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G2E expo to focus on industry's challenges

Oct 14, 2008 5:09 PM

By GT Staff |

With the commercial gaming industry facing economic challenges and questions about its future, the upcoming Global Gaming Expo (G2E) hopes to provide some insights and answers.

Scheduled for Nov. 17-20 in Las Vegas, the keynote events at G2E will explore what may be in store for the gaming industry and how gaming companies can advance the health and success of their businesses by anticipating these trends.

"With this year’s keynote events, G2E 2008 is providing gaming professionals a one-of-a-kind opportunity to understand how industry and thought leaders are viewing the future of gaming, given the current economic climate and other challenges and opportunities that are on the horizon," said Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr., president and CEO of the American Gaming Association (AGA). "With our industry’s further integration into new sectors of the global economy, the unique insights offered by G2E 2008’s keynote speakers and panels will provide important guidance on how gaming can use current challenges as a launching pad for the ideas, inspirations and business decisions that will strengthen the industry in the future."

G2E is the gaming industry’s premier trade show and conference event. It will be held at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The one-day G2E Leadership Academy and Casino Design seminar will take place November 17.

CNBC-TV contributor and award-winning journalist Ron Insana will kick off the keynote events as he shares his insights about the state of the economy, the results of the U.S. presidential election and more.

Insana has more than two decades of experience as a journalist covering global economics, financial markets, public policy and the alternative investment industry.

He is the former anchor of CNBC’s Street Signs, has written monthly columns for USA Today and hosted a nationally syndicated radio program. Insana currently serves as a regular contributor on CNBC, giving color to major market and political events.

On the second day of the conference, Fahrenkopf will moderate the popular State of the Industry keynote, which this year will focus on the theme The Evolution of Global Gaming.

Fahrenkopf will lead a discussion among leading executives about the key issues currently affecting the gaming industry, including how the industry can use today’s challenging economic climate as a springboard for future growth and innovation. Panelists for this keynote event will include Armin Karu, chairman of the management board for Olympic Entertainment Group; Terry Lanni, chairman and CEO of MGM MIRAGE; Gary Loveman, chairman, CEO and president of Harrah’s Entertainment, Inc.; and Ernie Stevens, Jr., chairman of the National Indian Gaming Association.

The final keynote at G2E 2008, Change and Challenges: The Tribal-Community Connection, will focus on the Indian gaming sector and how it is fostering relationships with the communities surrounding tribal gaming operations.

J.R. Mathews, vice chairman of the Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma, will moderate this discussion about the variety of community issues facing tribal gaming properties across the country and the proactive measures these operations are taking to solidify their connection with surrounding communities.

Panelists will include Robert Benavides, governor of Isleta Pueblo, New Mexico; John Guevremont, president and CEO of Native American Contracting Services, LLC; J. Kurt Luger, executive director of the Great Plains Indian Gaming Association; Anthony Miranda, chairman of the California Nations Indian Gaming Association; and Tracie Stevens, senior policy analyst for governmental affairs for the Tulalip Tribes. Ernie Stevens will offer opening remarks at the event.

In addition to the keynote addresses, G2E will feature dozens of panel discussions and seminars, as well as its vast expo featuring hundreds of industry providers.

Here are a few additions to this year’s G2E:

This year’s G2E recognizes the rapid diversification of the industry by complementing the existing F&B segment, which focuses on the dining experience within the gaming industry, with two other specialty areas dedicated to non-gaming amenities – the Entertainment Arena and Retail Promenade.

The Entertainment Arena will feature an exhibit hall with vendors who support the live performances associated with the global casino industry, as well as the G2E Entertainment Showcase, with daily shows from musical artists and comedians.

The Retail Promenade at G2E will showcase the wide variety of retail products now offered within casino properties and boast two mini pavilions, the Eyewear Piazza at G2E and the PGA Pro Shop, which will offer attendees a glimpse into these two popular retails segments.

"G2E understands the value of evolving to meet changing industry demands, and each year we make it a top priority to not only take the pulse of the industry but also listen to our customers and what they want," Fahrenkopf, Jr., said. "This year we are very pleased to introduce a host of new features, events and amenities that will add value for the G2E attendees and exhibitors and help them shape the future of our exciting and growing industry."

Another major new attraction at G2E 2008 will be the addition of the Casino Design conference, the only conference dedicated solely to casino architecture, design and décor. Casino Design will offer a full day of conference sessions focusing on topics such as sustainable design, renovation, restaurant design and more.

Additionally, the G2E show floor will welcome the new Casino Design pavilion, which will feature exhibitors showcasing products and services related to the fields of architecture, construction, and interior design.

For more information or to register for the conference, go to globalgamingexpo.com.

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