The 2nd Balkan Entertainment and Gaming Expo (BEGE) and the 2nd Eastern European Gaming Summit have earned much praise from attendees and industry professionals.
For the second successive year, as an initiative of the Bulgarian Trade Association of the Manufacturers and Operators in the Gaming Industry (BTAMOGI) and under the patronage of Bulgarian State Commission on Gambling, the Balkan Entertainment and Gaming Expo and the Eastern European Gaming Summit were held on 5-7 October in Sofia.. The list of exhibitors included 50 companies representing more than 15 countries including Slovenia, Czech Republic, Serbia, Russia, Canada, Dubai, Great Britain, USA, Greece and Poland. Among the exhibitors were 10 leading world companies, including Casino Technology, the largest Bulgarian based manufacturer.
BEGE warmly welcomed companies from China, Macedonia and Romania who made their debut in the Eastern European market. The number of Bulgarian exhibitors at the trade show this year also grew to 16. Once again, the aim of the organizers of the exhibition was to present visitors with the latest achievements of both world and regional leaders in the Gaming and Entertainment Industry, showcasing their innovation in all product lines: slot machines and equipment, systems and specialized installations for casinos, gaming halls, hotels, resorts and amusement centers. The organizers’ efforts, following suit with last year’s notable debut of BEGE, proved successful and despite the turbulent economic times BEGE embraced the participation of a number of smaller companies who chose to take advantage of the opportunity to enter the regional market and to present their newest products.
After receiving positive feedback on the events from last year, BTAMOGI continues to maintain active communication with other public fields outside the Industry. This year Bulgarian Gaming Association presented its new initiative, the Career Center, with the aim to establish an easily accessible source of information related to Gaming and Tourism. This includes useful updates concerning new possibilities for studies, qualifications and internships for everyone interested in starting a career in this area.
On the second day of BEGE and EEGS, during a party of the organizers in the Palms Merkur casino, , was held the official ceremony of the annual Gaming Awards of BEGE, distinguishing persons and companies who contributed to the development of the gaming industry in the last year. Awards were presented for six categories: Most successful new casino brand, Best new video slot game design, Most innovative video slot game, Best industrial design of a casino product, Most effective customer support, and Most successful positioning of a new casino product.
The organizers also presented Special Awards to several persons and companies for their merits to the gaming industry’s progress in the region.
The second edition of the Eastern European Gaming Summit was focused on issues concerning the challenges faced by operators during the year, development prospects for the upcoming 2010, and effective marketing strategies in times of an economic downturn. The opportunities for strategic cooperation between the Tourism and Gaming industries in the South Eastern Region and the theme of Online Gaming and its regulation were one of the most discussed topics. For the second year the program of the Eastern European Gaming Summit presented top specialists from international consultant companies, international institutions, and gaming associations including: Annette Kok – President of European Gaming and Amusement Federation (EUROMAT), Signe Birne – Chairman of Gaming Regulators European Forum (GREF),Andre Wilsenach – Chairman of International Association of Gaming Regulators (IAGR),
Robert Stocker – President of International Masters of Gaming Law (IMGL), and Robert Miller – Vice President of International Association of Gaming Advisers (IAGA). Slightly changing the conference’s format, was the introduction of the EEGS Masterclass. Part of the conference for the first time it attracted the attention of more than 35 participants, spending two days in seminars presented by The Slot Academy and its principal, Lucien Wijsman, and by International Casino Monitoring and its president, Mike Wallis. The focus of the seminars program was on the effective leadership and modern casino management.
The organizers of the second edition of BEGE Expo and EEGS are confident that both events proved the gaming industry in Bulgaria and the South Eastern European region are fully capable of overcoming the problems that resulted from the global economic downturn. The interest from clients, operators, and manufacturers towards both events keeps growing at a steady level and the demonstrated achievements, innovations and products symbolize the prospective potential of the gaming industry in the region. A good regulatory climate and the motivation to develop Bulgaria as a first-class tourist destination are the basis for the promising future and dynamic development of the gaming sector. This is why both organizers and attendees are looking towards the next edition of both BEGE and EEGS.