Global Gaming Expo Takes Gambling to New Heights

2 November 2005

LAS VEGAS – Casinos: They aren't just about gambling anymore. That fact was very evident during the G2E (Global Gaming Expo) held at the gigantic Las Vegas Convention Center, a venue with exhibition and meeting space big enough to hold 68 football fields.

The four-day event, which was closed to the general public, featured more than 700 exhibitors from around the world eager to display their new product lines before some 27,000 attendees, the majority of whom are decision makers representing every aspect of the casino gambling industry.

This is gambling's version of the Auto Show, only instead of tires to kick there are slot machine buttons to push, new variations of table games to try and more than 200 industry-related seminars from which to choose.

Make no mistake, the slot machine manufacturers and table game developers were very much in evidence with huge displays, but nearly as prominent were non-gaming vendors, including an entire pavilion devoted to food and beverage, where culinary creations and wine tasting took center stage.

It's a clear indication of a new industry trend that has seen non-gaming components of casino operations, including hotels, pools, spas, upscale retail stores, restaurants and entertainment, produce revenues for their owners that exceed the gaming-side revenues.

The future for Las Vegas, and very likely for the young, emerging casino gambling jurisdictions around the country, is the creation of a complete entertainment and vacation experience whereby tourists will be attracted not only for the gaming aspect but for the stores, dining and entertainment offerings as much or more so.

There's a major upscale condominium boom taking place in Las Vegas to accommodate the Baby Boom generation as they approach retirement age and many other people from around the country who have made this Nevada gambling Mecca one of the fastest growing population centers in the United States for years.

A prime example of the direction Las Vegas is taking was the announcement during the Expo that MGM/Mirage will soon break ground on Project CityCenter, a $5 billion development that is the largest privately funded project in the history of the United States.

Project CityCenter, which will be built on 66 acres of land on Las Vegas Boulevard between the Bellagio and Monte Carlo, is planned as a mixed-use development that will include not only a new casino-hotel but also retail and business construction. Set for completion in 2009, it will most certainly set the trend for 21st Century Las Vegas.

The technological advancement in slot machine research and development is truly remarkable. The accent is on making them interactive, multi-dimensional entertainment devices with enhanced bonusing capabilities and video and audio enhancements designed to give players the biggest bang for their gambling dollars while still making huge profits for their owners.

The machines that were unveiled at G2E will begin appearing on casino floors across the nation starting early next year. You'll be amazed at the many pop culture icons, movie stars past and present, television personalities, rock groups, major motion pictures and TV shows with cult followings that the new games are themed after.

There were also a variety of technological innovations on display for the first time at G2E that are indicative of how rapidly the gaming industry has grown in a relatively short period of time and how the gambling culture has found its way into main stream entertainment and recreational activities.

More about that in next week's column.

Related Links
Global Gaming Expo (G2E) 2005

This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at