As the industry prepares for the first big meeting of the year at the 2023 ICE London showcase, Yogonet caught up with Novomatic's board members Ryszard Presch and Johannes Gratzl on the company’s approach to the latest edition of the expo, to be held at ExCel London on February 7-9.
Presch and Gratzl stated Novomatic's stand will feature an entirely new design, in line with this year’s motto “Black is back”, which will also apply to the brand’s new series of cabinets.
“The brand new successor of our hugely popular Black Edition cabinet will launch at ICE with a series of three exciting new slot machines: BLACK EDITION II 3.27, BLACK EDITION II XL 2.32 / 3.32 and BLACK EDITION II 1.49J,” Presch announced.
He also added that the three models of this series will deliver “leading edge-cabinet design, perfectly angled screens and razor-sharp game presentation against the backdrop of a Black Metro finish and contrasting LED ambient lighting concept.”
Novomatic will also launch two multi-screen cabinet versions with 27” or 32” full HD LCD screens and a sister model with a 1.49” J-curve screen. The latter will also introduce new game content such as The Candelas de los Muertos games with Señorita Suerte and Señor Muerte.
Also on display will be a variety of new Linked Progressives and multi-games as well as further cabinet news, for both the slots and the ETG segment, "and much more product news and innovative solutions."
As ICE London is one of the major global events in the industry, Gratzl assured that this year’s edition is “a very special event for the international gaming industry,” especially so since it also marks the return of a number of large land-based industry suppliers after COVID-19.
“Recent international industry events during the past year have already clearly shown the value and significance of in-person events for our industry and we expect that to be very evident in London as well. We all have missed doing business face-to-face,” he stated.
For this reason, Novomatic has made sure to have representatives from all regional units available in London, thus ensuring that every customer will have a contact from their country.
“ICE 2023 is of course a very important event for Novomatic and definitely one of our main objectives - this year more than ever - is to welcome and personally meet as many of our customers and partners as possible at our stand,” Gratzl added.
Gratzl also referred to the trends that are set to gain momentum in 2023, and how Novomatic is positioned to adopt them. “We see continued growth in both the terrestrial and the online gaming sector,” he assured.
“The pandemic naturally brought strong momentum in the online sector and as a result, the iGaming segment has been rapidly growing, which is a trend that we expect to continue,” he said.
He also pointed out that there is a growth in the number of countries that are regulating gaming, creating new legal framework conditions, “which is Novomatic’s top priority for offering products and services.” Gratzl further added that this represents “a positive impact on the development of the gaming sector, and allows us to continuously expand our international market presence in all regulated markets.”
Presch also explained that, as a full-service provider, the company was able to use the time during the pandemic for the development of new products and technologies. “The high quality of our products and their excellent performance are largely responsible for the growth in all segments,” he stated.
“As customer expectations and the market requirements are constantly changing due to ongoing technological progress and changes in consumer habits, we have to remain flexible, and are always challenged to drive developments in all segments,” he noted.
The executive also pointed out that the company has dedicated areas of the exhibition stand in London, not only for the international casino markets but also for various subsidiaries and technology partners with their market-specific portfolio.
These companies include Novomatic Gaming UK, Novomatic Netherlands and Novomatic Gaming Spain, with their show display of market-specific AWP products; Ainsworth and Apex with their latest cabinets and games; Fazi with a full range of ETG solutions; NOVO Cash with moneychangers made in Germany; AdmiralBET systems, as well as SSBTs; and Digital Gaming and Entertainment Division Greentube with its iGaming content and solutions.
At the center of the stand, NBS will present Novovision's casino management system with its features and functionalities. “This modular system offers a highly effective toolset for efficient casino management with extensive possibilities for automation, detailed analysis and sophisticated performance optimisation, taking into account all responsibilities and requirements of modern casino operations in terms of player protection and reporting obligations,” Presch explained.
Novomatic's executives also assessed the company’s journey and performance in 2022, and described last year as a “very successful” one, where the company recorded significant growth in both the Gaming Technology and Gaming Operations segments, “which were particularly negatively affected by the lockdowns during the COVID peak periods in the last two years,” Gratzl explained.
Concerning new technologies, Presch assured that Novomatic is continuously expanding its range of industry systems and solutions “with highly effective tools such as the NOVOVISION casino management system and special features like its biometric access solution.”
“In a steadily changing gaming industry, a contemporary CMS needs to be more dynamic and flexible than ever to allow absolute flexibility based on the operators’ needs and legal obligations as well as future regulatory developments,” he added.
As he explained, Novovision is a solution that allows operators to streamline their processes, increase operational security as well as maximize the convenience for their guests and adhere to their responsibilities in terms of the “very important aspects of Responsible Gaming."
“For 2023, we even plan to further strengthen our focus in this area and are working on future G4 certifications and co-operations concerning the various aspects of responsible entertainment,” Presch commented.
The company is now looking into the future and planning its roadmap for the rest of the year. Gratzl assured Novomatic will again participate with its worldwide subsidiaries in numerous international trade shows such as Europe at Belgrade Future Gaming, ENADA in Italy and Entertainment Arena Expo in Romania.
The firm also intends to participate in American showcases with its subsidiaries from Peru and Novomatic Americas, targeting Peru Gaming Show and US events such as the INdian Gaming Trade Show and G2E Las Vegas.
“Direct contact with customers and business partners strengthens mutual trust and is a great opportunity to exchange thoughts and ideas,” the executives concluded