IAG November 2014 - page 7

November2014
inside
asiangaming
7
Cover Story
All of these smaller games-makers can point to a unique
provenance for the success they enjoy today. Some, like Singapore’s
Weike Gaming Technology and Macau’s LT Game, leveraged their
origins as operators tomake some decisive calls about where they
wanted to go as suppliers. The video gaming genius of the Japanese
was amajor influence on Taiwan’s Jumbo Technology, which began
sellinggames intoAsia’sclubmarketswhenMacauwasstillgoverned
by Portugal. Aspect Gaming, a relative newcomer, was founded in
Shanghai in 2008, but itsmanagement roots stretch back to Silicon
Valley in themid-’90s.
The other common denominator is that they’ve all grown up
with an Asian industry that is all grown up now. As it extends from
Kangwon Land to Kuala Lumpur, fromManila to Myanmar, it’s an
industry comprised of tens of thousands of slots and EGMs spread
across upwards of 300 casinos and clubs. Nevada’s non-restricted
locations number at most only a few dozen more. Macau’s slot
market alone booked US$1.79 billion in revenue last year from
approximately 13,100machines, secondonly tobaccarat. Those slots
generated almost 62% of the Las Vegas Strip’s machine win with
29% of the units. This year they’re on track to break $1.9 billion. If
youdropped them into theUS rightnow they’dequate to thenation’s
seventh-largest commercial casino state by revenue.
Macau also accounts for a sizable majority (60%) of the 9,500
or so electronic table positions in East and Southeast Asia and will
account for 65% of the growth over the next three years, according
to estimates by investment brokersUnionGamingResearchMacau.
At that point, therewill beat least 5,200more seats region-wide than
there are today, an increaseof 40%.
Needless tosay, noneof thishasbeen lost on themultinationals,
whichhaveresponded impressively, leveraging theirgreaterresources
toget up to speed fastwithanarrayof powerfully localizedproducts,
and as far as the larger casinomarkets go, asserting the dominance
you’d expect.
That doesn’t mean the regionals are ceding any of the territory
they’vewon.
“Ourwealthofknowledge is farsuperior tosuppliersbasedoutside
of Asia,” contendsNedHsu, creativedirector of Jumbo and chairman
of sister company Alphabet, which develops a cutting-edge range of
games in its own right. He sees his companies as an alternative. “We
believesobecausewearebased inAsia,whichgivesus theadvantage,”
andasaprivate company, “Wearemoreefficient andflexiblewhenwe
have toadapt to regulationsand requirements for amarket.”
Weike’sChiefOperatingOfficer Ray Poh also sees his geography
as an edge, enabling the company to exploit whatmilitary strategists
prize as interior lines of communication. “In terms of maneuvering
around themarketwe’reprobablymorenimble,”hesays. “Our entire
team is in Asia so we don’t have to fly people in from Europe or
America. We’re all based within the region. It takes us maximum
Macauwill account for65%of theETG
growth in theregionover thenext three
years.At thatpoint, therewill beat least
5,200more seatsregion-wide than thereare
today, an increaseof40%.
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