Every May the Southern Gaming Summit is held in the Biloxi colosseum, and, by registering in advance, I get a free pass to the Exhibit Hall. Because of an interest in how the gaming industry deploys technology, I enjoy “schmoozing” with the various vendors. In addition, my registration allows me to attend the two evening parties that are part of the Summit. Because the casino chefs are so competitive, they pull out all the stops if their venue hosts one of the events. It makes the heavy hors d'oeuvres a delicious meal, and usually results in an opportunity to discuss the gaming industry with someone in the business.
This year, the exhibit hall was about half as large as previous years, and I tried to find out why. One vendor suggested there were more and more gaming conferences similar to the Southern Gaming Summit, and companies may choose to go elsewhere. One of the NOLA universities has a branch campus in the Biloxi area that offers a certificate in Gaming Management. They had a booth in the Exhibit Hall, and one of the professors at the booth (also a former table games manager) offered an interesting insight: Because of the way the IRS refunds certain monies casinos collect for it, casinos usually get that money early each calendar year. However, this year the IRS said it would not refund that money until later in the year. The professor wondered if the IRS caused vendors to realize the casinos would not have money normally spent at this time of the year, and so companies deferred the vendor cost in parading “great stuff” for the casinos to buy when they knew casinos might not have money available.
The only large vendor at the show was IGT, and it's always fun to see how the new slot machines work (especially when they are set on “demo” mode so bonuses happen frequently). They only had one table game demo, and it was nothing special. Basically, it was an electronically controlled roulette wheel that offered another game – BJ or Baccarat – between spins, so as to minimize “dead” gaming time.
As far as I could tell, the only other table game being demonstrated at the Summit was our own kobalj, who seemed to have a rather busy booth with folks checking out his game, Casino Over Under. I appreciated kobalj taking time to describe how much more complex it is to get a new game approved in Pennsylvania, as compared to Mississippi. I haven't heard, but I hope he did well at the Summit.
Good job Lucky! I appreciate all your posts today.
The lack of Table Games exhibited is not a surprise...the Southern Gaming Show has been notorious for not having much in the way of table game content. As far as a small/regional Conference, the Cutting Edge TG Conference is by far the best place for indie's to show new content and G2E is where the big boys show their TG wares.
OK, maybe "notorious" was a reach, maybe I should have said "I am not a bit surprised!"...I was there several years back, 2009 IIRC and there were a few TG's present, but not a lot. There used to be all kinds of indie's at G2E back then, and they have mostly vanished as well.
Since 2009, I have asked colleagues/industry contacts if SGS is worth going to as an independent game developer (as it is certainly cheaper to exhibit there vs. G2E) and received a unanimous "It really isn't a great show for table game content...it is more of a Bingo & Electronics show". That is all I can give you on sources for my opinion, I trust that those I ask for whatever that is worth...