hat balance can you make of 2011?
In general, we believe that JCM has concluded the year wonderfully, with an important number of exclusive agreements, which sets the tone of the great interest for having iVizion as a unique bill acceptor and also the ICB system. It is no doubt a great support towards the current and future management of the firm. There are already contracts and pre-contracts signed in order to add more than 50,000 machines to the trading portfolio of exclusive agreements of JCM, and we expect to keep on signing agreements. In Latin America, we see the same trend, and follow the same path, so we are very happy about that. Another source of pride for us has been the fact of being able to continue consolidating and expanding our services in the whole region. We expect to keep on launching new proposals for our customers in the following days.
How have you seen the gaming industry in general in a year with an economic crisis that affected different international markets?
At a general level of the gaming industry, there has been a very clear difference among the diverse markets. We see a Europe, where the growth has been very weak and with poor perspectives for the following year. Then you have a market such as US, which is fighting to stabilize; and markets like Latin America and Asia that, with its ups and downs, seem to be the ones with more chances to have a better projection.
Which has been, in your opinion, the most remarkable novelty of the year?
In the gaming market in general, and talking about the Latin American region, the most negative thing has been, no doubt, what happened in Venezuela, Ecuador and, recently, in Mexico. The positive part is that, due to the problems that US and Europe are facing, the gambling sector in general is looking to Latin America with a fresh perspective, generating important investments, wishing to participate in those markets. Mi hope, as well as many others, is that we know how to take advantage of this and do not let this opportunity pass by.
Which has been, in your view, the most innovative product or service launched this year?
If we talk about an innovative product, I have to say that iVizion of JCM is no doubt the most innovative and revolutionary among the payment tools for the gaming market. In other areas, no doubt there are interesting products, too. We see more and more the strong influence of the technology in all the gaming areas, from the more interactive machines with a strong video component, to the operational control casino systems.
Which are the plans of your company for 2012?
JCM has passed a transitional year and in 2012 we will present a renewed product line, with many technological innovations which cover the needs that have been dissatisfied so far. The plan is to consolidate the position of the new JCM products in the gaming market, and in sectors such as vending, kiosks and the financial sector. These are products that are already prepared and approved for such markets, products that no doubt make a difference compared to the competence.
We will keep on strenghtening and expanding our service centers in the whole region to be closer to the customer and bring real solutions to their local problems.
How do you see 2012 for the gaming industry in general? Will it be similar to 2011? Do you think there will be a growth of the activity?
We think that, in the Latin American region, the gaming industry will have its lights and shades: markets where they will be able to work in a normal way and there is a growth perspective, and markets where it will still be difficult to work. Looking to the positive part, there is still much potential to improve and make the customer increase its productivity. There is where we see the main growth and the main investment. Beyond the new casinos or gambling venues, we see a trend to consolidate operations and make them more productive with better equipments, more technology, more professionalization of the work force. In conclusion, to make more with the same structure, but improved. There is where, besides, JCM has the best growth potential, with its top-quality products, its systems that enable to optimize resources such as ICB and with the service that every customer deserves.