IAG November 2014 - page 8

Cover Story
about four to fivehours toget to any location that weneed tobe.”
There’salso thedevotion to the region,which iswhat summoned
these companies intobeing in the first place.
“Something like a new regulation: perhaps for the big suppliers,
the international guys, they have to go through a corporate chain
before they can get an answer,” Mr Poh contends. “And they have
other markets to consider, and then whether the decision they’re
making is actually for the good; it may not be, because their other
markets are bigger than Asia. For us, Asia is ourmarket. Asia is the
biggest market for us. So concentrating on Asia itself, it’s very easy
for us tomake sure we handle all the regulatory changes, andmake
sure our guys that create the products visit Asia and they’re in tune
with thepsycheof the customers that arehere.”
The operators you might expect to benefit from this the most,
thosewithsimilar regional rootsanda regional focus,while theydon’t
disagree, naturally they view thedynamics from their ownperspective.
“I think everyone is happy to try machines if the supplier looks
likehe’sgoing tohelp youout andbeapartner,” saysTimShepherd,
executive director of Hong Kong-based Silver Heritage, which runs
a popular casino outside Hanoi and owns and operates more than
1,000 slots aroundSoutheast Asia.
“These companieswe’re talking about, they have a very specific
focus, they build for a specific market,” says Joseph Pisano, an
GamingAsia andnowheads the JadeGroup, a slot distribution and
management company based in the Philippines. “Companies like
Aristocrat and IGT, they have very large assets in the industry.When
they look at products they look at itmoreon a global scale.”
IGT is one of Jade’s clients, a list that includes European slot
giant Novomatic and Seoul-based Hydako, the latter a decidedly
smaller name with some well-designed games centered on an
outsized cabinet called the Super Giant that features a 42-inch
screen. Hydako’s games are deployed inMacau and in casinos on
South Korea’s Jeju island. At Manila’s new Solaire Resort &Casino,
they’re ranked the second-best performer on the floor, according to
Mr Pisano.
But that doesn’t mean smaller is necessarily better, he says. “I
think thebiggestdifference isproduct, and your small suppliers, your
Aspects, your Hydakos, their product range is very limited, and for
very specificmarkets. Some of theMacau companies have products
that work in Macau, but they really haven’t been tested outside of
Macau yet. LT isone company that hasbeenable tooperatebasically
in a monopoly environment where they haven’t been exposed to
Aspect CEO Justin Nguyen likes heading a Chinese company
whosemotto, “CreatedbyLocals forLocals,” is“agood indicator,”he
says, “of both our advantage and our game development strategy”.
But, he adds, in the end everyone’s looking at the same bottom
Forus,Asia isourmarket.
Asia is thebiggestmarket for
us. So concentratingonAsia
itself, it’sveryeasy forus to
make surewehandleall the
regulatory changes, andmake
sureourguys that create the
productsvisitAsiaand they’re
in tunewith thepsycheof the
customers thatarehere.”
| chief operatingofficer,
“Theadvantage is in the
largerproperties. If you’re
operatinga largeproperty
you’regoing tohavea
largerproduct range.You
canafford toput in some
Aspect, someHydakos,
someWeike.… It’sgreat
tohave them. Itgives
your casinofloorpointsof
difference.At themoment,
ifwe lookat the industry
CEO, JadeGroup
Border crossing
and Poipet,
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