hat is Bally exhibiting here in London’s ICE?
The major new products we are showing are two worldclass brands: the Michael Jackson King of Pop on a gaming device, which ships in late July, and Grease You're the one that I want theme, which is our first double-play game with John Travolta and Olivia Newton John. Those are two major brands that were showing for the first time at ICE. Grease theme starts shipping in February. Our first installs will be in California followed by Europe in May.
The second thing is a suit of Internet games on our own remote gaming server. We have about twelve Internet games that we are showing with five new play mechanics and we’re also showing for the fist time at ICE about 20 casino applications that we’ve done for our casino partners through the acquisition of a company called MacroView. To date we’ve over a million downloads of these applicaitons. So three things: two major brands, Internet games and several mobile apps for our casino partners. Along with that are our systems products including Elite Bonusing Suite (EBS) with iVIEW Display Manager (DM) to create floor wide events at casinos. Those are the four major things we are showing this year at ICE.
Do you think these global brands are a successful strategy for the company?
Yes, we’re player tested these and have had broad player appeal from various regionals globally. Typically we’re know for “home grown” brands like Hot Shot, Fireball and Cash Spin but this were are adding some world class brands to help with our premium instal base. Were now committed to about 2-3 major brand releases a year. MJ and Grease are the two that we have now. At G2E we’ll be unvailing another two to three brand-new brands. We think that in the areas like Macau, for example, the Michael Jackson brand will have massive appeal.
What is the strategy with regards to the Internet games? I mean, which is the trend?
Our strategy on Internet is to be a business to business (b2b) player. So we partner with the casino customers. We won’t market to players directly. Our strategy is to partner with casino properties, to bring solutions to thier Internet gaming needs and use this as a tool to drive more play back to the land-based casinos. That’s much different from our competitors. A lot of our competitors are going around the casinos, talking players directly. We are b2b players.
How was the show for Bally?
Not bad. Lots of talk around the economy here in Europe. We coming off some very strong showings Las Vegas and Latin America and the ICE show is respectable. We have some bit partners and new opportunies in Europe so it’s exciting time for Bally.
What is your opinion about the impact of the economic crisis in the gaming industry?
We asked casino operators about that and they are all hopeful and see the economy getting better. We’re seeing several opportunities in Europe and we have lots of opportunity to grow our current share and our products have never looked better. The European marketplace is a smaller percentage of our revenues but with big growth opportunities. We’re 800 million dollar company that showed growth in the last three quarters so we have good momentum. Our Europe share is growing with the expansion into Italy.
Which is the most important market nowadays for Bally?
Today, about 75% of our business comes from North America. USA, Canada and Mexico are big parts of our business. We do very well in Latin America and Italy is our largest growing segment in Europe.