The Future of Internet Gaming in the U.S.: Notes from iGaming North America Conference

The bricks-and-mortar gaming industry wants in, the States want in, Native American Tribes want in, service providers want in . . . the list goes on.  But, what is actually on the horizon for Internet Gaming?  In the search for answers, I recently attended and participated in iGaming North America.  This is the first post in a series where I will discuss the future of Internet Gaming. (more…)

The Outlook for Asian Gaming

Attention has been given to the rise of Asia’s booming gaming market in recent years, with some analysts even projecting it to surpass all other regional gaming markets before the decade’s end.  The success of Macau and Singapore has inspired other parts of Asia to either enhance their existing gaming industry to a world-class standard or to establish their own destination gaming markets.

The Philippines and Vietnam, both countries with existing gaming facilities, have passed legislation to support a destination resort casino market.  South Korea may follow their lead.  In other parts of Asia without Las Vegas-style games, such as Japan and Taiwan, things have been heating up with legislators and other constituents seriously considering gaming’s benefits.

Asia’s gaming fever mirrors that of the United States.  In recent years, several states in the U.S. implemented gaming legislation or expanded existing games.  Some U.S. gaming markets could even be described as saturated.  In the Mid-Atlantic region for example, gaming facilities in Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, West Virginia and Maryland are in heavy competition for the same regional patrons and tourists.  Delaware and Pennsylvania added table games to their facilities, at least partially pressured by a congesting regional market.

The key difference between the pervasion of gaming throughout Asia and the United States is demand.  According to Credit-Suisse’s Global Wealth Report 2011 there are about 949.7 million people living throughout North, Central, and South America.  Throughout the entire Asia-Pacific region (includes China and India) there about 4.25 billion people.  The population of the Americas is not even a quarter of the population of the Asia-Pacific region.  Trying to imagine how much gaming product it would take to saturate the Asia-Pacific region is staggering.

A huge driver behind the success of Macau and Singapore’s gaming markets has been Chinese tourism.  Chinese policy changes opened up its outbound tourism market and greatly increased the proportion of Chinese visitors to all visitors in several regional markets.  Singapore for example, drew about 5.6% of its total visitors in 2000 from China.  In 2010, Chinese visitors to Singapore represented about 10.3% of all visitors to the country.

Asian gaming markets have another thing going their way—Asia is becoming wealthier.  Based on projections made by Credit-Suisse and detailed in their World Wealth Report 2011, wealth in the Asia-Pacific region (including China and India) is increasing at a greater rate than the world’s two wealthiest regions (Northern America and Europe) and the world’s average.  As the average wealth of individuals increases throughout the Asia-Pacific region, more and more people will have the means to indulge in leisure activities and travel—increasing regional demand for destination resort casinos.

With such trends in wealth, tourism, and population it is little wonder that destination gaming has been such a success in Asia in recent times.  It is also no surprise that many other Asian countries want in on the action, and that they are not trying to follow the ‘Las Vegas Model,’ but either the ‘Singapore’ or ‘Macau Model.’

Contributed by:

Nicholas Farrae

Analyst, Economics and Gaming

nicholasfarrae@tmg-consulting.net  or (504) 569-9239 x 31

Disclaimer
The views, interpretations, or strategies expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the position of TMG Consulting. This site is meant for educational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. TMG Consulting makes no representation as to accuracy, completeness, or suitability of any information on this site and will not be liable for damages arising from its display or use.

American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) Fall Conference

Leaders of engineering companies met starting on October 18 in Las Vegas at the ACEC conference to discuss business issues and prospects.  General Session speakers included former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, an advocate for a bond-funded national infrastructure program.  Other prominent speakers included: Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval; John Hofmeister, former president of Shell Oil Company; and Craig Martin, CEO of Jacobs Engineering.

Re-thinking Energy

Well received was John Hofmeister, who as an energy insider wrote the book—Why We Hate the Oil Companies.   Currently Hofmeister is CEO of Citizens for Affordable Energy and feels that an independent regulatory commission is needed to oversee energy regulation replacing the myriad of federal agencies presently regulating and stymieing the energy sector.  Hofmeister sees the need for trillion dollar per year expenditures by the private sector rebuilding the U.S.’s energy infrastructure–creating a safer and more efficient sector as well as 4 million jobs.  However, the current regulatory regime prohibits these private sector investments from going forward.  Unfortunately neither the national infrastructure program nor the rebuilding of the energy sector is nearing reality—bad news for engineering companies.  Hofmeister feels that the past achievements of engineers are substantial and with the right policy, we, engineers, could solve many of the problems that the country is facing today.

Engineering Practice

A General Session speaker who discussed a need for saving lives in the engineering and construction industries by a renewed emphasis on safety was Craig Martin, CEO of Jacobs Engineering.  He also noted that Jacobs is very conscious of ethics laws and requirements both in the U.S and internationally in conducting its business.  When discussing changes in the engineering business that we could expect, he foresaw the ending of the federal Brooks Act and the use of Qualifications Based Selection (QBS) leading to the use of price in the selection of providers for engineering services.  Needless to say this brought about quite a reaction from the members of ACEC given that a pillar of ACEC’s program is the expanded use of QBS.

Importance of Infrastructure Projects

Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval, Republican, made a favorable expression on the crowd talking about the importance of projects like the Hoover Dam and the O’Callaghan-Tillman Memorial Bridge at Hoover Dam as well other projects of the same size and scale to Nevada and the nation.  To me he looks like Vice Presidential candidate material in the 2012 Presidential election.

Technical Sessions

Technical sessions were held on public private partnership projects in California and Florida that generally involve revenue generation for the private operator, a proposed infrastructure program financed by a 1% sales tax in Georgia, structuring design-build contracts, successfully navigating media relations as well as sessions on services marketing, information technology, human resources and other matters of interest to the business of engineering companies.

Contributed by:

Anthony Mumphrey, President, ACEC Louisiana

Disclaimer
The views, interpretations, or strategies expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the position of TMG Consulting. This site is meant for educational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. TMG Consulting makes no representation as to accuracy, completeness, or suitability of any information on this site and will not be liable for damages arising from its display or use.