The upcoming edition of ICE London is now only one week away from launch, and expectations are as high as they could be. The global industry is set to reunite once again at ExCel London for what promise to be three stacked days of networking, education and gaming novelties at one of the major events for the sector, now occupying a record 51,466 sqm of net space and 41 halls.
Among companies returning to London for ICE’s first truly grand-scale edition since the pandemic is Merkur Gaming. There, the gaming brand, part of the German-based Gauselmann Group, will showcase its latest products at a massive booth display, where the business will be joined by its sister companies and representatives from a variety of the countries in which it has a market presence.
Ahead of the event, Yogonet caught up with David Orrick, director of Industry Relations with Merkur Gaming, on what the brand’s showcase will be like, the importance of ICE London’s return to its pre-pandemic glory days, and how the company was able to keep innovation at the forefront during the pandemic.
The company will be participating in the upcoming edition of ICE London with what it called “the biggest and brightest booth display in London’s ExCeL north halls.” What will attendees approaching the stand find?
Walk through the well-signed N4 door at ExCel and you will be very welcome at Merkur World. Take a quick look around or walk first to the well-staffed Info Booth then prepare to be excited and motivated by the range of products on display. You will find a wide range of Linked Jackpot Progressive systems: Link Zone, Solar Link, China Charms, the Legend of Fulu Chen and Red Pocket, plus the Merkur Mystery display.
Add to that a new Jackpot making its international show debut, the simply named ‘Five’, a brand new and unique cabinet innovation ‘Zonic’, a range of new games destined to become strong sensations in their multigame application and not forgetting an impressive theatre style presentation of the Merkur Roulette and it is very clear there is much to see and perhaps play for yourself.
Given ICE London’s status as one of the major global events in the industry, what are your expectations and objectives for the expo?
After almost three years of wait, ICE is back on its traditional dates and venue. It is a hugely welcome return to a show that Merkur regards as its ‘home event’. As the whole world has changed since 2020 so too has the entire dynamic of the gaming industry itself.
Gaming, both land-based and online, has expanded into a landscape where content is King, entertainment in gaming is more critical than ever and so too is the important social responsibility element of the entire industry. Merkur is an established omni-channel solutions provider and our primary objective at ICE is to present our Merkur World, in all its sectors, to visitors from across the globe.
We expect a great show: one that will still have challenges to meet but one that hopefully can return ICE to its place of world dominance in the gaming B2B exhibitions sphere.
Merkur's booth at G2E 2022, in November
Merkur Gaming will be supported by other members of the gaming family at the expo, including regional subsidiaries, Merkur eSolutions, and online gaming specialist edict eGaming. What can you tell us about this multi-area approach to gaming?
The Merkur presentation represents, as already stated, our global omni-channel solutions status. That is why we have strong reputation from our many national subsidiaries such as Merkur Dosniha from Spain, Merkur Gaming Netherlands, Blueprint from the UK (with its separate presentations for both online and land based gaming); representation from our Latin American companies in Argentina, Colombia, Mexico and Peru; and national representations from Romania, Bulgaria and Serbia who, together with colleagues, bring our strong presence across Europe, and beyond, to the fore.
The event comes as we enter a new year for gambling. What is your assessment of the company’s performance in 2022, and what should we expect from it in 2023?
As could be expected, the post-pandemic year 2022 saw the gaming industry’s gradual, and successful, recovery worldwide. But even through the darkest days of the pandemic, its enforced shutdowns and its subsequent financial downturns, Merkur kept on working: particularly in the areas of research and development and product planning. Many of the innovations to be seen from Merkur at ICE 2023 are the direct result of that outstanding commitment to keep working, no matter what the challenges.
What other industry events does the company plan to attend in 2023?
While the Merkur 2023 show calendar is still being fine-tuned, it can be expected that our success in and our commitment to Latin America will see us return in strength to Lima for the Peru Gaming Show, our growth across eastern Europe, the Balkans and beyond will dictate our presence in Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria and, of course, we will have our traditional major presence at G2E in Las Vegas in the autumn. Our clients expect our presence at these, and other events and, as always, our commitment to our customers remains as strong as ever.