October 5, 2021 Technology, Conference, Marketing

Tuesday at G2E: Gaming companies glad to be back in the show business


Despite supply chain issues, dozens of new products make their debut in Vegas.

The Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas enjoyed its first full day Tuesday with a nearly full exhibit hall and large crowds.

Gaming America and Gambling Insider helped kick off G2E by presenting the Global Gaming Awards on Monday.

Although some exhibitors pulled out late after show organizers announced a full vaccination mandate, the mood on Tuesday was cheerful and the energy in the room was palpable after the popular conference was cancelled by Covid in 2020. The industry was able to gather for three tribal shows this summer – NIGA, OIGA and WIGA, in Las Vegas, Oklahoma and Washington state, respectively – but many attendees and vendors were eagerly awaiting G2E.

One common theme equipment suppliers spoke of was dealing with supply chain disruptions over the past 14-plus months. One representative quipped, “if a company says they have not had any problems, they are lying.” Many reported having to expand their search for parts to different manufacturers – in some cases having to source from three or four companies where they used to tap a single vendor.

Among the myriad new products making their bow:

AGS showed off a 360-degree overhead digital display, new Japanese art-style games, and a progressive side bet system for table games.

Bluberi went heavy metal with its “Big Mech” mechanical reel product with laser-cut metal form reels in place of the usual paper strips in slot machines, and its Iron Derby, a slot game that evokes images of a carnival horse racing game.

Casino Trac introduced a financial services-connected mobile app, which the company said allows two-way connections. Players can download money to their player account, and then at the end of the session transfer any winnings back to their bank account.

Incredible Technologies revealed its first new cabinet since 2013, the Prism VXP. Prism features three screens, including a 55-inch screen in the back that uses a commercial-grade motor to rise up 13 inches when triggered by game play.

TransAct Technologies showed off upgrades to its Epic Edge ticket-in, ticket-out printer, introduced the Epic Edge tabletop printer, designed for the casino cage as well as marketing and promotions desks, and Epicentral, a software system that prints intelligent offers to players.

Jyoti Chopra, chief people, inclusion and sustainability officer, MGM Resorts International, and Apoorva Gandhi, senior vice president, multicultural affairs, social impact and business councils for Marriott International, discussed how gaming companies can and should prioritize diversity at all levels to better serve customers, employees, and communities, and how diversity will impact the future of gaming.

Chopra reported MGM has brought back majority of employees who were laid off during the pandemic, and is looking to hire more employees in certain categories, including security officers. She said the company frequently hosts specialized hiring events, at which people often leave with a job offer the same day.

Gandhi said diversity, equity and inclusion has become part of the culture at Marriott.

“We are really proud of our holistic approach,” he said. “We make sure we are doing our part to bring in new, diverse ideas. Diversity is important at all levels, not just front-line workers. Our management team is diverse, as is our board.”

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