G2E Asia 2020, one of the largest annual conventions in Macau, is being rescheduled from May to July because of the ongoing outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
The postponement moves the Global Gaming Expo to July 28-30. The location remains the same – The Venetian Macau Cotai Expo Center.
Our top priority is ensuring a safe environment for employees, customers, and exhibitors,” a statement from G2E Asia explained. “In consultation with our exhibitors and the Macau government, and out of an abundance of caution, we are postponing G2E Asia 2020.”
The planners added, “G2E Asia, and its organizers the American Gaming Association and Reed Exhibitions, fully understand and appreciate the level of planning that is required to participate in an event like ours. Regrettably, the COVID-19 outbreak and related travel and commercial restrictions make those preparations too difficult to hold the show as planned in May.”
G2E Asia is considered by some to be the premiere international exhibition for the Asian gaming industry. G2E Asia 2019 was its largest to date, with 13,500 trade visitors in attendance.
G2E is the largest global conference for the gaming industry and is held each year in Las Vegas.
Deadly Virus Killing Business
China is where the novel coronavirus originated, and though it is now in 64 countries, the vast majority of confirmed cases remain in the People’s Republic. Of the 88,948 cases, 80,174 are in China.
Macau, a Chinese Special Administrative Region (SAR), has done well to block the spread of the disease into the enclave. The casino hub has only confirmed 10 cases, with no new cases in more than a week.
That’s largely because of the closure of casinos last month, and a lengthy screening process for those wishing to enter. The closure and vast reduction in tourism has led to a devastating impact on the SAR’s economy.
Gross gaming revenue (GGR) tumbled nearly 88 percent last month to $387 million, the worst monthly decline in Macau history. A recovery is expected to take many months.
Macau International Airport recently confirmed that 24 airlines are canceling flights this month to and from the gambling hub.
Macau is the richest gaming center in the world. The second, Las Vegas, is also reeling from the coronavirus. Over the weekend, both the White House and Google called off planned conferences that were to occur later this month in Sin City.
President Donald Trump’s administration said the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), scheduled for March 14 in Las Vegas, was being postponed to an unannounced later date. Google scrapped plans to hold an internal conference.
It will be a couple weeks until casino data for February is revealed from the Nevada Gaming Control Board. The disease’s impact is expected to be minimal – a slight drop in Asian travelers will likely lead to lower baccarat play.
However, that could change as the number of coronavirus cases in the US increases and additional travel bans are placed.