hat novelties did IGT introduce for the Asian market during recent G2E Asia edition?
We had a huge amount of games at the show but we launched a new machine at G2E Asia, which is very successful in the Australian and New Zealand markets, the IGT bluechip Neo. More importantly, we had six new games dedicated to the local Asian markets where there are a significant number of Chinese-origin players. These games have strong Asian themes, playing styles and maths that suit these players, so there was a lot of positive customer interest.
Also, our popular Center Stage series of games which includes a 103 inch screen with games based on global brands such as Wheel of Fortune Triple Spin which has a three-game MultiPLAY interface. The game features IGT’s Rapid Reload feature, which locks in symbols and re-spins the reels for bigger wins.
Also on IGT’s Center Stage was The Dark Knight. Players choose to play Batman or the Joker to immerse themselves in group and individual bonuses while enjoying the thematic film experience. These games are great for all markets, particularly where the player is looking for a gaming experience that includes high value entertainment.
Table games are traditionally very popular in Asia. What does IGT offer to operators in this segment?
IGT showcased a couple of electronic table games as part of our Multi-Player series. One of our games that generated a lot of interest was Golden Baccarat which features an animated dealer, and up to three selectable tables, on a large screen enabling multiple players to play. With Baccarat being so popular in the Asian region Golden Baccarat represents a prime opportunity for an operator to utilise floor space more effectively while reducing cash handling and labor costs.
IGT is worldwide recognize also as a leading provider of innovative gaming systems. What did the company present at its stand during the show?
We showed probably the widest range of games and solutions at the show. Not only did we have over 100 games covering all game styles and suitable for all player types – including games developed solely for the Asian market - but we had our comprehensive casino management system which is now being widely deployed globally, including some of the leading Asian casinos.
Additionally, we demonstrated our online and mobile game content which includes a mix of well-known consumer brands such as Monopoly alongside IGT’s top performing casino games.
How did you see the show this year? Which is the final balance you can make about IGT's presence in G2E Asia this year?
The Asian market is growing every year and although broadly similar to last year in terms of the attendees, this show was more even more positive than last year’s show. We had one of the broadest ranges of games and solutions and there was particular interest in the new machine, the IGT bluechip Neo and the dedicated Asian games. Combined with our global games such as Dark Knight, Ghostbusters, and proven performers such as Golden Goddess and Siberian Storm, we see further strong potential this year.
Recent statistic numbers state that Macau is currently the biggest gaming market in the world. Do you agree? How do you see Macau's market?
The numbers show that Macau is the biggest single market globally for table gaming, based on revenues, but in slot machines it is still a growing market, making up a few percentage points of the estimated $22bn+ in gaming revenues.
So Macau remains a very important growth market for IGT too, and presents more opportunities, especially as more properties open and as Macau players broaden their tastes for different styles of slot games – we have one of the largest games libraries covering all player types, so casino operators will get more support in building their slot machine operations.
With operations worldwide and presence in all the international markets, how important is Asia in general and Macau in particular for IGT?
IGT sees the Asian markets as key global growth areas and have a long-term outlook in partnering with our customers to deliver the most innovative gaming concepts available. As in all industries, the bigger markets tend to lead the way. Of course, Macau, as one of the fastest growing areas of gaming worldwide, remains a very strong focus for us but we are also investing significantly in key markets such as the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam and South Korea.