest Spins on Slot Machines
A look at what's next for slot machine gaming
Slot machine technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace, with each year introducing new and exciting experiences to the casino floor. For our 2012 Summit issue, CGB asked some of the leading manufacturers what they envision for the industry's future, and what they're doing now to stay ahead of the game... SPIELO INTERNATIONAL At SPI ELO, we ex pect future slot machine fe a t u r e s t o i n clu d e a combination of new t e ch nolo g ie s , su ch a s 3D sc reen s, en h a nced surround sound, multitouch panels, and more fe a t u r e s t h a t p r o v i d e player comfort and easeof-h a nd l i n g. Robust platforms, ease of service, player ergonomics, and open standards are playing an increasingly impor tant role. So, too, has the concept of integ rat ing in novat ive game functionality with the cabinet. Technology, ergonomics, and content are truly merging for an enhanced player experience. Just one example from Spielo is its current prodiGi Vu® cabinet showcasing one of our latest games, Smash the Pig™ . W hile the major cabinet manufacturers, SPI ELO International included, are providing some subset of these features in the latest cabinets, SPIELO International is focused on merging all of those elements into one cabinet. Our next-generation cabinet, currently in development, will be a combination of technology, player comfort, ease of service and innovative content. We believe the player and machine should integrate as a unit, so the player can focus even more on the game and enjoy a complete and satisfying experience. 14 | Summer 2012
TECHLINK ENTERTAINMENT With the ever-changing world of technology comes an opportunity for manufacturers to enhance the traditional slot machine. This evolution provides an improved entertainment experience as well as options and features that can be customized for an individual player, market, or jurisdiction. Successful manufacturers recognize the need to not only focus on the playability of a machine but also on the adaptability of the back-end technology. Techlink Entertainment’s new electronic gaming machine (EGM) The Blast™ does just that by combining technology and player insight to create an enhanced entertainment experience. The Blast’s™ curvaceous design is not only inviting to players, but provides a high performing convergence ready platform to house the latest in gaming technology. With two high definition widescreen monitors and unique LED lighting, playing The Blast™ is an engaging sensory experience. It also offers Techlink’s hybrid functionality, allowing online games to be played directly on the EGM screen. This gives operators the flexibility to deliver a wide range of multimedia and online gaming content to players. Not to mention, Techlink’s vast library of customizable, innovative options from game themes to player driven features, loyalty programs to responsible gaming systems.
Convergence is the future and The Blast™ truly moves the gaming industry one step closer. Its open design, flexibility, and online power allow operators to deliver online games, traditional casino games, VLT games, and lottery games like scratch tickets all on one terminal. The Blast’s™ cutting edge technology puts the future of gaming in the hands of operators today. BALLY TECHNOLOGIES Players are always look ing for more compelli n g play ex periences and new ways to interact with games, and one way Bally Technologies is answering the call is with its new Michael Jackson King of Pop™ v ideo slot g a me. Michael Jack son is one of the most widely beloved and inf luential artists of all time. He has a broad, global appeal that fits our core demographic. H i s i n f luenc e, c ombi ne d with Michael Jackson King of Pop's™ instantly recognizable music and the custom, pro surround-sound chair w ill keep players interested and engaged. Professional sound e n g i n e e r s a n d mu s i c i a n s created the chair specifically for this g ame, meaning players will enjoy an amazing audio experience. Regarding gameplay, King of Pop features several g reat bonuses, t wo mystery wilds bonuses, free games, and iconic songs like Bad, Beat It, Billie Jean, Dirty Diana, and Smooth Criminal. During bonus events, players touch and spin a record on the game screen using our award-winning U-Spin play mechanic. U-Spin is a proven way of providing players a way to interact with the game, and adding the one and only Michael Jackson to the mix only makes it more exciting. AINSWORTH GAME TECHNOLOGY In the year 2012-2013, slot machines will be focused on jackpot marketing. Ainsworth has already incorporated this into their new marketing World of Jackpots™ link progressive campaign. Ainsworth’s World of Jackpots™ is the first ever jackpot super-store, mix and match your progressive games. Showcased on the stunning new Super A560™ cabinet, this innovative new technology combines extraordinary player entertainment with ultimate operator f lexibility, m a k i n g World of Ja ck pot s™ t he f ut u re of l i n k ed progressives.
World of Jackpots is the first of its kind in the industry, not only offering different game titles, but – more excitingly – offering players ma ny dif ferent overa ll jack pot themes to choose from, br ing ing jackpot marketing to a n ent irely new level. This wonderfully dynamic jackpot environment comes to life through the allnew Super A560™ cabinet. Three large LCD screens support game play, progressive levels, and a host of themed graphics. The third screen acts as a jackpot screen display, removing the need for dedicated signage for a particular brand. The additional third screen is not only distinctive looking to the player with its programmable LED lighting and unique shape, but it provides dynamic signage allowing operators a simple, inexpensive and quick way to constantly refresh entire jackpot themes. ARISTOCRAT TECHNOLOGIES Over the next couple of years, slot machines will continue their trend towards products that are more interesting, immersive, and connected. Aristocrat is building upon the success of the portrait-orientation and superior graphic capabilities of our award-winning VERVE hd™ cabinet and Gen7™ platform. We are keenly focused on product packaging and immersive experiences, and we will connect games and players to one another, inside a nd out side of ca sinos, giving players a total experience. O n e o f ou r n e w e s t g a m e s , Ta r z a n™ & J a n e F o r b i d d e n Temple™, is the perfect delivery of all things interesting, immersive, and connected. This ex tension o f A r i s t o c r at ’s t r em en d ou sl y successful Tarzan brand will be launched in the VERVE hd™ 31.5” cabinet. Players will be entranced by the graphics and almost feel the sounds of the jungle as they work through the game’s many bonus features while sitting in Aristocrat’s new iChair. Tarzan™ & Jane Forbidden Temple™, is yet another example of the many ways that Aristocrat is leveraging technolog y and connectivit y to create the world’s greatest gaming experience, every day. Canadian Gaming Business | 15
gamingtrends IGT For I nter nat iona l Ga me Technology, major trends in slot designs focus on delivering new levels of player entertainment that can be seen on pop culture titles and through outstanding gameplay on the Company’s MegaJackpots and Core themes. Some of IGT’s top performing games are based on pop culture properties and continue to be sought after games on casino f loors; from classic player favourites like Wheel of Fortune, to new titles like Elvis The King®. MegaJackpots deliver truly memorable experiences for players through movie clips, energetic music, and innovative bonuses. Entertaining game play and interactivity continue to define IGT Core products. An example is the award-winning Hot Roll game which features traditional slot play with an interactive Hot Roll feature. During the bonus the player rolls the dice by touching them on the MLD® touch screen monitor and throwing them across the screen. Interactive bonuses like this will continue to allow players to interact with slot games like never before. At the Canadian Gaming Summit, attendees will see firsthand how interactivity and pop culture creates an unforgettable player experience on the new Elvis The King™ video slots. Its jukebox inspired design, chart-topping hits, Elvis-inspired game content and bonuses combine to drive performance on the slot floor. WMS Gaming At WMS, we view technolog y as an enabler that solves a business problem. Even with today’s budget constraints, casino operators want to improve p r o du c t i v i t y, a u t o m a t e mundane tasks, and improve b u s i n e s s a g i l i t y, w h i l e delighting customers and building loyalty with a great slot game experience. To that end, we’ve introduced a new WMS technology platform that creates an entirely new gaming category. Taking players as close to a thrill ride as possible on a slot machine, the Aladdin & the Magic Quest game introduces Sensory Immersion 2.0 with the WMS motion chair. In this fully immersive experience, which includes 3D graphics, players enjoy cinema-like sound and motion effects programmed to perfectly align with in-game events. The Aladdin & The Magic Quest theme is a virtual-reality thrill ride in the form of a slot machine, powered by the WMS CPU-NXT3® processor, featuring emotive lighting and motion effects programmed to align with in-game events. This game is the first in a series that brings a new dimension of entertainment to the casino floor. 16 | Summer 2012 cem3.375x9.563_ad_ol.indd 1
5/29/12 9:15 AM
gamingtrends Interblock USA Interblock products are becoming more popular each and every day. What gives our product an edge and boosts the live table market at the same time is the fact that customers do not have to be slowed by waiting for the dealers to be ready for each and every play. In return, the casino operator does not have to pay the labour costs for staff to man the lower limit games. This will keep this type of player happy and allow them to still get to play the game they came to enjoy in the casino. Interblock feels that the trend of providing games that closely simulate live games but offer improved game play with much less hassle for the players will experience rapid growth in the North American markets. With additional jurisdictions opening up in the US, many operators are now interested in electronic table games, and they like the way it feels. This complete line-up of electronic table games will provide the industry with a new platform and product line unlike any other available. As more games types are released in 2012, the market will realize their great benefits. As the economy begins to recover, operators will be exploring ways to drive new revenue to casino floors while maintaining the previous cost cutting measures put in place over the past few years. For these reasons, the industry will see a continually increase in electronic table game play in 2012.
Konami Gaming, Inc Patrons are always look ing for new and innovative ways to play, and that's what they'll discover as they play Fortune Chaser™, Konami Gaming, Inc.’s newest progressive game. For tune Chaser™ is an eight-level linked, community-style exploration progressive showcasing KP3® Twin Play® video titles. The Twin Play® feature doubles the patron’s chances of triggering the progressive feature. The initial Twin Play® video titles available for Fortune Chaser™ are China Shores™, Jumpin’ Jalapenos™, Treasure Voyage™, Full Mood Diamond™, Fairy Blossom™ and Queen’s Shores™. In the base game, select symbols have colored frames. When 3 or more colored frames are displayed in a single spin, Pirate Tokens are awarded. When five Pirate Tokens are collected, a die is rolled to determine how far the patron’s ship will advance. The progressive feature is triggered when a patron’s ship lands on one of four islands. During the progressive game, a player is prompted to select one space on a grid. If a Gold or Silver Jackpot is revealed, the corresponding progressive is awarded. If a jackpot is not awarded, bonus credits will be given. Chances to reveal a Gold or Silver Jackpot increase during each consecutive bonus until one is revealed.
Born from fun.®
Konami Gaming, Inc. is thrilled to sponsor the 2012 Canadian Gaming Summit. It’s going to be fun, eh?
For more information about Konami Gaming, Inc., please visit gaming.konami.com.
Canadian Gaming Business | 17 12-05-24 3:16 PM
Blurring Lines in Social Media Gaming By Javad Heydary
Social media is here to stay and as online multiplayer games become more and more prevalent and integrated with social media platforms like Facebook, game developers must take serious consideration of the legal issues that surround their games. Today, companies like Zynga are showing revenues in the millions by offering users the ability to play casino genre games, most commonly various forms of poker, without even having to offer cash out options – and users are paying for the privilege. Of course, the lack of cash-out options has not prevented a myriad of “black market” websites from cropping up, where users of the game can sell their virtual winnings for real cash to other players. This process has already
Thus far, it appears that such games are permitted to operate in Ontario by virtue of the fact that the “casino” does not occupy a geographic location2 , and more importantly, the fact that “winnings” cannot be officially cashed out3. Though this may satisfy current legislation in jurisdictions such as Ontario, game developers need to be aware of their liabilities in any jurisdiction where a resident may play the game. It is clear that the virtual chips have value, both for the game developer selling them as well as the gamers selling on the black market. Considering the substantially fewer restrictions and liabilities regarding age of users, limits on spending, and the fairness of the games themselves in the social media gaming industry, it may only be a matter of time before legislators closes the gap on what kinds of game activities should and should not receive regulatory scrutiny. Though such casino-genre social media games may have found sufficient breathing room to operate outside of gaming regulations in their current form, that has not stopped game developers from treading into formal online gaming as an alternative business model, including Zynga4. Given this trend, it would not be surprising to see many more social media game developers seep into the online gaming world. Online gaming is clearly here to stay, and social media continues to grow online. The combination of the two is a unique development that is blurring the lines of what gaming is, and legislators and industry professionals will need to pay particular attention to the market and the regulations surrounding this growing industry.
been well-established in other online gaming environments, where entire industries of “gold farmers” thrive on accumulating a game’s virtual currency and selling that currency to other users of the game. Lawsuits can only serve to stem the tide1. Even w ithout tak ing advantage of these black market industries, thousands of players around the world are more than willing to pay their own real cash to the virtual casino operator (i.e. the game developer) for virtual “chips” to gamble with. Players engage in this type of trade, despite knowing that there is no proper way to redeem Javad Heydary is Managing Director of Heydary those chips for real currency no matter Hamilton PC. He regularly advises clients on online how successful their play. gaming issues.
1. http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/28097/Zynga_Suing_Site_For_Unauthorized_Virtual_Currency_Sales.php 2. Where “casino” is defined as “a place that is kept for the purpose of playing a prescribed lottery scheme”. It is not clear whether a virtual game platform constitutes a “casino” under these regulations. 3. Under s. 1 of the Ontario Gaming Act Regulations, a “chip” is a symbol of value issued by the casino and redeemable for cash at the casino. Though social media poker games satisfy the first half, they may escape these provisions under the second half of the definition. 4. http://allthingsd.com/20120120/zynga-confirms-it-is-seeking-partners-for-online-gambling-initiatives/
18 | Summer 2012
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Lorne Weil CEO of Scientific Games
Lorne Weil is CEO of Scientif ic Games. He was born in Ontario, at tended Universit y of Toronto, and has made waves in the gaming industry since. In CGB's latest Q&A, he offers his perspective on Canadian lotteries, growth opportunities, and gaming innovation.
games, the play experience, and access to the games at retail. The ultimate arbiter of where the growth will be in the coming years is the consumer.
Q: How can the lotteries in Canada remain competitive and sustain growth over the next several years with the introduction of new channels and the many gaming and entertainment options available to consumers? Scientif ic Games look s at lotter y not as a collection of products, but as a collection of players. Lottery in Canada is a $9.4 billion industry. The lotteries here have a well-established brand and an enormous addressable consumer base because they have spent years building trust and credibility with players. Few consumer products have such a large number of users. The Canadian lotteries are doing a great job optimizing their consumer base and making players the focus. Adding players’ clubs and rewards programs could create an internet community for the lottery player, extend the play experience, and grow playership. Our interactive games, electronic instant tickets, and licensed entertainment brands – like Monopoly and Scrabble – can help build an entertainment platform. Around the world, lotteries are seeing results with mobilization of their consumer ba se th roug h promotions that drive players back and forth between the internet and traditional retail. We must be very attentive to the lottery consumer and the game portfolio: the quality of the
Scientific Games to look at long-term investment through innovation and the return on investment. Where lotteries have invested in their retail network, payouts of g ames, adver tising and technology, there has been growth. We are a global leader in the instant product category. We actually first began printing instant tickets in Canada in the 1970s. The extended play category we launched for the very first time here with ALC in the 1980s makes up a good portion of Canada’s $2 billion a year in instant game sales today. The current lottery business can be optimized if you have player knowledge, leading game content, and payout/prize structure analytics to drive innovation. We’ve seen growth in Italy, China, and the U.S. with the adoption of best practices through our Cooperative Services Programs – and Canada can have that same success. Distribution is a key driver of success, working with the traditional retail network to optimize distribution, launch new games, and grow retail sales. We are doing all of this in parallel to investing in and growing the internet channel and our interactive products. Scientific Games will continue to focus innovation on the marriage of instant products and interactive – Q: Where is Scientific Games focusing innovation efforts in the coming years? relationship based marketing, colorful Globally, lotteries are focused on instant games, having elements of the g row t h a nd a re ret ur n ing to a n game reveal interactively, and driving investment in innovation. This allows the relationship at retail.
Q: How is Scientific Games currently supporting customers in Canada, and what direction do you see the customer-vendor relationship headed? Scient if ic Ga mes h a s about 3 0 0 employees in Canada. In 2011, we printed over $4 billion in instant tickets from our Montreal facility that were exported throughout the world. We provide systems technology for Atlantic Lottery Corporation (ALC) and the Western Canada L otter y Cor poration ( WCLC), as well as terminals for Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG). Our instants contracts with ALC, LotoQuebec, and OLG continue to drive returns to beneficiaries. We are also the 2012 supplier of Canada’s national instant games, and the games are selling well. As the first step in their purchasing decisions, many lotteries a re now t a k in g a ver y for wa rdplanning approach by embarking upon a strategic review of their current technology, operations and business processes. Lotteries are looking at opportunities to bundle services with vendors such as Scientific Games to gain access to an integrated partnership model, centers of innovation and a powerful purchasing structure tied to the economics of the business.
Canadian Gaming Business | 21
Building Your Casino Brand: An industry roundtable By Jim Kabrajee
If you ask casino executives about their brand, most will be able to say what their brand stands for. Many will also be able to tell you how they got their brand to this point; but for some, knowing what their brand will look like in the future is less certain. Why is that? In part, it’s because few believe they have the ability to predict future events. It also tells us that too few facility marketers and owners are planning for the future of their brand. Most are dealing with today, and there isn’t the time or the money to invest in what their brand will look like five or ten years down the road. How about your casino? Do you have a “brand plan” for the future, or are you managing your brand day-to-day? Race car drivers call that “driving off the edge of the hood”. It means seeing and reacting to what’s right in front of you, and not preparing and planning for what’s further ahead. In this article, we've collected insightful comments from a few casino marketing execs in Canada who know the landscape is going to change. They recognize that greater competition, evolving demographics, and changes to the regulatory environment are coming, and they are ready to adapt and evolve their brands to meet those challenges head on. Ask yourself the question posed in the following industry roundtable: “Do you 22 | Summer 2012
think your casino brand w ill look the same in five years as it does today?” If your answer is no, then you’re probably not going to do much today about scrutinizing y o u r b r a n d i m a g e a n d p e r s o n a l it y. However, if you think it’s going to be different, you should be planning today for those changes in the future. We all know you can’t create a brand overnight; it takes years of effort and signif icant investment to do it properly. Every customer touch point contributes to a successful brand, including st af f training, decor, customer ser vice, food and beverage, marketing, advertising, and Players Club investment, just to name just a few. That said, it takes just as long to evolve and change a brand as it does to build it, so if your brand is going to look different in f ive years, you should really need to think about work ing on those changes and making those investments now because you can’t do it overnight. Author Lewis Carroll once said: “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.” Knowing your brand now, understanding what it will look like in the next 60 months, and identifying what your brand needs to do to meet that change is critical. So let the branding conversation begin!
Vice President of Marketing at Gateway Casinos and Entertainment Limited
Director, Marketing Campaigns and Loyalty Programs at Manitoba Lottteries Corp.
How confident are you t h a t yo u r c a s i n o b r a n d i s di f fe r e n t i a te d in t h e market?
R S: On a n indiv idua l br a nd b a si s , we st a nd out very well in the market. Under the cor porate branding, we're in the process of trying to make it a more visible brand within the market, and we have a strategy for doing that. Part of it is incorporating the corporate brand into our casinos so that they have visibilit y, and so people will have the opportunity to understand that the various casinos do belong to an overarching corporate identity. JC: I think we have a really, really strong brand position a big part of which is owed to the fact that we've committed to it consistently since 1996. Through different leadership eras and dif ferent marketing heads, the one thing that has not changed is our brand personalit y. We see research results that show a tremendous connection between our desired brand personality and what our market perceives it to be. For us, brand and brand personality has
Vice President of Marketing, Casino Rama
Howard Blank Vice President, Great Canadian Gaming Corporation
really been a constant, and it helps in property was extremely well branded the market for the consumer to really and positioned through the “wow” get comfortable and know what to factors that we created. When you talk about the corporation expect. as a whole, originally River Rock was DZ: We're quite conf ident simply going to be called Great Canadian b e c au s e we a re t he on l y c a si no Place, but the British Columbia Lottery p r o p e r t i e s i n W i n n i p e g . T h e Corporation wanted each facility to closest competing casino we have be branded on its own merits. So this is 45 minutes away, which is a First question is an interesting one because, Nations casino called South Beach really, Great Canadian Gaming on its Casino & Resort. Further to that, our own is not branded unless you are a casinos [McPhillips Station Casino shareholder or someone who knows us and Club Regent Casino] are highly as a public company. Each site is based themed, and that really creates a on its own merits, and there's always unique and memorable experience work to do when it comes to branding. for ou r g ue st s. T he McPh i l l ips property is themed as an early 1900s What do you perceive as railway station with the grand hotel your brand personality? at t ached. Then, Club Reg ent is themed as a tropical destination RS: The various Gateway with palm trees throughout and a properties all have walk-through salt water aquarium. somewhat of a different identity, and that is the challenge with the HB: We don't really have a brand like overarching brand; how to get it so Coca-Cola would; we have different they have somewhat of a symbiosis. properties that have a target market What we're doing with the overarching and are key to the area in which they G a t e w a y b r a n d i s t o m a k i n g i t inhabit. For instance, in regards to s o m e t h i n g t h a t ' s “ y o u r p l a c e ”; River Rock, if you were to mention something that's customer centric, a casino in British Columbia, you're offers a vibrant gaming product with going to mention River Rock. That quality food and entertainment, and is Canadian Gaming Business | 23
central to the communities in which t o c u s t o m er a n d g u e s t s er v ic e. We've done a great job in ensuring they are located. that people who work with us get JC: I think our brand personality is the 110% commitment whether it's that of the casino that delivers fun external or internal. In terms of the and excitement, but in a rela xed, public persona, we believe that a comfor t able, and casual way. It's guest may come to a casino and they not a formal or upscale experience, may not win, but if they had value but something ver y rela xed, ver y for their money spent, that value is comfortable, and one that delivers the key – and it comes in place with on f u n a nd e x c it ement . I t h i n k customer service. we further achieve that messaging through the broader entertainment What have you done in the product. p a s t , a n d w h a t a r e yo u doing now, to make your
DZ: Our brand personality is a really brand stick? fun and entertaining ex perience. As I mentioned earlier, we're highly R S : We'r e ju s t g e t t i n g themed, which makes them unique, ready to launch our first major memorable, and fun for customers. gaming initiative in that respect. We have a promotion called “Swipe It HB: Our philosophy is if you come Rich”, which is an enterprise-wide for one thing, hopefully we'll “wow” promotion, meaning no matter which you on four other things. So if you one of our casinos you go to, it will come to the Boulevard Casino to see be the same promotion throughout. a show, perhaps you'll also be wowed All of the advertisements, collateral, by the fact we had a microbrewery and media begins with Gateway and sponsoring something, or enter the joins them all together. Our message casino and be wowed by the clean i s a lon g t he l i ne s of , “G at e w ay and friendly atmosphere, or head into Casinos invites you to Swipe It Rich. the lounge and dance the night away Take part in any one of our greater to a live band you weren't expecting. Vancouver regionally district casinos: We're constantly trying to think of Cascades, Grand Villa, or Starlight.” how we can make that experience That's the way it reads, and that's into even greater and more exciting the way it's being brought across so opportunities, and I think that's the the public will know that all those key across Canada. We are in the properties belong to same entity. entertainment business. Yes, it is We'r e a l s o w o r k i n g w it h o u r gambling, and yes a vast amount of agency Marshall Fenn on ways to money is generated for the provinces integ rate the Gateway brand into and charities from our guests, but e a ch one of t he pr o p er t ie s . A n the most important thing is they are example of how we might do that spending their money with us as a is by adding a central beverage bar form of entertainment. to every one of our facilities. Even So that “wow” factor is one of though the properties would all have two things that bode well for us. I different names, inside they could think another is our commitment have things like “The Gateway Bar”, 24 | Summer 2012
“The Gateway Grill”, or “The Gateway Lounge”. We're working through that right now to tr y and determine the best way to integrate the brand without really damaging the individual casino brands. JC: We've had the good fortune of having the large scale entertainment cent re dating back to 2 0 01. We've been able to put a lot of big name acts through the venue, which the public at large associates w ith the casino a nd helps to deliver on the bra nd messaging. The other thing we've had a reputation for since 1996 is really having the best customer ser vice in the entire industry. At the end of the day, the brand personality is essentially a promise to the consumer, and our service levels really allow Casino Rama to deliver on that promise. In terms of gauging our customers' response, we reg ularly go into the market and do brand research. The last couple years, we've also been able to capitalize on some of the OLG's brand research. They've been sharing i n for m at ion w it h u s i n t er m s of brand identity, brand recall, and other important characteristics. They put together some really good research, and we've been fortunate that they share this with us as well. DZ: W hat we're rea lly doing now more than anything for our brand is continually making sure our customers are engaged with our products. We're r e f r e s h i n g ou r g a m i n g m i x ver y frequently, because we want to be one of the first – if not the first – with new products in the market. We continue to refresh our amenity environments like our restaurants, entertainment, and player’s club program just to reinforce that level of engagement with us.
W h at we' ve a lso done recently i s i nt r o du c e a n o n l i n e r e w a r d s c a t a l o g u e fo r ou r pl a y e r s clu b, where they can now go online and spend their point s on goods a nd s er v ic e s , ret a i l ele c t ron ic s , a nd things of that nature. Previously, you could only spend your points inter na lly w ith our g oods a nd ser v ices, but we branched out because they wanted more things to spend their points on. We also do a lot of promotions th roug hout the yea r at dif ferent times. Our birthday promotions are probably the cornerstone of what we do. Those are essentially a yearly celebration of when we opened the casinos. They come up every June, a nd t he y a re by f a r ou r bi g g e st events every year. HB: River Rock is a good example. We shot films on the property when it first opened. We had wrap parties for dif ferent st a rs a nd even had the Grey Cup make an appearance b e c au s e t he pl ayer s l i k e d R i ver Rock . It just st a r ted a stor y a nd a cache that cont inued when we opened up the hotel. The theatres have also helped position us as the entertainment powerhouse, as well as the amazing food and beverage options. It's a number of things. A nother ex a mple is what we planned for Hastings Racecourse d u r i n g t h e Tr i p l e C r o w n . We went c r a z y i n t er m s of t u r n i n g Hastings into the biggest party the facilit y has ever seen with bands, l ive mu sic, DJs, c ig a r ba r s, a nd ever ything. We know that the key to horse racing is bringing in that young er demog raphic, so one of the things we've been working on is understanding what younger people 26 | Summer 2012
want. They want instant satisfaction and instant gratif ication, but they also want the cool hipness – the well dressed guys and gals. We're think ing outside the box because the older folk s are really a dy ing breed that built thoroughbred and harness racing in this country. We're a lso look in g at ou r new Boulevard Casino, and opening up a new hotel there in Coquitla m. It gives us a g reat opportunit y to rebrand because the public knows the Red Robinson Show Theatre b e c au s e he's t he D ick C l a r k o f Canada, but the name Boulevard do e s not r e s on at e w hen p e o ple thin k of g oing to the ca sino. So we're cer t ainly look ing at thing s there as well. Do you think that your brand will look the same five years from now as it does today?
RS: It's hard to project the la ndscape of ca sino g a m ing because it's act ually cha ng ing s o mu ch s i n c e t h er e's s o m a n y jurisdictions opening up. We see ourselves as being a solid Canadian g a m i n g c o r p o r a t io n . T her e a r e things that we need to operate inside of our jur isdiction, but we wa nt Gateway to be k now n a s a place where customers get a consistent gaming experience, and for it to be a quality gaming experience. We're here for the long run. JC: It undergoes a gradual, subtle, and almost invisible evolution as time goes on, but for the most part I thin k we've got a really st rong posit ion. The one th ing that we know is going to happen in Ontario
w ith the new OLG moder nization mo del is we're g oi n g to see more competition in the future, so staying consistent and loyal to the messaging and our reputation with the public is going to become even more critical as we move into a more competitive era. DZ: I definitely see it evolving. I don't think our brand today will be what it is in five years. Like any other casino propert y, we're mak ing an effort to have our product appeal to a younger demo. They're looking for different of fer i n g s t h a n w h at t he pre v iou s generation was, so we are look ing at adjusting our brand through the environments and product mix to try to appeal to those younger demos. I think one of things we are looking at longer term is, as we look to evolve our brand, we'll start to move away more from the highly themed aspect. I don't think that's going to be the mot ivator for t he new g enerat ion coming up, so we're really look ing at more contemporar y design as we move for ward. I think it's been said before, but this isn't your mother's casino and it's not going to be. I think we have to evolve. HB: Our brand and our properties are living, breathing entities. You cannot stay stagnant, and you cannot follow the old adage, “Build it and they will come”. You must wow your g uests on a number of different levels, both perceived and un-perceived.
Jim K abrajee is a partner and C.E.O. at Marshall Fenn Communications, a Toronto ba sed m arketing agen c y with extensive experience in Casino and Lottery marketing.
Vice-President, Corporate Affairs – Atlantic Lottery
When Chuck Bridges joined the Atlantic Lotter y team in Februar y of 2009, it was the next logical step for a man who has always blossomed in careers where bet ter ing the community is a focus. As the Vice-President of Corporate Affairs at Atlantic Lottery, Bridges takes great pride in leading the charge when it comes to spreading Atlantic Lotter y’s stor y of making Atlantic Canada a better place. A fter all, it was this stor y that motivated him to tackle this new career challenge head-on back in 2009. “I had always been intrigued by the vibrant and exciting culture at Atlantic Lottery, but what really drew me in was the community aspect of what the lottery does,” said Bridges. “I’ve always thought it important to give back to your communit y and that’s why I love my job at Atlantic Lottery. We do great work, I’m proud of it, and I want to be sure that every Atlantic Canadian knows that every penny of our profit is going back to help make their community the best it can be.” Bridges joined Atlantic L otter y after more than 20 years at Saint Mar y’s Universit y, where he held the position of Vice-President of External Affairs. While at the helm of the E x ter nal A f fairs div ision, he oversaw the universit y’s public a f fa irs, fundra ising, a nd a lum n i services teams and was instrumental in revamping its communications a n d b r a n d i n g e f fo r t s t o b e t t e r meet the needs of the universit y community. Chuck holds an MBA from Saint Mary's University, and is a former
lecturer at the universit y’s Sobey School of Business. In 2 0 0 2 , he was named Saint Mar y’s Business Professor of the Year (part-time). He’s also been recognized nationally w it h t he D i st i n g u i she d S er v ice Award from the Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education. A proud member of t he Ha li fa x community, Bridges served as ViceChair of the Canada Games Host Society when the 2011 Winter Games were celebrated in his hometown. Before his ca reer in academia, Bridges was a journalist and later a managing director in broadcast journalism – a role that provided him great perspective when leading Atlantic Lottery’s Corporate Affairs t ea m , w h ich i nclude s cor por at e communications, gover nment relations, and corporate reputation portfolios. His infectious energ y, combined with his past career experiences, make him a natural at communicating the crux of what Atlantic Lottery does and why it’s important – a message that he’s spread across every corner of the four Atlantic prov inces in which Atlantic Lottery operates. He’s a believer that communication is the largest driver of success and he’s t a ken that mantra w ith him to the executive table at Atlantic Lottery. He’s been instrumental in leading the executive team as they place a renewed focus on taking a “one team” approach and building honest, meaning ful relationships w i t h A t l a n t i c L o t t e r y ’s b o a r d of d i re c t or s, sh a reholder s ( t he four Atlantic provinces), and key stakeholders in the community.
Br id g es “one t ea m , one v ision” outlook couldn’t come at a bet ter time, as the regulated lottery industry continues to evolve, becoming barely recognizable from its origins only a few decades ago. “The agenda for change is here, so it’s imperative that we work together with our shareholders to deliver the changes that our players want and demand,” ex plains Br idges. “It’s a d i f fer ent b a l l g a m e f r om t he on e that was played 36 years ago when Atlantic Lotter y began. Factors like g loba l comp et it ion a nd ch a n g i n g technologies mean we need to change the way we do business.” But that’s not all that’s changed. Adds Bridges: “Fundamentally, we’ve changed the way we work with our shareholders and we’re seeing some incredibly positive shifts in how we operate. We’re the lotter y ex perts, b ut t h e y ’r e t h e e x p e r t s o n w h a t Atlantic Canadians want, so to work together as we are now, we have a deep-rooted sense of conf idence that we’ll be providing Atlantic Canadians with the safe and regulated gambling offerings that they deser ve for years to come.” Canadian Gaming Business | 27
The Power of Play: Driving change in your organization through gamification By Louie Velocci and Lesley Luk
Social media has changed the way we communicate. Whether it’s B2B or B2C, it has revolutionized the way we deliver services in the gaming world. Roulette and blackjack are no longer limited to just “in real life” (IRL) experiences. Now, gamers post, share, tweet, pin, and +1 their excitement and frustrations through social media. The lottery and gaming experience is surrounded by a new layer of banter, fandom, and competitive spirit. But how do e s t he lot t er y a nd gaming sector embrace these social r e a l it i e s a n d s h a p e p a t r o n a n d employee behaviours? Gamification. A fter your organization has est ablished a responsible and respect ful social media presence that includes a listening program, governance framework, and engagement guidelines for employees a nd you r com mu n it y, i nve st i n g in gamif ication is a powerful next step that will support your business in changing patron behaviour and driving loyalty. 28 | Summer 2012
What is gamification? Gamif ication is the process of adding game design, think ing, and mechanics to platforms that wouldn’t normally incorporate such techniques. G a m i f ic at ion is t y pic a l ly used t o encourage or drive specific behaviour, resulting in a more fun and engaging experience for the patron. Brands w ill often add g aming elements to an existing digital property as a means to collect ex tended patron information. In exchange for their participation, patrons are then rewarded with perks ranging from the virtual – such as exclusive content,
“Aside from gamification boosting sales and driving loyalty as reasons to invest, your patrons expect it.” Look to subject matter experts in the gamification arena for risk assessment support and to identify the technical capabilities and infrastructure needed to execute on gamification plans. Most importantly, make sure gamification principles are at the heart of your efforts. Collaboration, competition, and constant feedback will be critical in driving the change you want to see in your organization. With a sound strategy, strategic and risk assessment counsel, and the right technology, you’ll be ready to add elements of play to your process and choose the ones that will bring the Why does it matter? The lottery and gaming world are the original “gamers”, but most benefits. more and more, gaming techniques are used in spaces like Facebook, Foursquare, and GetGlue. Therefore, it’s important Lesley Luk is a Senior Manager in KPMG’s Gaming practice. for your business not to lose at its own game. She has over 9 years of experience and has been involved in the Aside from gamification boosting sales and driving loyalty audits and IFRS conversion projects of gaming organizations and as reasons to invest, your patrons expect it. Millennials (those casinos for several years. Contact: email@example.com, or 416-228born between 1978 and 1994) conduct business differently 7215. and expect social experiences in everything they do. They embrace shopping and sharing in social spaces more than any Louie Velocci (CA-CISA, CISSP, CA A, GCFA, CGEIT) other patron segment, and desire deeper engagement with the is a Partner with K PMG’s IT Advisory Practice in Atlantic brands they trust. Canada. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, or (902) 492-6012. badges, or even bragging rights – to the physical – like access to special events, merchandise discounts, and free product. Gamification also comes in many forms. It can exist within owned digital properties (i.e. Facebook and Twitter) or as a stand-alone tool such as Badgeville, Gigya, Bunchball, and PlayGen. Some brands even use gaming elements within their websites, mobile apps, or internal social platforms like Jive and Microsoft SharePoint.
Opportunity defined So, what next? Gamification has created a whole new roster of competitors that offer gaming in non-traditional settings, and patron expectations have shifted in a way that gaming is an everyday activity. This is an opportunity for the lottery and gaming world. Historically, your service offering has been driven by IRL activities at casinos, entertainment venues, and through retailers. It’s time to look beyond an afternoon at the casino and commit to extending the patron experience through gamification. By rewarding patrons in their everyday, you will remain top-of-mind, drive deeper brand engagement, and encourage their return. Looking forward According to Gartner Research, by 2015, more than 50% of organizations that manage innovation processes will gamify those processes. By 2014, more than 70% of Global 2000 organizations will have at least one gamified application. Gamification is clearly here to stay and should be on the minds of key decision makers. But before jumping in, take a step back and determine what kind of change you’re looking to make, who your target audience is, and whether it is internal or external. A great place to start is with your own employees, as improved internal engagement through rewards-based programs will ultimately improve productivity and efficiency. Remember, due to the intricacies of the lottery and gaming sector, there are important security measures to consider before adding elements of play to your processes. That is mind, assessing risk will be critical to your success.
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The Canadian Gaming Industry Awards
A look at 2012's award recipients
Every year, the Canadian Gaming Industry highlights the work and contributions of industry leaders in the gaming community. The deserving winners are announced at the annual Canadian Gaming Summit’s Award’s Gala & Charity Dinner. This year, three individuals were selected to receive the Industry Leadership and Outstanding Contribution Award: Harry Oshanski, President & CEO at Casino Rama; Larry Flynn, Senior Vice President of Gaming at Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG); and Darryl Schiewe, Vice President of Casino System Implementation at British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC). Harry Oshanski The Industry Leadership and Outstanding C o n t r i b u t i o n Aw a r d showcases indiv iduals who have given greatly of their time, t alents, and passion to both their individual workplaces and the Canadian gaming industry in whole. By that definition, Casino Rama President and CEO Harry Oshanski certainly fits the bill. “I'm a little humbled by it, quite frankly,” says Harry. “W hen Chief Sharon Stinson Henry from Rama First Nation called to tell me that she was going to nominate me, it was totally out of the blue. I knew we always had a very strong relationship, and we have mutual goals for the business and the community, but I was quite humbled.” F o r H a r r y, h o s p i t a l i t y i s i n his DNA . Before joining Casino Rama's team, Harry spent his career launching properties for major hotel chains across the country, including Hilton's Niagara Falls development, which was the last project he c omplet e d b efore a s su m i n g h i s inaugural role at Casino Rama as V P of Hotel Operations in 20 0 0. Six months later, then Casino Rama
president Art Frank transferred him into the freshly minted role of V P of Resort Operation; a title which saw Harry overseeing both Casino Rama's hotel opening and the 1400 plus non-gaming employees under the facility's employ. “I came on board not expecting to be here much longer than the hotel opening, and, fell in love with the industry.” he recalls. On advice from Art Frank, Harry took his involvement with Casino Rama one step further by becoming actively involved within the table games department in 2004. “I believe I brought them organizational skills, strategic direction skills, and communication skills; and they taught me table games. It was a really good marriage.” By the time A r t Frank made his transition to Niagara Casinos i n 2 0 0 6 , H a r r y wa s pr i med a nd prepared to step into Casino Rama's lead role. In the si x yea rs since, Harr y's k nack for leadership and passion for relationship building h ave imbued Ca sino R a m a w it h a clea r st rat eg ic di rec t ion a nd a c u s t o m e r- o r i e n t e d p h i l o s o p h y that is shared by all levels of the org anization and it s ex ter nal partners.
“Mr. Oshansk i has not only been able to retain top talent at all levels of employment at Casino Rama, but also directly created a working atmosphere wherein each employee is recognized and valued from the top,” says Chief Sharon Stinson Henry, “Mr. Oshanski is a beacon of integrity and leadership who eschews the spotlight for himself in favour of Casino Rama's overall success.” In addition to streng thening Casino Rama's relationships through consistent communication strategies a n d e m pl o y e e - c e nt r i c pr o g r a m s , Harry has contributed to the industry's growth through his involvement with the Canadian Gaming Association, his partnership with local colleges, and his role in launching the First Nation Gaming Awards. Speaking to one of his many past successes, Harry notes: “I'm ver y proud of my relationship with Rama First Nation. W hat I did is approached it with fresh eyes and renewed vigour. I said 'the past is the past', and what we want to do now is work collectively with the stakeholders in the same direction for the good of the business. That's how I approached it, and it's worked really well.”
Canadian Gaming Business | 31
Larry Flynn Driven by a passion for people, customer service, and operational excellence, Larry Flynn is a respected name in the Canadian gaming industry and a continual source of inspiration and growth for his team at Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG). As OLG's Senior Vice President of Gaming, he works tirelessly to enhance the workplace experience for the thousands of staff that populate the many gaming sites, facilities, leadership teams, resorts and aboriginal casino properties under his watch. “I've known Larry and the Flynn family for many years now”, says OLG Board Chair Paul Godfrey. “But it was only after I arrived at OLG that I really and truly came to realize Larry's great strength as an executive and leader. When you see him interact with his employees, you come to understand how he inspires and brings out the best in them”. Larry started his career with OLG a decade ago, joining the organization as Senior Vice President of Marketing after spending over 27 years in progressive senior leadership roles with the Liquor Control Board of Ontario. In 2004, his skill for creating and implementing marketing strategies for OLG earned him the title he enjoys today. Over the following years, he has dedicated his efforts to increasing employee engagement through numerous employee training, education, and development programs. “There is nothing that makes me prouder than our employees’ dedication to our customer service culture,” explains Larry, noting, “I am also extremely proud of my Gaming Executives' focus and dedication towards the training and development of their teams. As a result, from general managers to part-time employees, we have amazing employees who know what it takes to 'wow' customers.” Larry's focus on people extends to OLG's customers and stakeholders. He has always strived to enhance the guest experience through projects like the recent slot pricing strategy. This resulted in more time-on-device and entertainment for patrons. Larry is also co-chair of the Gaming Cross Jurisdictional Committee, a forum that unites North American gaming jurisdictions for the purpose of sharing best practices. Through this, and his many other leadership roles, Larry has been key in maintaining strong relationships between OLG's stakeholders, vendors, First Nations partners, and community leaders. “Larry is passionate about people. This passion has been the catalyst for much of the growth in this division,” says Adriana Spatzner, Vice President of Gaming Marketing. “He builds
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awardprofiles deserving in their eyes, then I truly feel business is just amazing.” Darr yl began his ascent through accomplished as their leader.” the industr y as a blackjack dealer in Edmonton's Silver Slipper Casino in Darryl Schiewe From blackjack dealer to the early 1970s. He soon turned his industry leader, Darryl part-time job into a full-time career, Schiewe's rise through moving through the ranks to become the Canadian g aming to become a part owner of a casino. ranks has outfitted him In the 199 0 s, he moved to British w it h t he k now le d g e, Columbia to pursue the equity side of wisdom, and ex pertise to excel at the industry through part ownership any challenge that crosses his path. of bingo halls through the province. It's this hard-earned experience that In 1998, after selling his properties, makes him an asset to the British he came on board with the BCLC as C olu m bi a L o t t er y C o r p o r at io n a Gaming Control Manager, where ( BCLC) a s it s V ice-President of he once again climbed the ranks to Ca si no Sy st em I mplement at ion, assume the role of VP of Casinos and as well as a n ideal ca ndidate for Community Gaming. Ref lecting on his comprehensive the Industr y L eadership and career, Darryl says he's proud to see his Outstanding Contribution Award. “I've had the privilege of working former properties f lourishing, and to with Darryl for just over four years, have formed as many relationships as and it's quite amazing how much he has, saying, “It's been very satisfying he's taught me about the industry,” to continue to be a part of the industry says Michael Graydon, President and see all the changes. You get to meet and CEO of BCLC. “Working with a lot of very intelligent people and it him and watching just how much he has allowed me to be a small part of understands and k nows about the incredible teams that helped me grow.” Da r r yl's ca reer is fa r from over. Recent ly, he a ssu me d t he role of V ice P re sident of C a si no Sy st em Implement ation to oversee the i mplement at ion of a new g a m i n g management system across all of its proper t ies; a $10 0 m illion capitol ex pend it u re desig ne d t o en h a nce player interactiv it y and enjoy ment t h roug hout BCL C 's facilit ies a nd prov ide the org anization w ith comprehensive player statistics. “Dar r yl's got such a strong understanding of the business, but he also has a very strong technolog y acumen. K now ing this, we moved him out of running the casino and community gaming division and put him in charge of the implementation of Canadian Manufacturer of this major project,” explains Michael Top quality layouts Graydon. for your gaming tables and poker rooms Look ing for ward, Darr yl is eager t o si n k h i s t e et h i nt o one of h i s State-of-the-art printing equipment, 3 types of fabrics available: greatest challenges yet. Looking to the Busy Bee (100% polyester), Speed cloth and moment, he's also proud to have been Alcantara (most elegant Ultrasuede available on the market) selected for this most recent accolade. “Humbling is one of the adjectives Competitive pricing • Personalized service • Rapid delivery I'd put to it for sure,” he says. “I really Supplying Canadian casinos since 1995 apprec i at e t he reco g n it ion of t he Donald Robinson, President industry.”
relationships with each and ever y stakeholder to ensure the continued success of the business.” L a r r y's st rong feeling s for his employees are obviously returned in kind. It was Spatzner and the other members of OLG's Senior Gaming Executive Team that nominated him for this award. For his next challenge, Larr y is set to apply his decades of successful leadership experience to his job as Executive Sponsor of the Gaming Management System (GMS) project, a k e y d e l i v e r a b l e i n O n t a r i o' s modernization efforts. “This is currently the most rewarding part of my job,” he reflects, explaining, “The transformation of a public sector agency to private sector will enable us to drive OLG’s customer focused culture and provide a higher level to the benefit of our customers.” No doubt, the near future looks busy for Larry. For now, he's taking a moment to appreciate this latest honour. “I'm thrilled and humbled that my Gaming Executive Team nominated me. If I am
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34 | Summer 2012
First Nations gaming in Canada remains a significant contributor to the growth and development of First Nation communities by providing much needed revenue and employment opportunities to First Nations people across the nation. The First Nation Canadian Gaming Awards were founded to shine a welldeserved spotlight on some of the many First Nations individuals who have contributed positively to the gaming industry; and to publicly acknowledge the hard work of the best and brightest members of the First Nations gaming community.
Congratulations to the following recipients, and a special thanks to the 2012 award sponsors:
Lifetime Achievement Award Gary Edgar, Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation Chair, Baagwating Community Association Gary Edgar has been a respected leader with the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation for decades. From 1993 to 1997, he served as Chief of the Ontario-based aboriginal community, during which time he laid the foundation for First Nation gaming among the Scugog First Nation people. In 1997, Gary's tireless work and advocacy paid off when he successfully brokered a partnership between the Scugog First Nation, the Steiner family and Sonoco Gaming to create the Great Blue Heron Charity Casino. In the years following the casino's ribbon cutting, Edgar continued to contribute to the evolution of First Nations gaming through his work as public relations manager with the Great Blue Heron Charity Casino, his collaborative efforts with neighbouring First Nation casino owners, and his ongoing work as Chair of the Baagwating Community Association – a position he's held for nearly two decades. Thanks to his wisdom, passion, and business savvy, the Great Blue Heron Charity Casino remains a key source of charitable funding and economic growth for the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation; while Edgar himself remains a shining example of First Nations leadership.
36 | Summer 2012
Employee of the Year
Patrick Armstrong Ojibwe - Dokis First Nation Executive Sous Chef, Casino Rama
Derek Suzack Batchewana First Nation Manager of Health and Safety, Casino Rama
A crucial member of Casino Rama's staff since the facility first opened in 1996, Patrick Armstrong's passion and skill for the culinary arts has been a boon for both patrons and coworkers alike. Since 2006, he has served as Casino Rama's Executive Sous-Chef of its culinary, food and beverage department. During this time, Patrick has demonstrated his innate leadership skills by overseeing multiple restaurant renovations, designing and deploying numerous department initiatives, organizing casino-wide charity events, and leading co-workers through day to day operations. Patrick is also the driving force behind partnerships with schools like Liaison College and George College, which have fostered an ongoing supply of talent to Casino Rama's kitchens. His talents and leadership continue to add a unique flavour to Casino Rama's winning recipe.
Since 2006, Derek Suzack has been keeping the staff and clientele of Casino R ama s afe. A s M anager of H ealt h and Safety, his professionalism and knowledge of the Ontario Health and Safety Act has transformed Casino Rama safest workplaces, and his leadership and attitude have made him a respected casino ambassador. In addition to developing safety initiatives throughout Casino Rama's departments, Derek promotes health as Chair of the Joint Health and Safety Committee, as project leader on the Tourism & Hospitality Advisory Committee, and as Master Trainer of the Young Worker Awareness Program (YWAP). “Derek exudes team spirit,” Debra Pratt, Chief People Officer at Casino Rama. “He is a highly recognized Health and Safety professional and it truly is an honour having him as a part of our C.R.E.W.” Under his watchful eye, Casino Rama recorded a 24% reduction in accidents, earning the facility a significant New Experimental Experience Rating (NEER) refund from WSIB this past year and – more importantly – maintaining Casino Rama's standing as one of the safest workplaces in the Ontario gaming industry.
Angeline Joe Champagne and Aishihik First Nation Accountant, Grey Eagle Casino Embodying the very spirit of giving and inspiration, Angeline Joe has played an instrumental role in connecting Grey Eagle Casino to the community it serves and employs. Hired as an accountant in 2007, Angeline quickly getting involved with Grey Eagle Casino by organizing the casino's first celebration of National Aboriginal Day in 2008. In the years since, she has lent her time and dedication to a number of Grey Eagle Casino charity events, and this year she played a key role in the Hockey Marathon for Kids, a f u n d r a i s in g eve n t w hi c h h e lp e d raise over $ 500,000 for the Alberta's Children Hospital. In addition to her many volunteer pursuits, Angeline has become an active mentor to Aboriginal Youth through her presentations at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, and continues to promote cultural, health, and education initiatives inside the casino. In April 2012, Angeline was picked to grace the cover of “New Tribe” magazine, thanks to her success as an Aboriginal role model.
Canadian Gaming Business | 37
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