- Monthly - this magazine is very timely
- Established leader in casino gaming journalism
- Establishes monthly theme and builds articles to fit theme
- Accurate and informative
- Columnists are occasionally uninspired
- Readers are inundated with advertising
- Casino Journal is celebrating its 25 Anniversary as a monthly magazine
- 8x11, full-color, 50+- pages
- Published by bnp Publications as Casino Journal
Guide Review - 'Casino Journal' by bnp Publications - Magazine Review
Casino Journal presents an overview of the casino and gaming industry with a slick monthly publication. New products are often featured, allowing gaming insiders a chance to review new slots and table games they might have missed at the last gaming summit or trade show. However, as with any publication these days, articles are sometimes release-driven, meaning the magazine often has several new advertisements for the products it is reviewing, giving readers a questionable view of the veracity of the articles.
This is not to say that the articles are slanted to appease the advertisers, but they often lead the release of the products, which means most of the information is simply regurgitated spiel from the manufacturers.
Unfortunately, this is the case with any media outlet that wishes to scoop the competition, and in that regard, Casino Journal is often first with the news. However, again, as with any magazine in production in this era, advertising certainly leads the way, especially with regard to new slot machines.
Fortunately, the content is usually quite timely, and helps decision makers at gaming properties keep up with the competition. In fact, the June issue shown in the cover shot lists the Top 20 Most Innovative Gaming Technology Products of 2011, a boon for any casino industry executive, and not found in other gaming magazines.
Although informed, aggressive managers at today's casinos are likely to have a firm grasp of innovations in their field, sometimes new products just get by them, as manufacturers like IGT unveil several new slot products each year.
With the heavy competition from more and more casino locations in the world, every gaming manager risks missing quality products that their competitors may have already put on the casino floor. Casino Journal's monthly updates help managers hear about quality products, and the current issue lists more than just popular slots. Several IT products are also listed, including TYM - Table Game Yield Management from Tangam Systems, that managers may not have heard about. I also enjoyed reading about HostMAPP, Harvest Trends analytics for measuring the activity, productivity, and potential of player development executives and casino hosts.
While nearly every casino in the US uses a player tracking system, the ability to integrate the information it tracks with a system that quantifies a hosts success with guests is a unique approach to data gathering. I'm intrigued by the possibilities.
Casino Journal also presents monthly columnists, but as with any writers, sometimes the message is too watered down. Marketing author Dennis Conrad, a respected speaker and consultant who often has solid advice for readers, presents these gems as "principles" of casino marketing in the June issue: "Having great casino food is better marketing than having lousy casino food. And having good customer service is better than having bad or none at all." Fortunately, the advice that follows those words in his column are indeed the absolute truth in marketing, including the idea that casinos should "Turn all employees into marketers and have them be on the same page." That's something I can agree with!