hat did Octavian, along with eBet, exhibit during the recent G2E Asia event? Did the company bring anything in particular for the Asian market?
TIKIT+, the result of a joint venture with eCash, was one of two major new developments we exhibited in Macau. TIKIT+ is a technological breakthrough that unlocks new business potential in older slot machines by enabling TITO (Ticket In Ticket Out) functionality. Until now, those machines have been incompatible with standard TITO technology. As you can imagine, TIKIT+ received an enthusiastic welcome from the many Asian gaming operators who rely, to a lesser or greater extent, on older gaming machines in their venues. Now they can introduce ticket-based gaming without being forced into replacing otherwise good machines.
Our new flat-pack Maverick 1000 gaming machine and games kit, on show for the first time in Asia, also generated great interest. The revolutionary nature of its design was a big talking point and it drew lots of people to our stand - both existing customers and new contacts. The idea behind the self-assembly design is that it's easy to import and allows local machine manufacturers to market a state-of-the-art machine to operators for little more than the price of a pre-owned machine. The Maverick uses world-leading components, with the cost savings all being achieved through the innovative design and self-assembly concept. Again, it's a big breakthrough that delivers more value to operators and, ultimately, to players too.
Alongside these solutions we also demonstrated our ExtraCash mini-jackpot and staffless' payout system - complete with Tournament and Your Money Prize add-ons. These were shown at the GEM show in the Philippines earlier this year and were a big attraction there, so we knew that this combination would be of interest to visitors to G2E Asia.
On the systems side we showed Freedom, a powerful card-based cashless system that can be added to AssistSuite. The Freedom cashless add-on has been used with great success by a number of our Asian clients, so again it was an obvious choice for us to feature this in Macau.
Overall, the product line-up seen at Macau demonstrated perfectly the combined expertise and strength of Octavian and eBet. We have said all along that customers in all of our markets will benefit enormously from the extended product range, and from new developments in the pipeline. Our stand at G2E Asia provided the perfect platform from which to substantiate that claim to existing and potential customers in this region.
What is your evaluation of the show? Was it positive for the company?
Yes, the show was very successful for us, assisted by our prime positioning on the fourth floor. This meant that all visitors arriving at the top level for the show or conference hall were met with the Octavian stand. It gave us immediate exposure to visitors who may not have known the Octavian name before.
The show provided an excellent opportunity for us to present our joint offering and underline the benefits for our customers' gaming businesses. As with any important show, it was also a good time to further strengthen relationships - both with existing customers and with those whom we have only recently started talking.
Feedback from customers at the show was that they were excited about opportunities for them that will result from the joint Octavian and eBet offering. They, like us, can see that it is an extremely complementary fit in terms of the experience and expertise within each company.
How important is the Asian market for Octavian?
Extremely important - it's clear that the opportunities for Octavian in this market are immense. As mentioned before, eBet already have customers in the Philippines, Korea, Singapore and Cambodia to name just a few areas of Asia.
We are looking to significantly increase our presence in Asia over the next 12 months. As an indication of how important this marketplace is to us, one of our managers has been posted in Hong Kong for the last quarter, following up on opportunities with potential customers. We are also looking to open a permanent office in Macau or Hong Kong in the next few months to show our Asian customers how committed we are to delivering the high levels of service required by this region.
There are already several exciting Asian-specific projects in the pipeline and we look forward to sharing news of these with Yogonet readers in the near future.
At the current development level, how do you see Macau’s gambling market in the coming years?
It seems that the potential of Macau is virtually limitless. The next three to five years are going to be key for each of the major players to install their presence in Macau and the Asian market in general. We plan to be a key part of this evolving market in what will be very exciting times.
Octavian has historically been very successful in emerging markets. We are confident that this experience of helping markets develop, together with an extended product portfolio and on-the-ground presence, will put us in a very strong position in Macau.
We also have an excellent track record in developing products that draw on our global experience but are tailored to local market needs. We have already started to develop solutions that will be effective for the Macau gaming market, and we will continue to develop our resources and product offering for the region.
What is the current situation with Octavian’s buy-out by eBet? When do you expect to have it completed?
The acquisition is very close to being finalised. All elements of due diligence have been completed, and now we are just following the Australian Stock Exchange regulations and formalities, after which the deal can be completed.
AGE is now coming up fast, and this will be the perfect platform for us to launch the new Octavian Global Technologies company, which will become the world's largest independent gaming systems company. We will be going into that show with a huge amount of optimism about what our combined offering will be able to achieve for our customers' gaming businesses.