One of the organisers of Global Gaming Expo (G2E) Asia, a gaming-related trade show and conference taking place annually in Macau, says there are no plans to move the event elsewhere.
“G2E Asia is rooted in Macau, and G2E Asia is going to stay in Macau,” Josephine Lee, chief operating officer of Reed Exhibitions Greater China, told GGRAsia in an email.
Her clarification came after industry rumours the event could be moving to Manila in the Philippines, following regulatory restrictions imposed on G2E Asia 2018 limiting the type of online gaming content authorised for display.
Online gaming is a legal and regulated business in the Philippines. Online gaming is illegal in Macau; but exhibitors at previous editions of G2E Asia or rival trade show Macao Gaming Show had never reported limitations to showcasing product and services for this sector. Both trade shows are attended by trade visitors from a number of jurisdictions, some of which allow forms of online gaming.
Gaming industry intelligence provider GamblingCompliance reported last week that the restrictions on online gaming had also impacted the conference track of G2E Asia 2018. It added – quoting Ms Lee – that the limitations on online gaming content at the event were directly discussed between the organisers and Macau’s gaming regulator, the Macau Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau.
G2E Asia took place in Macau from May 15 to 17.
The event made its debut at Macau Tower Convention and Entertainment Centre in 2007. The three-day, annual trade show and conference, organised by the American Gaming Association and Reed Exhibitions, has been taking place at the Venetian Macao since 2008.
G2E Asia 2019 is already scheduled to take place in Macau, from May 21 to May 23, according to information from the organisers.
In her comments to GGRAsia, Ms Lee confirmed there had been restrictions imposed on the type of online gaming content exhibitors were able to showcase at this year’s G2E Asia.
“While there [were] restrictions on live online casino operations and demonstrations at the show, there [was] no less [no reduction in] online gaming content… on display on the show floor,” she said. That included “games, gaming software, platforms, backend and payment systems that serve the gaming industry,” Ms Lee added.
The Reed Exhibitions executive noted that – despite the restrictions on online casino operations content – the size of the overall exhibition floor at G2E Asia 2018 was up 30 percent compared with the prior year’s edition.
“We are happy to work closely with the Macau SAR government to develop G2E Asia as the annual key networking and sourcing platform for the Asian gaming-entertainment industry,” Ms Lee said. “We will keep diversifying the event’s content with gaming and non-gaming elements to serve the industry’s needs,” she added.
Ms Lee also confirmed G2E Asia 2018 had set a new record in terms of attendance to the event. “We are thrilled by the event’s attendees turnout of 16,358 this year, well over our expected 15,000 visitors. This represents a significant growth of 17.24 percent from last year’s [edition],” she said.
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”China has been strengthening the control over capital flow, and the impact of that has already been reflected [on Macau’s gaming revenue trend]. There should not be any bigger impact from the new… legislation [on the mainland] … on the gaming revenue trend here”
Wilfred Wong Ying Wai
President of Macau casino operator Sands China