hich is PokerTek’s balance for the first months of 2010?
We invented the first automated poker table, and after more than five years, we are the clearly the market leader. I believe our leadership position is a direct reflection of the quality of our product and the dedication of our people in helping our customers run successful poker operations.
We entered the Mexico market in late 2009 and grew our installed base by almost 15% as of March 31, 2010. With our success in Mexico, we are now excited to begin offering PokerPro to operators in Central and South America as well.
Did the economical crisis affect you in any way?
Like most companies, we saw our order rates slow during 2009 as economic uncertainty impacted most of the markets in which we were operating. During this time, we took a fresh look at our business strategy and one of the key elements of our strategy change was to place more focus on serving the Latin American Markets. We emerged as a healthier, more focused organization and are poised to grow our market share by providing the best live poker solution in the market.
How do you see the poker evolution in the principal markets?
The market for poker is constantly evolving. There are areas, such as Mexico, where poker could not previously be played legally in its pure form. We now see automated poker as a thriving business and our operators and players are excited about the opportunity to offer and play Texas Hold-em for the first time in a casino. We know that poker can grow in the same manner and in the same type of locations with our product and expertise in many other Latin American markets with the same infrastructure and types of operations as those now in place in Mexico.
Which territories are your main targets?
We continue to be very focused on growing our presence in Mexico. We are also looking for North America, Eastern Europe, Central and South America as areas where we look forward to offering poker to operators and players.
What does Latin America represents for PokerTek? What are your projects for this region?
Latin America represents a very important opportunity for our company. We are excited by the quality of operators we are partnering with and look forward to expanding poker in these markets. In addition, we recently announced that we will be rolling out our ProCore product which will allow us to offer BlackJack and other games in the future. We believe that ProCore is especially well suited to the Bingo/Slot/Racino properties in Latin American markets.
Do you think that the American continent needs any changes (at a regulatory or legal level) to give a boost to the gaming industry?
We are happy to see things happening at the regulatory level in places like Mexico, where regulations have been put in place in order to allow “class 3” slots and electronic table games. We think this was a wise decision in that it now allows the operators in Mexico to be competitive and offer players a complete gaming experience through a comprehensive offering of Electronic table games and class 3 slot machines from the best suppliers in a very efficient, safe and controlled fashion. This has been a big boost to gaming in Mexico. We, like everyone else, are waiting to see what happens in Brazil over the next year. If Brazil opens up regulated gaming, which will be a big boost to their economy and to the gaming industry.
Have you planned the launch of new products for the coming months?
Yes, we are very excited about our new ProCore product line. With ProCore, we will be able to expand beyond poker into other electronic table games in a very efficient, economical, and intuitive platform. Our first product on the ProCore platform will be BlackJack, which we will begin deploying later this year.
Do you have specific products for each region? Or all your products are for the worldwide market?
Our products are able to be deployed in all regions. We have tailored our products for different languages and local requirements, and our products are played around the world.