(Exclusive interview).- Merkur Gaming talked with Focus Gaming News about the company’s performance at PGS and its future plans.
Merkur Gaming experienced a successful Peru Gaming Show and celebrated the response from the public. David Orrick, Director of Industry Relations at Merkur Gaming, talked with Focus Gaming News about the company’s performance and its future plans at both SAGSE and G2E Las Vegas.
The latest edition of Peru Gaming Show coincided at the same time with the Football World Cup, and Merkur Gaming prepared both the stand and its employees adapted to the occasion. What was the feedback from the public?
This was an innovative idea from our marketing colleagues. They were already ‘football crazy’ before the world cup finals even started and, given that it had taken Peru 36 years to make to the competition at this level, the football frenzy went nationwide. So the reaction to our football themed booth that we received was just sensational, from both visitors and other exhibitors. It was a nice example of our industry coming together to celebrate a particularly special event.
Talking about exhibitions in Latin America, SAGSE 2018 edition will be held one month before G2E. What consequences can this bring for both shows and what products will present Merkur in them?
The first thing to say about SAGSE’s date change is that it has been forced onto the organization by outside factors not at all in their control. That said, the revised date, for one year only, is far from ideal. SAGSE is being held three weeks before G2E and that creates problems on multiple levels, logistically and from a theming perspective. G2E, together with ICE in London, is where manufacturers make their big product launches and where they spend a lot of money to put on a great show. SAGSE, unfortunately, will not see much, if anything, in the way of special events or product launches, just through being so close to Las Vegas. That said, SAGSE is always an important show –despite its date- for our subsidiary Merkur Gaming Argentina and their customers so we have committed to ‘keep the faith’ and confirmed our presence in Buenos Aires. We wish the SAGSE organizers every success with this year’s edition of their show and, as a leading exhibitor, we will do everything that we can to add to the event’s long established latin flair.
The reaction to our football themed booth that we received was just sensational, from both visitors and other exhibitors. It was a nice example of our industry coming together to celebrate a particularly special event.
Going back to Peru, it’s a market that grows year after year. In the framework of the conferences, there was much discussion about the possible legalisation of online gambling. Is Merkur working in this direction?
Peru is a market that continues to grow and develop thanks to several factors. First, the expansion of the player base: something that is due in no small way to the sophistication and increased search for ever better gaming entertainment of the players. It is a perfect example of how success creates more success. Secondly, the regulatory climate of Peru helps the gaming industry to grow and prosper. Peru’s gaming laws are a model that is applauded, and envied, by many other countries. Not just in Latin America but around the world.
On the subject of legalized online gaming in Peru, the world is watching and that includes the Gauselmann Group (of which Merkur Gaming is a part). That is why the online gaming sector was ably represented at Peru Gaming Show by our sister company, edict, who were in Lima to make contacts and to hear firsthand about the developments in Peru’s online space that are so widely expected.
Merkur is the perfect example of entrepreneurial success through investment in developing and expanding markets.
European companies have been investing in Latin America for some time now. Merkur Gaming, for example, opened its subsidiary in Argentina a year ago. How attractive do you believe is the Latin market for European companies?
Merkur Gaming, and the success that the brand has built across our Latin American subsidiary companies in Argentina, Colombia, Mexico and Peru, is the perfect example of entrepreneurial success through investment in developing and expanding markets.
Together with Asia, Latin America has been and continues to be one of the gaming world’s hotspots in terms of expansion opportunity and thus the region continues to be attractive, at a very high level, for European tier one brands such as Merkur Gaming.
Regarding the products that evolve year after year, Merkur Gaming is a company that is at the forefront of innovation. The slots, as you can see in the different international shows, are in constant improvement. What different products can operators expect for next year from Merkur Gaming?
As I said earlier, the major companies such as Merkur Gaming make their ‘next year’ product announcements annually, at both G2E and ICE. So, without showing our hand too early, let me just promise that Merkur Gaming will continue to innovate and use the more than 60 years heritage of the Gauselmann Group, together with Merkur Gaming’s own 40 years of constant success, to bring to the industry’s attention products that will fully celebrate the advantages of our ‘made in Germany’ manufacturing ethos and the fair deal culture which is at our core. To use an old cliché, ‘watch this space’!