I’m proud to report that 2018 was another successful year for the Global Gaming Expo (G2E)—the world’s premier international gaming trade show and educational program hosted by the American Gaming Association (AGA).
Coming into G2E 2018, we were encouraged by the fast growth of G2E Asia, which was the largest to date in both size and attendance with more than 16,000 people joining us from 89 countries and regions. The success of G2E Asia points to the show’s growth as a signature event for the industry around the world to highlight innovation, reconnect and network with gaming-entertainment professionals, prepare for the evolving market and find a wide array of tools to boost business operations.
Last month’s G2E in Las Vegas continued this success with more than 30,000 attendees and 300-plus exhibitors representing all segments of the diverse gaming industry. Innovation was a key theme throughout the expo, from the dynamic talks at the third annual Innovation Lab to new products unveiled by our exhibitors and the first-ever Innovation Incubator at G2E.
The Innovation Incubator was one of attendees’ favorite events of the expo, with four students and startups—Inside Injuries, Shield Card Shoe, Vegas Doorstop and Window Magic—pitching their best business ideas in gaming and hospitality to stars of ABC’s Shark Tank, Kevin O’Leary and Daymond John, and fellow business mogul Cindy Eckert (Whitehead), CEO of The Pink Ceiling and founder of Sprout Pharmaceuticals.
The judges awarded one finalist $10,000 and a booth at next year’s G2E, and the audience awarded an additional booth to their favorite business pitch, which they chose by voting on their phones.
This year’s G2E also featured the expo’s first Sports Betting Symposium, complete with a keynote address from ESPN anchor Scott Van Pelt, a show floor tour of exhibitors’ sports betting products and several days of education covering all aspects of the sports betting sector. As state legislatures come back into session and consider whether to establish legal, regulated sports betting markets in the coming months, the lessons learned at G2E’s Sports Betting Symposium will be invaluable.
We could not have had such a banner year for the Global Gaming Expo without the support of the entire gaming industry. It’s a pleasure to bring together the casino gaming sector to network, collaborate and reflect on the industry’s great progress during G2E, and we look forward to building upon this year’s success to create an even better expo next year.