International edition
October 24, 2021

Said Frank Fahrenkopf, AGA CEO, within G2E Asia 2013

“Macau should not fear competitors”

(Macau).- Japan, Thailand, the Philippines or Singapore have been conquering space in the gambling world, but AGA President believes that, even with more players in the market, Macau has nothing to fear. Speaking at the opening of G2E Asia 2013, Frank Fahrenkopf said that with further competition Macau could only evolve as a primer gambling hub.

With this strong economic growth in Asia, it’s easy to jump to the conclusion that increased competition will have a negative impact on existing markets. But in my experience this growth will simply allow the markets to flourish, will force successful operators to adapt, to be more creative and to evolve”, he explained. Frank Fahrenkopf believes Macau could only benefit from overseas competition: “As new countries in the region expand gaming, the competition will drive to innovation, and that’s something we should look forward to”, he added. 

In his vision, what would happen in Macau is similar to what has happened in Las Vegas: new casinos will grab the attention of new audiences but people who were already used to Macau will always continue to gamble here. In other words, he believes Macau’s gambling sector will not lose its current audience. “People will still want to come here because of the great concentration of wonderful hotels, facilities, entertainment, shopping and restaurants”, he assured.

Marcus Prater, executive director of the Association of Gaming Equipment, praised the strong value of Macau, when it comes to gambling, but also mentioned the importance of new developments taking place in other Asian countries. “The world’s leading slot machine and table companies are here, along with those who supply everything needed to run these large casinos in Macau. But the competition among slot makers in Asia is now quite intense”, he concluded, giving examples of Singapore and the Philippines recent investments in the gaming sector. 

The Global Gaming Expo Asia 2013 (G2E Asia), taking place until tomorrow in the Venetian Macau hotel, wishes to take these new flourishing markets into account. It is the largest gaming event in Asia, aiming to showcase gambling innovations from around the globe, while attracting the attention of the public to the industry’s latest products, services and technologies. The G2E Asia is organized in partnership between the American Gaming Association and the Reed Exhibitions. 

As the gaming sector booms with the help of other South Asian countries, Frank Fahrenkopf made it clear: Macau’s gaming future is not at stake. However, the expert admitted that with more competitors come greater challenges. “Just like in other markets, gaming industry faces obstacles in the map of success: infrastructure to deal with increase travel and visitation continues to be a challenge here in Macau”, he said. The possible shortage of workers is another issue he appointed. “In Macau, native Macanese workers must account for a substantial portion of labors on development projects. In the past, this has left many operators with labor shortages, which impedes the progress of new entertainment options. And of course it can represent obstacles for the economic growth”, he alerted. 

While Macau faces competitors and overcomes obstacles, Frank Fahrenkopf’s believes “we are on the way to reshape the gaming market” in the whole region. “Without any doubt, Asia is the most successful and exciting gaming market in the world”, he admitted. Not only because of Macau, but also the ‘newcomers’ appearing in the gambling world. “The Philippines entertainment city project, in Manila, is now officially a player. It will be interesting to see whether this area will become Asia’s next gambling hub behind Macau and Singapore”, he said, adding that in Japan, Taiwan and Thailand, “there are discussions on legislations to move forward and develop the first commercial casinos”. Frank Fahrenkopf is looking forward to see this development in place and believes “we should celebrate it”.

Nat Wong, the president of Reed Exhibitions, guaranteed that G2E Asia is the perfect event for those who wish to know more about the future of the gaming sector. “This remains the best place to learn about the latest trends and ideas that are shaping the global and local gaming industries today”, said Wong. As the organizers are expecting over 6,500 attendees from several countries, the conferences will be translated into English, Mandarin, Cantonese and also Korean. At the exhibition, the public will find two themed pavilions, one related to Security & Surveillance and the other dedicated to iGaming matters. Workshops, forums and conferences will also be held during the event, focusing on topics ranging from gaming developments in the Asia Pacific region to analysis of the Chinese market, technology and innovation. 

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