SOURCE: Spectrum Gaming Group

Spectrum Gaming Group

December 08, 2014 14:00 ET

Spectrum Gaming Group Identifies Top 21 Casino Industry Trends for 2015

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ--(Marketwired - Dec 8, 2014) - Spectrum Gaming Group, an independent research and professional services firm serving public- and private-sector clients worldwide, has listed the 21 most important trends that the global casino industry needs to monitor in 2015.

For the eleventh year, Spectrum has compiled this list that addresses ongoing changes in all aspects of the gaming industry to determine the most significant trends. New Jersey-based Spectrum, together with its sister companies, Spectrum Asia, based in Bangkok, and Spectrum Gaming Capital, based in New York City, tracks these and other trends on a regular basis.

To view previous years' lists, visit www.spectrumgaming.com/trends.

Top 21 trends for 2015 (in order of prominence)

1. States weighing legalization, expansion or current performance of casinos will have to deal with the impacts of market saturation within and beyond their borders. The national pie will grow slowly, but many markets will continue to be flat or declining.

2. Asia will continue to be the focal point in global gaming, as governments and developers armed with nine- and ten-figure checks seek to tap the lucrative Asian market, from Vladivostok to Saipan to Cambodia.

3. Las Vegas will continue to show strength, as it benefits from increasing international visitation, from added non-gaming major attractions such as the High Roller, and from the anticipation under-development major projects such as Genting's Resorts World Las Vegas and the MGM-AEG arena.

4. Atlantic City will move toward stability with fewer casino operators and a renewed focus on non-gaming resort development, assisted by state aid. The city will continue to be displayed as an example of the dangers of dependency on gambling revenues.

5. Macau will continue to be challenged in the near term due to the Chinese crackdown on corruption, and in the longer term due to increased competition in Southeast Asia.

6. There will be continued expansion efforts in the Northeast U.S., with movement closer to population centers that will result in more market share shift than new growth, continuing to pressure older markets such as Atlantic City, Delaware and Connecticut.

7. Flat and declining growth in regional markets will continue to be a driver of M&A activity, spurred also by activist investors.

8. U.S. and international law enforcement agencies will continue to enhance compliance and enforcement efforts regarding money laundering in financial institutions, casinos in particular.

9. Tribal gaming will continue to expand, innovate, and increasingly compete on an equal footing with commercial casinos while continuing to push the envelope with off-reservation casinos and Internet wagering.

10. The convergence of gaming will continue, with casinos, lotteries, i-gaming, social games, pari-mutuel, and bingo offering products that cross into the others' traditional space.

11. As Indiana, Delaware and New Jersey are doing, existing states will seek strategic regulatory and economic solutions that enable their gaming industries to stem profit declines and grow gaming revenue.

12. As the number of casinos continues to rise across the country, and new casino-revenue sources from existing markets become scarce, there will continued push by casino operators to broaden their appeal and change their business models to become less gaming-centric.

13. Sports and gaming will continue to converge with the growth in popularity of daily fantasy sports and the potential legalization of sports betting, the latter due largely to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver's watershed moment of calling for legalization.

14. The growth of Internet gambling in the United States will continue to tread water as the performances in Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey continue to be underwhelming. However, more states will move to approve Internet lotto sales and develop new types of online and mobile games in 2015.

15. More gaming companies will split into REITs and operating companies, but not all that are exploring the concept.

16. Asian junket promoters will continue diversifying to new jurisdictions and into different areas of business operation.

17. U.S. casino operators will continue to seek deregulation and regulatory reforms and embrace new technologies in continual efforts to trim human resources and payroll budgets.

18. The pressure will increase in Europe for more integrated resorts, particularly in regions that need boosts in tourism and employment.

19. More gaming operators and suppliers will acquire social gaming companies and capabilities as they seek to engage millennials as the future generation of gamblers. At the same time, game developers and gaming operators will accelerate efforts to turn social games into gambling games.

20. More states, seeking to recover or enhance gambling receipts, will follow the lead of Illinois by considering retail gaming, which is the installation of a limited number of electronic gaming devices in liquor-licensed establishments.

21. More states will consider legalizing Instant Racing -- i.e., wagering on historical racing through slot-like machines -- as alternative to slots at racetracks.

Spectrum Gaming Group is an independent, full-service global gaming research and professional services firm serving private- and public-sector clients on five continents. Our array of services include market study and financial analysis; investigations and due diligence (financial and integrity); Internet gambling research and analysis; economic impact reports; drafting of legislation and regulation; public-policy analysis; establishment of investigative procedures; gaming regulatory services; and professional services for Indian Nations. Our reports have been used by clients to shape public policy, secure financing, formulate marketing plans, determine scope and size of development, establish gaming regulations, and make licensing decisions, among many other purposes. Spectrum produces several conferences and together with Fantini Research and Management Science Associates, publishes SPECTRUMETRIX|Fantini, a comprehensive and dynamic suite of web-based reports.