As in-person events begin to ramp up again, at least in Europe and the U.S., suppliers need to make some difficult choices about whether or not to attend and who to send.
Nearly all of those polled by Asia Gaming Brief have expressed a strong desire to attend events in person. Most are suffering from Zoom fatigue and after 18 months of teleconferencing have realized that digital formats don’t make up for social interaction.
The events provide an invaluable opportunity to meet with friends and colleagues and expand business networks.
However, in the post-pandemic world it’s not so easy. For colleagues in Asia, travel is still highly prohibitive. There are few flights and for many, stringent quarantine requirements are in place on return. Executives need to ask whether it’s worth spending 10 days or more in isolation for the sake of a three-day event.
For those in Macau, travel remains off the agenda, with the borders effectively closed to anyone outside of the Greater China region.
Then, there’s the unpredictable nature of the Delta variant. Colleagues in Australia had been looking forward to the return of the Australasian Gaming Expo in August, however, that was cancelled within just weeks to the event as the virus spread.
The country, which had fared well in controlling the virus due to its closed border policy, is now struggling to regain the upper hand, with much of the country back in lockdown.
Although the online gaming industry fared well during the pandemic and land-based operators are now seeing a strong bounce back once properties reopen, costs were also cited as an issue when determining what events to attend and where. Likewise how many people and who to send. Some said the decision is likely to be very much last minute.
In the following pages, you will find news from suppliers on their latest products as well as some thoughts on the upcoming gaming calendar.
Among the events this month is a conference by the International Association of Gaming Regulators in Boston, while SBC will be holding a sports betting summit in Barcelona. In October, the focus will be on G2E in Las Vegas, which is the show most suppliers have said they will attend.