aking into account what you could perceive, what has been the industry's performance during 2010?
It is widely understood that the economic circumstances first noted in 2008 and which carried forward through 2009, also had an effect on 2010. On a more positive note, however, leading economic analysts noted signs of recovery and other positive indicators during 2010 which will lead to a stronger and more positive 2011. The international gaming industry, as part of the wider entertainment industry was of course not immune to the effects of downturn but has historically shown an ability to ‘bounce back’ from difficult times; led by technology developments and the strong entrepreneurial spirit that is readily apparent in the Novomatic Group.
Among the markets in which you operate, which one has experienced the most notorious growth? In your opinion, what is the reason for that?
South and Central America, without question! The region has shown a strong demand for sophisticated gaming equipment. New market sector opportunities and a drive for better regulation of our industry have all been contributory factors.
We can also make note of important developments in Europe. The Italian market, for example, has created – through groundbreaking legislation – a whole new sector in respect of Video Lottery Terminals and has created a model that other countries in the región look set to follow during 2011.
Which one of your products has generated a higher level of sales during 2010?
We have seen strong demand right across our product range. The signs in the latter half of 2010 certainly promise a great deal for year 2011; in slot machine sales, multiplayer equipment and with a growing interest in system technology.
Which country has more margin of growth facing the coming year? Why?
Again, we must look at South America. This is a diverse region with many individual markets but we can see a region-wide move to greater market sophistication. Some of that is inspired by legislation and regulatory changes but there is also a clear demand from guests for a greater gaming and entertainment experience and that is a huge plus for the international companies that have, like Novomatic, invested in the Latin American region’s gaming development.
In your opinion, what is the most important change at the legislative and regulatory level that took place this year in Latin America?
Taken country by country there have been many changes: almost all of them positive but perhaps too many to list individually. Whatever the market, however, positive legislation and regulation are key factors in further developing our industry.
Which opportunities or disadvantages do these changes mentioned in the previous question generate for your company?
In regard to South America our targets and aspirations are clear. Novomatic will continue to invest in South America’s gaming entertainment development; as we have done previously, even through what has been a difficult economic time.
What did Octavian’s adquisition represent for the company? How will Octavian’s integration to Novomatic Group of Companies evolve in 2011?
Please remember that Novomatic did not ‘acquire’ Octavian International Limited. We purchased certain key assets of that company from its Administrators; a move we undertook to provide continuity of support to customers and to allow necessary product development work to continue. The technology available to Novomatic has created a new business stream that we are working very hard to develop further. That is a process that will continue in 2011.
What do you expect for 2011?
First of all, we predict – and we confidently expect – a great ICE show in London during January to help kick start 2011. The signs of recovery that we have already noted in this interview are clear and it is now the industry’s most important task to help itself by moving forward with confidence. When we think in those terms, Novomatic’s long time slogan becomes even more appropriate: ‘Novomatic Leads, Others Follow’.