As he prepares to give the welcoming address at the Global Gaming Expo October 11, American Gaming Association President Bill Miller has good news to share.
Notably, the gaming industry is thriving. July produced a revenue of $5.06 billion, a year-over-year increase of 2.8%. For the first seven months of 2022, the gaming industry generated $34.27 billion in revenue, outpacing the same period in 2021 by 15.5%.
But Miller isn’t ready to declare the gaming industry free of concerns.
“I don’t know that anyone is immune to economic headwinds,” Miller says, noting ongoing concerns about inflation, rising interest rates. gas prices, and supply chain and employee shortages.
“All of those are things we collectively as an organization, and certainly as individual members, are concerned about,” he says. “But what we are seeing is continued growth, continued record revenue really. I’d be cautious to use the word ‘immune’, but what I am encouraged by is that the industry continues to be an important destination, whether it be a physical destination or online destination people, for people’s entertainment dollars.”
G2E, presented by the AGA, takes place October 10-13 at the Venetian Expo in Las Vegas.
Last year’s G2E attracted 13,000 attendees. Early reports estimate that this year’s attendance may reach 20,000.
Miller admits that last year there were concerns about whether people would return to Vegas for such a large-scale event given lingering concerns about the pandemic.
“We found out from the exhibitors and the people who attended that, not only was there excitement about bringing people back together again after this kind of lockdown (due to COVID-19 restrictions), but that a lot of business got done,” he says. “I talked to the CEOS of every one of the manufacturers and suppliers, and they all felt without exception (G2E) met or exceeded expectations.”
Miller says this year’s conference is tracking a record number of booths in size and amount. Attendance could well reach 20,000. But he’s not quite ready to declare the event successful.
“I’m always a little cautious to pat ourselves on the back,” Miller says. “It’s not the numbers as much as the quality of attendees, people who will buy stuff. Ultimately, that is the measure of the success of the show.”
Miller spoke to CDC Gaming Reports the day after MGM, Entain, DraftKings, FanDuel, Bally’s and BetMGM announced a collaboration to establish principles addressing responsible gaming standards. For the AGA, which launched its Have a Game Plan. Bet Responsibly initiative in 2019, the alliance provides another means to promote its responsible gaming message.
Miller thinks such collaborations are part of a new cooperative philosophy among gaming operators fostered by the pandemic.
“I think that we all weathered the storm together,” Miller says, noting that operators joined on issues including The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, and health and safety protocols.
“I think there was a lot of goodwill created by a lot of people who compete pretty hard against each other,” Miller says. “I think that has carried over into a more collaborative spirit. It doesn’t mean that these guys aren’t going to fight tooth and nail over the next license that becomes available in whichever new state that opens up.
“But from my perspective, we’ve got an industry and industry association that works more efficiently and more effectively right now.”