Inside Asian Gaming

INSIDE ASIAN GAMING | May 2008 22 Vendor Profile us. It’s also important that they know we are committed to continually innovating, as per the new products we’re introducing at G2E Asia. Is card branding important to players in casinos? What sort of feedback do you get from them regarding USPC products? Absolutely. Our brands are synonymous with gaming and have become known to generations of consumers around the world. When they see BEE® or KEM® for example, they know they’re playing with the best cards in the business. In turn, operators can differentiate themselves because they use our products,which the players note at every table they sit. We hear comments all the time that centre on the history of our brands, the luxurious feel of the BEE® card, and the shared experience that comes from knowing they are playing with the same cards as the high rollers in Las Vegas, Macau, Korea, and elsewhere. You were very open about the fact that a recent experiment with a different card face known as “Poker Peek” at the 2007 World Series of Poker, wasn’t the success you had hoped it would be. Can you explain why the players preferred the more traditional face? Our ‘original’ Poker Peek design, created in 2006, continues to be very popular with both professional and amateur poker players. However, we changed out the 2007 WSOP decks when we received feedback from a vocal minority that did not like them, so we worked with Harrah’s and the WSOP to make a change.We believe everyone came away satisfied with the quick resolution. How does USPC manage to maintain or build market share when there are so many cheap Asian-made products around? People want to play with quality products and brand names they know and trust.For these reasons, USPC stands above other products. Our customers want to work with reliable partners who know their challenges, have the scale to deliver product ina timely andconsistent fashion, and that design products that meet their needs. All of our core brands including our casino cards are manufactured in Cincinnati, Ohio USA. What is your general strategy for maintainingthebusinessandbuilding it over the next few years? We’ll continue to add value to our playing cards that address the unique securityandoperationalneedsofcasinos, whether that is through innovation with the playing cards themselves or with related technology. We’ll also continue to leverage the brand strength of our portfolio that’s unmatched in the industry. What developments, if any, do you see in the casino card product market in the next few years? I believe the focus will continue to be security and an effort to continue to improve efficiencies in table games operations of this unprecedented size and scope. The amount of tables these properties are installing is incredible and as playing cards factor heavily into their day to day operations, the processes surrounding the tables will need to adapt. Is thegrowthof electronic/online table games a challenge to your business or an opportunity for licensing agreements using USPC designs? We are aware of these products and are monitoring their development but don’t see a significant impact on our business. We view player interaction with playing cards as a crucial element of the enthusiasm exhibited by gamblers in this market. A balance has to be struck between the adaptations I mentioned earlier and the passionate form of gambling into which playing cards figure heavily. Please sum up your feelings about the opportunities in the Asian market in the next few years. We’re proud of the heritage we have here in Macau and throughout the region and we will continue to utilise our BEE® brand and others to contribute meaningful solutions to the unique challenges presented when such a large market expands this rapidly. The numbers are staggering and we are incredibly excited about the unprecedented growth of table-centric properties throughout the region. Mr Madding will be at The United States Playing Card Company stand at G2E Asia 2008, June4-5 at The Venetian Macao.