Sports Betting Community Summit: North America: Panel with Mims: Your Sports Betting Operations
This week in New York City and the Meadowlands Exposition Center in New Jersey. The SBC North America will convene. I am honored to be part of a panel that will tackle the question of How to nurture talent to your sports betting operations. The panel will be moderated by Bronwen Gregg. The other panel members include Allison Bassman, Director of People and Culture for Penn Interactive, Noemie Levy, Talent Acquisition Manager for Bet MGM and Holly Gagnon Co-CEO of Artemis Strategic Investment Corporation. Some of the subjects we will cover include job opportunities, working remotely vs. working on property and diversity. I may have a surprise interview while in NYC. Stay tuned!
Philadelphia Casino Updates: Mims interviews Chris Albrecht of Harrah’s and Justin Moore of Rivers
Chris Albrecht has been the Senior Vice President and General Manager for Harrah’s Philadelphia in Chester since September 2016. He has been in the gaming industry since July 2005. Prior to Harrah’s Philadelphia, Chris served as the Assistant General Manager of the Horseshoe Hammond property, where under his leadership, the property achieved strong financial and service results.
Chris also held the position of Assistant General Manager of Horseshoe Cincinnati where he assisted with hiring 1,700 team members and managed the successful grand opening in 2013. With several years of operational and administrative experience, Chris has also served as the Vice President and Executive Associate to the Central Division President, Director of Compensation & HR Effectiveness at Caesars Corporate office and as the Director of Slots in the Las Vegas Market.
Chris oversees the day-to-day operation of the Harrah’s Philadelphia. Chris earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management.
Justin spent the first sixteen years of his casino and gaming career in the world’s gaming epicenter – Nevada. He began his career in the casino industry in 1999, as a food server in Mesquite. He then joined Station Casinos, the leading “locals” casino and resort company in the Las Vegas valley, where he worked in the areas of food & beverage and slot gaming.
In 2015, Justin was recognized for his wealth of professional accomplishments and named to the Las Vegas 40 Under 40…and in 2016, he was named Mentor of the Year by the William F. Harrah College of Hospitality at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) for his commitment to helping UNLV students learn how to succeed in the industry.
Justin moved to the NY Capital Region in 2017, to take on the role of Vice President of Operations at Rivers Casino & Resort. Just two short months later, he was promoted to Vice President & Assistant General Manager. In April of 2021, Justin assumed the role of General Manager at Rivers Casino Philadelphia.
What was your biggest takeaway from the G2E last month in Las Vegas?
Chris: My biggest takeaway is that the industry is thriving and there will be exciting new products for us to offer in 2022 and beyond. Many of the vendors are making updates and tweaks to their most popular product lines that will certainly resonate with our customers.
Justin: Efficiency. This year was the most productive trip to the gaming show I have had since moving away from Las Vegas. I enjoyed the luxury of less crowds to fight with, so I could experience the games. The G2E team should strongly consider placing a cap for the number of passes that are available for the show in the future.
Cashless wagering was a hot topic in Las Vegas and again at the East Coast Gaming Conference. Do you expect it to gain traction in the next 2 years?
Justin: Yes, I do. The presence of online wagering and the pandemic has made this topic grab the attention of the operators. For many in the industry, this was not a topic that was considered because our players like having cash in hand. Now that most people own a smart phone, adding services like cashless wagering have become a necessary convenience. For many customers, cashless transactions are a bare minimum expectation for consumers.
Chris: Absolutely. I believe there will be a period of both cash and cashless options within the casinos, but cashless is here and growing. We are behind most industries on the cashless front and the growth of online gaming has helped push customer and regulatory comfort with cashless going forward.
The lack of employees is hurting all industries. Do you see light at the end of the shortage tunnel?
Chris: I do see some light. We have witnessed an uptick in applications these past few months but still have a long way to go to get back to pre-pandemic levels.
Justin: Yes and no. I believe most markets will see their
open positions reduce over time. Businesses must remember not to apply long term solutions for a short- term problem. Markets that have emerging casinos (like NYC and VA) may have a longer road to recovery considering the human capital demand a new casino will attract.
The concerns about Covid and mandates are affecting the casinos. Have most of your core customers return to playing on property and have you noticed a different in their levels of play?
Justin: We have not fully recovered from the pandemic and the effects the virus has had on our business. We still have city -mandated restrictions like wearing masks when other casinos and attractions in our own market do not have the same conditions. Our market has seen an explosion in the iGaming sector for PA and NJ, a brand-new casino opening, and a smoking ban. When the restrictions are lifted, we expect to see some familiar faces that are loyal to the Rivers Casino brand
Chris: We saw different periods of return from our core guests over the past year and a half depending on their comfort level. It is always great on weekends to see a familiar face you have not seen in some time. While we saw a bit of pent-up demand and play up when we first came back, most guests have settled back into their usual play levels.
The elephant in the room or the city is Live Casino Philly. How has their entry into the market changed the gaming landscape?
Chris: Taking Philadelphia from a 4-casino market to a 5-casino market has certainly changed the landscape. With any new entrant, you would hope they can grow the market overall. We have seen that more on the Tables side than the Slots side so far which makes sense given their location.
Justin: They have grown the market and introduced another competitive option for gambling consumers. Competition is great for the guests because it adds accountability to the operators of the existing casinos. The casinos will all need to make evasive maneuvers by aggressive offers, entertainment, events, and amenities changes. Each casino in our market offers something unique for their guests in their “backyards” that will help them maintain their loyal visits. Innovation and value will be key if the casinos are able to compete for guests beyond their 5-mile radius.
Sports Betting is getting everyone’s attention. Describe the experience a customer can expect if they come to your property for the first time?
Justin: They will love our sports book as much as I do. Our BetRivers Sportsbook is a marquee amenity for us. Everything is perfect, from our comfortable chairs to the state-of-the-art HUGE screen. I lived in Las Vegas for 20 years, so I have seen a few of the best sports books in the country and BetRivers is right there with them.
Chris: We are excited to see the growth of sports betting and love having the opportunity to cater to the Philadelphia sports fan at our property. The primary experience for the sports enthusiast is to come to our Caesars Sportsbook with our comfortable lounge seats, giant screen matrix, and over 45 TVs to watch. We also have kiosks and TVs to watch the games at our food outlet, Philly Tap & Tavern, and at our center bar on the casino floor. We also have our relaunched Caesars Sportsbook app to take the fun home with you.
What is your favorite restaurant in Philly?
Chris: So many great choices. I am a fan of several Stephen Starr concepts and as a steak person would have to say Barclay Prime.
Justin: Unfortunately I haven’t ventured into the city too much since moving here 8 months ago. However, I had an amazing experience at South restaurant. The food was amazing, and the atmosphere was top notch. The service I received there was world class, and I can’t wait to go back there again.
What message would you like to convey to your employees and staff as you approach the holidays?
Chris: First and most importantly is a message of appreciation – for not only coming back to our team through a challenging time, but for stepping up and taking on more responsibility to make our property a comfortable environment for each other and our guests. Also, as nice it was to be able to give everyone extra family time last year during our second closure, I look forward to celebrating together through the holiday season and into New Year’s Eve this year!
Justin: Enjoy! The holidays are a special time for us to reflect, love, and share. Live in the moment with those you love the most.
Next Inside view from me to you will come from one of the premiere gaming conferences that is taking place in the Meadowlands and in New York City next week. Follow me at SBC. Tweets on Twitter and photos on Instagram.
GamingGuyMim's Wrapping up this years Game...
G2E 2021 Preview: Mims heads to Las Vegas as gaming expo will be live and virtual this year!
By: Robert Mims for BettersInsider.com
The G2E 2021 is next week. I am excited about the opportunity to go and I am fortunate to be part of a team that values my efforts and endeavors. I do not take their commitment to me lightly and take great pride in being a member of an organization that see the usefulness of a conference like this.
This year, the G2E will be virtual and in person event. It’s starts Oct. 4 and ends Oct. 7. The technological advances in the gaming industry will still be on display at the Venetian Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada. The educational seminars will cover such subjects as E Sports, Sports Betting & I Gaming.Some of the notable companies and organizations participating in this year’s G2E include Rush Street Gaming, Scientific Games, Seventy-Six Capital, UNLV & Global Gaming Business. I will give… Read More.
It’s National Video Game Day – Tell SRG Your Favorite Video Game!
National Video Game Day Weekend. That’s right, September 12th is National Video Game Day. We asked what are some top video games of interest, and created a list. Now, it’s your turn to give input. Check out the video game list below.
We, at Smart Responsible Gaming want to hear from you. From these Video Games listed below, which are your favorite to play? Take the Poll Today!
Smart Responsible Gaming at SBC Digital North America – Take the Poll!
Jobs in Gaming
If you are in the Philadelphia area, you need to watch this video. If you are seeking a job in the Atlantic City region click this link.The casino industry is looking for people that can work as part of a team. Nevada will be featured soon!
Gaming and Entertainment Stocks: Investing in Sports Betting
Many of us have recently received stimulus money from the federal government.This is also income tax season. There will be millions of Americans entitled to tax refunds. If you are in a position to speculate on the stock market, the stimulus money and /or the income tax return can jump start that initiative. Looking for reasons and an industry to invest in?
The economy is slowly returning to Pre Covid levels. Restaurants are expanding their capacity and hours of operations. Casinos are allowing food and beverages to be served in gaming areas. Alcohol has returned to the pit table games. The states are looking to expand revenue options thru gaming.
Sports Betting and online gaming are two popular concepts that have been adopted by as many as 22 states presently. This is the ideal time to look at investing opportunities in gaming and sports wagering companies.
I look for stocks based on affordability and profit magin. I research what the price is presently and look at the historical trends of the stock. If a stock is trading at $25 and a year earlier has a purchase price of $50, I see a growth potential. I will look at the business plans of that company and determine if they are a good buy. I also set a price that I would be content to sell the stock at. If I bought 100 shares at $25, I would be happy to have the stock reach $35 a share. Contrarily, I have a depreciation price where I would sell and cut my losses. If the stock goes under 20 and has never done that in a 3 year period, I will sell and look to start again with another stock.Looking for the hottest deals and best gaming stocks? continue reading after the video.
Draft Kings: The current price is $48. The median expected price in the next 12 months is $75. It has a high estimate of 105 and a low of 41. Draft Kings made a recent acquisition of VSIN Network. “VSiN creates authentic and credible content that resonates with sports bettors at every level, whether they’re experienced or new to sports betting,” said Jason Robins, DraftKings’ co-founder, CEO and Chairman of the Board. CNN Money grade this stock as a buy.
Penn National Gaming: The current price is $86. The outlook for Penn National is good because they own Barstool Sports. Barstool is presently in 3 states and projecting to be in as many as 10 by the end of the year. The Street’s Jim Cramer gave Penn a definite buy on 5/7/21. Jay Snowden,CEO of Penn National Gaming, expess optimism because of Barstool approach to player acquisition and the reopening of the economy.
Rush Street Interactive: RSI rang the opening bell on Wall Street on 1/5/21.The current price is $13. The recent moves by Rush Street are the signs of encouragement. Rush Street was nominated for the Operator of the Year by the EGR Awards for 2021. Then the announcement of Lauren Seiler as Associate Vice President of Investor Relations and Development. She brings expertise in i-gaming,sports wagering, land based operations and finance. BetRivers.com is thriving in Pennsylvania and is postioned in several new jurisdictions. Growth opportunity at the current price.
Several sports and gaming stocks have made major acquisitions. Caesars Entertainment acquired William Hill within the last two weeks.MGM Grand with it’s sports betting app, Bet MGM ,have stated they are in the top 3 in the each of the markets where the platform is available. Fan Duel or Flutter Entertainment is a definite watch because of the name recognition of the brand. PointsBet has extended into a partnership with Penn National that will include 7 states.
There are several prominent companies that are not mentioned. I would take time to research the gaming ,sports betting and i gaming industries to find the best buy for your buck. There is a synergy between the three that offers value to the stock holder. I hold shares of several of the companies mentioned in this post.
We have over 20 years of casino operations experience with the last four years acquiring knowledge of the I Gaming community. This combination has set us apart from other gaming sites as our expertise and blog posts will attest. Please feel free to read our previous work. You can follow us here, on Twitter and on Facebook. We will navigate you toward a rewarding online gaming experience.
We write and post about online gaming, sports betting, poker, e sports and casino entertainment. This includes the games, events and operators that are associated with the aforementioned topics. The team has 20 years of casino operations experience with the last five years acquiring knowledge of the I Gaming community. The collaboration of nutrition, statistics analytics and professional engagement will heighten your awareness about 21st century gaming. The approach that makes us unique is that we emphasize smart responsible gaming. We believe that one facet cannot exist without the other.
Metro Report: NFL NFC East Draft Grades
I just finished watching the top 3 rounds of the NFL Draft 2021. I will give my grade of how each team in the NFC East fared with their first three selections. My grades are based on the team and their needs going into the Draft.
Philadelphia Eagles: The Eagles started out by moving up in the draft to 10 and selecting Devonta Smith. Smith was the Heisman Trophy Winner and the top reciever in college. His weight of 166 pounds did not scare the Eagles. It should be noted that Ja’Marr Chase and Jaylen Waddle were selected before Smith. The Eagles went after another Alabama standout in Landon Dickerson. He is a beast but has a history of injuries. He tore his ACL during the SEC championship game in December. In the 3rd round,Philly aded depth to the defensive line with the addition of Milton Williams, defensive tackle from Louisiana Tech. The selection of Dickerson and Williams were perplexing because the o line is relatively young with the exception of Jason Kelce. Birds had a glaring need to add to the secondary and they did not do it. Grade B-.
Dallas Cowboys: Dallas traded with their rival, the Eagles and selected Micah Parsons from Penn State. Parson was thought to be the best defensive player in the draft. He did not play in 2020 because he opted out to prepare for the NFL. The Cowboys added more defensive help with their 2nd and 3rd round selections of Kelvin Joseph and Osa Odighizuwa. The Cowboys addressed their abysmal defense with each of these selections. They should improve immediately if two of these picks become starters.
Washington Football: Washington improved the team by adding Jamin Davis an inside linebacker from Kentucky. The defense was already elite so adding speed to the linebacker position fits. There is a concern at QB that would have require Washington to move up to go after Justin Fields, The 2nd selection was Samuel Cosmi, OT from Texas. Benjamin St-Juste and Dyami Brown were both taken in the 3rd round. Justus will help in coverage and Brown give Washington another weapon at WR. Brown can compliment Terry McLaurin. Grade B.
Check out this week’s poll on my website and tell me which NFL NFC East team did the best job in the 1st three rounds of the Draft?
New York Giants: The Giants traded back and gain a number one pick in next years’s NFL Draft. They selected Kadarius Toney,a wide reciever from Florida. He is a play maker but the Giants appear to have address that need during free agency when they signed Kenny Galladay. Georgia’s Azeez Ojulari will bring immediate help to the outside linebacker position by being selected 2nd. Ojulari was projected as a late first round pick. Adoree Robinson is a CB from Central Florida. He was selected in the 3rd round. While cornerback was also a position that free agent Adoree Jackson was signed to fill, you can always use additional coverage personnel. By adding more picks, the Giants made this draft and 2022 look very good.