Commercial Gaming

G2E Organizers Optimistic Attendees Can Return to Las Vegas for 2021 Expo

The 2021 Global Gaming Expo (G2E) is still about six months away. However, signs are that the annual gaming industry event will be able to return to its live, in-person format in Las Vegas this year, albeit with some COVID-related enhancements.

Attendees walk the hallway leading to the 2019 Global Gaming Expo at the Sands Expo Convention Center in Las Vegas. After holding a virtual conference in 2020, organizers are optimistic they can hold a live, in-person event this fall. (Image: Casino.org)

The event is scheduled for Oct. 4-7 at the Sands Expo and Convention Center. Last year’s event switched to a virtual format because of the pandemic.

In an email sent out last week, organizers said that hosting an in-person G2E remains the goal for this year. That said, it remains contingent on several issues that could threaten the health and safety of attendees.

Those issues include COVID positivity rates staying low, the Sands Expo and Venetian permitting at least 50 percent capacity for the event, and potential concerns raised by attendees and exhibitors.

If these factors indicate that G2E 2021 cannot safely and successfully be held, Reed Exhibitions and the American Gaming Association will communicate a decision to cancel the in-person event no later than Tuesday, June 1,” the email read.

Both the AGA and Reed Exhibitions added that G2E will continue to offer virtual sessions this year. Organizers said they would announce more details on that in the near future.

The G2E website shows a list of requirements organizers expect attendees to comply with at the event. That includes wearing properly fitting facemasks that do not have holes or valves, passing a temperature screening, following directions from signs and Expo staff, and maintaining proper distancing – even when greeting another attendee.

Conventions Set to Return to Vegas

Currently, in Nevada, venues that plan on hosting in-person events accommodating more than 250 attendees must submit a “Large Gathering Plan Certification Form” to the state for approval. If that happens, the venue can proceed with hosting an event at up to 50 percent of the listed fire code capacity for the site.

G2E organizers said they are working with the Sands and other stakeholders to submit the certification form in a timely manner.

Convention traffic in Las Vegas over the past year ground to a halt thanks to the pandemic. However, officials with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority are optimistic that traffic will pick up soon.

Organizers for the World of Concrete last month announced they received state approval to proceed with their event in June. It’s expected to be the first major industry trade show in Las Vegas in more than a year.

Sisolak Says Nevada Reopening Soon

A day after G2E organizers sent out their email update, Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak told reporters that he was confident that the state would be fully reopened by June 1.

The state also plans to remove the statewide social distancing rule by May 1. However, it will then be up to the individual counties to then determine the guideline for their jurisdiction.

Guidelines for casinos will remain the responsibility of the Nevada Gaming Control Board, Sisolak said.

After Sisolak gave his update, Korbi Carrison, the G2E event director for Reed Exhibitions, told Casino.org that it changed nothing on the organizers’ end.

“At this time, our path forward remains the same,” she said.

Steve Bittenbender

Horse Racing, Sports Betting, Gaming Legislation, Midwest and Gulfport Casinos----Steve Bittenbender is a veteran reporter, and brings more than two decades of experience covering sports, gaming business, and politics and legislation to Casino.org, which he joined in 2019. Based in Louisville, Kentucky -- the epicenter of the US horse racing industry -- Steve has also covered major collegiate and professional sports for the Associated Press and the Louisville Courier Journal, and is frequently featured on local network TV newscasts and podcasts for his horse racing business and legislative expertise. A Reuters contributor, he has also previously served as editor for Government Security News. Steve lives with his wife and son, and is an avid poker player, having learned from his uncle as a wholesome after-school pasttime with cookies and milk. Email: stevebittenbender@casino.org

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