G2E: Bigger and Better in 2002

22 August 2002

The leadership of the American Gaming Association went out on a limb last year after doing a trade show in conjunction with GEM Communications for nearly 10 years.

The AGA decided to not only do its own show, but to do it in the same month as the World Gaming Congress and Expo. And hold it in the same city.

One year later, though, the AGA is the last man standing, and it is now putting the final touches on the second Global Gaming Expo (G2E). In February, the AGA and Reed Exhibitions bought out the World Gaming show.

As the AGA gears up for its second G2E--its first without any competition--officials with the largest trade organization for the gambling industry are banking on one of the best shows ever.

Judy Patterson, senior vice president and executive director of the AGA, said the two main focal points of G2E will be a bingo-specific pavilion and an interactive gaming pavilion. She also said the pre-conference registrations are well beyond last year's levels.

"We were able to work out a very good arrangement for all of us," she said, referring to the buy-out of GEM and World Gaming Congress.

As the show heads into only its second year, having alleviated the competition already, Patterson said the focus will be on all aspects of the industry coming together.

"Last year we started with our base and tried to focus on the casino industry, both commercial and tribal," she said. "We wanted to do a good job with that, but our intention has always been, and continues to be, to make the show be a snapshot of the entire gaming industry."

The 2002 version of G2E is scheduled to take place on Sept. 17-19 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. More than 100 conference sessions about the many issues facing the industry and topics that will affect the future of gaming worldwide are on the agenda.

Interactive gaming will be incorporated into the one-day Training and Development Institute. The institute is a post-conference session that offers intensive tracks for those in the industry. Patterson one of the tracks will be geared toward the interactive gaming industry.

Some of the topics covered in this year's conference program include UK Vision: The New Rules and What They Mean; Corporate Governance: Learning the Enron Lessons; Protecting Ideas: Intellectual Property in the Casino Industry; The Big Games: Their Design, Impact and Future; The Future of Racing: Is Integration of the Gaming Industry the Answer?; Regulation and Reform: Evolving Tribal Gaming Commissions; Accept or Reject: Prospects for Internet Gambling; and Global Games: 21st Century Slots.

Keynote speakers at G2E will include Sam Donaldson, the popular news reporter from ABC and entertainment icon Merv Griffith. Like last year's show, Patterson said, the second day of G2E will feature a state-of-the-industry panel that will have AGA President and CEO Frank J. Fahrenkopf Jr. moderating.

The Interactive Gaming Symposium, presented in conjunction with the Interactive Gaming Institute (IGI), will offer a one-day intensive program on interactive gaming and will cover new gaming options, new jurisdictions, new player identification systems and more.

Despite having the only gaming show in town, Patterson said the AGA is still motivated to deliver a top-notch show.

"We are certainly committed to putting on the best possible show and the fact that we don't have any competition this year doesn't diminish that goal at all," she said. "The show will be considerably larger than it was last year and it will also have a lot of new components on the show floor."

Key conference speakers will include MGM Mirage Chairman and CEO J. Terrence Lanni; Boyd Gaming Corp. President Don Snyder; Park Place Entertainment Corporation Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer Kim Sinatra; National Indian Gaming Association Executive Director Mark Van Norman; CBS MarketWatch correspondent William Spain; Harrah's Entertainment Inc. President and COO Gary Loveman; and Asociacion Latinoamericana de Juegos de Azar (ALAJA) President Martin Canepa.

Without pointing fingers at anyone, Patterson indicated that part of the reason the AGA and World Gaming went separate ways was due to the lack of industry focus from GEM.

"This year we are going to have more participation from people in the lottery business and bingo, but it won’t stop there," she said. "We will have more participation from the race tracks, too, and we want that to continue to evolve over time. We want all of the segments of the gaming industry to look at G2E as the one time of the year when we get together and share our technologies, best practices and our challenges, and really make some determinations as to how we are going to move forward as an industry."

Nobody knows where Kevin Smith came from. He simply showed up one day and started writing articles for IGN. We liked him, so we decided to keep him. We think you'll like him too. Kevin can be reached at kevin@igamingnews.com.