BEGE 2008 reveals the face of the industry on the Balkans

At the end of September 2008, Sofia hosted the first Balkan Entertainment and Gaming Expo - BEGE 2008. Initiator and organizer of the event was the Bulgarian Trade Association of the Manufacturers and Operators in the Gaming Industry (BTAMOGI) – the first association in the gaming sector to have contributed a lot to the development and prestige of the industry both in Bulgaria and Europe. The event took place under the patronage of the State Commission on Gambling.


Both the participants and the guests of the event were impressed by the excellent organization, ranking it among the most prestigious events in the industry world wide. The participants exhibited their latest products and services, demonstrating high, international quality, innovative concepts on a very professional level.


The exposition covered an area of 5200 sq.m. in the Inter Expo Center, in Sofia., where 78 companies, from 18 countries, exhibited their products. These companies specialized in the manufacturing of gaming equipment, systems and equipment for casinos, gaming halls management, entertainment, hotel, resort and amusement centers. Although this event was organized for the very first time, it attracted more than 2000 visitors from 40 countries in the world who had the chance to get acquainted with the latest achievements of the regional and world leaders in the gaming industry. Most of the guests expressed the opinion that BEGE 2008 ranked among the best and most successful exhibitions in the sector right form the beginning.


The Exhibitors


The exhibitors included world famous companies from the gaming industry like Aristocrat Technologies Europe, WSM Gaming, TCS John Huxley, MEI, SUZO, Alfastreet, Gold Club, Shuffle Master, JCM. Bulgaria was represented by 41 exhibiting companies that were well known in the international market, headed by Casino Technology and Euro Games Technology. The products of both companies are already a brand name in the region and the world. Many companies from Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Serbia, Ukraine, and Canada participated, too. For a first event of this kind in Bulgaria the exposition was recognized as a success and as a very timely event that responded to the growing interests of the gaming operators and the manufacturers to this region. The exhibition filled in a substantial niche, revealed the face of the industry and the latest novelties in the sector, according to comments by participants. They also commented that the gaming business needed such events, which not only present the latest trends but also help the business be more successful.


The participants in the EXPO expressed their intent and readiness to participate in the next BEGE 2009, which is scheduled to take place 5-7 October, again in Inter Expo Center, Sofia.


The organizers were also pleased and shared their ambition for BEGE to become a traditional exposition rivaling such prestigious events such as ICE and ATEI – in London, G2E in Las Vegas and Macau, Industria Razvlechenii in Ukraine, EELEX in Moscow, SAGSE in Buenos Aires and Panama.


The Awards


The BEGE created a competition for a most successful company and product in the different categories of the business. The awards were presented during an official gala dinner organized for the guests and participants in the show. WSM Gaming International won the award for “International casino equipment manufacturer on the Balkans” in the category Slot machines. The prize for “Most successful market entry on the Balkans of a peripheral equipment and parts manufacturer” was awarded to JCM, while TCS John Huxley was recognized as “International manufacturer of casino equipment on the Balkans”. Three companies received awards in the category “Gaming equipment industrial design” – these were: Euro Games Technology with their Vega Vision Slant top series, Aristocrat - with Viridian upright slot series, and Casino Technology for its product PlayMe. The award for a best design of a pavilion was taken by „Blitz”, and the award for “Most successful new manufacturing company in the Balkans for 2008” was given to Shuffle Master. Two companies among the operators were recognized in the category “Innovative casino strategy on the Balkans”: Princess Casino International – as a casino operator, and City Casino Group – as an operator of electronic casino (gaming hall). Storm International got the prize for an “Eastern European Casino Operator Adoption of a Responsible Gaming Program”.


The organizers hope that the competition will become a tradition, where the nominations recognize the latest achievements and new trends in the gaming industry.