David Orrick, Director of Industry Relations at Merkur Gaming sat down with Focus Gaming News to talk about the company’s presence at BEGE Expo.
Exclusive interview.- The 2022 edition of the Balkan exhibition of the gaming and entertainment industry, BEGE, was a great success and consolidated the importance of the East European market in the gaming industry.
Merkur Gaming was recently at the BEGE Expo in Bulgaria. How did you find the atmosphere at this year’s event?
Day 1 was absolutely brilliant for Merkur. Lots of visitors, many customers and some great business opportunities. Then there was the BEGE party, something of a speciality of this show and always a social highlight.
That had the rather downside of making Day 2 considerably more quiet on the show floor and perhaps suggests that the organisers could consider moving BEGE up to a 3-day event for its future editions.
The event’s important not just for Bulgaria but the wider Balkans region, which is attracting increasing attention in both the land-based and online gaming sectors. Do you think now’s the moment for the Balkan market?
A great question! On the subject of the region’s trade shows, there are annual events in Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria and all of them currently regard themselves as the ‘Best of the Balkans’.
“Each event has its high points and, in reality, picking a winner is an impossible task.”David Orrick, Director of Industry Relations at Merkur Gaming.
Overall, the East European sector is vibrant and exciting. The gaming culture is well established and highly professional as well as being a region of opportunity for participating suppliers
Do you expect the market to get more competitive as more brands realise their potential?
All markets evolve and that naturally leads to increased brand-by-brand competition although those brands that have been active in the market for some time (such as Merkur) will always work hard to maintain and enhance their brand presence and reputation and thus be seen as market leaders.
Tell us a bit about Merkur’s presence in the region
The Merkur brand is well-established and has a long history of success throughout the Balkan regions. Both Serbia and Romania have the Group’s Subsidiary companies in place while Bulgaria also has representative cover for both sales and service functions.
Merkur is also well represented further throughout the region with dedicated staff in countries such as Croatia and Greece, for example.
What kinds of questions were people asking at Merkur’s stand?
One of the realities of trade shows is that one never knows what question will be asked next by customers, business partners or visitors! Our booth staff members are equipped to answer the vast majority of those questions instantly or obtaining an answer extremely quickly and passing it on, perhaps post-show, in a timely and professional manner.
What games and innovations attracted the most interest among those visiting?
With a wide-ranging display of attractions on the Merkur booth, it was clear that the greatest interest centred on Linked Progressive Jackpot solution such as the Red Pocket Jackpot and the exciting Merkur Mystery presentation.
With a now greatly enhanced portfolio of Jackpot solutions, (Link Zone and Solar Link, for example) Merkur is actively and successfully embracing the market requirement for new, innovative and exciting Linked Progressive Jackpot titles that are now a ‘must have’ addition to gaming floors around the world.