For 10 years now, the Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers has been making a difference for global gaming suppliers. Executive Director Marcus Prater says this summer is an exciting time. “It is a milestone event certainly for our organization,” he said.
AGEM started in 2000, when manufacturers in Nevada felt the need to work together in a new way. Since then, AGEM has contributed financially to the gaming community, boosted expansion opportunities in a variety of markets and addressed various worldwide regulatory and legislative issues.
AGEM is now an international trade association representing manufacturers and suppliers of electronic gaming devices, systems, table games, key components and support products and services for the gaming industry.
“On behalf of our officers representing Aristocrat, Bally, IGT, Konami and WMS, our global membership base and Executive Director Marcus Prater, I would like recognize the contribution the Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers has made to the gaming industry over the past 10 years,” said Thomas Jingoli, AGEM president, and senior director of compliance and legal administration at Konami. “Our members set aside their competitive energy for the good of the industry as a whole and I’m honored to be part of such a strong and vibrant organization.”
In the last 28 months, AGEM’s membership has grown from 32 to 101. In July, the board of directors approved membership applications from 11 new companies, breaking the 100-member milestone. The newest AGEM members include Acres 4.0 in Las Vegas, American Gaming Systems in San Francisco, Bingotimes Technology in Taiwan, Borden Technology Corp. in Taiwan, Bullivant Houser Bailey in Las Vegas, Codespace Gaming in California, Entropy Precision System in Taiwan, Lincoln Industries in Nebraska, Matsui Gaming Machine Co. in Tokyo, Rye Park Gaming in Phoenix, and StyleGame USA in Nevada.
With AGEM’s international membership increasing, the association is now even better prepared to address issues around the world while remaining focused on the United States. Prater explains: “The only way to do that is to broaden the membership base so that they can be the eyes and ears in their particular markets. Sitting here in the Henderson/Vegas area, it’s pretty hard for me to understand what’s happening day-to-day in Taiwan.”
AGEM has a proven record of assisting regulatory commissions and participating in the legislative process to solve problems and create a business environment where AGEM members can prosper. AGEM has helped influence the opening of new markets such as Maryland, Illinois and Kansas while boosting expansion opportunities in a variety of other markets.
To keep tabs on the health of the gaming sector, AGEM has also introduced the monthly AGEM Index. This tracks the 17 member companies that are publicly traded. Prater says, “We all want to see the index going up, but it doesn’t always work that way, of course.” AGEM partnered with Applied Analysis to create the AGEM Index, which can be found inside this magazine each month.
AGEM has also given more than a million dollars back to the industry through research, education and treatment funding. As Prater says, “That’s not too shabby.” AGEM has contributed more than $700,000 to a wide variety of organizations dedicated to the research, education and treatment of problem gambling issues.
The organization is also making a long-term impact through its support of gaming education. AGEM has contributed more than $325,000 to educational initiatives. That includes $300,000 contribution to the College of Southern Nevada’s (CSN) slot technology curriculum. Prater says: “Now with these machines being so sophisticated, true computer terminals, there’s been a need for higher end training and such. Basically the slot technology curriculum at CSN trains students who then enter the workforce either at the supplier level or even the casino level, and they’re trained to work on these advanced machines.”
AGEM also has a partnership with Atlantic Cape Community College in Atlantic City to do something similar, and has talked to other schools as well. “The bottom line is, we’re in a better position now and have been over the last four or five years to give back,” Prater says.
With 10 years now a milestone for the books, Prater is looking forward and wants AGEM to continue to be a constant factor in our industry. He does not expect membership to continue growing at the rate it has in the last 28 months, since most of the respected supplier companies in the world are now members.
With the roster and leadership it has, AGEM will no doubt continue to tackle important issues. “With everyone working together, especially during these tough times, it’s beneficial to everybody,” Prater said.
Congratulations on 10 great years, AGEM!