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A New Era

Next year, the industry will experience a seismic shift when Global Gaming Expo moves to October and also to a new location, the Sands Expo Center.

A New Era

If it’s November, it must be G2E.

That’s the last time I’m going to be able to write that sentence. Next year, the industry will experience a seismic shift when Global Gaming Expo moves to October and also to a new location, the Sands Expo Center. While much will be written about these changes over the next year—within these pages most likely—I’d prefer to spend my time looking back on the past 10 years and what G2E has meant to the gaming industry.

Let’s do a little recap of how G2E came to be. In the late 1990s, the major casino trade show was called the World Gaming Congress. When the American Gaming Association was born in the mid-’90s, the organizers of WGC had smartly included the organization as a participant and a partner. The show thrived as the industry grew. But when the AGA asked for a better deal on the show, the organizers balked for some reason. Unable to reach an agreement, the AGA sought a new partner for its own trade show, bringing in Reed Exhibitions to be the operating participant.

Global Gaming Expo was born in 2001, only months after the 9/11 tragedy, not really an auspicious beginning. The first two years were not pretty. The World Gaming Congress limped along for a while until it petered out. Our magazine was launched to help get out the word about G2E, and the show started growing right from the start.

The AGA’s motto—“by the industry, for the industry”—guaranteed that G2E would be like nothing seen in gaming before. The show was unusually responsive to its exhibitors and attendees right from the start. When G2E also reached a partnership with the Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers, there was a unique collaboration between operators and vendors rarely seen in any industry.

The conference program was set up to provide the information necessary to improve the job performance of its attendees rather than become simply promotional opportunities for the highest bidders. Through the years, the quality of speakers has been unparalleled, and this year more than 400 experts will provide the best and most current information to conference attendees.

But of course, even today, the stars of the show are the slot machines. What amazed us in 2001 are today considered antiques (although to hear some analysts cry about the replacement cycle, you have to believe that some of these machines are still performing on the casino floor somewhere).  

You will clearly be floored by this year’s displays on the exhibit floor. Global Gaming Business Editor Frank Legato never fails to surprise me when he turns in his review of all the new slot products you’ll see at G2E in the special “Global Games” story in this month’s edition. And he squeezes it all into 22,000 words!

Frank is clearly the “king of all slots.” His unmatched expertise, combined with his clever writing style, makes Global Games a must-read for anyone planning to attend G2E or even anyone who can’t make it. Slots drive this business, and by reading Global Games, you’ll be up to date on all the new titles, cabinets and special effects that will appear on the casino floors in the upcoming year.

And what would G2E be without the networking functions and the parties where you can catch up with your friends and colleagues while unwinding after a hard day on the exhibit floor? We’ve become so familiar with the Las Vegas Convention Center, where the show is divided between several halls, that when next year’s show at the Sands Expo Center is all contained in one giant room, and we’re already on the Strip, the dynamics of networking (and partying!) will change tremendously.

So enjoy the 10th annual Global Gaming Expo. I know I’ll be somewhat nostalgic when the show wraps on Thursday, but there’s no question I’ll be looking forward to the new and exciting era for G2E that begins in its second decade.

Roger Gros is publisher of Global Gaming Business, the industry's leading gaming trade publication, and all its related publications. Prior to joining Global Gaming Business, Gros was president of Inlet Communications, an independent consulting firm. He was vice president of Casino Journal Publishing Group from 1984-2000, and held virtually every editorial title during his tenure. Gros was editor of Casino Journal, the National Gaming Summary and the Atlantic City Insider, and was the founding editor of Casino Player magazine. He was a co-founder of the American Gaming Summit and the Southern Gaming Summit conferences and trade shows. He is the author of the best-selling book, How to Win at Casino Gambling (Carlton Books, 1995), now in its fourth edition. Gros was named "Businessman of the Year" for 1998 by the Greater Atlantic City Chamber of Commerce, and received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Gaming Association in 2012.

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