The supply chain in the country’s casino industry hasn’t returned to normal since the COVID-19 pandemic. Equipment manufacturers and gaming operators are still facing glitches in obtaining things like slot machines’ bed sheets and computer parts.
Steve Neely, Rolling Hills Casino’s general manager, stated that they are having challenges, and operators need to be patient as they create possible solutions for their problems. But, this isn’t a piece of cake as the industry is fast-paced.
October 2022’s Global Gaming Expo (G2E) that occurred in Las Vegas pleased many local casino operators as the high-tech offerings and slot machines displayed are available now. Skyelar Perkins, Choctaw Casinos and Resorts slot operations senior director, stated that this year’s G2E has more content. He commented on an online discussion that Todd Eilers from Eilers & Krejcik Gaming helmed.
Mike Gatten, MGM Resorts International Senior Vice President for slot strategy, said that delays have stopped being prolonged and normalcy might return soon. IGT said in a statement that most of the solutions and products showcased in the Expo will be available by mid-2023 or are currently available.
Boyd Opted to Airlift Vital Supplies to Build Sky River Casino
Sky River is the newest Californian casino in Elk Grove and was a perfect supply chain case study in the region. The facility cost $500 million, and it was developed in collaboration with the Wilton Rancheria band of Mi-Wok Indians.
Frank Scharadin, Boyd’s Vice President of procurement and supply chain, stated that they had to airlift the casino’s carpet. Typically, an operator uses a boat for such cargo, but they had limited time hence choosing to be flown from the United Kingdom.
Boyd bought second-hand equipment as a backup to substitute the new equipment he ordered in case it was delayed. Scharadin stated that they had to plug in something that would light up the slot machines.
The Pandemic, Labor Shortages, and Chinese Policies Have Adversely Affected Logistics
The global health crisis is the main cause of the supply chain challenges witnessed in the country. Many companies globally were forced to shut down, and many container ships stalled in ports.
The huge snarl up of cargo ships in China affected other countries as the shipping industry didn’t move all products on time. But, this issue is also in moving products in the country due to soaring fuel costs and the trucking industry’s labor shortage.
Scharadin added that companies such as Heinz failed to make some deliveries as they had few experienced drivers to move products. Slot manufacturers are struggling since 2020 to deliver new machines due to an acute shortage of chips. Steve Sutherland, Konami president and CEO, told Frank Fantini from Fantini Research that the past six months have been hectic.
Things are gradually improving due to solutions like modifying circuit boards to increase the availability of chips. Sutherland stated that the supply chain hitches might end by December 2023.
Executives didn’t raise the supply challenges in the MGM, VICI Properties, Gaming and Leisure Properties, Bally’s, and Las Vegas Sands’ press conferences to announce their earnings. But, some of them, like Stephen Cootey from Red Rock Resorts, addressed the challenges while downplaying concerns.
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