The Macau-produced casino industry trade exhibition and conference known as MGS Entertainment Show, has adopted a new name in Chinese for this year’s edition. In that language it is being referred to by a name that translates as the “2018 Macau Leisure Technology Show”.
The annual MGS event, first held in 2013, was originally known as the “Macao Gaming Show,” and was initially presented as a localised alternative to Global Gaming Expo Asia, a trade event usually held annually in May by Reed Exhibitions and the American Gaming Association, a casino industry trade body.
The renaming exercise for this year’s MGS marks its transition to a “more technology focused” trade show, said Jay Chun, chairman of its primary promoter the Macau Gaming Equipment Manufacturers Association (MGEMA).
Mr Chun, who is also the chairman of Hong Kong-listed gaming equipment and casino services firm Paradise Entertainment Ltd, made the remarks to media during a Monday press conference. It was called to preview MGS Entertainment Show 2018 – as it will be known in English – which is due to be held from November 13 to 15 at the Venetian Macao’s Cotai Expo.
The trade show is being jointly organised this year with China’s state-owned enterprises Nam Kwong Culture and Creativity Industry Co Ltd, and China National Machinery Industry International Co Ltd.
“Macau’s policy has been about diversifying,” said Mr Chun, referring to the local economy, which has been dependent on casino business. China’s central government has been encouraging change in that regard.
“We’re not only providing [a display] of gaming equipment to casinos, but also the show will feature non-gaming products, which have been increasingly sought after from many integrated resorts,” Mr Chun said during the press briefing. He added that e-Sports was an example of these non-gaming offerings.
“For the existing exhibitors, they welcome our change… their feedback has been positive and supportive,” Mr Chun remarked regarding responses he said the organisers had collected on the rebranding in Chinese of the trade show.
The non-gaming aspect of the event will include the three-day conference “Sina Global Digital and Entertainment Future Summit 2018”, an event that is to be held under partnership with China’s tech firm Sina Corp. The topics of the summit cover e-Sports, blockchain technology, so-called augmented reality – also known as AR – and virtual reality – known as VR – as well as intellectual properties of games.
The new partnership with the state-owned firms is for three years, according to Mr Chun. He added that both companies are specialists in organising exhibitions and conferences.
The 2018 event has so far had confirmations from more than 120 exhibitors according to information provided by MGEMA.
As in previous years there will be conference sessions. The major topics of MGS Summit 2018 include a review of the Macau gaming concessions, the business opportunities for so-called integrated resorts in Japan, and gaming equipment makers’ views on the Asian markets.
Paulo Martins Chan, the director of Macau’s casino regulator, the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, is scheduled to speak on a panel at the conference. The topic will be Macau’s public concessions for gaming and the session will be moderated by local legislator and scholar Davis Fong Ka Chio.
“For that session, we are also inviting some Macau lawmakers and consultants. It will be about their opinions and review [on Macau gaming industry] in the past 20 years, the related law and what needs to be modified,” Mr Chun said.
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"The casinos have to operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The decision [to suspend casino operations] is up to the government. As of now, we don’t have any plan to change the existing regulations"
Lei Wai Nong
Macau Secretary for Economy and Finance