ow do you evaluate Shuffle Master’s participation in ICE?
Shuffle Master had a very strong participation at ICE this year. All of our sales team and distributors and agents from the EMEA region were in attendance. It was great to have them all there and I was very impressed with the team’s enthusiasm about our products. Additionally, our Shuffle Interactive team from the United States was in attendance and they worked tirelessly to show customers some of the great content that we are developing for the online space.
How did operators respond to the new products and innovations that you have presented?
The operators’ response was very positive. In particular, the i-Table was the hit of the show for us. The i-Table is an innovative e-Table offering that combines an intuitive touch-screen betting interface with a live game outcome. The European customers see the many benefits of such a great product, namely, the increased speed and security, the dramatic reduction of errors, and its player tracking capabilities. More importantly, they recognize its unique value proposition and understand how it differs from other competitive products in the e-Table space. Further, our latest state-of-the-art card shuffler – the MD3 - continues to attract attention across the globe with its many enhancements such as optical card recognition and optional on-board ticket printer. Finally, our Shuffle Interactive presentation of Ultimate Texas Hold’em and Three Card Poker was continuously slammed with people wanting to see how the most renowned brands in proprietary table games translate to the interactive space.
What was the business climate that you could perceive in Earls Court halls?
I think the climate was fairly positive. Bearing in mind the economic situation in Europe, I think that much of the momentum was driven by excitement that is typically generated at trade shows but also due to the fact that things seem to be slowly improving, albeit in other regions of the world.
What was the feedback that you received from the operators that visited your stand?
Feedback was very encouraging. Operators have noticed a change in culture at Shuffle Master and seen improvement in all of our products. They are excited with the i-Table, the MD3 card shuffler, our Easy Chipper D and a lot of the other products they saw at the show. They are intrigued by our move into the iGaming space and understand as the leading owner of intellectual property and proprietary table games, it makes perfect sense for Shuffle Master to develop content for what is currently one of the most profitable aspects of any online gaming site.
What are the next shows that you will attend to as exhibitors?
We keep our trade show participation down to a fairly tight number but we try to pick the leading show in each region and attend that. The next major show will be G2E Asia followed by the AGE in Australia and then G2E in Las Vegas. There may be one or two other smaller regional shows that we attend but as a general rule we really do prefer to stick to the major gaming shows around the globe.
What do you expect for the next ICE in ExCel?
It is a great pity that we are leaving the wonderful Earl’s Court venue. Not only does the venue has a lot of history for all of those who have attended the many shows there, but it is so well positioned with its proximity to west London and Heathrow airport. I have not personally been to ExCeL but I am told that it is a much better space and makes sense for many of the European customers. Accordingly, I’m looking forward to the ICE show in ExCeL in 2013 and hope it will create the same kind of atmosphere and energy that Earl’s Court has produced all these years, if not greater.