Two months after G2E Asia returned to Singapore for the second time in as many years, the long-running trade show and expo was back in Macau in July.
July saw the long-awaited return of G2E Asia to Macau, with the industry coming together once again over three days at The Venetian Macao.
It was, however, smaller than in previous years given the decision by co-organizers Reed Exhibitions and the American Gaming Association to hold two G2E Asia events in 2023. A larger gaming-focused show was held at Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands in late May, while G2E Asia Macau was marketed as a largely non-gaming focused event. This saw the traditional G2E Asia expo operating alongside a new “Asian IR Expo” – featuring companies from the broader IR industry such as regional tourism boards, travel companies, Esports firms, sports media and management firms, art curators and IP owners, and various companies associated with technologies such as artificial intelligence.
Likewise, the G2E Asia conference ran two separate but concurrent tracks, with the G2E Asia-branded track focused on gaming and the Asian IR Summit on non-gaming.
Highlights of the conferences included keynote speeches by Sands China President Dr Wilfred Wong and PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Alejandro Tengco, with Dr Wong discussing the need for Macau to focus its future tourism efforts on quality over quantity in the face of regional competition.
“Macau is a small place, and we cannot compete just on numbers, so what do we compete on? Quality,” he said. “We have to be the best in class, the best in service. And because we’re so close to our market – China is our market, Hong Kong is our market – we know what they want. We know their expectations and that’s what we are now trying to do.”
Tengco, meanwhile, outlined initiatives being undertaken by the Philippines gaming regulator as it looks to enhance the value of its self-operated “Casino Filipino” properties ahead of planned privatization. These initiatives include modernizing its IT technology and security infrastructure, upgrading around 3,000 electronic gaming machines (EGMs) and introducing new technical standards for EGMs.
“PAGCOR management, in the exercise of its wisdom, firmly believes that this decision will open doors for an influx of resources contributing to economic development while eliminating a clear conflict of interest in the dual role of PAGCOR as both an operator and regulator,” Tengco explained.
Speakers at the Asian IR Summit included Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, director of the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO), who discussed the return of visitation to Macau since border restrictions were eased in January while predicting improved results throughout the remainder of 2023 as hotel room supply increases.
Despite the return of G2E Asia to Macau, there are obvious questions around the future of the show – namely whether we will return to the single show model in 2024 and if so, where it will be held.
At time of publication, no decision had been made on what to expect next year.