Following a successful showcase at SBC Barcelona earlier this month, gaming products manufacturer and distributor SUZOHAPP gears up for its next stop in its global events schedule: G2E Las Vegas. At the major industry meeting, to be held October 9 - 12 at The Venetian Expo, the company will showcase its latest portfolio developments, from its new line of buttons to its evolving sports betting line.
Ahead of the event, Yogonet caught up with Todd Sims, VP of Sales - Americas at SUZOHAPP, to discuss the company's plans for G2E, latest industry trends, the opportunities in the growing Latin American gambling sector, and what has set the company apart in the United States and Canada.
SUZOHAPP is participating at G2E Las Vegas. What will visitors approaching the company's stand find, and which products will be highlighted this time around?
We've got a number of new products that we're going to show at G2E this year. Our core business has been supplying the gaming industry with both design and engineering services, as well as coming up with new products to put on gaming machines. And this year is no different.
We've got a new line of buttons, that very thin profile that can fit in a lot of different types of installations. A very new exciting button called the Aura Button that we are excited to show to people; it's already in some games and we'll be distributing it in a live game there at G2E. We've got a new line of monitors, very cost-effective monitors, both curved and flat. A lot of things that are very popular in games nowadays.
And then there is the continuation of our sports betting line, with retail hardware continuing to gain momentum. We're really happy with what's occurred so far this year. We've had some really exciting installations and we've got some new products, too that we'll be showing there at G2E, so we're really looking forward to it.
What opportunities does G2E provide SUZOHAPP and what are your expectations in terms of conversations with clients?
G2E is a really unique opportunity to bring together sales, engineering, executives, new product development... We always look forward to G2E because we get so much fantastic feedback from our customers and prospective customers about what they want. It's obviously a big deal for the whole industry.
At SUZOHAPP, we're really geared up for it. We do a lot of planning ahead of time just to make sure that we're going to capture all of that data because that's what drives our development. There's no better time to move our development and product management forward than with these conversations that we have at G2E.
Are there any trends or new developments in the gambling industry that you are looking forward to discussing at G2E or that you are watching closely?
I think we're seeing a larger demand from iGaming and virtual sports, industries that have typically not had any retail type of operation, that are now very interested in going land-based. We have partnerships with different companies who help with that software, call it middleware, if you like, to bridge that gap and help those companies go land-based.
We provide all of the hardware that's necessary for a land-based operation. At G2E we're expecting to see yet another increase in demand from those organizations. And we're happy to make the connections with the middleware folks that can help them bring them into the retail world.
The company is nominated in the Sportsbook Supplier of the Year category at the Global Gaming Awards, with winners will be announced within the framework of G2E. What explains this nomination?
The nomination feels good. We were a bit of latecomers to the sports betting world. There were already a couple of companies that were providing retail sportsbook hardware when we joined the market, so we had to differentiate. We had to do something different to make sure that we could enter that market successfully. And I think we did. The proof is in the pudding, as they say - the types of installations and the growth that we've had in the retail sports betting world.
It feels good to be nominated; to be recognized for all the work that our team has done and the thought that we've put into approaching that market. To be recognized with an award nomination is fantastic. Now it feels better that we actually sell this stuff because that's where the real score is. And we've done very well with that too.
The nomination follows some recent landmarks for the company in North America, from launching in Ontario last November to a new partnership with Fanatics in the US this year. What would you say is making SUZOHAPP stand out in these countries?
A number of things explain this: the combination of the sales and marketing efforts that we put together in promoting the product and promoting our approach to the sports betting market in general, the partnerships that we've built, and the credibility behind our hardware. Our hardware's been doing very well in all aspects, from service and support and adaptability to different markets.
In Canada, there's not been a drop in poker market, so there are no bar tops in the country, or very few anyway. But with sports betting, and we have our bar top for it, we're able to go into that market with something unique. It's not unique in the US, but in Canada it is and it's been a fun new approach to sports betting and creating that market.
And then of course, LatAm is starting to grow and we have a couple of different ways to expand that business. There are some key differences between that market and some of the other ones that we're servicing. We're adapting and figuring out how to best serve LatAm, and making some inroads there as well.
That growth in LatAm you mention comes as G2E organizers expect the event's "most international edition" yet for this year. Will SUZOHAPP use this opportunity at the event to discuss these regional developments?
Yes, for sure. And SUZOHAPP is very much a global company anyway, so many of our customers are global, and our partnerships are global. There's an expectation there that we're able to serve all of those different markets. We also have momentum there because of those partnerships and the work that we've done, so G2E is just a fantastic time for us all to get together and really accelerate those opportunities.