et's start with an introduction of the company and its wide range of products. Tell me about the different developments the company has for international operators?
Inspired is one of the largest operators of gaming machines in the UK and of VLT machines in Europe. Through this experience we developed a dynamic array of products for a wide range of markets, including casino, slots, bingo, VLT and sports betting. Our success is down to the CORE our Open SBG approach, which allows for more partners, more games, more hardware and therefore higher returns for our customers. The flexibility of Open SBG allows operators to tailor their offering to regulatory legislation, and increase income through powerful system tools, many of which are unique to Inspired’s Open SBG system. For example, an operator can truly run a large machine network of thousands of machine from one control room.
We are very excited about emerging markets such as Italy and Latin America, although both are very different. Italy is exciting because there is a new opportunity in an already large gaming market by allowing VLT’s on the street, which enables different companies and technologies to create a product offering which is unrivalled on the street anywhere in Europe. This is exactly what Inspired is doing out there with our “Open VLT” approach, by using third party games and cabinets, as well as our own, to supply a more sophisticated product mix than our competitors. We’ve proven in the UK that this approach generates higher incomes and we’re now proving the same in Italy.
The Latin American market has so much potential to harness new technology. It has been through a period of high growth, and due to the new regulations, it’s now ready for more sophisticated and controllable products and mix of games. We are excited to bring our SBG technology to this changing environment and see a lot of demand for it.
The evidence shows that the Latin American market is ready for our revolutionary casino products and the ability to create larger server based networks with a variety of games that can be offered on the same, or different cabinets and be controlled centrally.
In which markets is Inspired currently operating?
We’re in a lot more countries than you think, is the simple answer! To put a figure to it, we are the leader in the UK in SBG game operation, and we currently operate in over 20 countries worldwide. We are focusing on a few markets in particular, especially Italy and Latin America.
Inspired is a strong UK company, and has been expanding internationally over the last 18 months. The buyout in the Summer 2010 by Vitruvian partners, the largest new private equity fund in Europe, has allowed us to free up cash flow and continue to grow our business at a faster pace.
Italy has been a huge focus throughout 2010, as we successfully became the second supplier to go live in the new VLT market, ahead of Novomatic and Bally. We are currently the second biggest supplier of VLTs in Italy, with the most advanced wide-area progressive jackpot system and have the highest income machines. I feel that 2011 will be the year that Inspired comes into its own in Italy.
In the industry around the world, the power of Inspired’s technology is well known and we are renowned for our high-quality HD game content, be it slots or Virtual Sports.
What did the company decide to showcase at ICE 2011?
ICE was about being back with a bang and launching more new products than ever before, for the widest range of markets. Our product offering showed we are truly international and that we make great SBG casino products. The stand was busy with people keen to see what is new at Inspired and experience the quality of our products.
Inspired’s Multi-Win Roulette 4.0 Sabre was our exciting new launch and we intended it to be the focus of the stand. Many Casino operators and enthusiastic journalists were captivated by the large HD screen and “Real Touch” experience offered through haptic technology. Practical and player requested features such as the second “Player Portal” screen were also well received.
Virtual Sports in 3D was another highlight of the stand and with the virtual sports content linked to our self-service betting terminal, players could also flick between betting on live and virtual races without even switching terminal, a great addition to our Open SBG platform.
What is the balance you can make about Inspired's participation at London show?
There were a lot of international buyers at this year’s ICE show, with a considerable amount of interest from the Latin American market, so it was a great success for us in terms of connecting with old and new friends. It is clear gaming is back in growth mode, with a lot of opportunities for gaming companies in markets outside of the usual select.
How did you see the show this year?
I felt that there was a renewed atmosphere one whereby we all felt that the industry was moving forward again and I was excited about the increasing evidence of convergence between land-based and online.
Two key trends are emerging in our industry. Old-school land-based analogue products are being outshined by new Server-Based Gaming products. And secondly, the integration of land-based, online and mobile is finally happening and is creating a more seamless experience for players, across platforms.
Our leadership in land-based, server-based, online, and our joint ownership with sister company OpenBet, allows us to be at the forefront of these trends, which is why we believe that our products represent the future of gaming. A goal for the next show is to increase our products with our sister company OpenBet, and converge our offering for customers largely.
What are the plans of Inspired Gaming Group for this year in terms of new product developments or releases?
Our Multi-Win Roulette 4.0 Sabre was brand new at ICE, so 2011 will be about taking that product to all the major shows and keeping up with demand for it. We’re taking more of our content online than ever before and want to build up our presence in the online space.
As ever, we’re always driving innovation in every product category and there will be new things for casino table gaming, VLT, slots, bingo, virtual sports and online. Our SBG platform the Core as it’s called is constantly evolving to meet new regulations and requirements and is always a key focus of ours as it’s our proudest asset. We’re known for being a leader at SBG and will continue to focus on getting even better.
We look forward to taking our portfolio of products into new markets and building on our international success, revolutionizing gaming and innovating for the future. 2011 will be the year that Inspired is the name being talked about in all key international markets, from Italy to Mexico.