Gaming machine manufacturers saw a series of highlights during the New Zealand Gaming Expo, held at Sky City Auckland Convention Centre. “Both the Exhibition and the Conference provided real impact and highly relevant content” said Ross Ferrar, CEO of the Australasian Gaming Machine Manufacturers Association (AGMMA).
“From the opening address by Minister of Internal Affairs the Hon. Rick Barker MP through 2 full days of thought provoking conference sessions and the spectacle of new products on display, the Expo confirmed its place as a focal event for Hospitality professionals interested in gaming”, Ferrar said.
“The Minister strongly stated that the future of the industry is largely in its own hands.” Ferrar said. “Mr Barker’s call for gambling operators to be responsible corporate citizens who willingly comply with the letter and spirit of the law, was followed up perfectly by Sky City Chairman Rod McGeoch, who gave practical, real world examples of what must be done to accomplish the Minister’s brief.”
The theme of responsible citizenship was repeatedly discussed during the event, with Hospitality Association CEO Bruce Robertson and Charity Gaming Association CEO Francis Wevers providing the audience with chilling statistics on current public perceptions and what must be done to address them. Gambling operators enjoy a “social licence to operate” according to Wevers and the statistics reveal a “clearer picture than ever before” which requires the industry to make positive constructive change.
Along with the theme of responsible corporate and community citizenship, memorable presentations were provided by Sir Richard Hadlee, legendary fast bowler – and million-selling author Allan Pease, whose observations on communication, the sexes and life experiences are being talked about well after the event.
“Add the gaming machine manufacturers panel session, which provided an honest and open assessment of likely conditions over the next few years and all up it was an entertaining program memorable for all the right reasons” said Ferrar. “We will refer to these sessions in future years.”
A novel new innovation was deployed during the conference, where each audience members was provided with a handheld device enabling them to vote in real time on questions presented. For example, 62% of the audience found the conference content “excellent” or “better than average” while 76% thought that the conference organisation was “excellent” or “better than average”.
The trade exhibition was also memorable for a wide array of the latest in products and services for gaming operations. “This year’s range of exhibitors and products was broader than previous years, which added quite a lot of colour and variety” said Ferrar. “Exhibitors indicated that the show went well for them, which means that the event was worthwhile for all concerned.”