rom your experience in the company, Which has been the performance of the industry during 2010?
The growth of the industry has been erratic in 2010, with areas where there was no investment, areas where casinos invested the minimum to maintain their operation, and areas where there was some interesting investment. It is clear that the big developments are scarce and very focalize in certain markets.
In Latin America, Mexico, with respect to slots, is having a very important growth, and Brazil is with no doubt the big potential market. The rest of the countries have variable expansion. That volatility, in some cases, is due to problems that have nothing to do with the gaming industry.
Which are the main problems that affect your sector? Which would be the potential solutions?
In general, in Latin America, the main problem for the gaming industry is the lack of adequate control and regulations. In certain countries, we have had some progress, but there is still a lot to do about that. That lack of control and regulations causes a poor image over the industry, with speculation from governments and people in general about the role of the industry in their society. That informality creates also a lack of investment on the professionalization of personnel, and operations as a whole.
With respect to the solutions, there is a need for political Leadership to take the harsh decisions that has to be made. It is necessary to define and implement those controls and regulations that can make the functioning of the gaming industry a lot more transparent, clear, with shared benefits. The governments have to get their share, the operators too, and customers need to feel they have the backing of a controlled environment.
Within the markets in which JCM operates, Which is the one that has grown more and why?
JCM continues to be positioned as the most important provider of payment solutions for the gaming industry, with an increasing presence in other industries such as vending Banking, security and amusement. In many countries, JCM continues to have a sustained growth, but it is difficult to determine a single market, since with rare exceptions, there are no markets with explosive growths like we had in the past. Many markets are reaching maturity or are on their way to reach that point, so the biggest percentages are on renewals.
What product from the catalogue of the firm has generated more sales level during 2010?
The JCM UBA unit continues to be the number one bill validator in the gaming industry, worldwide. Regardless of that fact, JCM has taken 2010 as a transition year, due to the launching of a number of units that will completely change JCM line of products.
Which is the country with more growth margin, facing 2011 and why?
With respect to sales growth, we have to divide the markets between market with genuine expansions and markets with renewal potential. Due to economics, and demographics, the markets with most potential for a genuine expansion are no doubt, Mexico and Brazil. A market with great renewal potential is Colombia as long as they are able to organize the market under a clear and strong gaming legislation. At lower rates of growth for a genuine expansion but compensated with an interesting renewal potential, Argentina is another attractive market.
In your view, Which are the main regulatory and legislative changes that have been registered in Latin America during the year?
On the positive side, we see Mexico advancing on their legislation. There are still some steps to take, but at least there is some movement. Brazil seems to be on the same path, even though they are still a step behind, and we do not know what kind of gaming industry we will have there.
On the negative side, Colombia has been a problem. The changes created a big uncertainty, causing, with some exceptions, that major investors avoided that market. We hope things take the right turn on that market because it has a great potential.
What opportunities or disadvantages do the changes recently mentioned cause to the company?
JCM has always been a company that has complied with the most severe regulations on the gaming industry; it is part of JCM nature to work that way. It is a company that is really careful on maintaining that position, and does not want to see itself involved in a situation that can jeopardize its prestige based on the quality of its products, good service and transparent and fair market and commercial practices.
So the specific answer to the questions is that evidently, JCM is at a disadvantage in unregulated and informal markets, and we feel we have more opportunities in markets were rules and regulations let us compete at a plain level.
What are your expectations for 2011?
In General, if the Mexican legislation continues to move in the right direction, and if the Brazil market opens, we believe it will be a great year for the industry as a whole, and of course, for JCM. We hope these two events materialize in 2011.
We also have great hopes in Colombia. We expect that things get organized again in that market because it has a big potential also. For JCM, we expect to have a great year, with increase sales, new customers, and the successful introduction of our new line of products.
The iVIZION, the TBV and the Vega will be the highlights for JCM in 2011. In addition to those, the company has great expectations on the upgraded version of the ICB (Intelligent Cash Box system) and the Sentry, the intelligent Bezel, confirming JCM dedication to bring real solutions to their customers