G2E to ring up $22.3 million in nongaming economic impact

Leaders of the industry that made Las Vegas what it is today are gathering in the city this week for a conference that may shed light on where gaming is headed.

Hundreds of slot machines will be on display on trade show floors at The Venetian and some of the biggest local names in the industry — Las Vegas Sands’ Sheldon Adelson, Wynn Resorts’ Steve Wynn and MGM Resorts International’s Jim Murren — are scheduled speakers for the four-day Global Gaming Expo, known in the industry as G2E.

Sponsored by the American Gaming Association and produced by Reed Exhibitions, the 14th annual event — the largest gathering of gaming industry professionals in North America — is expected to attract 27,000 attendees. That’s 4 percent more than the number attending the show in 2013.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority said the show will have a $22.3 million nongaming economic impact on the city.

Technically, the show began Monday with a series of seminars to educate junior executives in several phases of gaming operations from marketing to casino security.

The 300,000-square-foot trade show floor with an estimated 480 exhibitors opens its doors today with former Bally Technologies CEO Richard Haddrill welcoming actress Lynda Carter — TV’s “Wonder Woman” — whose image will grace a new slot machine offering.

IGT, Bally and Konami Gaming are expected to have the largest presence on the show floor, but the benefits, challenges and controversies of Internet gaming will result in a higher emphasis on online gaming products.

Ron Rosenbaum, chief operating officer of the American Gaming Association, and Nancy Walsh, president of Reed Exhibitions North America, said technology would be widely present at the show, including the introduction of a special app to guide attendees around the trade show floor.

Just as casino floors are showing the greater emphasis of food, beverage and entertainment to enriching the bottom line of casino companies, the G2E floor will include exhibits dedicated to those topics.

“The gaming industry has evolved,” Rosenbaum said at a press conference Monday unveiling details of the show. “As a result, G2E has also evolved with new security products, modern video game technology and the expansion of the industry.”

Rosenbaum said American Gaming Association President and CEO Geoff Freeman would issue a report today on the industry’s economic impact on the nation.

The event’s top keynote speeches will include presentations by Adelson and Wynn — but not on the same stage. Wynn is scheduled to address attendees today and Adelson on Wednesday.

Murren will be part of a state-of-the-industry presentation on casino operators today with James Allen, CEO of Seminole Gaming and chairman of Hard Rock International.

A state-of-the-industry session with suppliers is scheduled Wednesday with Patti Hart, CEO of IGT; Jamie Odell, CEO and managing director of Aristocrat Leisure Ltd.; Thomas Graf, chief technogy officer of Novomatic; David Baazov, CEO of Amaya; and Pat Ramsey, CEO of Multimedia Games.

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