ell us how this brand new cabinet can help operators increase revenue.
When customers see that there's a new product like the MerkurStar in the market, they call and enquire: 'How come we don't have it in our country yet?'. When we introduced MerkurStar to the international market at ICE Totally Gaming earlier this year, we noticed a significant number of visitors from across Peru, Colombia, Mexico and Argentina. We already had successful products in Peru, such as the Avantgarde SLT slant top, but we felt the market place very much needed a new and exciting upright cabinet, so we worked extremely hard to produce the Merkurstar. This will be a global product but we can already see that Latin American operators were excited and enthusiastic about the new prospects offered by Merkurstar.
How would you describe the average Peruvian player?
There is never really such a thing as an ‘average’ player. The majority of Peruvian players, for a number of reasons, are well-educated and highly sophisticated about gaming. One of the reasons for this is the excellent job that the regulator MINCETUR is doing, ensuring that gaming in Peru is run to the highest standards. Peruvian players know that they can trust both operators and manufacturers, and they know they will be given the tools to play well regulated games in a responsible manner.
MINCETUR is a very well-known regulator for all forms of gaming. They have a policy that represents all of the different elements of gaming, and brings them together under one roof. It certainly works for manufacturers, since we have direct representation to the regulator, and it works for operators as well, because they know what they expect from MINCETUR, and how the games will be regulated. Last, but by no means least, it works for the players, because it leads to increased sophistication and a resulting satisfaction with Peru’s offering of gaming entertainment.
"Peru is at the center of the most successful gaming environment in Latin America"
When will Merkurstar be available in the wider Latin American region?
We will in the near future roll it out across all duly regulated Latin American countries. Obviously, we have to achieve certifications and approvals to be in line with regulations in each and every market. But that's a progress that we will make very rapidly. We expect the games which we showcased so successfully at the 2016 Peru Gaming Show to be ready for sale within a very short period of time.
"The changes in legislation in Argentina are very positive"
With new regulations taking place, how do you see the Colombian market evolving?
We already have our own subsidiary company and a great team in Colombia, Merkur Gaming Colombia. Our policy, which is the policy of the majority of the gaming suppliers, is that well-regulated gaming is necessary, because nobody wants illegality, nobody wants tax evasion, and a commitment is needed across all supplying manufacturers. That is what Merkur Gaming wants. It is our obligation to protect all areas of responsible gaming. There are a small number of players who need protection, therefore we have to have a commitment to do that. If the commitment to corporate social responsibility is mandated on a national basis, so much the better. And I hope that will be the case in Colombia, for the betterment of the whole industry.
What opportunities are you seeing in Latin America?
Peru is at the center of the most successful gaming environment in Latin America. On the other hand, other areas certainly are looking at changes in legislation, such as in, for example, Argentina. The changes in legislation in Argentina are very positive. Mexico is also extremely vibrant. I would say that, if you take the whole of Latin America as one gaming area, it is probably the most attractive, interesting gaming region in the world at the moment.
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