The gaming industry in the United States has been greatly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Casinos closed down for several months and are just now getting back to work. Operators have lost millions due to the closures, with employees laid off or furloughed depending on the status of their employer. In Las Vegas, a major gambling conference known as the Global Gaming Expo has just been canceled due to continued concerns surrounding the virus. The event will now take place virtually.
Change of Plans
The Global Gaming Expo or G2E was supposed to take place in Las Vegas at the Sands Expo and Convention Center from October 5-8. Organizers have now rescheduled for October 2021 because of the coronavirus.
Currently in Nevada, state regulations ban gatherings of people in public of 50 individuals or more. Guidance for reopening phases in the future are not available. The state has also seen an increase in positive cases of the virus. All of this combined caused organizers to rethink the event.
American Gaming Association and Reed Exhibition representatives announced with the cancellation that several virtual events will take place this year to provide opportunity within the global gaming industry. The virtual events will focus on various aspects including networking, the economy and education. This is the first time the conference has been cancelled in two decades.
Bill Miller, the CEO of the American Gaming Association, commented that health and safety is the top priority and uncertainty surrounding the pandemic makes the decision to cancel a prudent one. There were too many unknowns and decisions needed to be made now, which helped organizers determine the cancellation was the right thing to do.
Due to current regulations, there is no way that G2E could carry on, even though it was not supposed to take place until October. G2E brings in around 30,000 people from around the world, including top executives of gaming equipment providers and manufacturing companies. Casino operators, digital payment companies, sports betting companies and many more often attend the conference.
With so many people attending regularly, it makes sense to cut the event and focus on virtual options until next year. There is no way to provide the same atmosphere that G2E is known for without drastically cutting the number of attendees.
With the cancellation of G2E, the conference joins a long list of gaming industry events that are no longer taking place. The ICE North America was cancelled recently along with the National Indian Gaming Association conference.
It seems at least for now, virtual is the way to go. Thankfully, we live in a time when the internet allows us to stay connected. As casinos get back to work in the physical sense, officials can use the virtual events to learn more about how the industry is adapting as well as what can be done to move forward and build the industry to be even stronger than ever before.