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p4-10 news:News 01/09/2009 11:16 Page 5
Suppliers prepare for 20,000 IGE visitors
bout 140 exhibitors have already booked stands at January’s
International Gaming Expo (IGE) in London, according to organiser
Clarion Gaming.
They include Novomatic-AGI/Astra Games, IGT/Barcrest/Cyberview, Merkur
Gaming, WMS Gaming, JPM/Synot, Aristocrat Technologies, TCS John Huxley,
TAB Austria, Bally Gaming, Atronic, Play4Win, Boss Media, Playtech,
Microgaming, and Cryptologic.
Clarion expects some 300 exhibitors and 20,000 visitors to the event
scheduled for 26-28 January at Earls Court.
Show Director Emma Green said gaming operators and the vendors who
sell to them were using the expo as a place to do business: “Increasingly,
buyers want the inside track on new products and the only source for that
detailed type of information is the people responsible for creating the
products in the first place.”
Downtown Vegas faring
better than the Strip
Baltic woes batter
owntown Las Vegas appeared to be out-performing the Strip this Olympic, but Merkur
summer, with gaming revenue across downtown declining just 5.6
percent year on year during June while the Strip sank 14.8 percent.
That figure meant downtown gaming revenues were still ahead of 2007.
still expanding
Revenues have been falling in most gambling areas of the U.S. as a result
of the economic downturn, with tourism indicators showing a similar hit –
Vegas average room rates, for example, were down 25.5 percent.
And Atlantic City suffered roughly on a par with the Strip as gaming E
stonian casino operator Olympic Entertainment was hit hard in the
first half of the year by worsening economic conditions in the Baltic
revenues dropped 13.6 per cent year on year. Revenue at the firm, listed on the Tallinn stock exchange, dropped 31
There were a few bright spots, however. In Missouri, which has 12 percent to 61.7m Euro ($88m), while earnings before interest, taxes,
casinos, July revenues were up four percent year on year as attendance depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) plummeted 91 percent to 1.53m
increased. Euro ($2.2m).
“I think a large percentage of gamblers are senior citizens and they set Olympic operates
their own limits and budget an entertainment amount to spend,” Gene nearly 90 locations
McNary, Missouri’s Gaming Commission Executive Director, was quoted as across seven
saying. “Gambling is their bright lights and toys, they consider it nations.
entertainment.” Estonia, Latvia
and Lithuania all
experienced sharp
revenue declines.
Olympic closed 27 venues – most of them in the Baltic nations - during the
half year, after shutting ten in 2008.
The company was also affected by the Ukraine government’s enforced
closure of casinos and slot venues following May’s fatal fire in a
Dnepropetrovsk slot hall.
However, there was more positive news for Olympic in Belarus, Romania
and Slovakia, all showing revenue growth, while takings in Poland dropped
only slightly.
And not all eastern European operators are contracting: Merkur Casino is
this summer opening two new locations in Bulgaria and the Czech Republic.
A new casino-style arcade in the Poruba district of Ostrava, the third-largest
city in the Czech Republic, offers 45 gaming positions, including Merkur
Gaming’s own Games Unlimited.
Welcoming its first customers in September, it is Merkur’s third in Ostrava
and 23rd in the country.
In Bulgaria’s second city Plovdiv, meanwhile, Merkur – part of German
game manufacturer Gauselmann Group – and partner Casino Technology
have opened the Palms Merkur Casino, a casino-style arcade with 48
gaming positions.
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