Interview with Eduardo Aching, Vice President, International Gaming Operations at Konami

"Mexico is ahead of most markets and offers an excellent example of cashless wagering"

"In recent months, we’ve seen steady improvement for all countries we serve," Konami's Eduardo Aching tells Yogonet.
Reading time 3:58 min
Ahead of Konami's return to G2E Las Vegas, Eduardo Aching tells Yogonet the company has seen growing interest in cashless technology, both from players and operators, an area in which the SYNKROS management system has offered solutions for many years. Aching describes the CMS as the most stable data ecosystem in the industry and explains the key factors on Konami's ongoing success in slot content. Moreover, the executive describes expansion in Latam as in alignment with Konami's expectations.

What products is Konami planning to showcase at G2E Las Vegas, to be held October 4-7? Will the company participate in educative and networking activities within the expo?

Konami’s presentation at G2E 2021 is focused on expanding proven game entertainment and systems technology, to help create meaningful wins for casino players and operators across the industry.

Guests at this year’s event can experience new Konami premium slot series, core slot content, and casino systems solutions aimed at driving incremental value to casino markets around the globe at this important time.

Connecting and networking with our customers is the highlight of the show. Especially considering all we have had to navigate since G2E Las Vegas 2019, I look forward to speaking with our operator customers and supporting their strong recovery. 

What are the company's objectives and expectations for the expo? What does this return to in-person events mean for the company, especially to Las Vegas and such a prestigious event? How do you think the new restrictions imposed by the pandemic, including vaccination proof, will affect the event?

As with any other show, our goal is to present Konami’s latest advancements, allow operators to try them first-hand, and meet one-on-one with customers to discuss their goals, needs, and ideas for the term ahead. 

Acceptance of virtual events has grown tremendously in our industry over the last 18 months, allowing us to connect and collaborate with one another in more ways. At the same time, there remains an appetite for in-person events. Both options support our goals to present new advancements and connect with operator customers. 

Our industry has a responsibility to comply with government health mandates and support public safety efforts, whether in our day-to-day business or special events. It is not always easy, but it is part of being responsible to our communities.   

What role are cashless solutions called to play in physical casinos in the context of the Covid pandemic and what’s the current demand from operators in that area? Do players actively seek cashless solutions?

We have seen a growing interest in cashless technology, among players and operators. Konami’s SYNKROS casino management system has offered this technology for many years, and it’s important that we look to give our players options in order to be competitive to other entertainment that customers enjoy. 

Even before the pandemic, Mexico is one country which has been fully prepared with cashless technology. Mexico has operated cashless casino floors—powered by electronic funds—for some time. It’s allowed their operators to achieve more secure, centralized, and cost-effective operations.

Mexico is ahead of most gaming markets, and offers an excellent example and model of successful cashless wagering implementation for the global industry.

What benefits does Konami’s CMS and the data it manages report to the operator, and how does this translate into an improved playing experience? What further plans does the company have for its CMS, in terms of partnerships and features?

Konami’s award-winning SYNKROS casino management system offers the most stable, robust data ecosystem in the industry. This means player rewards, offers, and points actively display in real time; integrations with point-of-sale and hotel systems are designed for fast, detailed data capture; and our customers enjoy a 99.99% system uptime—essentially no outages.  

Our Las Vegas-based SYNKROS R&D team is continually engineering new improvements, tools, features, and product offerings to ensure SYNKROS customers have access to competitive technology options. Top new releases include TITO support at games; cardless login by player phone number, QR code, and/or Near Field Communication (NFC); new Konetic™ employee mobile features such as Jackpot processing, and more.

Konami's DIMENSION 49 has ranked number one Top Indexing Cabinet – Portrait for three consecutive months. What explains the ongoing success of the cabinet? Core slot entertainment has always been a key focus for the company. What plans does Konami have for the future of this segment?

First, DIMENSION 49 has the same proven base hardware as Konami’s award-winning DIMENSION 49J, so the hardware has demonstrated reliability and performance. Second, DIMENSION 49 is backed by a full library of popular content for today’s players, including Konami’s Fortune Mint linked progressive, Ocean Spin linked progressive, Triple Sparkle series, and more.

For more than a decade, Konami has provided strong core slot content to international operators. We’re very excited to offer this proven for-sale cabinet to operators during this important time, to support a highly successful return. 

Konami has a presence secured in the Latam market. How would you describe the company's expansion within this region? What products and markets are a priority there for Konami? How does Konami’s strategy differ there from other regions?

Konami’s expansion in Latam markets is in alignment with expectations. In recent months, we’ve seen steady improvement for all countries we serve. Not long into the global health situation, Konami moved to transition into direct sales across Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay, in order to be a more competitive supplier partner in those markets for reopening, recovery, and beyond.

Following years of positive momentum in these markets, our previous distributor Atlantic Venture allowed Konami to absorb its personnel in the region and we are moving ahead with an exceptionally strong team

Does Konami have further plans to participate in other events besides G2E? If so, which ones, and what should we expect from the company in these events?

As a company, Konami actively assesses each show opportunity uniquely to determine where and how we can best connect with customers. We will continue to make these evaluations as more events approach. 

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