Global Gaming Expo, G2E Global Gaming Expo, G2E


Industry News
Industry News

Exhibitors at Global Gaming Expo ready to ‘make the magic happen’ this week in Las Vegas

The American Gaming Association’s annual Global Gaming Expo, or G2E, returns Monday to Las Vegas, with its four-day trade show boasting the latest in gaming technology and products as well as a lineup of keynote speakers, educational workshops and networking events.

The event at the Venetian Expo (formerly the Sands Expo) will run through Thursday, with nearly 350 exhibitors and sponsors. Organizers expect at least 25,000 attendees.

“It’s really a tremendous period of growth and transformation in the gaming industry,” said Maureen Beddis, senior vice president of membership and events at the association. “A lot of that has to do with the continued legalization of gaming into new verticals like sports betting, and what we’re starting to see with iGaming. And, as the industry continues to experience that growth, we’re working at the G2E show to make sure that those areas of growth are also seen throughout the show.”

Nathan Drane, senior vice president of global product management at Light & Wonder, said the Las Vegas gaming manufacturer planned to show off old and new hardware, from classic machines that players already love to a new jumbo cabinet that he called large in “its name and large in its nature.”

Light & Wonder loves this time of year, which it calls a “Pre-G2E” period, Drane said, when the company spends six weeks leading up to the convention engaging with hundreds of customers to show them new products, get feedback and learn where it can improve.

“It’s a rallying point for a company like ours,” Drane said. “We have all the studios trying to get all their products ready in the best form and shape they can be, to demonstrate to customers, investors, other companies and even our own internal people.”

There’s a similar air of excitement over at Aristocrat Gaming, where employees are eager to display six games from their new NFL-licensed, league-themed portfolio, said Ryan Scott, vice president of commercial strategy.

The gaming manufacturer is coming to G2E with brand-new, for-sale content, Scott said, just as it did last year.

“The challenge was to come back and repeat that this year,” he said. “And that’s what we did. So we’re happy to show powerful portfolios, innovation ­— all of the above — and it’s gonna be really exciting.”

The gaming industry is multifaceted, Beddis said, and the trade show will reflect that. Not only will attendees be able to see top-of-the-line slot machines and other gaming software, but they will also have the opportunity to engage with technology, payment, sports betting companies and more.

“It’s really the place where the entire industry comes together, and — as the industry continues to grow — where those new segments of the industry are welcome, and kind of hop right in,” she said.

Andrew Crowe, senior vice president of investor relations and growth initiatives at Las Vegas-based Sightline Payments, said G2E offered the “perfect timing” for the digital payments provider and mobile app developer, as it continues to establish an “omnichannel” payment experience for casino consumers, which they can use to spend across a resort property.

The company uses G2E as an opportunity to connect with its partners in-person and collaborate further, as well as just to walk the trade show floor and consider how to improve the user experience. Because as important as the technology is, Crowe said, the user experience is ultimately what it’s all about.

“It’s often how you stitch multiple technologies together — vertically integrate multiple providers so that they can conserve that greater good of a better user experience — that’s important,” he said.

Beddis said she also was excited for the educational program, noting that people in the gaming industry loved to share knowledge.

Even as gaming grows on both a national and global scale, she added, the energy of Las Vegas continues to make it the destination for a gaming convention like G2E. Its plethora of entertainment, dining and now sports set it apart from other destinations.

“All of these things are really just continuing to put Las Vegas even bigger on the map and helping it retain its title as the Entertainment Capital of the World,” she said. “So, where else would it make sense to host G2E than right here, where all these exciting things are happening?”

It’s critical that G2E be hosted in Las Vegas, because it’s still the best market for companies to launch their new products, conduct market research and so on, said Dave Kubajak, senior vice president of sales, marketing and operations at JCM, the global Southern Nevada company that leads the industry in automated transactions — like the return of credits after money is inserted into a slot machine.

“I’ve watched gaming grow from being very little globally, to really being a major powerhouse of an industry globally, and I would say if you’re looking for the hub of technology and innovation and invention, it’s still here in Vegas, and definitely Nevada,” Kubajak said, emphasizing that the JCM booth at G2E would display the iVIZION bill validator, GEN5 thermal printer and ICB ASAP robot, which handles and processes cash from casinos.

In fact, Kubajak said, even as gaming proliferates across the U.S. and trade shows kick off in new markets, many companies will still wait to premiere their products until G2E in Las Vegas, because Nevada is still the hub for any new technology or innovation in the industry.

“All of your major players have their development teams here, their project management and product research teams here,” he said. “This really remains the global hub, and then they take the technology that’s developed here and they roll it out globally. But this is kind of where the magic happens.”