Exclusive interview

Giorgio Abbiati: "We are following Brazil's and Venezuela's regulatory developments closely"

Giorgio Abbiati, Abbiati Casino Equipment's CEO.
Reading time 2:55 min

Abbiati Casino Equipment's family - Italian brand leader in the manufacturing of roulette wheels, tables, chips, and layouts - suffered the passing of its founder, Giovanni Abbiata a few weeks ago. Today, under the leadership of his son, Giorgio Abbiati, the company continues with its plans to consolidate and enter new markets. In this interview with Yogonet, Abbiati's CEO explains how they have adapted their offer to the new times and points out in which countries they see growth opportunities.  

The pandemic prompted the company to develop antimicrobial products to protect gaming tables. To do so, they partnered with HeiQ Company. What kind of maintenance do the table-shield layouts now require? What should operators pay attention to in order to preserve the integrity of the layouts for as long as possible?

The pandemic - which is putting the whole world to the test, especially those sectors not considered essential, such as gaming - has stimulated us to seek new products and strategic alliances. This innovative technology, developed and patented by the Swiss company HeiQ, is integrated into our gaming layouts. HeiQ V-Block is a unique combination of silver ions with an antibacterial and antimycobacterial effect and a lipid amplifier that helps to kill viruses in a few minutes.

This technology is used for the protection of medical clothing and masks and does not require any particular maintenance or attention. The benefits of this Swiss product are numerous: it reduces the risk of contamination, provides a germ-resistant surface, and does not require external conditions in order to be activated.

Is this technology also applicable to chips and plates, and do you plan to develop other products together with HeiQ Company or another similar company?

Today this technology is approved for textile material, but we are working to protect other products as well. We are following the development of HeiQ's proposals and if there are other ways in which we can protect our customers we will implement them.

The pandemic drove the advance of online gaming in several Latin American jurisdictions and live casinos played an important role as a gaming modality that allows a fusion between physical and online channels. How have operators responded to Abbiati's online catalog?

Operators combine online and live gaming to maximize the chances of success. We noticed a significant increase in online gaming in Europe, although some countries are more active than others. We can say that they responded very well to this proposition, especially during the period of restrictions on in-person activities.

In the Caribbean and Latin America, we have long-standing customers who are in close contact with our Business Development Manager for the Americas, Misty Rodda. We have businesses in Guatemala, Suriname, and the Dominican Republic.

In which market in this region has Abbiati been present at the longest?

We enjoy a consolidated presence almost everywhere in the world, including South America and the Caribbean, where casinos and resorts developed very fast. We have been working with clients in Aruba as well as the Turks and Caicos Islands for many years. They are all in contact with Misty Rodda.

We are closely following the regulatory developments in Brazil and Venezuela. If these countries complete their regulatory framework, the South American market will be much bigger.

In which market do you see the biggest growth potential for the products you offer?

In the last edition of G2E Las Vegas, there was a large participation from the Caribbean and South America. The island casinos are recovering after a year and a half of pandemic, and for the next two years, there are many projects in Puerto Rico, Suriname, and the Dominican Republic. In addition, Mexico is expanding as well thanks to online gaming and new casinos.

Demand for our antimicrobial layouts - which have generated a lot of interest including tokens, plates, displays, and cylinders has grown, especially in Florida and California. The legalization of roulette in Florida, for example, has been a success for Abbiati.

What projects does the company have in mind for 2022? What are your plans?

We expect 2022 to be a year of return to normalcy. In-person exhibitions, critical to our industry, are a priority. G2E Las Vegas was very productive even with the travel restrictions. We look forward to meeting again at ICE London with no worries or risks. Customer visits, fundamental for all of us at Abbiati, will also be back: being close to our customers is our main objective.