IAG FEBRUARY 2017 web - page 4

inside
asiangaming
February2017
4
Achange isasgoodasaholiday
I
vividly remember the first time I came toMacau, almost
a decade ago in 2008. Having somewhat established
myself amongst the poker community as having at least
some ideawhat I was talking about, I was flown over by
PokerStars as their travelling journalist for the inaugural Asia
Pacific Poker Tour Macau main event – tasked with finding
enough stories of interest to sell to media outlets back in
Australia.No easy task in itself, I can assure you!
But I digress. The APPT event was held at the old Grand
Waldo, so naturally that is where I was housed as well. I still
recall the countlessproblems I had simply trying togetmy in-
roomWiFi toprovide any sort of signal.
On the third morning of my stay, I decided to take a
morning stroll to see the surrounding landscape. After all,
I’d heard a lot about the Venetian (pictured) and given it was
the only other structure of significance I could see anywhere
nearby I flagged it asmy destination.
As it turned out, the Venetianwas a lot further away that I
thought – bigmistake in the hot Macau sun! I did, however,
wander past a massive construction site that piqued my
interest along theway. I didn’t knowmuchabout it at the time,
but the open, cavernous concrete floors rising high into the
sky would eventually become the architectural marvel that is
GalaxyMacau.
The reason I recount this story isbecause it highlights just
how fast things change in the gaming industry. Back then,
the Venetian rose like amountain out of the Cotai landscape
because there was simply nothing else of its ilk nearby. Now
it is surrounded by resorts – Sands Cotai Central and City of
Dreams across the road, the Parisian next door, Studio City
one block further down – not to mention Galaxy and the
recently openedWynnPalace alsonearby. TheCotai Striphas
come to life, rising from the swamplandmuch like Las Vegas
rose from thedesert before it.
This month the
IAG
team will be heading to London to
attend ICETotallyGaming,widelyacknowledgedas theworld’s
premier gaming exhibition and trade show where the who’s
whoof the gamingworldwill come together todobusiness.
Therewill, quite literally, behundredsof exhibitorspresent
from every sector of the gaming industry imaginable. And
every single one of themwill have new and exciting products
to show – some with a brighter future than others but all
proving that this is an industry full of innovation and always
striving tohit upon thenext “game changer.”
With all of the regulatory ups and downs, economic
influences, social considerations and a customer base that
refuses to stand still, thegaming industrydoesn’t alwayshave
it easy, but rest assured the world would be a much duller
placewithout it!
BenBlaschke
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