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Global Gaming Expo returning to Las Vegas

Updated June 1, 2021 - 6:05 pm

The Global Gaming Expo, the world’s largest gaming industry trade show, will return to Las Vegas in October after a one-year hiatus resulting from the coronavirus pandemic, organizers of the event announced Tuesday.

The American Gaming Association collaborates with Reed Exhibitions to produce the show, which in the past has drawn more than 27,000 industry professionals.

G2E, as it is known, was among dozens of annual gatherings planned to occur in Las Vegas that were lost because of the pandemic. G2E, however, did stage an online version of the show instead.

In-house surveys by organizers of the show found that 80 percent of potential attendees said they either would be very likely or somewhat likely to attend an in-person trade show if it were conducted this year. Organizers did not say how many people were surveyed.

G2E 2021 will be staged Oct. 4-7 at the Sands Expo and Convention Center at The Venetian. The show includes an education segment at which gaming industry experts from around the world address industry issues in presentations and panels.

But a big highlight of the event is the trade show exhibition at which gaming equipment suppliers show off their latest products to casino floor operators. The newest slot machines, table games and game management systems, with other gaming- and hospitality-related products, are put on display and demonstrated in a smorgasbord of dazzling lights and sounds.

About 400 exhibitors showed their wares at the 2019 show, and celebrities whose images are shown on some of the games are often on hand to draw attention to the exhibits. This year’s trade show floor will open Oct. 5.

One of the challenges of this year’s show may be attracting international attendees if health-and-safety-driven precautions are still in place in some countries. Currently, flights from Mexico are the only international arrivals occurring at McCarran International Airport, but that could change by fall.

Tuesday’s announcement of the show’s return comes on the same day Clark County lifted capacity restrictions related to the pandemic.

There are no capacity restrictions nor social distancing requirements in place for large gatherings, and the first major trade show, World of Concrete, is scheduled to open June 8.

“For over 20 years, G2E has been the leader in uniting the global gaming community, and we are beyond thrilled to come together this October for the industry’s hallmark event,” said Korbi Carrison, G2E event director.

Show organizers said the decision to meet in person was based on federal health oversight and jurisdiction shifting to local counties as of May 1 with Clark County officials receiving state approval of its local COVID-19 mitigation plan. Organizers also noted that Clark County COVID-19 test positivity rates have remained low, allowing for larger events and gatherings.

AGA officials also said G2E’s health and safety guidelines continue to be enhanced and updated with lessons learned from events and new guidelines provided by state and local officials in Nevada and the Sands Expo Center. Additional G2E-specific safety plans and official regulations will continue to be added as they become available.

“We can’t wait to bring the industry back together in Las Vegas for G2E 2021,” said Meredith Pallante, AGA vice president of global events. “The industry has shown tremendous resilience throughout the pandemic, and being able to gather together again will be another great milestone in our strong recovery.”

Marcus Prater, executive director of the Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers, said Tuesday that his members are looking forward to G2E in the fall and the National Indian Gaming Association’s 2021 Indian Gaming Tradeshow and Convention July 19-22 at Caesars Forum in Las Vegas.

“AGEM and all the gaming suppliers are very much looking forward to an in-person event,” Prater said. “The timing is right, and we’ve been working hard behind the scenes to make sure they happen among our group. It’s been a rough ride for a lot of folks. The show is a sign of much better days ahead.”

The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Sheldon Adelson. Las Vegas Sands operates The Venetian, Palazzo and the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

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