th GCS edition just days away, which exhibitors have confirmed their presence?
In this fifth anniversary, the international market has responded with a lot of enthusiasm and expectation. Among the exhibitors confirmed, we can mention firms such as Bally, Novomatic, Alfastreet, Ainsworth, Aristocrat, TransAct, Ranger, Caribbean Gaming Distributors, Casino Essentials, Spin, SIQ, Scarab, Gasser, Patriot Gaming, Axis, Grand View, Slot Ticket, Counting, Global Payments, JF Casinos, Global Net 1, DLV, Interbet, Avigilon, Hot Games, Avalon, Yogonet, Econnect, AromaSys, Casino Americano, C&C and Tech Art, among others.
Are there any spaces left on offer?
All the spaces have been sold out 30 days in advance of the show. The companies that wanted to enter with little time unfortunately could not participate, and despite the assistance that Caribbean Gaming Show & Summit has received from local authorities, when dealing with importation and customs processes you need time. I am sure that the 2015 edition will be received with much more pleasure by the international industry.
What are the estimates this year regarding the number of exhibitors, division of exhibition space, visitor levels, etc?
Final numbers will be available after the show. However, we can reveal that that a number of authorities from Jamaica, Antigua and Barbuda and Panama have confirmed their presence. Of course, we are also expecting the presence of the Gambling Director of Puerto Rico (Cía. de Turismo de Puerto Rico), Andy Viera.
With regard to the operators from different countries such as Puerto Rico, Aruba, Panama, Virgin Islands, Jamaica, with the show just days away we have registered more than 150 of them. In terms of new manufacturers, which will not be exhibiting on this occasion but will come to Puerto Rico to network, strengthen their presence and open doors, we are expecting around 100 executives.
CGS 2014 is not a massive event; it is small one. A quiet environment is expected for conducting business and networking, where the exhibitors can really focus on spending time with the right people.
What can you tell us about the International Summit?
Sessions scheduled for Wednesday 19 and Thursday 20 are divided in two themes: on the first day there will be a specific focus on gaming, whereas the second day’s focus is on iGaming.
We are greateful for the participation of key industry figures such as Andy Viera from Cía. de Turismo de Puerto Rico; Gisella Brea, Panama Gambling Director; Karen Sierra, Development Manager for Latin America; Víctor Pereyra, international counsellor of Price Waterhouse Coopers; Rick Gerrero from Axis Communications; Víctor Arias from Lead Affiliates; Richard Williamson from BMM; and Alan Pedley from Gaming Associates, among others.
What is the current situation like of the casino industry in Puerto Rico?
Puerto Rico is at a decisive juncture right now. Street gaming competes in a disloyal way with local casinos and it is, in part, due to certain legal voids that will surely start to be analyzed and, at some point, addressed.
This situation has been seen again and again in different jurisdictions and, when the situation becomes unsustainable and demands action, I am sure changes will be made. My opinion is shared by many others across the industry, but does not necessarily reflect the interests or short-term goals of the country.
It is clear that the new direction that the Gaming Division of the Cía. de Turismo de Puerto Rico is taking will lead to positive changes for the industry – with more growth potential and innovation making casinos more attractive.
What makes this place attractive for operators and manufacturers?
Every regulated market -Puerto Rico’s is the second oldest after Las Vegas -which also needs regulatory changes is an attractive place for international operators and new manufacturers seeking to expand their business and scope of action. With its myriad attractions, it is easy to understand why new international brands are keen to invest in hotels, resorts and casinos.
The popularity of CGS 2014 is proof of the attraction that Puerto Rico generates in the Caribbean region. At Puerto Rico Convention Center we will see important managers of different leading brands of the industry, as well as the main sales executives of land-based and online suppliers.
The perspective towards a regulatory change to allow and regulate online gambling is the greatest attraction in this first edition in Puerto Rico. The Caribbean Gaming Show & Summit will celebrate its 5th anniversary in this beautiful country, and we will celebrate the 10th edition right here. We expect to share its success with you all.