World Game Protection Conference in Las Vegas postponed until October Buck Wargo, CDC Gaming Reports · March 12, 2020 at 6:33 pm The World Game Protection Conference in Las Vegas was postponed Thursday due to the coronavirus outbreak and has been rescheduled for October 5-8, the same week as the Global Gaming Expo. The event had been set for March 23-26 at the Tropicana Las Vegas. The announcement comes a day after the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a global pandemic. The NBA postponed its season and on Thursday, the MLB and NHL did the same. On Wednesday, President Donald Trump announced a 30-day travel ban on flights from Europe, except for the United Kingdom. “By the end of the day, travel restrictions were not enabling attendees, vendors and presenters,” said conference founder Willy Allison. “I felt with new information over the last day or two, it seemed like the right thing to do. It’s more serious than we initially thought. I’m concerned for people’s health. They all have to travel. There’s anxiety and cancellations forced by internal (company) travel bans. We had a really good show this year, and I didn’t want to do it with empty seats.” Allison said he received emails from attendees cancelling after Trump’s speech Wednesday night and his announcement of the travel ban. Allison said he was monitoring the outbreak and as the number of cases increased and with a lack of testing, the risk is higher now. “There’s the anxiety about being in crowds, the President’s speech, the NBA closing down, all these state ban on crowds, and companies aren’t sending people,” Allison said. The conference will remain at the Tropicana. The date was pushed back to October to give people a chance to book another flight, and it was a coincidence the availability happened to fall the week as G2E, Allison said. “That will be interesting because a lot of our attendees have never been to G2E,” Allison said. “The feedback has been pretty good. They have two reasons to come to Vegas. The casino industry is going to be hit hard in the next three to six months. Hopefully, we can all have a coming out in October.” Allison said he is worried about the industry amid the outbreak, and it will depend on how the U.S. responds to the virus. He said he wouldn’t be surprised if some casinos shut down in Europe like happened in Macau. Allison admits he’s had a change-of-heart about cancelling the show. It came down to growing concerns about people’s health. “I was a week ago that you will not take me, and the show is going to go on,” Allison said. “As the days went by, it appeared to me we don’t have a grip on this situation. I think it’s the right thing for us all to knuckle down and reduce large crowds. The crowd was going to be reduced naturally because they weren’t going to come.” Allison said many attendees are currently in crisis mode and putting in contingencies to to deal with the outbreak in the industry. “They’re busy dealing with this crisis from how do you deal with customer service and from a security perspective,” Allison said. “I may include this as an extra session in October. There are some busy casino executives around the world having lots of meetings and thinking how to handle this.” The conference will look at the impact of artificial intelligence, organized slot cheating and what casino security has learned over 20 years.