ICE expands global reach


ICE expands global reach

Eighth consecutive year of growth for London casino exhibition

London's International Casino Exhibition (ICE) has continued its record of sustained growth for the eighth consecutive year, with organisers Clarion Gaming revealing the final attendance at the 2008 show reached an all-time high of 12 972.

The figure, comprising 10 111 unique ICE-dedicated visitors and a further 2 861 in the co-located remote gaming show ICEi, represents an annual growth of 7.9 percent.

Cross-over figures also reveal a further 6 960 buyers from the co-located ATEI (soft gaming expo) visited ICE 2008, boosting the gross attendance to 19 932.

One of the most remarkable statistics from the show was the geographical spread: no fewer than 115 national territories were represented by visitors, five more than the previous year, with five jurisdictions ? the Marshall Islands, Nicaragua, Rwanda, Tuvalu and US Minor Outlying Islands all represented for the first time. By including ATEI cross-overs, visitors on the show floor combined to represent a global audience of some 127 territories.

International and UK-based visitor levels both grew, with the non-UK contingent up 1.5 percent to 7 337 and domestic visitor numbers rising 18.2 percent to 5 526.

Growth was recorded across several geographical regions, most notably the Far East/South East Asia whose visitor numbers increased by 18.8 percent year-on-year from 231 to 284. Middle Eastern and North African representation grew by 11.2 percent to 198, with continental Europe and the CIS up 2.4 percent to 5 663 and Southern & Central Africa up 1.5 percent to 134.

Outside of the United Kingdom, the USA narrowly retained its top ranking status, with a 2.7 percent year-on-year growth in visitor numbers taking its tally to 501. Narrowly missing out on top spot was Austria, whose 14.0 percent increase placed the country second with 596 visitors.

Sweden (457 visitors) leapt into third place courtesy of a 25.6 percent rise in attendance. The remaining top ten overseas nations included Germany (447 visitors), Slovenia (392), Spain (387), Italy (385), France (381), Netherlands (294) and Malta (221).

Karen Cooke, Clarion Gaming's Head of Exhibitions, said: "ICE and ICEi continue to demonstrate their huge appeal to operators from every jurisdiction in the world, whether land-, cruise- or remotely-based. Much of the credit for the attractive powers of the show must go to the exhibitors who year-on-year continue to surpass themselves in the depth and breadth of their innovative displays."

Next year's ICE/ICEi takes place at the Earls Court Exhibition Centre, London, UK on 27-29 January 2009.

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