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Gaming executives predict industry growth over the next 5 years
[October 03, 2012]

Gaming executives predict industry growth over the next 5 years

Oct 03, 2012 (Las Vegas Sun - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Representatives of six gaming companies said they were optimistic about what the future holds for their industry with expansions and technological advancements fueling growth over the next five years.

While the executives didn't predict any major resort openings, they said they are enthusiastic about the potential for new venues internationally and see a bright future in using technology to more effectively market to younger players.

The comments were made today during a panel session at the Global Gaming Expo at the Venetian. Representatives of MGM Resorts International, Las Vegas Sands and Bally Technologies were among the speakers who addressed a broad range of topics on the state of the gaming.

Patti Hart, CEO of gaming equipment manufacturer International Game Technology, said she's optimistic about growth because gaming is expected to spread throughout Asia after successes in Macau and Singapore. She said her company also is continuing efforts to personalize the casino experience for players with software programs that provide more interactivity between casinos and their customers to appeal to a market of young players comfortable with portable computer devices.

Michael Leven, president and chief operating officer of Las Vegas Sands, and Jim Murren, CEO of MGM Resorts International, said a number of Asian countries -- Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan -- are considering introducing casino-resorts after seeing how well operations in Macau and Singapore have performed.

Sands and MGM have resorts in Macau. Sands is the market leader in Singapore, and MGM is building a nongaming resort in Vietnam. Sands also has focused attention on a Las Vegas-style resort in Spain.

The panelists said they expect the legalization of Internet poker in the United States to lead to expansion of gaming in land-based casinos the same way that the expansion of gaming in other states and on Indian reservations ultimately led to growth for Las Vegas.

Leven, however, added that his boss, Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson, opposes legalizing Internet poker because he fears the inability to control underage gambling and because the investment necessary to get enough online customers to make the venture lucrative would diminish its profitability.

Leven also said the industry's desire for federal oversight in online poker could lead to more government intrusion and lower profits because the federal government tends to build bureaucracies when developing regulatory agencies.

___ (c)2012 the Las Vegas Sun (Las Vegas, Nev.) Visit the Las Vegas Sun (Las Vegas, Nev.) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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