Spectrum Game Lists Trends - Wednesday 14th of December 2005

ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey – Spectrum Gaming Group, aninternational gaming consultancy, has listed 21 of the most important trendsthat the global casino industry needs to monitor in 2006.

The trends cover most aspects of commercial and tribal casinos, fromregulation to food and beverage, and from slots to tables.

"Many of the trends are new to the list, from communal gaming to GulfCoast reconstruction," said Michael Pollock, a Spectrum managing director. "Afew trends are evolutionary and will be perennials, such as gaming's evolutioninto mainstream entertainment. Other trends not listed here, such as thepotential marriage between Internet gaming and public gaming companies, arecontinually monitored for future inclusion."

Some related trends from last year's list have been consolidated. Forexample, the popularity of poker and other table games is a sub-set of theindustry's effort to reach younger demographics.

New Jersey-based Spectrum serves clients fromAtlantic City and Harrisburg to Singapore, Macau and beyond in areas thatrange from due-diligence and background investigations to economic andfeasibility studies. Spectrum publishes Michael Pollock's Gaming IndustryObserver, an award-winning newsletter.

Many of these trends are analyzed in archived copies of Gaming IndustryObserver. This alphabetized list, with additional commentary, will appear inthe next issue:

* Accelerated expansion of U.S.-based companies overseas.

* Asia's continued growth.

* Communal gaming, in which multiple players can play in same bonus round.

* Continued cashless evolution, electronic funds transfers.

* Continued consolidation among operators, suppliers.

* Continued conversion of racetracks to racinos.

* Continued push for tax rates above 50 percent in new jurisdictions, coupled with push-back by operators against high tax rates.

* Evolution of gaming companies into entertainment providers.

* Expansion by tribal casinos and private-equity firms into commercial operations.

* Exporting Las Vegas brands and models to other jurisdictions.

* Growing federal resistance against Indian tribes seeking casinos off reservation.

* Growth of conventions in destination markets.

* Gulf Coast reconstruction to create a true southern destination resort experience.

* Hotel-room growth, use as marketing tool.

* New technology in stepper slots to make them downloadable-ready.

* Outsourcing of food-and-beverage, partnership with signature restaurants.

* Racino evolution from slots-only to slots and tables - live or electronic.

* Reaching younger, more diverse demographics.

* Retail and spa development.

* Tribal operators pursuing management contracts with other tribal casinos.

* Widespread acceptance of RFID chip tracking and wager recognition in table games.

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