By Clyde Mooney

The 2011 Australasian Gaming Expo (AGE) kicked off yesterday (Aug 21) to a rousing response at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre in Darling Harbour.

This year there are 183 exhibitors across three big rooms, showcasing everything from the latest in gaming technology and crowd-pleasers, to interior design and venue management.

Some very impressive stands adorn the rooms, displaying all the glitz and glamour that gaming has come to represent.

The Gaming Technologies Association (GTA) is the driving force behind the event, both representing the gaming manufacturing industry and hosting one of the biggest hospitality networking experiences of the year.

“So far we’ve gotten more visitors – both pre-registered and attending on the Sunday. And today (Aug 22) looks like even more visitors than last year,” said Ross Ferrar, GTA CEO.

As part of the celebrations the GTA is giving away a trip for two to Las Vegas each day, with yesterday’s winner onsite for the draw and ecstatic about the win.

“We gave an award last night for the Best Stand, which went to Tai Ping Carpets, from Taiwan,” said Ferrar.

“They are looking to get some business happening in Australia, and this has clearly been the ideal event for them.”

The Asian-based exhibitors and casino representatives are an obvious force and developing influence, with some exhibitors catering almost exclusively for this market.

“When they realise there are 5,700 venues in Australia that have gaming… those sort of numbers blow them away,” said Ferrar on the permeation of Asian gaming influences.

The Expo continues tomorrow, with the final day expected to see a good complement of country and interstate visitors.

Next year the AGE will change from operating Sunday to Tuesday to instead be on from Tuesday to Thursday, reflecting a fresh view on the professionalism of the pub and club industry and the significance of the Expo to bring together the leaders and decision makers from all facets of the hospitality industry.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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