Espelkamp/Sofia. Returning after its two years, Covid-required hiatus, the Balkan Entertainment & Gaming Expo (BEGE), together with its accompanying Eastern European Gaming Summit (EEGS) conference returned to Sofia, Bulgaria’s Inter Expo Center and Merkur Gaming (a longstanding supporter of the event) played an admirable part by presenting a booth packed full of innovations that proved a big attraction to the show’s visitors.
Run over two days (23rd – 24th November) BEGE attracted more than 80 exhibitors and the aisles, presented their portfolios particularly on Day 1, were thronged with visitors: both national and international. The Merkur booth put on a great show. Supported by cash handling experts GeWeTe and Merkur eSolutions, Merkur Gaming highlighted their new linked progressive jackpot Red Pocket and a selection of Merkur Mystery games that drew major attention from booth visitors. Also shown was the ETG (electronic table games) attraction Merkur Roulette and – as always with Merkur trade show events – there was a constant stream of visitors that enjoyed the top class food and beverage catering on offer.
BEGE’s first day wasn’t over when the show itself closed. That evening, at Sofia’s classy Marinela Hotel, came the traditional BEGE awards event, rewarding the success of the winners in 18 separate categories. The awards event is accompanied by a spectacular show party, featuring several notable music performers, that went on long into the night. Day 2 of the show was rather more quiet than its predecessor but still an exceptional day for Merkur as customers and business partners from surrounding countries in the region ensured that the booth was kept busy: from the start to the conclusion of the show.
The east European region is well served by gaming exhibitions. There are annual events in Serbia, Romania and, of course, Bulgaria. All of these have the ambition to become the ‘Best of the Balkans’, all are very professionally run and all create a positive business climate for this vibrant and exciting region. Which is the best of the best? Opinions vary markedly but the fact that all three events fill a need for operators to meet and interface with suppliers is just one more factor that proves the region has developed over recent times, even despite the pandemic restrictions, into a very real star on the international gaming industry landscape.
Athanasios ,Sakis’ Isaakidis, Merkur Gaming’s chief executive, international, wrapped up Merkur’s show by commenting: “BEGE has been a great event for Merkur. I want to thank the entire team for the hard work that they have put in, our success here is definitely down to all their efforts. I also want to thank our customers and business partners, here in Bulgaria and also throughout the region, for showing us such great loyalty and support during such difficult recent times. But, as we have seen here in Sofia, BEGE is back, Bulgaria is buzzing once again and the future for all Balkan gaming enterprises looks extremely bright. I can guarantee that Merkur will continue to maintain and increase its commitment to all of the markets that have supported us so well and made us a key supplier in the region.”