ROME, Italy -- The organizers of the 2012 Enada International Amusement & Gaming Machine Show reported the 40th presentation continued the event's growth. One of two Enada shows held annually, Enada Roma this year attracted 15,896 visitors -- 8.1% more than the 14,702 who attended in 2011 -- and hosted 200 exhibitors occupying 30,000 square meters (almost 323,000 square feet) in three exhibit halls at the Fieri di Roma complex. Of those exhibiting companies, 35% were from countries other than Italy.
On display were the latest developments from leading Italian and foreign companies in the product, technology and service categories.
The 40th Enada kicked off on Oct. 17 with the participation of a number of distinguished guests. These included Gianfranco Conte, chairman of the 6th Commission, Finance of the Italian Chamber of Deputies; Alberto Giorgetti, a member of the 5th Commission, Budget, Treasury and Programming of the Chamber of Deputies; and Davide Diamare, manager, Office 12, Machines and Conferences for Amusement and Entertainment for AAMS. (The Amministrazione Autonoma Monopoli di Stato is the Italian government's gaming regulatory body within the Finance Ministry.)
Also taking part in the opening ceremonies were Raffaele Curcio, chairman of Enada sponsor SAPAR (Sezioni Apparecchi per Pubbliche Attrazioni Ricreative), a section of Italy's entertainment industries association with a membership of approximately 1,500 owners, manufacturers and retailers of amusement machines; and Lorenzo Cagnoni, chairman of Rimini Fiera, the company that organizes the event.
A KEY INDUSTRY
In their welcoming addresses, the officials emphasized the importance of SAPAR's Enada expositions in representing an industry made up of 5,800 enterprises with a workforce of over 100,000.
"The 40th edition of Enada Rome was an opportunity for clarifying some essential points," said SAPAR chairman Raffaele Curcio. "The sector's demonization does not help, and we must not forget that this trade not only creates tax revenue, but also many jobs.
"The evolution of the gaming world has been so rapid that the social aspects have very often not been taken into consideration," Curcio continued. "So, during the three days of the exhibition, we are sharing initiatives with all our trade members that are, above all, aimed at preventing compulsive gaming, such as the pilot project launched with Cesena's Ser. T (addiction service centers), and we hope to have more precise information on the phenomenon at the next exhibition."
The first business session offered insights into the gaming sector, based on an analysis made by the Automat-SAPAR Study Center. Updating the data gathered in July 2012, the figures show that government tax revenue dropped 10%, despite an increase of approximately 20% in wagers (to 51.23 billion euro from 42.76 billion euro in 2011). This is attributable to players tending to favor new products -- video lotteries, cash poker and casino games -- that offer high payouts at a low tax rate.
The new slot machines are the most productive type at present, with a 32% market share, although their revenue declined 6.2%. Nevertheless, they remain the major contributor; their 1.93 billion euro from January to July 2012 represented 41.1% of the tax revenue from games.
During the educational program, SAPAR focused on the social impact of gaming, summarizing the activities that it undertakes throughout the year. The association stressed the importance of accurate information, knowledge and responsibility at all levels as the keys to effective action in deterring compulsive gaming. The SAPAR symposium concluded with an appeal for everyone involved -- individuals, trade members and institutions -- to become more responsible in their behavior and their choices, in order to prevent pathological forms of gaming. This responsibility will be increased by real knowledge of the problem, the association emphasized.
Enada also hosted a thought-provoking presentation on gaming and the social media organized by BizUp SRL (Rome), an international online marketing agency specializing in global link-building for highly competitive segments. This presentation explained that involvement, and winning client loyalty, are the first duties of gaming industry members seeking to secure a high profile for their brands in social media like Facebook and Twitter. The presentation explored the impact that social media have had on the gaming business in Italy, outlining the behavior of players and the strategies of the sector's key operators.
"Conference Bingo: what the future has in store," organized by the ANIB (Italian National Bingo Association), discussed the renewal of licenses and the potential of Super Bingo. The discussion called attention to licensees' need for certainty regarding long-term licenses and the impact of measures that weaken this certainty, such as the request for an onerous alignment at least until 2016. The seminar also suggested that Super Bingo offer the possibility of high-level wins.
A highlight of Enada 2012 was the 3rd Rome Pinball Tournament, organized by the International Flipper Pinball Association Italia amateur sports association and Tecnoplay, with the support of Stern Pinball (for whom Tecnoplay is a distributor), Gioco News and Rimini Fiera; it was valid for the World Pinball Player Rankings circuit.
The tourney was won by Rome's Daniele Celestino Acciari, the Tecnoplay Team ace, who beat 20 competitors from all over Italy to take sole possession of first place. His passion for this game also made him 2012 World Champion of competitive pinball in Seattle, repeating his triumph a year earlier in Minneapolis.
For the first time, a woman took part in the Rome pinball tournament: 25-year old Laura Silvestri from Rome, who placed fourth.
Summing up the 40th Enada, Rimini Fiera chairman Lorenzo Cagnoni said that the progress of the show has been solid. The spring and fall stagings, in Rimini and Rome, give Enada the ability to adapt to the dynamism of "a close-knit business category always aiming to innovate.
"After the 40th edition of Enada in Rome, we are preparing to celebrate 25 years of Enada Spring in Rimini next March," he continued. "Enada 2012 showed how united the sector is." This has enabled the show to enjoy important participation by elected officials and the State Monopoly Administration, AAMS.
Cagnoni also thanked SAPAR not only for its role as a "business multiplier," but also for its tireless efforts to keep the spotlight on the problem of compulsive gambling.
Enada began as the Esposizione Nazionale di Apparecchi da Divertimento Automatici; as it grew in size and international stature, the name was changed to the shorter form. Sponsor SAPAR is one of the "sections" represented by Italy's entertainment industries association AGIS (Associazione Generale Italiana Spettacolo).
Enada Primavera (Spring) 2013 is set for March 12 through 15 at the Rimini Expo Center.