ow did you see G2E in Macau this year? How important is the Asian market for Novomatic and specially Macau?
David Orrick: Well, let’s start with the show. As you know, the show celebrates its fifth anniversary this year under the ownership of Reed Exhibitions. And everybody is comfortable with the show, in the sense that during the last four years in the Venetian everybody knows what to expect. Everybody knows where everything is, the time structure, the schedule, and that makes it easier to be comfortable to do business. As you know, the show is a matter of great interest for the industry, and we have been, wherever possible, promoting the idea of major shows with regional importance.
Clearly, there are four of those shows: London for Europe, Las Vegas for the American market, SAGSE in Buenos Aires, for South America, which is very important at the moment, and there is G2E Asia for the Asian region. An important thing to say is that none of those shows are specific to the country in which they are held; they are regional shows. And we need to not only protect but also promote and to be actively involved at those shows to have a globalization of the business.
So here in Macau, with G2E Asia, we are not thinking this is a show where we just get interest from Macau, but from across the region. And certainly, over the last two days of the exhibition, we had a variety of enquiries and interest for places as far away as India, Australia and New Zealand, and all of the currently involved countries across the Asian market, including Macau, obviously, Korea, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Singapore.
The market here is characterized in a different way to the South American market. It is clearly understood that the South American market is of key importance for Novomatic, a progress that has been remarkable in recent times based on the strength of our offer and the strength of our products. Here in Asia we get a lot of interest and a lot of issues have to be considered, such as logistics and regulations, and we are confident of making good progress. Certainly here we had a lot of enquiries that have moved towards being genuine business, and that’s very encouraging.
Max Lindenberg: Also encouraging is seeing that, in gaming floors in Macau, slots are much busier that in previous years, meaning that slots are getting more and more popular for the Asian players as well. That gives us a new optimism that business will grow in the Macau market and in the other Asian markets as well.
DO: And not just slots directly, but the multi-player market is assuming an important dimension here, with several initiatives that have been taken by several properties. As you know, Novomatic has a particular market and a particular reputation in terms of multi-players, and we are very confident that we can progress that interest into real business here at the show.
ML: There is no other company in the world that can offer such flexible and comprehensive electronic multi-player offer as we can with the interconnection of every type of electronic table game plus the connection of slot games just within one system.
And with these specific features of this market, What did you decide to showcase at G2E this year?
ML: What we brought to Macau are our international best sellers. So we brought here the best mixes we have for the Super-V+ Gaminator, for which we have now 64 different game mixes, offering up to 28 games per mix, hi-low line games with 5 to 40 lines. We brought two different cabinets here, which is the Super-V+ Gaminator cabinet, as well as our Novostar Slant-top cabinet, and we are also showcasing our offer of electronic multi-players, which consists of electronic games, electronic multi-roulette and also a selection of different versions of poker games , Baccarat, Sic-Bo, that received a high interest from the market here.
Additionally, on our booth there is our latest brand addition to the group, Octavian, with our online system, ACP (Accounting Control Progressives System).
What is the feedback you received from visitors or potential clients here at the stand?
DO: The reaction has been extremely positive. It certainly gives us a renewed enthusiasm and optimism to expand the market position that we have achieved here.
ML: We’ve never had such a busy first show day in Macau.
Talking about Macau, everyone says that, nowadays, it is the key market worldwide, and that it is bigger than Vegas. Do you agree with that? Do you think that there is still place to keep on growing in Macau?
DO: As far as the market position and the market share, figures don’t lie. The positioning of Macau as the largest market is based purely on statistics. Obviously, there are regulatory issues in terms of new licenses, in terms of the ability of Macau to attract players primarily from Mainland China. There is still a huge amount of potential. We must never forget that Las Vegas was born out of a desert, and now we are here in the Cotai Strip, which was born out of reclaimed land. So there’s a progress, an evolution within our industry. It’s obvious that success brings more success. In the four years we have been coming to the Venetian and the first one in Macau Tower, you can see the development.
One of the things that highlighted the show is the recent opening of the long awaited Galaxy property, which is absolutely stunning. And purely in terms of its gaming entertainment offering is as good as anything you can find in Las Vegas. So while Las Vegas may well be the spiritual heart of world gaming, there are more pretenders to its crown, not just based on statistics, but also based on the offering reality on the ground.