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Novomatic and Zitro join exodus from ICE 2022

28th January 2022 10:40 am GMT

Austrian gaming operator and supplier Novomatic, traditionally the biggest exhibitor at Clarion Gaming’s ICE expo, has pulled out of the rescheduled 2022 event.

Novomatic’s exit follows similar withdrawals from Gauselmann and Scientific Games, which as a group form ICE’s three largest exhibitors. Zitro Games has also announced it will not attend.

“A multitude of adverse aspects – including the pandemic, logistical challenges and, last but not least,  the unfavourable and unavoidable alternative date – have culminated in a situation in which  participating in the show is no longer viable,” read a Novomatic statement on its withdrawal.

Added to the safety and logistical challenges are legal issues around the Austrian company’s participation. Austria and Germany have exceedingly strict laws around the pandemic including a ban on trade shows.

“The Novomatic executive board has not taken this decision lightly,” continued the statement. “ICE is a key trade show for the entire gaming industry and Novomatic hopes that the successful cooperation can be continued under more favourable conditions in 2023.”

Just yesterday, Clarion managing director Stuart Hunter insisted that the show would go ahead but with Zitro adding its concerns about low attendance, the organiser must be questioning the viability of the conference.

The Zitro statement read: "It has not been an easy decision to make, and we had been looking forward to our participation, but there are many reasons that have caused us to withdraw from the event, being the main ones, the worldwide concern over the Omicron variant, the inconvenience of the new show dates clashing with Easter break, and the expected low attendance particularly of customers from other continents.”

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