On Wednesday and Thursday this week, Novomatic will be one of the main exhibitors at Peru Gaming Show (PGS), at booth #71 of Lima’s Jockey Club Peru. Max Bauer, Vice President for Latin America & Caribbean; and Katty Lopez, Sales Director of Novomatic Peru, anticipated the Austrian group's strategy for this event and regional market in an exclusive interview with Yogonet. The manufacturer will showcase a new cabinet for the first time in Latam, and the complete team for the region will be on-site expecting operators from Peru and many other Latam countries.
Furthermore, they welcome the ongoing local regulation efforts in Latin America, most notably Peru's legislative project for online gaming and sports betting. "Greentube is very eager to enter the Peruvian online market and has high expectations for the release of the Online and Sports Betting law being debated these days at the Congress," Bauer says.
Which product line-up has Novomatic selected in order to meet the demands of the particular and diverse Latam markets that will be represented at Peru Gaming Show? Could you anticipate further details about Novomatic’s tradeshow strategy for Lima this year, in order to see a positive return of your investment to attend?
Katty Lopez: Our primary strategy in Lima is to present the latest and the best products available for the region and to have representatives from all over Latin America at the booth, thus ensuring that every customer will have a go-to contact from his local country unit.
Our highlight product at the PGS will be the new DIAMOND X™ 2.32. This cabinet was launched in March and will now be shown for the first time outside Europe. The DIAMOND X™ 2.32 is a really mesmerizing gaming machine: with its black finish and indirect LED concept which is synched with the gameplay, as well as the smoothly integrated topper it will definitely be an outstanding appearance on Latin American gaming floors. The game monitors are 32” full HD screens and the player interface can either be a standard button deck or an optional 15.6” TouchDeck – in any case it is complemented by 2 XL start buttons. In Lima, we will present the new cabinet with the brand new Linked Progressive mix NOVO LINE CASH CONNECTION™ Edition 3 – with 13 LOCK 'N' WIN titles and a rich diversity of game themes.
Another great product offer for the region is the FUNMASTER 2.27 cabinet with the IMPERA LINK™ comprising 30 linked games. It will also be on show in Lima.
Further best-selling products in the show line up are the PANTHERA™ cabinets – we will show the PANTHERA™ Curve 1.43 with the LUCKY TWIST™ Link as well as NOVO LINE™ Interactive Concurve Edition 5 and the PANTHERA™ 2.27 with the NOVO LINE™ Interactive Editions X1 and X2 plus with the US highlight MONEY PARTY™ Link.
Operators who calculate more rigorously will appreciate products like the GAMINATOR® Scorpion 2.24 featuring the Impera-Line HD™ Edition 6 or the NOVOSTAR® SL 2.27 with The Legend Gaminator® Edition 2T.
For operators in the many Latin American jurisdictions that require detailed reporting functionalities to the authorities, our colleagues from Argentina will be at hand, demonstrating the powerful functionalities of the modular Casino Management System myACP.
Which markets do you target in particular with your presence there? Are there any Latam-tailored developments in the pipeline in order to gain competitive advantage and differential assets?
Max Bauer: PGS used to be a show that brought operators from several countries of Latin America. This year with the pandemic, we expect to receive operators mainly from all over Peru yet we are ready to welcome as many operators from other countries as possible with our complete LATAM team on-site. Our LATAM team is working towards providing our customers tailored solutions for sure, which the market will acknowledge at the right time.
Which role and space will the group's Interactive division Greentube have in Lima, and what synergies do you plan to drive between both brands and the different business segments they address?
Max Bauer: While not present at our PGS stand this year, our NOVOMATIC online branch Greentube is very eager to enter the Peruvian online market and has high expectations for the release of the Online and Sports Betting law being debated these days at the Congress. Greentube is already present in regulated Latin American markets such as Colombia and Argentina and is really looking forward to adding Peru to their portfolio.
As in-person events keep coming back, Novomatic has withdrawn from a major gathering like ICE 2022, but it has attended other events afterwards, like SAGSE Latam. What takeaways and learnings have you acquired in Buenos Aires, that could be complemented and reflected in Lima? What’s your assessment of this in-person comeback so far, and what impact is it having in your regional business strategies and outlooks?
Katty Lopez: Recent NOVOMATIC show participations at GAT Expo in Cartagena and SAGSE in Buenos Aires have confirmed our strategy to return to local and regional in-person events. We really missed the opportunity to meet and catch up with our customers, partners and industry colleagues. It may be a special Latin American trait, but we are all a very sociable kind of people and accordingly, these gaming shows were characterized by a uniquely amicable atmosphere and, as it turned out, excellent results.
Max, you recently told us that in 2021, many of the company's customers decided to continue investing in the land-based sector by updating their slot park, and you also noted that the online segment was the fastest growing industry vertical. How do you plan to leverage these trends at PGS, and looking ahead?
Max Bauer: Of course, with the closing of land-based casinos during the pandemic, it was only logical that the online segment would register unprecedented growth. I consider it now our job as manufacturers and product developers for the land-based industry to provide the right kind of product for operators to win back their player base. Casinos are actually already seeing players return to their previous patterns – and what they need most now are gaming entertainment offers that are new and exciting. That is what we will be showing on our booth at PGS. Regarding online gaming in Peru, we are eagerly waiting for a regulatory framework to be established that enables us to supply our existing land-based and new customers with the online offer they need.
Some Latam markets are currently discussing legislations for different gaming verticals, most notably Brazil, which keeps working on options to open the broad gambling market. What is Novomatic’s approach to these potential new Latam markets, and what impact do you expect this regulatory momentum will have in your business areas, and the gaming industry in general?
Max Bauer: We are of course monitoring these developments very closely and we strongly welcome any move to implement local regulations that enable sustained industry growth. Wherever we see a thoroughly regulated market with fair conditions for all market participants opening up, we will certainly evaluate a market entry in the respective verticals. For governments, gaming of course represents attractive potential for much-needed tax income. It is therefore well understood that we currently see a number of countries re-evaluate the legalisation of gaming, be it online gaming which got an additional boost through the pandemic, or in the land-based gaming segment where we currently see efforts for a regulation in Ecuador and in Brazil. Once the required regulatory framework is in place and the market presents reliable conditions, we are in an excellent position to very quickly offer excellent products as well as a robust service infrastructure through our existing business network in the neighbouring countries – until we have set up a local sales and service infrastructure.
Which other events are you attending this year?
Katty Lopez: After PGS, there will be a bit of a summer break in the show calendar and in October, the next big industry gathering with NOVOMATIC participation will be again G2E in Las Vegas, which is traditionally a gaming show with great significance for the Latin American markets.