(Exclusive interview).- David Orrick, Director of Industry Relations at Merkur Gaming, talked with Focus Gaming News about ICE 2019, which takes place next week.
The 2019 edition of ICE London is set to become the largest edition of the show so far, not only because of the size of its expo floor, but also because the number of exhibitors has significantly increased. To continue with the show’s trend, Merkur Gaming is set to unveil its largest booth ever, of any show. David Orrick, Director of Industry Relations at Merkur Gaming, talked with Focus Gaming News about the expectations around ICE London and future opportunities.
What do you think will be the main focus on the expo floor on this year’s edition of ICE? With all sectors of the gaming industry showing signs of growth, do you expect a specific modality to dominate this year?
Sports betting is the international gaming industry’s new ‘buzz’ sector. One recent report from the US said that sports betting would develop strongly be a US$2.5 to US$5 billion revenue generator over the course of the next five years. So it is obvious that top tier manufacturers have, in recent years, diversified their portfolios into new directions. Land-based gaming will remain strong and is now widely influencing online gaming… and now, sports betting. The Gauselmann Group, of which Merkur Gaming is a key element, has invested strongly in online gaming solutions and content provision (through our subsidiary company edict e-gaming) and we also have a highly skilled sports betting company, Cashpoint, that are making great strides in their sector. Sports betting is strong (and growing rapidly) all across Europe and further afield. It is a trend that will certainly continue in the near future. We will certainly see this reflected on the now bigger than ever before ICE show floor and particularly in the large number of first time exhibitors that are moving to enter the industry.
Latin America is one of Merkur’s latest key markets. Are you interested in reaching new partnerships in ICE that could help you develop your business and conquer new markets in that region?
Merkur Gaming Americas has a very strong brand and a very well established presence in LatAm markets and, of course, as a key part of our constant search to expand, we are actively pursuing new market opportunities. For example, Merkur Gaming will, in the very near future, be entering the Chilean industry as a supplier, with new installations being made into the properties of top operators Enjoy and Sun Dreams.
We will be looking to make new connections as we follow our target of business expansion in the LatAm region.
Our subsidiary company in Argentina has also been active, recently extending its reach to new business opportunities in neighboring Uruguay and Paraguay. It is expected that a large number of visitors from LatAm countries will be present at ICE and we will be looking to make new connections as we follow our target of business expansion in the region.
Last year you said that ICE 2018 was the best for the company so far. What do you take from your strategy for that edition into this new one? How do you prepare to take your business to the next level and keep expanding your achievements in the London event?
Merkur Gaming said publicly that the 2018 edition of ICE was the best yet. That statement also raised the question ‘how can the best become even better?’. Well, if numbers are anything by which to judge, 2019 will be something special. ICE has attracted a record 612 exhibitors who will cover 45,500 sq.m, up 5% from last year. Visitor pre-registrations are up also so, with more exhibitors and more visitors, ICE is already a record breaker.
This year ICE will see the largest Merkur Gaming booth, at any show, anywhere.
Merkur Gaming is breaking records too. This year ICE will see the largest Merkur Gaming booth, at any show, anywhere and it will be a space crammed with the very best in gaming innovation. This will be a real showcase for the entire Gauselmann Group and it will be our team’s pleasure to welcome visitors from around the world of gaming.
You’ve recently unveiled new products at BEGE and showcased your offering at Horecava 2019. Will you be presenting new products at ICE 2019? What can we expect from your booth that will differ from recent exhibitions?
The Merkur Gaming booth at ICE will feature games, games and even more games. Within the more than 140 individual titles for visitors to see and try for themselves there will be a strong collection of brand new games, with themes ranging from the pre-historic to the really modern, and everything in between.