hat did Bally decide to bring to ICE this year for the international markets?
One of the most important things Bally brought to the show for the international markets is the evidence that we are investing heavily in international markets. The office right now has been investing in America, but now we are investing internationally, we have a whole new team of people, and we brought the head the company as well as the head of systems and all the regional heads to show their true support and to show that we are serious about the markets.
We brought all our new line of products obviously, all the Alpha games, a lot of international Alpha games; the first game we have made in India, which is very delighting -the first game is always the hottest- so we have the latest equipments, so no longer international markets get second-hand stuff but the latest and best stuff, and, of course, the systems.
We have the latest systems' company in Europe with MCC so we want to show investments in that, and those are the most selective systems in the UK, so big system's business, and showing them with a big investment infrastructure.
Bally is known as a leading company in systems. Which is the high-end technology that Bally offers to operators talking about systems?
The key is that games and systems will come closer together in the future. Bally's network floor enables that to happen but you can do it today, so you can put some systems and infrastructure across your floor using iView technology if you want, as an interface with the customer and more and more will games and systems come closer together. Bally, with its major investments in systems, and obviously the Alpha Platform and its growing gaming business, are both in a very good position for the future, but also give the customers a very good position.
What can you tell me about two very strong growing markets: Macau (Asia) and Latin America?
Macau is a very strong system's market for us. We put a few games in there, which at the beginning performed very well: “Hot Shots”, everywhere in the world they work well, “Golden Monkey”, which we have here, drive games very well, too. So we are really focused on those games in Macau. And the system's market is huge in Macau. A partnership with the Venetian is also very important for us, so we have 20 people in Macau already.
Latin America and South America are our biggest international markets, so we are very serious about them. We have two regional heads, one in Latin America and one in Buenos Aires (Germán Hazaña). Both added people to their teams. As we do that, we add service, support, and the products going down there are becoming very successful.
Is there something special for Mexico?
We are in the regulated part of the Mexican market, in the Class II, and we have a partner, Codere, with which we have a wonderful relationship. We have 3,500 machines there and Mexico's been very good. Our systems and games work very well there. IView is there, so the systems and games combination is becoming very effective.
Everybody is talking about server-based games. What does Bally have for that area of gaming?
Well, we have server-based games. We have a relationship with Aristocrat where we can share downloadable games. We also have the networked floor, the iView interface, so we believe that people want what we have. We don't see the real need yet. But as we start evolving more and developing it in the floor, I think it we'll be more successful next year or so. But it really depends on the real need of the customer. When there's a real need for it, it will have it.