The organisers of the market-leading ICE B2B exhibition for gaming and betting have suffered a major blow this week. One of the event’s key exhibitors has announced that it’s impossible for it to attend the newly rescheduled date due to several reasons, including COVID-19 and Brexit.
Who has pulled out of ICE?
The company which can no longer attend the 2022 conference is Merkur Gaming. It owns what was previously known as Beacon Bingo, as well as many high street gaming centres. It also manufacturers online games and physical games cabinets.
Merkur Gaming is part of the Gauselmann Group – a globally renowned company that owns several other subsidiaries including GeWeTe and Blueprint Gaming – and it’s also expected that all Gauselmann-operated brands will follow suit by cancelling their planned appearance at this year’s ICE.
According to a press release, Merkur has “reluctantly taken the decision to withdraw from its planned participation as a major exhibitor” for several reasons.
Firstly, the event is due to take place just before Easter. Secondly, Omicron is still presently “a major health risk” in the UK, and thirdly, Merkur says that it would suffer “additional logistical difficulties” resulting from the UK’s departure from the EU.
What is ICE 2022?
ICE London is an annual exhibition that’s organised by Clarion Gaming. It sees thousands of attendees and visitors decent on England’s capital to show their latest products and innovations, and it also creates multiple networking opportunities.
Originally, this year’s exhibition was scheduled to take place from 1st to 3rd February, but Clarion Gaming was forced to postpone it due to Covid restrictions and potential travel complications with delegates flying in from abroad. It was subsequently rearranged for 12th to 14th April 2022.
Merkur says that it regards both the show and its organisers as “major factors” in its success and that it hopes to “re-engage” with them as soon as it can, but only at the “right time, in the right place, and in the right conditions”.
The exhibition still hopes to welcome over 600 other global gaming industry exhibitors, including Oryx Gaming, Amatic Industries, Nolimit City, Red Rake Gaming, and Novomatic.