Tales From G2E, Day 2: The Showroom Floor Is The Same But Different

Monday is the “slow” day at Global Gaming Expo (G2E). Tuesday is when you realize just how impressive the show is. The couple thousand people milling around Monday increases by a factor of 10 on Tuesday. The wide hallways and meeting spaces suddenly become cramped. Everyone is in a rush, and there’s a cacophony of noises.

That is G2E.

G2E Day 2 Is All About the Showroom

I’m in my comfort zone on Monday. I attend panels and see familiar faces in the halls. Tuesday is a different story. Even after a half-dozen trips to G2E the showroom is still overwhelming.

I didn’t spend as much time on the floor as I would have liked, but here are my general observations –  I’ll list some of the specific products that caught my eye in tomorrow’s column.

Same Old, Same Old

For the most part, the showroom floor was largely unchanged. Some exhibitors had new setups. Some others increased their presence (thanks sports betting!). And others were missing altogether.

One company that increased its footprint was Kambi. The B2B sportsbook supplier has made tremendous inroads in the US market, which led to an upgraded booth and location on the G2E floor.

The Scientific Games booth has always taken up a sizable amount of real estate, but this time around, you had to enter through a King Kong-sized entryway to see any of the products. There’s a certain wow factor to the approach, but I’m not sure hiding your products from view is a wise decision at a trade show.

As is the case every year, I was dismayed by the lack of online operator presence. It seems that even in the new era of US sports betting, G2E is largely a land-based and supplier show, where you can try any number of physical slot machines, but good luck locating some online casino or poker software to demo.

Time for a Change

G2E 2020 should adopt the motto; a change will do you good.

Take a walk through the showroom floor, and you’ll run into three types of people:

  • People in awe of the magnitude who wander around like tourists at the pyramids of Giza.
  • Attendees at G2E with a specific agenda.
  • Cynics who have been to the show multiple times but feel obligated to walk the floor on the off chance they’ll stumble across something new or interesting.

None of these groups would be affected by a change to the show.

What does that change look like? I’m not really sure; I just know it’s time for one.

Behind the Scenes News and Notes

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie delivered the morning keynote address, which was a largely unchanged version of the same speech (full of quotable lines and bombast) he’s been delivering for the past year at gaming conferences.

One thing I’ve learned during my decade in this industry is that there are a lot of smart people in gaming. Another thing I’ve learned is that the smartest people know what they don’t know. It’s been refreshing to encounter more and more of the latter at G2E 2019.

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