Interview with CEO Giorgio Abbiati

"While clients approach the reopening market with caution, there remains a continuous demand for consumable items"

Abbiati Casino Equipment CEO Giorgio Abbiati.
2022-03-11
Reading time 5:26 min

Three months into the year, 2022 finds Italian casino equipment manufacturer and supplier Abbiati Casino Equipment navigating a new and complex landscape, both for the gaming industry and the company in particular.

The business, which was quick to react to Covid-19  -by introducing antimicrobial products for land-based operations and launching a new portfolio of online gaming offerings-, now expects a slow but steady rebuilding of the sector as it embarks in its first full-year since founder Giovanni Abbiati passed away at the end of 2021.

"As you might expect, our clients are generally approaching the reopening market with caution," Giorgio Abbiati, CEO of Abbiati Casino Equipment, tells Yogonet in a new interview. "There remains a continuous demand for consumable items, such as gaming layouts and playing cards, which the company distributes."

Additionally, the business believes antimicrobial products could see a continued use "beyond the pandemic" —dependent upon cost-effectiveness and ease of operation—, while intends to further continue developing products for the online market, for which Abbiati has found a positive reception amid the increasing role of iGaming, and offers positive outlooks for a now "better established" online live table gaming market.

The keys to long-term success? The usage of finest quality raw materials and very high levels of customer care and support, Giorgio Abbiati tells Yogonet. The executive also discusses current issues, including a withdrawal from ICE London 2022, and the latest technology in casino equipment.

The pandemic prompted the company to develop new offerings, including antimicrobial products. As many nations seek to leave the pandemic behind, do you expect demand for these antimicrobial products to remain strong? Should we expect them to become an integral part of casino equipment or only a temporary requirement?

We have received an excellent response following the launch of our antimicrobial Table-Shield layouts last year. Featuring Swiss-engineered patented technology, and treated with a biocide (silver chloride), they are proven to protect against microbial contamination in general, and therefore remain an effective product beyond the pandemic

Our assumption is that the continued use of other products will be dependent upon their overall contribution to the maintenance of a safe and healthy environment, cost-effectiveness, and ease of operation.

As many venues reopened all over the world last year, which are the main demands of your clients and partners at this moment? What role do you expect Covid-19 to play this year, both for the company at large and the land-based segment?

As you might expect, our clients are generally approaching the reopening market with caution, hoping to rebuild their customer base and trading levels before incurring any major spending. There remains a continuous demand for consumable items, such as gaming layouts and playing cards, which the company distributes. 

Some operators are looking to pick up projects that were put on hold due to the pandemic, investing now to reap future rewards. Overall we anticipate a slow but steady rebuilding this year.

Abbiati develops products based on some of the industry's latest technologies, such as chips with holo-prismatic effect or intelligent roulette wheels. What differentiates the company's offering from the competition? Which are some of the latest gaming innovations and what opportunities do they open for operators?

Abbiati has built an enviable reputation for the highest quality of its products over the last 40+ years. Research and development have remained a fundamental part of the business, both for Furniture and for Security Casino Currency. Our high-quality Italian design and workmanship, with growth driven by regular repeat business, provides a differentiated offer in a competitive market.

As an example, the new Abbiati range of high-security gaming chips/currencies offers the Tie and Lucky 8 that can include Holograms, Holo-Prismatic and RFID Technology together with intelligent wheels with enhanced invisible laser technology, offering greater security and efficiencies for operators and players alike.

The company finds pride in taking a "personal approach" when supplying products for operators. In which ways is this personal touch present in Abbiati's work and how customizable are the company's offerings? What does the company seek when choosing raw materials for its products?

Abbiati has always adopted a personal touch throughout its interactions with clients, both existing and new, with the underlying ethos of ‘Abbiati at your Service’. Every effort is made to offer personalized products to meet customer requirements, whether that be in the design or finishing of tables, wheels, displays through to consumable items like gaming layouts, or playing cards. 

Our very high levels of customer care and support are very well known throughout the industry, and this combined with the very best of Italian quality and design enables Abbiati to produce highly customized and personalized designs for all Gaming Table Furniture. Our extensive range of High-Security Casino Currencies has a vast library of personalization options which means our clients are totally free to choose the combinations that meet their needs and styles best.

We source only the finest quality raw materials to ensure that the final product looks good aesthetically, is hardwearing and long-lasting, and is suited to carry the name ‘Abbiati’. 

In a past interview with Yogonet, it was said Abbiati found a positive reception to its online gaming products, amid the increased role of online and live casino during the pandemic. Does Abbiati expect an increased demand for this segment this year? What makes the casino equipment for the online market different from that for land-based casinos, and how would you describe the synergies between both business segments?

The pandemic allowed us to further expand our product offer to the online live casino market as found in our new sector-specific brochure, and we intend to further continue developing products for this market.

The products that we offered are well selected to guarantee security to the customers but to the players too. For example the Intelligent Shoe and the Dice Shaker. The Intelligent Shoe works with all makes of Playing Cards and offers a clear view of play via transparent machine housings. The Dice shaker is designed with an in-built camera for both Online game studios and land-based Live Table Game Casino applications.

We are pleased to note that a reduction in Covid-19 restrictions in many territories has led to a growing return of visitors to land-based casinos, but the online live table gaming market is now better established and we expect to see further business in the coming months.

Many operators have taken the opportunity to expand their business from land-based to online, so there definitively is cross-over for players and suppliers alike.

The company suffered the passing of its founder, Giovanni Abbiati, at the end of 2021. How is the family going through and adapting to this new stage in the company's history?

After the sudden and shocking loss of Giovanni Abbiati late last year, the family took some time to adjust to the changed structure. However, I have worked alongside my father at the helm of the business for some time, and was therefore able to ensure a smooth transition into the efficient and effective operation that you see today.

The company announced it would be withdrawing from ICE London 2022 amid restrictions and changes in logistics. What impact do you expect this withdrawal to have for the company? Does the company expect to participate in other summits going forward this year?

Following long consultations with our Customers and Product Partners, Abbiati decided not to exhibit in 2022 at the re-scheduled ICE Show. As noted in the media, there are many other major companies who have also felt unable to exhibit at ICE.

However, we hope that the show remains a success for all of those attending, both exhibitors and visitors alike, and Abbiati will also have his UK representatives in attendance. Abbiati fully intends to participate in ICE London 2023 when hopefully the general situation would have returned to near normalcy.

In the meantime, Abbiati continues to develop and manufacture world-beating Security Casino Currencies and Live Table Gaming equipment both for land-based and online sectors, and intends to participate in other summits and shows over the coming year where appropriate.

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