October brought a significant milestone in our industry’s recovery: for the first time in 720 days, the Global Gaming Expo (G2E) returned to Las Vegas to reunite the gaming industry, conduct business, and strengthen our future.
The return of G2E to Las Vegas was the culmination of nearly 20 months of demanding work by the entire gaming industry to responsibly reopen under unprecedented conditions and an uncertain future. These efforts can be summed up in one word, and what I believe was the theme of G2E 2021: resilience.
Because of our resilience, gaming’s future is no longer in question. Commercial gaming is on pace to set an all-time high in 2021 with revenue up in nearly every commercial gaming state and category. Tribal gaming is on the rebound, and casino suppliers’ pipelines are full again.
We were fortunate to have Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak and Nevada Congresswoman Dina Titus speak to gaming’s recovery at G2E, with a specific focus on Nevada—still the heartbeat of our industry. Walking down the Strip and through the city’s resorts, you could feel the energy has returned that makes Vegas the entertainment capital of the world.
We also welcomed Hard Rock and Seminole Gaming’s Jim Allen, MGM Resorts International’s Bill Hornbuckle, and Wynn Resorts’ Matt Maddox to the G2E keynote stage, where they discussed their optimism for the future of gaming. The American Gaming Association’s inaugural Gaming CEO Outlook, released during G2E, showed that gaming CEOs share their optimism, reporting high confidence in sustained industry growth into 2022. The positive outlook is driven by favorable economic conditions and anticipated new hiring, wage growth, and capital investment—welcome news not just for gaming but for the communities across the country that rely on our success.
From the keynote stage to the education sessions and show floor, many other of the biggest topics in gaming were discussed at this year’s show: the sustainable growth of legal sports betting; iGaming, casinos, and omnichannel marketing; the gaming industry’s ESG efforts with a focus on prioritizing diversity and inclusion; the acceleration of casino payments modernization; the latest in responsible gaming and how to continue to strengthen these critical initiatives; and much more.
But most importantly, more than 13,000 industry professionals came together to get business done at G2E—something that’s just not the same on Zoom. Exhibitors arrived on the expo floor ready to present their newest innovations to key buyers who came ready to make deals. The outcomes of these conversations will undoubtedly serve as a catalyst to further invigorate gaming’s recovery.
In the end, we left G2E 2021 even more unified as an industry. We proved our recovery isn’t just a foundation, but a launching pad. The future of gaming is now, and I couldn’t be prouder to be part of this great industry and what we accomplished together at G2E 2021.