G2E – The Igaming Congress, Las Vegas NV



This gaming convention was an awesome spectacle of the scope and power of the industry.  There were Pavilions displaying hundreds of different slot machines, gaming tables and other forms of gambling.  There was a Pavilion dedicated to the various tools available to the industry to prevent theft, to provide surveillance, one that showed off the vast progress being made in technology (the insides of the machines for one), the design of casinos and last, but certainly not least to the food service industry.

The food service industry was well represented by giants in the field:  Sysco lead the field with an entire corner dedicated to the broad number of companies represented.  We were impressed by the large number of companies represented by Sysco.  One could sample the entire food industry by just covering the number of food companies they represent (Laura Scudder, Lawry’s, are just two names).  We walked through their display and had a chance to sample the products (including fresh fruit and vegetables as well as chocolate covered cherries and strawberries and the famous Garvey Nut Houses).  At the end of the line they should have had a booth enlarging pants, etc.!  Another large company was Sarah Lee.  No longer limited to the cheesecake that made the company famous their product line ranges from Douwe Egberts coffee (from Holland), to Jimmy Dean sausage, to pastry making companies, and the list goes on.

We were equally impressed by a variety of small companies that have entered the field.

For me, as someone who has left the car keys in the car, KEY-BAK appears to be a great small tool that does not allow that.  The chain runs from your belt to the key. It is hard to forget keys under those conditions.  We spent a bit of time with GERMSTAR.  This company has improved the hand sanitizer (and the product was made by an Austrian!) by improving the germ killing percentage, making the hands softer, and having a pleasant odor.  Their product comes in three or four sizes and can be used at home, in the classrooms, and —well—anywhere.  It is even safe with small children when applied by a parent or older person. They have other great products that will be helpful in keeping the household safe and sanitized. A new product called DINE-A-LIGHT makes going out to eat a lot more fun.  Without going into details, the menus can now be read with the assistance of a small light inside the menu.  The same rule applies to reading the bill when it comes.  The units are rechargeable and will make the patron a lot happier!  INTAZZA is a company with multiple roles and may be bigger than I thought at first.  They produce a wonderful line of paper cups (and other paper products) but are also in the coffee business.  Unfortunately, they did not have a decaf coffee at the show so could not taste.  They did have a small, one cup espresso or coffee machine (and in my favorite color Red) that seemed easy to use and to keep clean.  The machine does rely on pods, and that makes the cup of coffee a bit more expensive.  The machine was not tested out on the floor but appeared well built.  Another company, BAMBOO STUDIO, has a line of eco-friendly all occasion dinnerware made from – yes – bamboo.  Already being used in several large hotels, this line may be both cost effective and green.  Another company, IMPRINT PLUS, made reusable name labels.  Simple, inexpensive, and thinking outside the box.  This use has been expanded to producing larger labels for meeting rooms, desk name plates, and so on.

After visiting these booths we ventured in the brave world of slot machines, gaming tables, and the companies that make the byproducts.  There was an arena of slot machines with all the lights, whistles, and anything else one could wish for.  The machines could be played and enjoyed.  There were companies that produced the paper products that come out of the machines.  There was a marvelous machine that cleans the playing cards, and that produced the chips used in the casinos.  There were broad examples of gaming tables from the ultra de lux to the more plain.  If slot machines can be called sexy, these machines earned that title in spades!  We enjoyed spending some time trying out these machines as one neither won nor lost money (and one could sit and rest the feet!)

We walked through the vast array of furniture (comfortable chairs, luxurious chairs, etc.) and were tempted to test them out but felt we would not move on after that.  It was an easy shift from the furniture to the companies that made the uniforms that are used throughout the gaming industry.  Some were quite sexy, others just plain and useful.

I do not see the use of this inside the home, but LIQUOR MONITOR would be very useful in any hotel, restaurant or casino serving alcohol.  This wireless liquor monitoring system helps control cost and hopefully also eliminates theft.

Who can survive the day without some snacks?  Well, an old company KOZY SHACK, produces a broad line of snacks that would appeal to both adults and children.  Perhaps the longest line in the show was for NATHAN’S hot dogs.  While we waited in line we could watch on their TV the annual contest of who could eat the most hot dogs in ten minutes.  The hot dog is still great and brought back memories of when I lived in Brooklyn and took the trolley to Coney Island for one.

We stopped off at a booth that has a line of products from VIDEO KING that includes portable gaming machines.  Across the aisle was a company selling used slot machines.

We also had to test out the new line of Willy Wonka chocolate bars!  That was quite a pleasant treat and brought back memories of that great movie!

The staff that put this show together has done an awesome job!  The booths were arranged by “subject” and there was enough entertainment provided so everyone could have a great time.  We think that over 15000 people attended this show, and probably more than 2000 attended the reception the night before.  Our hats are off to all the people who pulled this off — as well as to the knowledgeable people manning the booths.

John Lustig, Senior Reporter

Anne Leona, Reporter