Interview with Nadia Popova, director - EGT Central America, the Caribbean and Mexico, for Casino International Americano
EGT has been recognized as one of the leading global brands providing casino games to Latin America, with resounding success in Mexico, Surinamе, Colombia and Caribbean. What other countries does your beat cover and how is EGT doing in these countries?
EGT has been very successful in the last several years in Central and South America, as well as in the Caribbean region. Since 2017 our office in Mexico installed over 2,300 machines and recently signed some major deals to be executed in 2019, which will position our brand even better in the country. One of our bestsellers locally is the Premier 27/27 St Slim slot cabinet for which we are going to keep up the high tempo of sales to different gaming establishments.
For EGT the market of Mexico is among the most important in Latin America. This is why we recently opened our second office in the country, located in Monterrey, and are already planning the launch of a third one. Our main concept for success is to constantly improve our relations with the customers, to be near them and to ensure short technical support response time. For the purpose we have established a well-developed and professional local team of experts, a key factor for our success, and I have every reason to believe that 2019 will be another year in a row of further growth for us in the region.
EGT’s office in Colombia has also achieved remarkable results, having installed machines in more than 160 casinos across the country. The local market is of strategic importance for the company and its over 110,000 slot machines makes it one of the largest in LatAm.
Recently we received our certification for Chile and already partner with the main local operators. For a short span of time we reported great results. Our plans for 2019 are also ambitious and are based on the diligent research and efforts of EGT’s R&D team that succeeded to develop and release gaming content, tailored to the specifics of the Chilean market, which is one of the largest in the region, in terms of high income and operation’s scale operations.
We have also prepared numerous new games for our customers in Panama and the Caribbean where our portfolio is well-known and widely appreciated. Last year we even increased our footprint locally launching products that soon became favorites to both operators and players. In 2019 we are going to keep the tendency, releasing new jackpots and games with more attractive math and bonus features.
In Suriname, one of our strongest markets in Latin America, we hold over 50% of the overall gaming floor share in the country and one more time we were chosen for a main supplier of all 2019 new casino openings.
Which are the most popular products available to LatAm on offer by EGT?
Definitely our Premier series is a major success, however, at the ICE show in London we presented the next generation of EGT cabinets – the General series, so we will be also aiming at turning them in the next local product hit of EGT. New jackpot systems, multiplayer terminals, roulettes and gaming mixes will also be presented soon to Latin America’s markets.
Apart from the Premier series and the upcoming new releases, we would also rely on our new Cai Shen Kingdom jackpot which is already receiving positive feedback in the region. Next month will be completed the first installations of another long expected product of EGT – our first single-game 4 level progressive jackpot – the Dragon’s Turn. My personal expectations for it are very high and it will soon be part of numerous installations in different jurisdictions in 2019.
What new products EGT will be showing during FADJA 2019?
FADJA is one of the most important shows for the region, bringing together the key operators and gaming suppliers of Colombia. We look forward to taking part again in the show. This year EGT has prepared a special exposition of all its latest product developments and will also emphasize on the portfolio of EGT Interactive, as we have become one of the first licensed suppliers for online gaming content in the country. After launching the EGT games in Zamba, we have signed several more contracts with other operators’ sites. We already have our second tier of games certified and soon we will be also able to offer our new jackpot. Having so many installations in land based casinos, gives us the advantage to better understand players’ tastes and requirements and to develop our online games so they could best meet the local specifics. I am very pleased to witness how mature the Colombian online gaming market has become. Restricting all the illegal web sites is a serious achievement for the national regulator Coljuegos. So a logical step for the industry’s further progress at this stage would be to welcome key international operators and to attract new investments.
Other product highlights during FADJA will be the automated Premier R6 roulette of EGT Multiplayer, which is one of the best developments of the company on a global scale. We aim to present a complete range of roulette, poker, slot and jackpot games, as different multigame mixes and multiplayer terminals would enable the operators to achieve more flexibility in their gaming offerings to the players.
It’s exciting times in Latin America, louder rumblings about casino legislation in Brazil. How is EGT preparing for markets such as these?
The topic of legalizing the casinos in Brazil has been up for several years now. We have been following closely the evolvement of events in the country. Legalizing the sports betting is a milestone for the local gaming industry, but still it would take time until the regulations come into force. Even after their approval, the Ministry of Finance, together with SEFEL, will have to decide how and when to start the sports betting operation in the country.
Recently to the Congress was presented the new bill PL 530/2019 from the Ministry of Tourism, allowing exclusive legalization for integrated casinos. In March, 2018 senate bill PLS 186/2014 which would have seen the legalization of bingo, online sports betting and casino games was dismissed by the senate committee vote, despite the wide interest from Brazilian and international operators. We have no doubt that Brazil may become one of the major markets in LatAm and when the time comes EGT will have its strategy for how to become one of the local key gaming suppliers, but our focus this year is to strengthen our positions in the countries where we already have gained ground.
Finally what do you expect Fadja 2019 will have on offer for global leaders like EGT?
FADJA is an opportunity to meet with operators from all around the country and we have high expectations for the event, moreover we will be showcasing our latest developments for Colombia. Our schedule is full for the show and we will welcome current partners and potential customers. I am confident that the event will assist us in achieving our main aspiration – to become one of the leading online gaming suppliers in the country.