ow did you see G2E this year? Was it positive for Novomatic to be here again?
David Orrick: It was extremely positive. The people we needed to see, a lot of them from South America, for example, have been here. A lot of business transactions that were initiated during SAGSE in Buenos Aires, have been concluded here. We’ve done very reasonable business and we are extremely happy with that. The ambience of the show has been good and we have received a good number of visitors. Really, nothing negative to say at all. It’s been excellent.
What about the products and developments you decided to showcase at G2E this year?
Max Lindenberg: We brought here our Super-V+ Gaminator cabinets as well as the Novo SuperVision, and our new Slant-Top Cabinet, the Novostar SL-3, which uses three screens. We are also presenting different multi-game mixes with up to 27 High/Low line games per mix, and now there are 59 available product mixes in total for our customers to select from.
For the electronic multi-players we’ve got here an extremely comprehensive installation of the Novo Unity II platform with an interconnection of a total of nine different games of which I would like to mention specially the new poker developments we have here: Novo, Novo Flying 3-Card Poker, Flying 5-Card Poker and Novo Flying Caribbean Poker. All those games are available from each single player station here. Also, we have showcased AGI’s Octavian online systems and progressive products and that has created a lot of interest.
DO: And when we talk about Novo Unity II it is a matter of considerable pride for us to announce that, during the show, the Novo Unity II platform was awarded the title of Best Table Game Product of the Year at the Global Gaming Business Gaming Awards. That is a really nice recommendation for all the work done by our development teams to bring these products to fruition. It is always nice to be recognized by trade awards, particularly technology awards, because they are awarded by independent judges from within the industry, so we are very grateful for that.
What was the response you had from visitors from the US? How is Novomatic working here in the US market?
DO: North America is still not our main focus; we concentrate rather on global markets such as South America and Asia. But the response from within the US was highly positive.
In the last year, a lot of work has been done to obtain a range of GLI product approvals. For the US market, we have Reel Games as a distributor. The company, based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is focusing on the cruise ship market, the Caribbean islands and Native American gaming locations. Reel Games are now rolling out Novomatic machines in properties in different locations across the whole country and they are also responsible for a range of business developments in the Caribbean. They are doing an excellent job.
Getting closer to the end of the year, which is the balance you can make for this year as regards Novomatic?
DO: 2010 has been challenging for the whole industry, not just for Novomatic. The industry in general and Novomatic specifically have faced up to that challenge most successfully. Our business is now starting to increase, and the principal thing we have to remember is that, at the time of the annoucement of the global economic recession, it was more or less one year before it really hit the gaming industry in terms of actual business. So now that the recession is ending and better times are coming, we have to recognise that it still takes time from the start of the recovery to get back to where we were and beyond. But we are confident for the future; we’ve survived very well through the difficult times, and we are looking forward to better times coming back to the whole business.
We can actually see that the industry is having a new dynamic, and we see increased business across a lot of operations. This, of course, is a good prospect for the future for our business as well.
What can you tell me about Octavian? How will Octavian brand keep on working under Novomatic’s umbrella?
ML: We have made some great progress in integrating the Octavian brand into the Novomatic Group. It is great to see how dynamically the transition is driven by our new colleagues and how ambitious they’ve been from the beginning of this process.
At this G2E edition, we are here in Vegas together with our colleagues from Russia and Argentina to present our latest systems and progressives, and we can see that there’s a great interest; notably from across South America. The joint developments of AGI and Octavian, together with the great collaborative efforts of our global team, is bringing extremely positive results.
What is Novomatic’s position about a possible second show in Europe?
DO: We are pleased to be able to say that, from Novomatic point of view, we are part of the process of ensuring continuity in the international trade show calendar. I think it is reasonable to underline that there are four important regional shows for the industry: in London, in Macau, in Las Vegas and SAGSE in Buenos Aires.
The industry has achieved discussion and dialogue and has really come together .There have been a lot of discussions over recent developments, which has produced the result that certainly for 2011 and 2012, the London show will stay at Earls Court in London, and the industry as a whole will support it. That result has only been achieved by a lot of intensive discussion, but the dialogue has been done with good will from all sides and it is a great result for the industry. It brings us stability going forward. Of course definitively we don’t know what will happen to Earl Court from 2013 onwards, but there is every reason to be confident that it can continue as the show venue beyond 2012. Whatever the result of that is, we are now in negotiations to arrive at a framework that is informal, and does not have a name, whereby all manufacturers have come together in an open and free manner in which we can discuss issues and solve them quietly and peacefully. We can all get on with what is the real business, which is doing our business and not having to worry quite so much about trade shows.