Casino Technology’s VP Rossi McKee suggests that the region is among the most modern gambling environments in the world, boasting a sophisticated player’s culture where consumers are quick to embrace the latest technologies. BEGE 2016 seemed to prove just that.
[dropcap]F[/dropcap]ounded in 1999, Casino Technology maintains a well-established position in the international marketplace, compliant in more than 50 gaming jurisdictions, the company’s products are highly regarded for their performance, quality and reliability. International Casino Review met with Rossi McKee, Vice President of Casino Technology, to discuss the latest market trends in Eastern Europe and the Balkans and why BEGE Expo continues to be the region’s premier trade show.
International Casino Review: For how many years have you attended BEGE Expo and what does Casino Technology gain from attendance at the show?
Rossi McKee: Casino Technology was and continues to be among the strongest supporters and sponsors of BEGE Expo since its first edition nine years ago.
We saw how the expo started, gained momentum and became the most important industry event in the region and we believe that it shows Eastern Europe’s potential and the advanced state of its gaming industry.
BEGE has helped to shape the industry in this part of the world, bringing together professionals and allowing the exchange of expertise, ideas and promotion of new technology.
We’ve been pleased by how many regional and international companies have joined year after year, which is evidence of the growth and potential of the industry in the region and proves the importance of the event.
This year BEGE Expo had its greatest attendance ever with visitors not only from all of the neighbouring countries, but from Western and Central Europe, Asia, Scandinavian countries, EuroAsia and even from Africa and saw Casino Technology close some very substantial deals for 2017.
As Eastern European operators are becoming more demanding in their expectations of new products and regulations are embracing new and modern technologies, BEGE Expo’s importance grows as a professional B2B platform for manufacturers to showcase and promote their newest products to the operators.
ICR: What kind of business successes has Casino Technology achieved in Eastern Europe and the Balkans this year and what have been the company’s highlights in these regions for 2016?
RM: Casino Technology is growing its market presence and market share in Eastern Europe. The region is very dynamic and rapidly develops.
As a result, Casino Technology tries to be flexible in its business strategy by offering innovative solutions, fully compliant with the regulations and requirements of each country.
This year saw the company expand its market presence in Croatia, Serbia and Macedonia. While the temporary smoking-ban stressed the Romanian market, it continued to be extremely successful for us, not only in the land-based sector, where we increased our market share, but also in the online sector, where Casino Technology games were successfully launched and live for several months.
In our domestic market, Bulgaria, we achieved a very successful launch of online casinos and of our seamless solutions, The Big 5 in few locations, which became a real showcase of how both, virtual and landbased sector can merge and benefit from each other.
Several of our new products – including Ez Modulo which we pre-launched during BEGE Expo – have been developed and tailored for the new Eastern European markets and will soon be launched in Slovenia.
For us 2016 was marked by our successful performance in the EurAsian region where Casino Technology grew its presence and positions on the markets in Georgia and Kazakhstan.
Besides our slot game products this year we achieved a great performance on the systems side. Our Casino Management System (CMS) Rhino was successfully installed in several countries in Eastern Europe and is now amongst the preferred systems in Georgia, Cyprus, Bulgaria and Serbia, where it continues to receive very good management feedback.
ICR: In terms of market trends, what product types are doing well in the Eastern European markets at the moment and where have you seen growth?
RM: Eastern Europe has matured as a gaming market during the past 20 years. It went through various stages of development and nowadays some of those markets are amongst the most modern in terms of technology. Today it is a gaming market which offers a modern gambling environment with a sophisticated player culture, where the players know their odds very well and are experts in the games, quickly embracing new technologies and are very selective in terms of products they like and play.
This poses various challenges for the operators not only to provide the best product to the customer, but also to find the best product strategy and fine tune it to be successful in a very competitive environment.
ICR: What is your view on the new Sochi Gaming Zone, could this be a potential market for Casino Technology?
RM: Casino Technology is well recognised brand in Russia. Prior to 2009, Casino Technology products were among the top played products in Russia and we believe that Sochi Gaming Zone is a very interesting new opportunity for our company.