The American market of gaming has shifted quite radically since the pandemic. We’ve seen the rise of electronic table games (ETG’s) as well as new regulations in many states expanding either sports betting, or gambling or lottery options in some form. Since separating from our sister company PayComplete that is focused on cash handling, our team is hyper focused on not only redeveloping some of those relationships with our core customers interested in our wide array of components, but also looking at these new markets, specifically at OEM’s, platform developers and more who are emerging in these new niche pockets of opportunity. We offer them complete turnkey solutions for hardware, alleviating that burden and allowing them to focus on their core competencies—their games.
Near the end of 2020, you told us that a lot of the company’s customers have shifted their interest towards sports betting, as the new generation of players is highly interested in this market. How has this developed over the first half of 2021, and what are your prospects for the rest of the year? What are the main demands from both operators and players today, as land-based casinos and sportsbooks keep reopening?
Sports betting has huge potential and is definitely one of our key focuses for 2021 and beyond. We’ve been seeing many states open up to sports betting as a new avenue for revenue in a post-covid world. The primary demands that we’re seeing is continuity of experience. Players want to be able to have a similar experience from their phone to the sports book. This potentially involves new technologies like using app-based platforms to run kiosks or offering cashless payments. With all of the new regulations, it’s a bit of a guessing game for everyone but we’re doing our best to learn quickly and adapt quicker.
We have seen an increasing demand for cashless wagering at land-based casinos since they have started reopening in several jurisdictions, such as the US. What is your current offering in terms of cashless wagering, and how would you assess its performance, progress and feedback from your customers since the pandemic? How would you guarantee the needed safeguards to avoid potential fraud threats and risks?
There will always be those that try to get around the system whether that be circumventing game or redemption security, try to thwart gameplay or, in the case of cashless, commit fraud. It honestly holds an equal risk. That being said, we have seen significant new interest in cashless payments from customers looking for few touch points. What we’ve found overall however is that customers mainly just want options. There are those who will never want to give up dealing with cash. There’s a sense of nostalgia and, for some, security to it and the environment of a casino supports that. But new players like the easy, no-hassle digital connection that cashless offers. SUZOHAPP can help support any payment from cashless to coin and are there to support you giving your customers options.
Which are your strategies to offer an omnichannel product, and also deal with regulations on a state-by-state basis in the US?
As states begin to determine their regulations, we’ve found that the safest bet is to go with the most conservative approach. Most states require some form of GLI certification for a terminal. Some states require more than that. We’ve opted to get our product certified through GLI both with software and without as well as getting certifications applicable across a wide range including UL, CE, and more. We believe this will help us be prepared for the majority of new regulations as more states legalize sports betting.
Are there any other plans for the region you could anticipate and elaborate on? In which areas do you see growth potential for the gaming industry?
The gaming industry as a whole is ready to come back from the pandemic with a bang! Sports betting isn’t the only new game in town. iGaming and eSports will soon have their share of the market. We’re also seeing a big expansion in lottery and bingo as states look for more ways to generate tax revenue and are easing restrictions in these areas. For us here at SUZOHAPP, the sky’s the limit in these new markets. What remains true is that as people return to traveling and getting outside, there is a huge demand for experiences. The retail setting is just as important now as ever and these new sectors are really just opportunities to try something new in a retail environment. Our years of expertise in hardware and in the gaming and amusement industry put us in the perfect position to help aid casinos, operators, OEMs and developers with getting their games to the retail floor in front of customers and maximize on their revenue.