Global Gaming Expo will focus on improved machines, Internet play
By Howard Stutz
The legendary rock band Kiss didn't want to be left out of the picture.
No word, however, if band members Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons will be decked out in full Kiss makeup and costume when they introduce the machine Tuesday at the WMS Industries booth at the Sands Expo and Convention Center.
Gaming equipment manufacturing industry leaders believe this year's four-day trade show and conference is focused more on the game, rather than the economic downturn that has depressed sales of new slot machines going back four years.
International Game Technology Chief Executive Officer Patti Hart said manufacturers have been single-minded in their concern about the return of the replacement cycle, or the period of time that casino operators change out older games with newer products. During the recession, slot floor managers held off buying new machines and technology in favor of more cost-effective upgrades of existing games.
"I don't think the replacement cycle will ever make its way back to the high point," Hart said in an interview at IGT's Las Vegas offices last week. "People are more return-oriented in their purchasing and application of capital. When capital is scarce, I think people are more judicious on how they apply it."