|Data released by ATE, organisers of the London-based International Casino Exhibition (ICE) and the co-located Amusement Trades Exhibition International (ATEI), illustrates the growing convergence between the coin-op and adult gambling markets.|
Of those buyers who registered for ATEI, 8,582 – which is close to 60 per cent of the total – also took advantage of the opportunity to see the latest technology and trends upstairs in the casino exhibition. However the migration of visitors wasn't all one way. 78 per cent of ICE pre-registered visitors said that they would also be visiting ATEI to see what the coin-op sector had to offer their businesses.
The level of visitor crossover between ICE and ATEI is likely to be further evident in 2004 when the casino exhibition moves from the first to the ground floor of Earls Court, adjacent to ATEI.
Heather Turner, marketing manager at ATE said: 'Whilst the decision to relocate ICE was based purely on operational criteria and the need to accommodate increased demand, I foresee a greater flow between both exhibitions once they are situated on the same level.' She added: 'Although we anticipated the level of visitor transference from ATEI to ICE I think the level of movement in the other direction – from ICE to ATEI – will surprise quite a few people.'
One exhibitor who is planning to take advantage of the convergence is UK gaming machine manufacturer Project Coin. The company, which will be exhibiting at ATEI for the 20th time in 2004, has opted to move its stand to the back of Earls Court 1 and close to the crossover point between the two exhibitions. The company's managing director, Tony Boulton, believes that the ICE move couldn't have been better timed. He explained: 'The number of casino buyers visiting ATEI was certainly greater this year than at any time in the past and I can see that increasing significantly in 2004. The move towards gambling deregulation in the UK has served to blur the demarcation lines between soft and hard gambling. Whilst we will maintain a sharp UK focus, a lot of our products are now relevant to the global casino market. I think visitors and exhibitors from both ATEI and ICE will benefit from an even greater degree of crossover and the cross-fertilisation of ideas, applications, trends and technology that come with it.'
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