The upcoming 12th edition of Global Gaming Expo (G2E) Asia, a casino industry trade show and conference, will feature as a keynote speaker Lawrence Ho Yau Lung, chairman and chief executive of Asian casino developer Melco Resorts and Entertainment Ltd. The organisers of the event, to be held in Macau, also expect to see an increase in the number of trade buyers and general visitors.
So said chief operating officer of Reed Exhibitions Greater China, Josephine Lee, at a media preview on Wednesday. G2E Asia – jointly organised by the American Gaming Association and Reed Exhibitions – will take place at the Venetian Macao casino resort on May 15 to 17.
The conference portion of the event will include “updates on regional developments”, and “practical… insights” relevant to Asian gaming operators’ businesses, the event organisers additionally said in a press handout. Each day of the conference will have a separate theme, namely: the future of gaming; integrated resorts; and digital content and technology.
Ms Lee said on the sidelines of Wednesday’s briefing that day one of the conference would feature markets including the Philippines, Russia, Japan and Vietnam. She added that Lawrence Ho’s keynote on day one would deal with the development of his gaming brand Melco and overall business trends in Asia.
The second day of the conference programme – themed on integrated resorts – would include topics such as: changes seen in Macau’s business environment; how technology helps integrated resorts appeal more to mass customers, and how to enhance customers’ loyalty.
Ms Lee also noted an anticipated increase in the number of high-quality trade buyers for the 2018 edition of G2E Asia. She said 1,800 buyers had pre-registered for the “Privileges Programme” – a package of amenities and business-matching services targeting key buyers and senior-level decision makers from the gaming and entertainment industry. At last year’s edition, a total of 1,600 such individuals attended.
The trade show is to feature over 580 pre-arranged business meetings. The organisers are anticipating 17,000 local and international visitors, which would represent a 31 percent increase compared to the visitor tally at 13,000 seen in last year’s edition.
The exhibition space of the upcoming edition of G2E Asia will span 37,000 square metres (398,265 sq feet), 32 percent more than that of the previous edition. The exhibition space is already 95 percent sold, according to the organisers.
The trade show will host more than 220 exhibitors, of which around 20 percent are first-time exhibitors, according to Ms Lee.
Margaret Huang, gaming and lodging analyst at Bloomberg, who attended Wednesday’s lookahead, said investors were “very optimistic” on Asia gaming markets. The operators of Macau and Philippines have been the leading drivers of trade of the top Asia casino stocks that the Bloomberg Intelligence unit has analysed, she added.
In contrast to Macau’s gaming market, the Philippines was more mass-market focused – with new projects planned in holiday areas away from Manila and expansion of hotel room and junkets room capacity in existing venues – that would help accelerate the growth of the market, Ms Huang said. Despite possible cannibalisation in the gaming market of the Philippines, the Bloomberg analyst believed that the jurisdiction, being “dependent upon the domestic market”, would remain strong over the next few years.
A novelty at G2E Asia 2018 will be a Digital Content and Technology segment, for gaming software, online game development and technology providers, payment solutions and database management systems. The segment is also to include a full-day forum dedicated exclusively to digital content technology.
There will also be a “New Games Experience Tour”, where electronic gaming machine manufacturers will assign specific time slots for selected, pre-registered visitors to try out their new games.
A further 2018 addition to the trade show is an event called Asia Lottery Expo & Forum, which will be held concurrently to the main G2E Asia exhibition and conference. It is described as a networking platform “exclusively designed for lottery professionals” and will feature seminars led by members of the China Lottery Industry Salon Experts Committee and other industry representatives, according to a previous official release from the organisers.
The trade show will also feature the inaugural edition of the G2E Asia Awards, organised by industry publication Inside Asian Gaming. The awards dinner will be held on the first day of the trade show.
"The positive underlying contribution from each of our operating segments provides a strong start to the year"
Chief executive of lottery and gaming supplier IGT