Spectrum Gaming Group Identifies Top 21 Casino Industry Trends for 2013

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ--(Marketwire - Dec 10, 2012) -  Spectrum Gaming Group, an independent research and professional services firm serving public- and private-sector clients worldwide, has listed 21 of the most important trends that the global casino industry needs to monitor in 2013.

For the ninth year, Spectrum has compiled this list that addresses ongoing changes in technology, demographics, politics and regulation to determine the most significant trends. New Jersey-based Spectrum (www.spectrumgaming.com), with experts around the world, tracks these and other trends on a regular basis.

For the complete nine-year list, visit www.spectrumgaming.com/trends.

Spectrum Gaming Group Top 21 Trends for 2013
(Listed alphabetically)

1. Domestic expansion: States that already have casino gambling will seek expansion, either through more properties or new games.

2. Financial: As gaming facilities multiply and become more commoditized, more facilities will be financed with real estate oriented structures like REITs and CMBS.

3. International: Development plans for the Primorye Gaming Zone in Russia, near the eastern port of Vladivostok, will continue to come into focus, revealing its potential to become a prominent Asian gaming center.

4. International: Major US gaming operators will continue to scout Asia and other, underserved international markets to develop major gaming resorts.

5. Internet: Age-verification and geolocation software will become critically important as more lottery and gaming jurisdictions enter the online space. Providers that can best demonstrate reliability, accuracy and ability to inhibit spoofing and errors will be in particularly high demand.

6. Internet: Social networking and electronic gaming will make further, behind-the-scenes steps toward a convergence that could, at some point, be the "next big thing" in gaming.

7. Law enforcement: States will move faster to either eliminate or regulate Internet/sweepstakes cafes, recognizing them either as financially harmful or a revenue source.

8. Lottery: More lotteries will face pressure to privatize or bring in private management, as they simultaneously move toward a greater online presence.

9. Lottery: The convergence of traditional gaming and state lotteries will accelerate, in large part due to the prospect of Internet gaming.

10. Markets: Gaming operators will exert pressure to lower tax rates in high-tax markets to better compete against neighboring states.

11. Markets: Legalization efforts will continue in longtime casino-reluctant states such as Kentucky, New Hampshire and Texas, as those states seek additional revenue streams while trying to stem the flight of gambling dollars across state lines.

12. Markets: More states will explore augmenting their current gambling offerings with retail gaming -- i.e., slots in bars or taverns.

13. Native American: Expect the argument about opening up the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act for Internet gaming purposes to get louder. Native American casinos, meanwhile, will dip their toes into Internet gaming with free-play poker sites.

14. Native American and online: States will feel pressure from tribal operators to rescind or renegotiate exclusivity provisions in compacts as states pursue online gambling through state lotteries.

15. Online: Online gambling companies will seek bricks-and-mortar properties in certain states to gain a licensing foothold for Internet operations.

16. Online: Social gaming and online gambling will converge, creating new competitors in gaming and putting pressure on regulators to oversee the marketing and implementation of social gaming.

17. Online: Tribal operators, large and small, will seek a visible presence in online gambling.

18. Regulation: The convergence of casinos and lotteries, coupled with new suppliers from Europe seeking to enter the US market, will prompt more lotteries to require background investigations and licensure of suppliers.

19. Regulation: Regulators will increase their scrutiny of licensees operating in international jurisdictions where money-laundering and currency law violations are common.

20. Regulation: The expansion of gaming worldwide will continue, but companies will be subject to continuing scrutiny by US and international law enforcement related to their conduct and practices internationally.

21. Technology: The US economy will continue to struggle and unemployment levels will remain high through at least the next year, forcing US casino operators to continue to implement automated technologies and find operating efficiencies. This will lead to further reductions and restructuring of employment and payroll levels for casino operators.