SiGMA Asia debuts in Manila with focus on latest industry trends, East and West connections

Gaming trade show SiGMA Asia kicked off on Wednesday in Manila, Philippines with its awards ceremony. The event, which runs until July 22, continues with its expo and conference today, with a focus on bridging the East and West.

The debut edition, organized by SiGMA Group, focuses on the latest industry trends and solutions in the fields of both online gaming and land-based casinos. The event is being held at the SMX Convention Centre in Manila and is endorsed by regulator Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (PAGCOR).

Emily Micallef, COO of SiGMA Group, in conversation with Macau Business described SiGMA Asia as a “melting pot of ideas, a hub for collaboration, and a catalyst for growth.” 

The trade show boasts an expo space of 20,000 square meters and is expected to draw about 15,000 attendees. “SiGMA offers attendees a unique platform to showcase their products, foster innovation, and establish meaningful connections with some of the top thinkers, operators, affiliates, and suppliers,” Micallef said.

She noted both B2B and B2C brands, as well as a number of land-based exhibitors, will be featured in the event, in addition to stakeholders in the online gaming segment. “The event brings the full spectrum of the industry together — from online to land-based — uniting multiple verticals, such as emerging tech, affiliation, and gaming, for plenty of cross-pollination opportunities,” Micallef added.

This is the first time that SiGMA Group is hosting a trade show in the Philippines, following its SiGMA-branded events in Dubai and Malta. “There is a strong interest in Asia for iGaming and emerging technologies,” Micallef said about choosing Manila as the host of SiGMA Asia.

South-East Asia, especially Manila, has a vibrant entrepreneurial spirit, and there is growing value there, not just for companies seeking fresh opportunities in new jurisdictions but for the economic future of the region.”

Emily Micallef, COO Events at Sigma Group

She also noted that the projections point to significant growth for the Asian gaming sector over the next few years, with iGaming in particular on an upward trajectory, fueled by the rising accessibility of smartphones. “Emerging markets like India, Thailand, and Vietnam are certainly ones to watch. Sports betting has also gained traction and is expected to see a surge in growth by 2025,” Micallef said. 

When compared with other gaming events organized by SiGMA, such as SiGMA Eurasia in Dubai, SiGMA Asia has a carefully curated audience that is specific and targeted at the Asian market“We have a massive audience of European and American businesses looking not only to connect with Asian businesses but also to set up shop there. We are also always mindful of different regulatory landscapes, cultures, and languages – and approach each country differently,” SiGMA’s Micallef said. 

“Attracting a fresh wave of visionaries to Asia’s leading gaming hub, the expo aims to strengthen connections, spark good ideas to life, and share knowledge. This coming together of East and West fuels the expansion of a thriving business ecosystem all set to make its mark on the global landscape.”

Alejandro Tengco, Chairman and Chief Executive of PAGCOR, gave a keynote speech at a conference on July 20. The conference also features several panel sessions covering a variety of topics, including the outlook of major Asian jurisdictions with land-based casinos such as Macau, the Philippines, Singapore, and Malaysia.

Other topics to be highlighted during the panels also include anti-money laundering practices, compliance, and data protection; tax implications of mergers and acquisitions in the online gaming sector; digital currencies and blockchain technology; and the metaverse, among others.

SiGMA Asia will also focus on some of the latest trends in the online gaming segment, including the dominance of mobile gaming, the rise of esports, the integration of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies, the popularity of live casino gaming, and the emergence of blockchain and cryptocurrency applications.

As for land-based casinos, the event will discuss topics such as the “comprehensive” entertainment experiences of integrated resorts, the need for responsible gaming practices, the use of data-driven personalization, the focus on environmental consciousness, and the importance of regulatory compliance, among others.