A full service supplier of innovative, high performance games, services and systems, IGT is taking Macau by storm, fine-tuning its products to suit the local market’s tastes
With more than 50 years of experience, International Game Technology (IGT) is one of the biggest gaming technology providers in the world. Based in Nevada, the company opened offices in Australia in 1986 and, given the exciting opportunities in emerging markets, launched more offices in Russia, Mexico and Macau.
Andre Hely, VP for Asia Pacific, says that demand is outstripping supply across the Asia region, and gaming centers like Macau and Singapore are currently not sufficient to satisfy the demands of Asian players. This couldn’t come at a better time, owing to the slowdown in the North American market, and Mr. Hely – along with the VPs of the Latin American/Caribbean region and the Europe/Middle East/Africa region – all have full support of IGT’s board and executive to make investments in their parts of the world to develop the international business.
IGT’s games studios in the U.S. and in Australia are busy designing new games and themes that appeal to the different Asian markets. “There is a great deal of effort going around trying to find products that are more internationalized and in tune with the players in the Macau market,” explains Mr. Hely. “We have a new approach as far as our customer engagement model is concerned, and we are going to do far better in Macau than we have possibly done in the past. These new games will be unveiled at Global Gaming Expo (G2E) Asia.”
The profile of gaming in Macau differs from that in places like Las Vegas, where slot machines see more action than tables. “I think the defining characteristic for the Macau market is the dynamics around gaming between tables and the machines, which are quite staggering,” says Mr. Hely. “From IGT’s standpoint, we certainly have products that address the table side of the market, and we have got systems that operators use as part of their operations to manage tables.”
“Slot revenue in Macau is growing every year,” he adds. “Slot operators will continue to add to that apart of the business as it matures through time.”
And the kinds of machines that are popular in Macau are getting bigger, brighter, and more entertaining, according to the VP, and that seems to suit the Macau market.
At present, IGT is deploying the Sbx, which are server-based downloads of games onto machines according to demand, in the Macau market with one of the local operators. “Basically, this product is designed to give the operators more flexibility in terms of how they manage their floor and gaming content, as well as providing a better entertainment experience for the player,” says Mr. Hely.
In this era of increased competition, it is innovation and technology to improve players’ experience that will give one or another equipment and software provider the lead.
“Across the breadth of gaming technology, be it traditional games in traditional casinos, systems or interactive technologies that assist our partners in a B2B style arrangement, we think we’ve got a full portfolio of technology here to partner with the operators in Macau,” concludes Mr. Hely.
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