Update 17 December, 2021: Clarion Gaming has confirmed that ICE London will, in fact, face a delay due to coronavirus concerns. The company will post further details on December 22.
Full steam ahead
Despite conflicting reports about the ICE London 2022 gaming trade show going ahead due to COVID-19 concerns, it now appears that the event will take place as planned. Clarion Gaming, the organizer of the major gaming tradeshow, is set to hold a press briefing on Friday regarding the matter. According to Gambling Insider, the main reason for the press briefing is to provide assurances to stakeholders that the event will go ahead as planned in early February 2022.
Speaking to Gambling Insider, Clarion Gaming Group managing director Alex Pratt said: “We will always do what is right for the industry and deliver the event our customers want including both the operators and suppliers. Currently ICE is going ahead.”
event that is to begin on February 1, 2022 at ExCel London
The company will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and issue further communications in case anything changes with the three-day event that is to begin on February 1, 2022 at ExCel London, which is currently being used by the National Health Service (NHS) as an emergency hospital.
Concerns from the AGEM
Rumors were making the rounds this week that ICE London could be postponed because of concerns from the Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers (AGEM) about the new Omicron COVID-19 variant that is rapidly spreading across the world.
A discussion reportedly took place on Tuesday regarding the matter during the AGEM’s monthly meeting. ICE representatives discussed the arrangements for the event, including the event registration process, travel requirements, and visitation expectations. AGEM members had concerns about financial risks associated with the uncertainty about the event. Manufacturers of slot machines were also worried about shipping deadlines as the planned ICE exhibition gets closer.
The AGEM was set to conduct a poll of the association’s members in order to see if they wish to proceed as planned with the February date, push it back a couple of months, or totally cancel it for 2022. The results from the survey will be made final by the end of this week.
No luck in 2021
There are many stakeholders who want the event to go ahead as planned due to its key place in the annual events calendar. It is known as the biggest global gathering of gaming operators in Europe. According to the event’s website, attendees will “meet the leaders, decision-makers, technology experts and policy regulators that will help you create long-term success.”
The ICE London event did not go ahead at all in 2021
The ICE London event was cancelled in 2021 because of the pandemic. There were two delays to the originally planned event before the in-person aspect of the event was ultimately canceled for the year.