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Spectrum Gaming Group has marshaled an impressive array of resources to provide bondholders, bank lenders, investment bankers, creditors, buyers of existing properties and incumbent management with an independent, outside-the-box expertise to evaluate critical financial, legal regulatory and operational issues. We provide a wide variety of casino-related services, all of which share a common goal: to provide our clients with the best possible advice to help meet their strategic objectives or improve the financial performance of the business. Our expertise can be used to facilitate a restructuring, turnaround or acquisition of a business.
Spectrum’s executives and associates offer an unparalleled depth of experience in identifying opportunities and challenges. Our services are distinctive for several reasons:
Our fundamental belief is that our clients deserve analysis that is objective and comprehensive. Every part of an operation must be examined. That is why we address all disciplines. A Spectrum analysis looks beyond the past and present to provide a blueprint for future operations.
As with all of Spectrum’s services, integrity and transparency is our central mission. Our services include:
Download our October 15, 2009, audio conference: Distressed Gaming Properties: State of the Industry
Spectrum Gaming Group is the first choice in evaluating all aspects the global Internet gambling industry:
Spectrum‘s work in this area is recognized internationally. Note this Casino City account of the Global iGaming Summit & Expo, held in Montreal:
“According to Michael Pollock, the managing director of the Spectrum Gaming Group and the chairman of the event, it's not a question of if, but rather when the U.S. Internet gambling industry will be regulated. Pollock drew parallels to radio and television, saying that Major League Baseball initially opposed broadcasting baseball on the radio and the film industry opposed television. Both industries, Pollock said, were concerned that the technological innovations would cannibalize their audience and prevent people from going to the games or the movies.
“In both cases it went from complete rejection to complete embrace,” said Pollock. “It's a continuum. Technology did not alter the social aspects of spectator sports or movie theaters. Clearly, we believe that technology will not alter the social aspects of visiting brick and mortar casinos. As it did in the case of radio, as it did in the case of television, the Internet will become the principal marketing (vehicle) for land-based casinos, and a very cost effective one at that.”
When projections and impacts count, count on Spectrum Gaming Group. Developers and investors have relied on Spectrum to determine the feasibility of building multibillion-dollar projects on the Las Vegas Strip, as well as in Atlantic City and Macau. We have worked in dozens of other markets around the world, from Pennsylvania to Vietnam, and from Louisiana to Canada. Wall Street repeatedly turns to Spectrum when weighing gaming investments of hundreds of millions of dollars. Our clients know that our reports are conservative in their projections and comprehensive in their approach. We combine quantitative and qualitative analyses that result in a thorough, independent and reliable analysis. Spectrum stands out in this field because we combine reliability and transparency with a comprehensive approach that includes assessing political and competitive risks. Our economic services include:
Spectrum studies are always built from the ground up, as we believe no two markets are ever alike. We perform on-site reviews, and we focus on key issues that can have a serious impact on revenue and profitability, as appropriate, including:
Finally, we would perform both a demographic analysis of the region and gravity modeling to determine potential revenue performance, based upon the adult population and income levels in surrounding, or catchment, areas.
As needed, we will develop other models as well, and can perform complex studies such as Monte Carlo analyses. We also, as needed, develop sensitivity and optimization models, all of which help our clients better understand their options.
Most important – and this is a point of particular pride to all of us at Spectrum – is that we tell our clients in advance that we will not reach a pre-determined result. Indeed, our findings may prove to be contrary to their plans. Still, those who depend on our reports – be they investors, operators, regulators and others – know full well that Spectrum stands behind its findings. That is why we are the gold standard in such studies.
Spectrum principals have been studying the social and economic impacts of gaming for three decades, and indeed we take pride in pioneering this particular discipline.
Managing Director Michael Pollock has been studying the impacts of casinos for more than 32 years, and authored the book, “Hostage to Fortune: Atlantic City and Casino Gambling,” published in 1987 by the Center for Analysis of Public Issues in Princeton, NJ.
We have experience in producing economic-impact analyses in the following states, territories and foreign nations:
Each Spectrum project is customized to our client’s specific requirements and developed from the ground up. Our findings, conclusions and recommendations are based solely on our research, analysis and experience. The Spectrum team includes our partners:
REMI is the gold standard in economic-impact studies, and the REMI Spectrum team has produced robust, comprehensive studies in markets ranging from Florida and Iowa to Massachusetts, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky.
Doug Walker is a professor of economics at the College of Charleston, in Charleston, South Carolina. He also owns a consulting firm, Casinonomics Consulting, LLC. Walker is recognized as a top expert in the world on the economic and social impacts of casinos. He has worked with Spectrum on numerous engagements, including major projects in Florida, Iowa and Indiana.
Our economic-impact studies stand out for several key reasons:
Our studies have been rather high-profile:
“This [Spectrum] report should be required reading by every state official. ... [T]he report reads like a good investigative series, and takes a big-picture view.”
- Hartford Courant editorial, July 5, 2009
“The administration ought to revive the proposal to reflect the findings in the independent analysis conducted by Spectrum Gaming.”
- Boston Herald editorial, August 8, 2008
“[The Spectrum study] provides each side with plenty of objective analysis to consider. ... The Spectrum study makes the essential point ... The study makes a powerful case ... The report issues another important warning ... The report's authors know all the angles played by casino developers.”
- Boston Globe editorial, August 15, 2008
“According to a 2011 Spectrum Gaming Group study, by 2015, it is estimated that Kentuckians will export at least $527 million in gaming revenues to casinos in nearby states, generating tax revenues to build roads, bridges and schools in Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, and West Virginia.”
- River City News, Kentucky, October 8, 2013
“(A) study estimates the pending legislation could generate nearly $200 million in additional tax revenue for the state each year and create nearly 20,500 jobs throughout Illinois. The study was conducted by Spectrum Gaming Group, a research company, and was paid for by the Illinois Revenue and Jobs Alliance, a consortium of business, gaming, agriculture and racetrack interest advocating for the passage of SB 1849, an Illinois bill which calls for the expansion of gaming.”
-St. Louis Business Journal, April 17, 2012
“The study examined eight crimes and their frequency in the casino counties. Joseph Weinert of the Spectrum Gaming Group dealt with that part of the study and says the crime rates were up. ‘That is to be expected because they draw a lot of visitors from outside the county. So, the more people you have, the more crimes that are going to be committed,’ Weinert explains. ‘However, when you look at the crime rates, they are not adjusted for those extra visitors.’ ”
-Radio Iowa, June 13, 2014
“The opening of two major gambling resorts in Broward and Miami-Dade counties (in Florida) could generate about $1 billion in taxable gambling revenue per year and create 7,618 full-time jobs, under one scenario analyzed in a report to the state Legislature by Spectrum Gaming Group.
-Sun Sentinel, October 1, 2013
Government agencies and regulatory commissions routinely engage Spectrum Gaming Group for myriad services when introducing or expanding casino gambling. Spectrum’s team of former regulators, enforcement agents and attorneys collectively has decades of experience in all aspects of regulation. Our services include:
The Spectrum team has extensive regulatory experience dating back three decades in the opening of casinos. Many members of the team – who had the privilege of serving as regulators for the state of New Jersey – played key roles in the opening of Atlantic City casinos. Spectrum has also been retained to open casinos on behalf of state and tribal regulators, having performed such engagements in West Virginia, Delaware and for the Four Winds Casino in Michigan.
We have evaluated public policy for both the Governor’s office and the House of Representatives in Massachusetts, and for the Connecticut Division of Special Revenue.
We take particular pride in noting that many states and nations that are contemplating casinos will reach out to us to get some candid, professional and independent advice.
Spectrum professionals, for example, testified at a hearing of the New Hampshire Gaming Study Commission, which prompted the following note from Chairman Andy Lietz: “Thank you for extending the courtesy of your time and expertise on the topic of regulatory issues affecting gaming enterprises at the state and federal level. The information you provided was extremely helpful, and your insights into the challenges and opportunities of setting up appropriate regulatory structures early in the process was very valuable.”
We appreciate such testimonials, and note that we have provided valuable testimony to numerous study committees, from the National Gambling Impact Study Commission to the U.S. Congressional Gaming Caucus.
Spectrum is the established worldwide leader in providing due diligence investigations regarding a license applicant’s suitability on behalf of casino gaming regulatory authorities. Our firm has conducted numerous complex and sensitive license investigations that have withstood scrutiny and have engendered unbridled public confidence. Since 1993, Spectrum has provided investigative services regarding casino operators and executives, gaming vendors and casino employees. We perform detailed background checks and investigations to provide gaming regulators and operators with the vital information they need to make critical decisions concerning approvals and associations.
Spectrum has worked for governments from Singapore to Puerto Rico and from Maine to Maryland, providing services maintaining the highest standards of competence, professionalism and integrity. We appreciate the trust that these gaming jurisdictions have placed in our company.
Our staff consists of former senior gaming regulators who played instrumental roles in developing and implementing New Jersey’s time-honored regulatory system. The years of experience and knowledge of gaming regulation and related investigations are unparalleled. Spectrum’s distinguished team offers credibility and expertise in this specialized field.
Managing Director Fredric Gushin has extraordinary experience in this critical discipline, having worked 13 years for the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, where he was promoted to Assistant Director and Assistant Attorney General. At the DGE, Gushin oversaw the openings of 12 Atlantic City casino hotels and managed civil and administrative litigation before the New Jersey Casino Control Commission.
Director of Legal and Regulatory Services Steven Ingis is a former Assistant General Counsel with the New Jersey Casino Control Commission. In that capacity, Ingis managed the Licensing Unit in the Office of the General Counsel, and was responsible for all casino employee and entity licensing matters. During his tenure with Spectrum, Ingis has been the lead attorney assigned to conduct license investigations on behalf of several gaming regulatory agencies.
Our extensive experience includes a recent engagement with the Maryland Lottery Commission to conduct a myriad of suitability investigations with respect to applicants for operator and vendor licenses. The Maine Harness Racing Commission, the Government of Singapore and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico retain Spectrum on a regular and continuing basis to conduct a litany of license investigations. These gaming jurisdictions rely unequivocally upon Spectrum’s impeccable reputation for unyielding independence in the performance of our due diligence services and our company’s demonstrated ability to conduct efficient and comprehensive investigations on an expedited basis.
Trial attorneys, regulators, prosecutors and gaming operators turn to Spectrum Gaming Group and its decades of experience in areas such as support for criminal prosecution, gaming enforcement, game protection and security. As our knowledge of gaming is unparalleled, so is our value to our clients. Spectrum’s array of legal support services includes:
Our work in the field of expert testimony and litigation support is a point of particular pride to us. We make it clear from the outset that we do not – and will not – tailor our findings to anyone’s need. Our conclusions are based on our unmatched blend of experience and hard work.
Our experts have been deposed many times, and have offered testimony in a variety of serious matters. Such work has taken us from court rooms in San Jose, CA to the International Tribunal at the Peace Palace at The Hague. Attorneys and others who prize our candor and work ethic count on Spectrum Gaming Group.
Two examples of our expert witness work are:
Spectrum executives and associates have decades of casino operational and regulatory experience at senior-management levels in multiple jurisdictions, and are equipped to assist with the major tasks essential to:
The following list of tasks is designed to offer some basic guidance as to the nature of the complex task of taking a casino from concept to operation. This process, by definition, requires flexibility to include additional tasks and address unanticipated challenges that will arise during this important process.
Development and Pre-Opening Services
Casino Opening Assistance
Spectrum executives and associates have decades of casino operational experience at senior-management levels in multiple jurisdictions. Whether managing the entire gaming operation on an interim basis, gauging guest satisfaction or correcting performance metrics, we can provide solutions to improve your gaming operations. Our services include:
Spectrum has established a history of working with Tribal Governments and Tribal Gaming Commissions in many ways over the years with the highest degree of integrity, confidentiality and professionalism. Managing Director Fredric Gushin served multiple terms over a 10-year period as a Commissioner with the Oneida Indian Gaming Commission in Verona, NY. Spectrum has been retained by more than 25 Indian Nations to evaluate overall operations of gaming facilities and gaming commissions, perform compliance audits pursuant to the Minimum Internal Control Standards on an outsourced basis, and help focus the tribe’s overall approach to operational and regulatory issues. We have conducted feasibility studies and strategic planning services on behalf of Tribal gaming operating entities and Tribal Governments, and offer an extensive menu of services including:
Spectrum Gaming Group has amassed a highly successful record working with many Indian nations, tribes and organizations, including:
Some of our specific engagements have included:
Technology is revolutionizing casino floors around the world, from cashless systems to server-based gaming. Spectrum Gaming Group is continuously positioned at the cutting edge of new technology, providing services for equipment manufacturers, gaming operators and regulators. Among our services in this field:
Spectrum Gaming Group‘s peer-reviewed white paper on gaming tax policy notes in its opening paragraphs: “The legalization of casino gambling is arguably one of the most critical public policy decisions that state lawmakers will make during their tenure. Such legislation authorizes an entirely new industry that offers a wide range of potential impacts. While lawmakers will pay close attention to many facets of the proposed legislation – from the number of casinos to their locations and licensing requirements – few lawmakers pay close attention to what is arguably the most essential aspect of gaming legislation: the tax rate on gross gaming revenue.
“The tax rate on gaming is the most vital public policy decision that legislators will make, as it offers implications in a variety of areas, including:
“The tax rate will help determine the type of business model that casino operators will pursue, yet it is rarely given the proper level of scrutiny. If anything, decisions related to the tax rate are often based on political considerations. In some cases, the importance of the rate as an engine that will guide long-term policy is simply misunderstood.”
For nearly a decade, Spectrum professionals – due to their background as government officials, as journalists and as operators – have been helping public officials and private operators gain that critical understanding.
Spectrum has worked with the public and private sectors to analyze and craft tax policies to help ensure that casino revenue taxes are designed to best advance public policy. This means policies that encourage capital investment, employment, tourism growth and other policy goals. At the same time, our approach helps states look at gaming through a wide lens by analyzing impacts on all forms of revenue, from employee spending to corporate taxation. Our work has been used in states ranging from New Jersey to Massachusetts to help guide existing and developing tax policies. In November 2010, we presented a peer-reviewed white paper, “Casino Tax Policy: Identifying the Issues that Will Determine the Optimal Rate,” at the National Tax Association 103rd Annual Conference on Taxation, held in Chicago. Thomas A. Garrett, assistant vice president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, reviewed the report and led a discussion on its findings.
In 2003, Spectrum produced a report that helped educate New Jersey officials as to the potential ramifications of a proposed tax increase on gross gaming revenue for casinos in Atlantic City. Due in large measure to the findings in that report, state officials reconsidered that proposal in light of some potential unforeseen consequences.
Five years later, Spectrum produced a comprehensive report for the governor of Massachusetts (available here) that helped officials there understand the overall revenue implications of their proposed tax policy.
We have worked in various states and nations, from Indiana to Korea, on similar projects.
Our analyses are prized, in large measure, because of their objectivity and credibility. For example, our Massachusetts report was praised in editorials by the competing Boston major newspapers (which rarely agree on anything):
- Boston Herald editorial, August 8, 2008
- Boston Globe editorial, August 15, 2008
For a copy of our peer-reviewed white paper, send an email request to firstname.lastname@example.org or call Managing Director Michael Pollock at 609-926-5100.
Spectrum Gaming Group is known globally as an authoritative, independent source for understanding trends in gaming. For six years, we have published our Top 21 trends in gaming and for 16 years, we have published the award-winning Gaming Industry Observer, which identifies tracks and analyzes numerous trends.
Now, we marshal our extensive knowledge of political, demographic, technological, regulatory and competitive trends to help position our clients for the future.
Our team bolsters its own unrivaled knowledge by building a team with our strategic partners. These partners have deep knowledge in all relevant areas, from consumer trends to Internet wagering to casino design and utility costs.
This comprehensive service has been designed to assist operators (commercial and tribal), suppliers and investors by customizing an analysis that meets their particular goals, based on their existing assets and positions.
The service includes identifying both opportunities and challenges. For operators and supplies, it starts with an assessment of:
For investors, we perform a similar, customized analysis that starts with assessing their goals as well.
Our skilled team – with decades of experience in government, operations and other disciplines – works side by side with each client to assess those targets, and then develop strategies to achieve the optimal goals.
On a macro level, we review a variety of shifting trends in everything from potential changes in federal and state legislation to the likelihood of Internet gaming and its implications.
On a micro level, we review the in-state and regional competitive landscape, down to the potential economic shifts in any particular market.
We can help you develop anything from a global strategy to a strategy limited to one state or Indian reservation.
Most important, we work with your in-house team by leveraging your existing talent and knowledge to develop a comprehensive, credible plan that gets you to your goals.
The gaming world is changing rapidly, with different forms of gaming converging as technologies, political priorities and player preferences change. Spectrum Gaming Group has worked with numerous state lotteries and related authorities, including agencies in Delaware, West Virginia, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Georgia and Ohio, to help them analyze where they are, and how to carry out new mandates in this period of rapid change.
We take great pride in the work we perform on behalf of lotteries. Consider what Leon Galls, an independent blogger, wrote about our report for the Georgia Lottery:
“That leaves the Spectrum Group’s study. I thought when I started working through it that it would be just more industry cheerleading. But it wasn’t. It was a sober, professional piece of work full of cautions and qualifications.”
In 2010, Spectrum was honored with a “Governor’s Team Excellence Award” certificate issued by Delaware Gov. Jack Markell for our work in helping to implement table games.
Services for lotteries include:
As Internet gaming comes closer to reality in the United States, and as lotteries face calls for private management of their operations, they need Spectrum and its suite of services more than ever.
In 2012 the Massachusetts State Lottery Commission retained Spectrum as their Internet advisor to provide expert advice as to whether it should consider offering online wagering and, if so, how it could proceed. The Lottery – the most successful in the United States on a per capita basis – required Spectrum to develop recommendations that would protect the interests of its 7,400 retailers while simultaneously preserving the value of forthcoming casino licenses. Spectrum produced a detailed report that is serving as a blueprint for all relevant aspects as to how the Lottery should venture carefully and methodically into online gambling.
To read this seminal report click HERE.
Spectrum has also worked with the Georgia Lottery to project revenues from VLTs and to suggest the parameters of an effective regulatory structure. In both Delaware and West Virginia, we helped those two state lotteries add table games to their existing VLT offerings. Spectrum associates have also been closely involved in primary research exploring the relative appeal of lottery games as well as effectively marketing new lottery products.