Currency Moves Create Pre-Registration Rush for ATEI and IGE

14 January 2009

Clarion Gaming, organizers for the upcoming Amusement Trades Exhibition, or ATEI, and International Gaming Expo, have reported a rise in the number of pre-registrations outside of the United Kingdom.

The depreciation of the British pound against the euro, dollar and other major currencies has had a considerable bearing on the cost of staying in London during the shows, the company said, which take place Jan. 27-29 at Earls Court Exhibition Centre.

Karen Cooke, head of exhibitions at Clarion Gaming, explained that year-on-year, the euro and the dollar have appreciated substantially against sterling. Last year, she said, the pound was worth in the region of 1.35 euros and $2.

“Twelve months later, the respective figures are 1.1 euros and $1.50,” Ms. Cooke added. “In real terms, visitors holding U.S. dollars have 25 percent more purchasing power than at the beginning of 2008 -- and those with euros nearly 20 percent more.”

Ms. Cooke said Clarion is anticipating new companies will attend IGE, that existing visitor delegations will bring additional colleagues, and that visitors will stay for additional days.

Mark Smith, managing director of Gamesman, said in a prepared statement that he sees IGE 2009 as the most important expo of the decade.

“I believe that this year’s exhibition is going to be hugely significant for the business at large,” Mr. Smith said. “Not only is it a fantastic platform for products and services but, just as importantly, it will be the most accurate indicator of how the gaming landscape is going to evolve over the next 12 months. From the feedback we are receiving, operators and manufacturers alike will be looking to London in search of some answers, some direction and even some leadership.”