hat are your expectations about ICE?
We’re expecting to have a very busy ICE stand as usual. Although we have our products live all over the world from Colombia to China, we are a British company and we value our UK customers a great deal. There’s always a fantastic buzz to our ICE stand and I’m yet to see a bar that’s more fun!
Of course, it’s not all social and we expect to have many fruitful business meetings at the show – it’s a good opportunity to demonstrate the best of your product portfolio, especially to international customers, in one place.
How do you think that the new venue will influence in the development of the show?
The new venue should be a positive change for everyone and fresh off the back of the Olympics we’re proud to be flying the British flag in East London. The new venue has allowed us to expand and have our biggest stand yet, which is much needed to accommodate all the cool products we have to show this year.
We’re delighted the show remains in the UK as operators in the UK are very important to us. We’re launching two special ICE ‘Hot Deals’ to offer independent bookies significant savings on the Virtual Betting Channel and our Storm HD machine, which is now available for rent. As an extra bonus, the first 50 people to sign up for both Hot Deals win an iPad Mini. We’ll also be running a real slots tournament on the stand with prizes for the three best scores.
What place will interactive gaming have in the show?
Interactive is growing year on year, both in the industry and as a proportion of the show. We’re well positioned in the venue between the interactive gaming companies and the casino companies. Our Virtual Sports for online has been a star performer in the online world for a number of years and we’ve been excited to see several of our UK customers adding it to their mobile platforms in the past 12 months. We’ve got more mobile Virtual Sports products to come, so watch this space.
What products will you present? What are its main features?
The big new launch for Inspired is Sabre Synchro – a unique casino ETG product that allows multi-window simultaneous play on the luxurious Sabre cabinet.
The success of our top-performing Multi-Win Roulette is largely due to the option to play four wheels (and any combination of live, auto or virtual wheels). It offers variation and, for high rollers especially, much more fun as you can bet on all four wheels at once.
Sabre Synchro takes this concept even further and allows a mix of different casino games in the four windows. So players can switch between live or auto roulette games, virtual horse betting and baccarat with the touch of a window – and they can be playing all four game windows at once.
This synchronised, fast action experience is particularly suited to ETG terminals by offering players several windows of entertainment for when the roulette wheel is spinning or the cards are being dealt. It’s fast paced, continuous fun.
Another big launch for us is Inspired’s SmartDeck – a multi-touch player panel with OpticV Buttons and SmartTabs. It’s much more player-friendly, reliable and graphically rich than other digital button panels because it combines physical buttons with next-generation optic technology. It’s a couple of steps on from the unreliable, low quality OLED buttons.
The SmartTabs are neat little windows that can be swiped across the SmartDeck screen to reveal cool apps such as Core F&B, which allows you to order a drink or snack to be delivered to your machine.
What are your main markets in EMEA? How is the company positioned in each of these markets?
We’re a leading suppler of SBG slots and VLTs in the UK and Italy. Because of this experience we’re engaged in discussions about other potential VLT markets in Europe.
In the UK we supply a range of products to just about every type of gaming operator. Our UK portfolio includes SBG slots for bookmakers, bingo halls and Adult Gaming Centres, electronic roulette, casino SBG B1 slots, Virtual Sports for retail, online and mobile, and online slots.
Wizard of Oz and Leprechaun’s Gold are just two of several hit WMS games to be exclusively available on Inspired’s UK B3 and UK B1 products. We also have new in-house Inspired games such as Splash the Cash and Merlin.
On the topic of SBG innovation, we are launching new features of our Core VIP marketing and rewards system at the show and many of these new features have just gone live with UK customers. A cool new feature that can actually sit within the Core VIP loyalty system or remain anonymous is Fortune Code, which allows operators to distribute codes that can be typed into the machine by the player to reveal a hidden reward (credit, free game, a special feature etc.). It rewards players in an engaging way.
Italy is becoming a similar market to the UK in terms of having a range of gambling types. Inspired is a leading supplier of VLTs, Virtual Sports and Comma 6a Treasure Island.
The legalization of Virtual Sports has been an interesting new development in Italy and we hope to go live with the six Italian operators we’ve already signed up in the next few months – once the regulatory framework has been finalized.
How was 2012 for the most important markets of EMEA? What is the perspective for 2013?
The UK and Italy are still robust and growing markets. Both require committed product innovation to drive revenue growth and keep ahead of the competition. They are exciting and innovative markets to be in.
We are very optimistic about launching Virtual Sports in Italy and look forward to announcing contracts with new concessions and introducing more entertaining content – for both Virtual Sports and VLT. We will also be looking to replicate this same winning product mix of Virtual sports and VLTs in Eastern Europe, Asia and South America.
What goals will you pursue this year, especially in Europe?
We will be meeting with a lot of European casino companies at ICE to show them our new Sabre Synchro product with Virtual Horse Betting. Operators can display the virtual horse races on large screens in the venue to attract new players and provide visual entertainment in the form of a race every few minutes. The quality of the content on Sabre Synchro is unrivalled so we expect this to be a major casino product launch for us in 2013.
Elsewhere in Europe, particularly in markets in Eastern Europe, there is still a lot of potential for our Virtual Sports products to increase revenues by providing regular betting entertainment in-between live sporting fixtures or lotto / lottery draws. We have many Virtual Sports success stories from across Europe, including the UK, Italy, Greece, Slovakia and Ukraine.