SUZOHAPP, an international gaming manufacturer and distributor of cash management hardware solutions, has focused on sports betting terminals last year, particularly for the US market. With that key goal in mind, the company decided to participate in the recent SBC Summit North America, held last month in New Jersey, represented by Todd Sims, Vice President of Sales, Gaming & Amusement for the Americas at SUZOHAPP.
"After our experience at G2E this year, we decided that SBC would be a good show for us to attend. And I'm really glad that we did," Sims tells Yogonet in a video interview in the last days of 2021. "The attendance at SBC was fantastic. It brought in people and a lot of international visitors as well, which was really encouraging. Even with all of the lingering COVID cases, lots of people traveled and it was a fantastic show, really focused. For us, we continue to show our sports betting environment, everything from the OTC (over-the-counter) or the point of sale system to our podium kiosk and our tabletop kiosk and our integrated cash redemption terminal. And I really didn't see anybody else doing that entire lifecycle of sports betting. So I think we still have the only real full solution for a sports betting hardware environment for those live sportsbooks."
SUZOHAPP introduced its entire sports betting ecosystem at G2E Las Vegas 2021, which marked the first time the company demonstrated its approach to the market for retail sportsbooks, after seeing successful results in Europe. "When we showed it at G2E, we were optimistic, of course, that we had a good solution, but we far surpassed our expectations with the response from our customers," he says. "So far, it's been very well received."
Furthermore, there is a method introduced in Las Vegas as well, which Sims calls a "bridge to cashless", that the company finds more relevant within the sports betting environment than in other areas. "There are different methods and a lot of different abilities and approaches to being cashless within this retail sportsbook. And at the core of that is our cash redemption terminal that we're a distributor for, a company called CountR, and we've integrated or brokered the relationship between the CountR folks and sports betting platforms so that they could work together and help us deliver that cashless aspect for our sports betting product."
The SUZOHAPP's executive believes the growth of sports betting within the casino environment is growing very quickly, but he also notes that the market in the new environment, bars and restaurants, sports arenas and off-track betting locales, is where "really big growth" will be seen in terms of numbers of units. He also points out that the retail sportsbook experience is somewhat isolated from the rest of the gaming environment in a casino. "So that integration with the casino management systems and the ability to take a ticket and move it throughout the property and then capture information on a player so you can see the total spend from that particular customer within your resort, that'll continue to evolve, and certainly, it's a far more complex operation. We're there to support it with the hardware and support our software customers and the casinos in any way they need and we can broker relationships, but our focus is going to remain on the hardware."
While 2021 was poised to become the year of recovery for the land-based and retail gambling industry, with several reopenings at full capacity, the recent rise of the Omicron coronavirus variant raised new concerns and restrictions. But Sims remains positive: "There's good news out there, too. I'd call the canary in the coal mine is perhaps the gaming manufacturers, the OEMs in gaming, and we certainly have seen an uptick in new projects from those OEMs. So they're designing new games, new products and looking forward to the future rather than sitting back and waiting to see what happens. I see they're getting on the offense more and I think that's a really good sign for our industry. So we have to deal with COVID for a while longer, but people are moving forward. There is new investment and we're excited to be part of it."
Finally, when asked about future events, in particular the recently postponed ICE London, Sims considers this delay was something everybody expected. "So we'll be ready for whenever ICE does eventually happen, we'll be ready and we'll be there. We're also looking at shows, South America looks very attractive, we want to get engaged with our customers in South America in a stronger way. So we're evaluating events down there and then we have another six events in the U.S. that were planned for 2022, that we know will be at both on the amusement side and the gaming side. So we're going to stay aggressive with our trade show schedule and I think 2022 is going to be a really good year. I know we have some exciting new things to announce. I'm not quite ready to announce them today, but 2022 is going to be a big year for SUZOHAPP," Sims says.
"I think sports betting is just going to continue to explode. We just scratched the surface of it in 2021 and 2022 is going to be a really big year for us in sports betting. That's going to drive a lot of new business for us," he concludes.
Watch the full video interview with Todd Sims on our YouTube channel.