2E celebrated its 10th anniversary this year. What represents for Bally being there again with one of the biggest stands and exhibiting a wide range of new releases?
G2E continues to be gaming’s premier showcase, and therefore it’s important that we present our products in a compelling and exciting manner. I feel that we certainly accomplished this with our most extensive lineup of innovative products and world-class systems technology in company history.
How did you see the show? Was it positive for Bally?
The show was tremendous for Bally. The booth had great energy. Our team did an outstanding job, and I can say without reservation that this was our best showing ever. Customer response was also outstanding across the board. We especially received much positive feedback on the technological innovations we presented in our private Innovation Lab area.
Among all the new innovative products released by Bally at the show, which are the ones you'd highlight?
Without question, our award-winning iDECK touch-enabled video button deck was the star of the show. It’s truly a game-changer for us, and I think it will revolutionize the industry. There’s simply nothing like it. I can also point to our award-winning U-Spin gesture-control play mechanic, which we presented on several exciting new games, such as Vegas Hits, Vegas Hits Road Trip, Golden Pharaoh, Money Vault and Money Wheel. We also featured several exciting new types of play mechanics, such as Directional Wilds, Bullseye Bonus, Hot Zone, and Hot Pick. And of course our sophisticated new ALPHA 2 Pro cabinets were superb. Additionally, we presented approximately 100 game titles that are download-ready today, as well as a greatly expanded collection of core-video products. Also, on the systems side, we did live demos of our Elite Bonusing Suite on iVIEW Display Manager (DM) on multiple banks of games, really showcasing the power and return-on-investment of these amazing floor-wide bonusing applications, including virtual racing, U-Spin, and much more. Bally Business Intelligence and Bally Command Center also demonstrate our forward-thinking leadership in this area. We also presented several new Bally Apps designed to leverage the growing importance of mobile technology that has become pervasive in our society.
During the last years, with a great recession and facing competition from other leading companies, Bally still experienced a significant growth. How do you explain this?
We have an exceptional team at Bally; a team that I feel is truly the best in the industry. They make it happen. We are continuing to do well despite these challenging times thanks to the incredible innovation and creative thinking we are bringing to our products. I can also point to our customer-centric philosophy of doing business.
The customer is the focus of everything we do. We consider our relationship with our customers to be a partnership where our success as a company is directly tied to our customers’ success. Our commitment to innovation is also key to our growth and success. We truly demonstrated this at G2E, where we highlighted our most expansive portfolio of products to date. I would also point to our efforts internationally. We are taking advantage of our strong portfolio of gaming and systems products; especially as it regards expansion opportunities in Latin America, and the explosive growth of the VLT market in such places as Italy. We have only just recently re-entered the Australian gaming market, and I am confident that we will be very successful in this important gaming sector.
Being one of the leading systems developers, which do you consider the new trends in this field for the near future?
Our systems product line is simply second-to-none. We have long been the global leader in systems technology, with more than 414,000 machines in nearly 600 casinos worldwide running on a Bally system. Moreover, we continue to create enterprise-wide products designed to maximize profitability and return-on-investment. Such products as Bally Command Center, Bally Business Intelligence, and our CoolSign media-management solution give operators unprecedented insights into, and control of, their entire enterprise.
Our Elite Bonusing Suite provides operators with an assortment of exciting secondary and floor-wide bonusing opportunities which add to the excitement of the gaming experience. Plus our award-winning iVIEW DM gives operators a remarkable opportunity to engage, reward, and service their players directly on the gaming device. With iVIEW DM, players can order drinks, track their player’s club points, view dining and entertainment offerings, and even participate in exciting bonusing events.
Do you consider that the gaming industry finally surpassed the global economic crisis that affected its business during the last years? How do you envision the near future?
While no one has a crystal ball, I think that we are seeing some positive indicators. For instance, visitation to Las Vegas is improving compared to last year, and we continue to see growth in regional Native American and in international markets. The growth of the VLT market is notable in this regard. Nonetheless, there will continue to be challenges. The replacement cycle continues to be a question mark. However, this poses opportunities to help operators minimize their capital expenditures by offering them a variety of ways to refresh their gaming floors with participation and revenue-sharing games, and secondary bonus events through our Elite Bonusing Suite that can be implemented across the floor. On balance, we are cautiously optimistic as we look toward the opportunities and challenges that await us in the New Year.