A straw poll of casino industry suppliers active in the Asia-Pacific region by GGRAsia has indicated support in general terms for the postponement until July 28 to 30 of the Global Gaming Expo (G2E) Asia 2020 casino trade exhibition and conference in Macau – that had been scheduled for May – due to the global coronavirus alert.
There were however some concerns even among those agreeing. Several respondents also indicated it might be hard for them to attend the second scheduled Macau-based casino trade show and conference of the year – MGS Entertainment Show 2020 – fewer than four months after the rejigged 2020 version of G2E Asia.
One supplier told us it did not wish to see G2E Asia held at all this year, and intended to avoid the rescheduled event and MGS Entertainment Show 2020.
G2E Asia, organised by Reed Exhibitions and the American Gaming Association, a casino trade body, has been held annually in Macau – typically in May or early June – since 2007. MGS Entertainment Show, organised by the Macau Gaming Equipment Manufacturers’ Association – and originally known as the Macao Gaming Show – has been held annually in the autumn; usually in November, since 2013.
Michael Hu, president Asia-Pacific for Interblock, a Slovenian casino games maker, told GGRAsia the firm approved the decision to reschedule G2E 2020. “It is still the most important show event in Asia,” he explained to us.
Asked if Interblock would be attending G2E Asia 2020, he added: “At this present moment, yes. We are meantime closely monitoring the virus situation in [South] Korea, Japan etc.”
Regarding MGS Entertainment Show 2020, the executive said: “There is less chance for MGS, I think, because in early November there will be G2E in Manila too which was a huge success 2019.” The latter was a reference to a new Philippine show under the G2E branding, which had its inaugural edition in 2019.
Last year’s Manila event was branded as G2E Asia @ the Philippines, and included a keynote speech from Andrea Domingo, the chairman of the casino regulator in that country, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor).
Shortly after the first edition, Reed Exhibitions told us that a second version for 2020 was “under consideration”.
Michael Cheers, International Game Technology Plc (IGT) sales director for Asia, told GGRAsia regarding the rejig of G2E Asia 2020, and confirming IGT’s attendance: “We approve the change of date to July, and trust that business will be starting to return to normal by July.”
He also confirmed that it would be possible for IGT to attend MGS Entertainment Show 2020.
Angela Ng, marketing manager for Singapore-based casino equipment supplier Weike Gaming Technology (S) Pte Ltd, said concerning G2E Asia 2020: “Yes, we agree it should be postponed due to the Covid-19 situation, as there are lots of uncertainties, slowing down of activities, reduction of spending, discomfort in travelling etc which would highly affect the event turn-up rate if it were held too soon: in May 2020.”
She added: “We are likely to proceed with the show, however, at the same time [we are] observing Covid-19’s development which may impact our degree of involvement for this G2E Asia event.”
Regarding MGS Entertainment Show in November, she noted on behalf of Weike: “It would be challenging for us to consider holding two events within four months under the uncertain Covid-19 situation, and [with ] limited [consumer] interest in gaming activities/spending in the near term. There is a chance we might not attend as exhibitor but as a visitor.”
One supplier that declined to be identified by name, told GGRAsia regarding G2E Asia 2020: “Yes, we approve of cancelling the May show date. Our first concern is for the health and safety of our employees and we feel it would be putting our employees at risk by planning to do the show in May.”
But asked whether the company could confirm attendance the person noted: “We also feel that the rescheduled date is too soon so we are waiting to see how the situation develops before we fully commit to the July date.”
In relation to MGS Entertainment Show 2020, the person said: “We have long believed that one show in Macau is more than sufficient given the number of operators in the region. As many of our employees are U.S. based, no, we would not want to send our team to both shows within four months of each other.”
Albert Radman, sales director of Slovenian casino equipment manufacturer Alfastreet, gave a succinct answer to the informal poll.
He stated: “We do not approve having the [G2E Asia] show at all this year. We will not attend: this year we will skip both [Macau] shows.”
GGRAsia also approached a number of other suppliers seeking comment, but had had not received replies from them by the time this story went online.
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