G2E show preview: Veni vidi Vegas!

September 15, 2023

What can the attendees of the 2023 Global Gaming Expo (G2E) expect from the industry, the exhibits and the venue on the Las Vegas Strip?

G2E is now embarking on over two decades since its initial debut at the Las Vegas Convention Center. This year, over 25,000 gaming industry professionals and 350 exhibitors will fill the Venetian Expo with networking opportunities, educational sessions, deals and, of course, games. The conference and exhibition are just that: two sides of a shining, Vegas coin where it’s difficult to place your bet on whether to attend a theoretical industry talk, or to go and see the bright, new gaming concepts for yourself on the exhibition floor. G2E is an gargantuan 2.25 million square feet of literal bells and whistles that the Venetian and RX Global have been waiting all year to unveil, and this will be my first time with a ticket to the gambling industry’s greatest show.

As the industry speaks about its past journeys to this veritable gambling Mecca, it seems as if it’s almost impossible to separate the vibrant energy of G2E from that of Las Vegas itself. The so-called Entertainment Capital of the World sets the stage for all parts of the gaming industry: Tribal operations, commercial operations, land-based games, online games, suppliers, payments companies and every single one of their newest product launches. It is worth stressing, however, that it’s not just about the volume of people present, but about what business is done. Though CEOs may not be as visible as the towering slot machines on the floor of the convention center, this is where everyone who is anyone in the gaming industry comes to make deals as much as spin reels.

So, what can someone expect to see at G2E, other than the obvious and abundant presence of both games and the industry professionals whose work surrounds them? There are a diverse range of educational sessions and networking opportunities, including a focused Accessibility/Inclusion Meetup for individuals with disabilities and neurodiversity, as well as an African Americans in Gaming Happy Hour. The gaming industry is made up of so many different people from various communities, and at this year’s G2E, Gaming America looks forward to seeing representation for everyone who is part of US gaming’s past, present and future. From a quick look at the schedule of educational topics covered, it’s also easy to see a broad range of industry challenges, advancements and questions on display. From “Betting on Women: Increasing Opportunities for Inclusive Betting,” to “Combatting Human Trafficking: A Federal Discussion on Collaboration,” to “The Next Era of Tribal Gaming: Politics, Policies & Opportunities,” it’s clear that G2E wants to show that gaming should be a safe, regulated and welcoming space with room for positive growth. And those three sessions are only part of the first day!

The three full days of sessions provide insight into a wealth of industry themes including payments, game design, sports betting, fraud prevention, brand marketing, iGaming and the ever-evolving, and sometimes controversial, subject: artificial intelligence. However, as dominated as the current gaming zeitgeist may be by discussions on technological and AI advancements, it has been heartwarming to hear in almost every conversation Gaming America has had with operators, suppliers and exhibitors going to this year’s show, that connecting with people is still a top priority. G2E attendees want to be part of a meaningful dialogue: face-to-face, expert-to-expert. Everyone in the gaming industry wants to make sure they have their fingers on the pulse of what the next big things will be in terms of innovation, collaboration and fun for all types of players.

Though G2E has become synonymous with Las Vegas, which will certainly bring its own special brand of American hospitality to its guests, this year’s expo may just be more ‘global’ than ever. Over 100 countries and regions will be represented by 2023’s attendees, exhibitors and industry professionals. While North American, and specifically US, regulations and advancements are covered in several of the education sessions, G2E might also be the perfect opportunity for operators, based either across the pond or south of the border, to enter some exciting new markets. In the US, sports betting is now legal and live in 34+ states and Washington DC, with opportunities for more mobile engagement, as well as for more collaborative retail sportsbooks at stadiums and casinos across the country. The expanding market of US iGaming also has room for new players, new operators, new suppliers and new games. Six states already offer online casino gaming, while Rhode Island’s recent legalization in June 2023 will be attractive to companies looking to launch within the state as it goes live in March next year. The G2E exhibition map also includes a dedicated iGaming Zone.

When speaking to Gaming America, some of this year’s G2E guests also mentioned their excitement to both attend, and potentially receive recognition at, The Global Gaming Awards. The Awards luncheon fits right into the middle of the conference’s first full day of activities and education sessions, and the awards will honor winners from 15 categories, adjudicated by a panel of C-Level and senior executives. For 10 years, the Awards have recognized people, products, companies and properties that have become trailblazers or mainstays within the industry. Award winners will have a sparkling new talking point to carry with them back to their exhibition stands and into networking discussions for the rest of the conference – as well as a sense of satisfaction for a job well done that will no doubt carry on beyond G2E and inspire their work throughout the next year.

But what about after the convention floor clears for the day? You’re still in the middle of the Las Vegas Strip, surrounded by the opportunity to continue doing business against the city’s most surreal and luxurious backdrops. Networking may move to any casino, nightclub, bar or restaurant of your choice, either on the famous Strip or further afield. Las Vegas also has 310 sunny days each year (a meteorological feat that the London headquarters of our sister magazine, Gambling Insider, can only dream of). While you’re at the Venetian it might be rude not to spend a bit of one of those days floating in a gondola across the resort’s electric blue lagoon. The Venetian is also now home to a Yahoo Sportsbook, which just might entice the sports fans attending G2E to stay inside a bit longer to catch a game or two. The atmosphere at G2E promises to be as vibrant as ever. It absolutely makes sense that this event would be held at a venue that is known for its drama, spectacle and, well, gaming!


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