They say there’s no time like the present, and for the gaming industry, that’s absolutely true. All over the world, gaming is growing, moving into new jurisdictions and evolving to provide a broader, more dynamic range of entertainment and hospitality offerings. The industry exists today as it never has before, and industry leaders already have an eye toward the future, determined to discover and define exactly what will shape the next generation of gaming worldwide.
Created by the industry, for the industry more than five years ago, Global Gaming Expo (G2E) has grown and evolved with the industry each year to encapsulate the latest trends, newest products and current, critical issues affecting gaming professionals in every aspect of their work. G2E 2006 continues this tradition by offering more than 750 exhibitors featuring the products, technologies and services that are changing the very nature of gaming entertainment, more than 100 conference sessions focused on everything from international expansion to detailed examinations of day-to-day operations, and unparalleled networking opportunities that bring together the leading minds in gaming from around the globe.
Here in the U.S., gaming entertainment has taken on a decidedly new look in recent years. Golf courses, big-name entertainment productions, day spas, restaurants and high-end shopping – once seen only at casino resorts in Las Vegas – now are popping up in other gaming jurisdictions across the country, and it’s become increasingly clear that casinos from coast to coast must incorporate these top-rated non-gaming amenities to remain competitive. As the amenities trend continues to gain momentum, G2E each year is incorporating more information and resources to keep gaming professionals ahead of the curve.
G2E 2006 will mark the third year of F&B at G2E, a culinary marketplace featuring celebrity chef competitions and demonstrations, special events, and exhibitors highlighting the latest trends and products in the increasingly important food and beverage sector. The show floor at G2E 2006 also will include new exhibit pavilions featuring products and vendors specializing in entertainment and event production and entertainment technology. And Tuesday’s keynote address will feature writer and humorist Dave Barry as he shares his unique perspective on today’s gaming entertainment industry.
The changing look of gaming entertainment also is due, in part, to the proliferation of new gaming technologies. In fact, due to its increasing importance to industry operations and manufacturing, technology will be the focus of this year’s Future Watch survey, the results of which will be revealed on the Tuesday of G2E in the session G2E Future Watch: Technology and the Drive for Improved Customer Experience. The G2E show floor – featuring its widest selection of products yet – also will showcase the latest innovations in special pavilions dedicated to technology, interactive gaming and more.
At the global level, perhaps nowhere has the growth of gaming been more explosive than in Asia, and particularly in Macau, where some experts predict revenues will exceed those in Las Vegas as early as next year. Earlier this year, we announced the creation of G2E Asia, a trade show and conference event modeled after our flagship show in Vegas that will debut next June in Macau.
Thankfully you won’t have to wait until 2007 to learn about the rise of Asian gaming markets or the future outlook for international expansion, as these topics both will feature prominently at G2E 2006. In the Wednesday keynote, State of the Industry: The Next Generation of Global Gaming, I will sit down with a panel of global industry leaders to discuss the trends and developments around the world that will impact the industry in 2007 and beyond. And this year’s conference will introduce a new Global Boardroom Series with sessions focusing on gaming developments in different geographic regions worldwide. In addition, the show floor at G2E 2006 is on track to feature more international exhibitors displaying their products on more square footage than ever before.
As always, G2E’s dedicated Native American programming will track the growth and evolution of tribal gaming as it continues to evolve at a rapid pace. G2E 2006 will feature the tribal gaming-focused keynote, Tribal Gaming Summit: The Future of Indian Gaming, and will incorporate conference sessions on everything from financing to marketing that are tailored to meet the unique needs of tribal gaming professionals.
The expansion and diversification of the industry on an international level also has brought a heightened focus to important industrywide issues such as responsible gaming. That’s why this year G2E will for the first time partner with the National Center for Responsible Gaming (NCRG) to host the NCRG’s seventh annual Conference on Gambling and Addiction directly preceding G2E. Responsible gaming continues to be a paramount priority throughout the global gaming community, and teaming with the NCRG will allow G2E to provide a unique opportunity to advance discussion and collaboration on this important issue. The NCRG conference will take place Nov. 12-14 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
Whether you’re visiting the packed show floor, attending expert-led conference sessions or taking advantage of all the incredible networking opportunities G2E has to offer, you’re sure to find exactly what you’re looking for at G2E 2006. Remember, there really is no time like the present, so register today for G2E 2006 and the NCRG conference at www.globalgamingexpo.com, and ensure your place in the next generation of global gaming. I’ll see you in Las Vegas this November.