We are showing several things this year. The first one is our Pre-shuffled cards. I know they are becoming more and more popular in the global market place. Interestingly, Gemaco was the very first card company to commercially sell the pre-shuffled playing cards, adding many new clients throughout Asia, North America and the South American markets, which are increasingly interested in this time-saving and revenue-enhancing product.
Second, the European market is obviously very important in terms of plastic playing cards. There are literally thousands of poker rooms and tables throughout UK, Ireland and the rest of the continent, and we believe our plastic card is well suited for this market. And as we have some of the lowest minimums for our custom logos and very competitive pricing, we are going to see a great reception of our plastic card.
We are trying to make more emphasis on the UK. There´s a tremendous amount of poker players, poker clubs, where they are using our key products, the consumables chips, layouts and plastic playing cards. Of course, that brings me to our third major priority here in Europe and that is to continue building on our new chip line that we came out a couple years ago.
We had a great 2010, and received a number of major orders in North America for some of the new jurisdictions that added tables. We are getting a lot of attraction in South America, and we are excited to have a lot of chip projects in Central America, too. Mexico is one scenario that is getting increasingly more attractions and we are anxious to participate in that market. Those are the three major areas in which we are trying to promote pre-shuffled playing cards, plastic playing cards and our gaming chip line.
Which is your position in the European market?
The European market is the one in which we have the most opportunities for improvement and that´s why we continue to come to the ICE show. We understand that is an effort to build a brand image and this is the third consecutive year in which we´ve been in ICE and we are getting a lot of people who came back and said “we remember you, here you are, good to see you again”, talk a lot about business. It’s important beeing here.
How was the show for Gemaco?
The show’s been pretty good. The traffic may be down a little bit, but we´ve been very busy. When the economy gets difficult it forces the casino operator to think about different possibilities for who their consumable vendors are. Beeing a new vendor in the area, people are starting to think about new vendors and different kind of products in order get things that last longer and save money. So, in that regard, it is working well for us.
When talking about cards, which is a very traditional product, which is the next step in terms of technology?
Obviously, it´s a pretty traditional product and, as we said, pre-shuffled has become a major process that is turning into major revenue for the operator. Many casinos take ten, fifteen, twenty minutes to open a table, and depending on the minimum bet they wage on that table, you can imagine how many extra hands per hour we can generate if we are already giving 100% certified pre-shuffled playing cards. So, for an extra few cents per deck, you are getting tens of thousands, may be hundred of thousands extra in additional revenue. Second, the use of these readable shoes, baccarat, whether in Asia or in some North American markets. The ability of playing cards to be read by a shoe is very important. And in this direction, we are always happy to mention the fact that our cards are compatible with the Shuffle Master i-Shoe. So, if an operator is looking for a card with a reader shoe, it’s important for us to be compatible with Shuffle Master’s i-Shoe.