ondon’s exhibition is always important for Novomatic. How does the company prepare its participation? What novelties will the company present?
First, I would like to add something to your question, London’s IGE show is not just “always important” for Novomatic, it is absolutely the key show that we attend each year. We have a massive presence in London and making preparations, for many months before the show takes place, is a task that requires almost military precision and attention to detail. The booth design must be calculated in line with the products we wish to display. Those products must be manufactured and prepared for transport. Each year we use our own lorries to bring every single item required for the booth, from machines to signage, literature to catering supplies and a hundred or more other items from Austria to London. It is always a relief when the show actually opens and the real work, meeting and dealing with our customers, can begin!
As always, Novomatic will present something special in London. This year our main focus will be on an entirely new dimension of multi-player gaming with the announcement of our Novo Unity II. As the innovators of electronic multi-player gaming Novomatic are rightly regarded as being ‘the best in the business’. Making the ‘best’ even ‘better’ is never anything less than a huge challenge, but Novomatic’s engineers have combined gaming knowledge and creativity with engineering excellence to succeed in moving the entire multi-player genre even further ahead. There will also be important additions to our game library for the Coolfire II platform. Games, as we all know, are the lifeblood of our business and the new innovations we have to present will be simply stunning! The results will be seen in London and I guarantee that it will prove to be an epic display for the industry’s leaders.
Why is IGE in London the key trade show for Novomatic?
Novomatic is located at the very heart of Europe and this, west or east, is our home market and where our reputation has been forged over many years. Historically, too, the London show has grown up side by side with Novomatic and developed its own reputation alongside ours. Our customers and business partners look forward to London. Coming at the start of each new year there is always a sense of anticipation that just isn’t present at other industry events. For 2009 we also have to consider the downturn seen recently in Las Vegas at the G2E event. It is clear that, in the present climate, customers are having to make tough choices about which shows to attend. It is our belief, based on what our customers tell us, that IGE 2009 will be a crucial show in terms of pointing a direction to economically better times for the whole international gaming industry.
In terms of new technologies, what do you think IGE 09 will offer? Which do you consider the new trends for the near future in gaming?
We can forsee many innovations in online gaming, certainly, and from land based gaming a lot of new innovations away from the games themselves in terms of systems and back office solutions. There will be many game innovations too, of course, and as Europe’s largest manufacturer of gaming equipment we fully expect to be at the forefront there but we will also be keenly interested to see what other trends are presented at the show.
Which is the balance you can make of 2008?
For Novomatic, 2008 has been another great year. We have broken new records with an estimated turnover in excess of 2.2 billion euros, we have further developed the group by both organic growth and through acquisitions and we now employ over 14,000 staff worldwide.
Expansion through innovation has been our success story in the past year, building on the growth of our Group through over three decades.
Which are the most important international markets for Novomatic?
We have already mentioned that our core is in Europe but, globally, our most important international development markets are to be found in Asia and Latin America.
What can you tell us about Novomatic’s strategy plan for Latin America in 2009?
We are making considerable progress across Latin America. The recent opening of the Monticello Casino project in Chile, the success being achieved by Crown Gaming in their home country Peru and elsewhere, plus positive developments in Argentina, Venezuela and Uruguay are all good indicators that we are moving in the correct way. It is always important to have the right people in place as new markets are being developed. Our development path will follow our successful formula of a dual manufacturing/operational strategy, taking benefit from the synergy created by giving equal importance to those twin business disciplines. We confidently predict accelerating success across Latin America during 2009.
How do you think international economic crisis will affect the gaming industry?
There is no escaping the fact that 2009 will be a tough year: for all business sectors, not just the wider entertainment industry of which gaming is a key part. But it is a great truth that difficult times create opportunities. Add to that the fact that the gaming industry has, over many, many years, proved that it has the ability to adapt and to continually re-invent itself and we believe that, even while acknowledging economic downturn, we have justifiable cause for optimism.
Does Novomatic have any special plan or strategy to face the crisis?
That really is the easiest question to answer! As one of the world’s foremost international gaming conglomerates, Novomatic relies on it core business principles to make true our frequently used, but nonetheless true, statement: “Novomatic Leads, Others Follow”