Gaming Expo adding girls, gear for three Gs

ParadisePoker.com

With U.S.-friendly Internet poker sites cut from the list of eligible exhibitors this year, the Gaming Life Expo - the gaming-themed consumer trade show that runs during the World Series of Poker - was looking at a huge void to fill. The solution: More girls, and more gear.

Running concurrently with the opening days of the Main Event and driving nearly 100,000 people through it's doors over the last few years, the major players in Internet poker - Bodog.com, Paradise Poker, etc. - have been the huge draws.

They bought up huge swaths of booth space, highlighted their sponsored poker pros, and brought in plenty of "talent," usually in short shorts and a tube top, to keep the predominantly male audience enthralled.

But with U.S.-friendly gambling sites not allowed at the upcoming World Series of Poker because of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcment Act (UIGEA), Rio executives had to shift their tack.

The result: the theme of the four-day show, scheduled for July 5-8 at the Rio Pavilion, moves from just gambling to "men's lifestyle," with a full three Gs - Girls, Games and Gear - now front and center.

As David Koloski, Rio marketing director, told Las Vegas Review-Journal reporter Howard Stutz: It was a move they were planning to make anyway.

"We saw in the past two years that roughly 80% of our audience was male," Koloski said. "We began to make the push to switch the event to exhibitors that cater toward a men's lifestyle."

So: More golf, more cars, more booze, more tattoos, and of course, more girls, including an all-girl indoor beach volleyball tournament.

The 55,000-square-foot Pavilion at the Rio has space for 200 booths, and the space is expected to sell out.

Online gaming firms that don't accept American players are still welcome to purchase exhibit space.

For all the details, visit the Gaming Life Expo page on www.harrahs.com.

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