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 Gaming Industry Chief Information Officers Form "Special Interest
Group" Within the HTNG Organization; Will Address 
Interopoerability Issues Unique to Casino Hotels

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LAS VEGAS (May 25, 2005) -- Hotel Technology Next Generation (HTNG) and a group of gaming industry Chief Information Officers announced today a new "Special Interest Group" that will operate within the HTNG organizational structure, but that will focus on gaming systems..

"Gaming is an important part of the hospitality industry, but their requirements go well beyond those of most hotels," said Douglas Rice, Executive Director of HTNG.  "The gaming CIOs wanted to find a way to leverage HTNG's collaboration model to address issues that are unique to casinos.  At the same time, they recognized that many gaming systems need to connect with hotel systems, and they felt that aligning with HTNG would ensure a better result.  Our Board worked very hard to find a formula that would meet their needs without diluting our own core mission of addressing hotels' technology integration requirements."

The HTNG Gaming Special Interest Group (SIG) was announced by four of the founding CIOs in the keynote panel at the Gaming Technology Summit today.   Glenn Bonner, CIO of MGM Mirage and a Director of HTNG, explained that "the SIG is in effect a mini-HTNG, with its own Executive Committee, that will operate within the legal structure of HTNG but that will focus on gaming industry technology requirements.  The Gaming SIG can set its own priorities and form its own workgroups.  Issues that are purely gaming-related will be under the purview of the Gaming Special Interest Group.  Problem sets that overlap both gaming and hotels will be coordinated by the HTNG board and the Gaming SIG Executive Committee."

The initial Executive Committee of the HTNG Gaming SIG will include five of the founding CIOs:

  • Marshall Andrew, Vice President & CIO, Station Casinos
  • Glenn Bonner, CIO and Corporate Vice President, MGM Mirage
  • Mike Day, Information Services Director, Kewadin Casinos
  • Dan Ives, Vice President & CIO, Golden Nugget
  • Tim Stanley, Senior Vice President & CIO, Harrah's Entertainment
Membership in the HTNG Gaming SIG is open to all HTNG members.  As is the case with HTNG's board, participation in the SIG's governing Executive Committee will be open only to hospitality company technology executives.  The Gaming SIG will also have the right to nominate one candidate to serve on the HTNG Board of Directors.  An annual assessment will apply to HTNG members who wish to participate in the Gaming SIG.  The assessment structure will be finalized after review by the HTNG Board of Directors at its June meeting; the SIG Executive Committee is recommending initial annual assessments that are approximately 50% of HTNG's regular annual dues.

Commenting on the decision of the gaming CIOs to align with HTNG, Tim Stanley, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Harrah's Entertainment, Inc., said, "While most gaming companies operate hotels, they also face scores of technology issues that the hotel industry does not share, and we felt we needed a forum that could focus on them.  We looked at creating an organization similar to HTNG, but it was clear that it would take us years to do something on our own.  By working with HTNG, we can take advantage of the critical mass that they have already achieved, and share organizational infrastructure and costs.  In the hotel industry, HTNG has dealt with many of the same issues that we face in gaming, and has developed successful approaches for achieving real progress.  We are delighted that the HTNG board embraced the idea of expanding their focus, in a way that gives us the autonomy to address our own unique issues and opportunities such as regulatory compliance, player tracking, and comping."

HTNG's Board of Directors voted on May 20 to amend the organization's By-Laws to enable the creation of Special Interest Groups.  A second vote then created the Gaming SIG.  "Gaming was the immediate opportunity, but the Board recognized that it might not be the only one.  So we created a general approach to SIGs that would accommodate Gaming but that could also be used for other focused sectors in the future," said HTNG Executive Director Douglas Rice.  "If and when the need arises, HTNG could apply the same approach to cruise, resorts, food service, or other specialized areas."

"This approach allows HTNG to continue to grow rapidly, and will help us to be able to fund the type of permanent organization that will enable us to achieve our mission," said Rice.  "We have been able to keep HTNG's membership dues at a small fraction of those assessed by similar organizations, including standards bodies operating in the travel and hospitality space.  Broad participation is the key to keeping our dues low, and we believe that focused efforts such as the Gaming SIG are an effective way to get more hospitality companies and technology vendors engaged with our efforts."

About Hotel Technology Next Generation

The premier technology solutions association in the hospitality industry, HTNG is a self-funded, non-profit organization with members from hotel and hospitality companies, technology vendors to hospitality, and other industry members including consultants, media, and academic experts.  HTNG's members participate in focused workgroups to bring open solution-sets addressing specific business problems to the hospitality market. 

Membership in HTNG is open to hotel and hospitality companies, technology vendors to hospitality, consultants, academics, press and others.   Currently more than 200 companies and individuals from across this spectrum are active HTNG members.  Workgroup proceedings, drafts, and specifications are published for all HTNG members as soon as they are created, encouraging rapid and broad adoption.  For more information, visit www.htng.org.

Contact:

 Hotel Technology Next Generation
Douglas Rice
Executive Director
douglas.rice@htng.org
+1 847 348 1148
+44 207 101 9358
www.htng.org

Also See: Hotel Technology Next Generation Creates Workgroup Aimed Squarely at the Guest Room of the Future / September 2004
HTNG In-Room Technology Group Sets Goals for First Phase Deliverables; Deployment of Telephony, Entertainment Systems, and Guest Internet Access on a Common Network Infrastructure / December 2004


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