International edition
September 16, 2021

Interview to Gustavo Barclay, General Manager of Sabia Corporation

“It is worrying that some countries are censuring gaming and closing operations”

(Mexico, exclusive Sabia Coorporation, a company that operates casinos in Mexico and Guatemala under the Fantastic brand, plans the opening of three more gambling venues during the next year. It also plans to arrive in other Latin American countries, the Caribbean and US. talked to Gustavo Barclay, General Manager of the firm, about the current situation of the markets in Mexico and Guatemala.


hat do you expect from SABIA’s operations in Mexico and Guatemala?
Mexico and Guatemala are very important for Sabia Corporation, because they let us know the market and the client and see future trends to be able to have constant innovation. It is without doubt a growing market and with great potential. As well as other competitors, Sabia has to be in this market and excel.

What are the peculiarities of both markets?
The Mexican market is very young and dynamic and is in constant growth. The players are different in each part of the country, for example games with American themes work better in the northern part of the country, and the ones with Mexican themes work better in the south. The Mexican player does not seek to win money, but to have fun at casinos.

In Guatemala one of the peculiarities is basically that there is no gaming culture, a market that does not accept the name Casinos at most levels, but we think that in the near future this perception will change and they will see the market as entertainment.

In Mexico, there are proposals to pass a new Federal Law for gaming and sweepstakes to regulate and license casinos. What is SABIA’s opinion on this matter? What changes do you believe are necessary to strengthen the market?
We believe that the market should be regulated, thus stopping the proliferation of illegal casinos that are saturating the Mexican market. The market should be limited to a certain number of casinos per state, improving the operations of the legal casinos that comply with the law and pay taxes.

Sabia Corporation is part of a Mexican Association and is active in the development of the new “Mexican Norm on Gaming” and Bets and it legislation, we are involved in the changes to the law and prepared to comply with it.

About the changes that should be done, are: One system for all casinos, one system for the exchange of transactional information (can be SAS AFT 6.02 or higher), implementation of bill accepters and review the taxes imposed on the market.

What are the main games that your casinos offer?
We offer several games for the Mexican market, not only the latest generation slot machines, but also the recent introduction of live table games like Black Jack, Roulette and Poker that have had great acceptance in the Mexican market.

In Guatemala, our main offerings are the latest generation slot machines as well as live table games like Lotto Bacc, Lotto Jack and our fabulous Texas Hold’em tournaments that bear our “Fantastic Poker Tour” logo, that set us apart from our competitors.

What is the player’s profile that you seek?
We look for anyone that is looking for fun and entertainment in the best atmosphere.

What role does Poker play in your businesses?
Poker has been gaining popularity worldwide. Therefore we include it as a fun alternative in our games mix.

Do you plan to open new casinos? In which markets?
Yes, we plan to open two new casinos in Guatemala and Mexico, and up to 3 for 2012, as well as in other Latin American markets. We are also planning to acquire gaming operations in the Caribbean, USA and Latin-America depending on the opportunities that we will find or that will be presented to us.

How do you follow the events that have and impact on the casinos in countries like Ecuador and Venezuela? How does that affect you?
It is worrying what is happening in some countries, where they are shutting down casino operations and banning gambling, not taking into account the unemployment that this may cause. This practice does not affect us in Mexico, but rather opens new business opportunities with companies coming from Venezuela in the near future.

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