IGT’s Managing Director Asia-Pacific, Andrew Hely, says he is confident the company can earn the trust of Macau’s operators during a current trial period being conducted on some of its newest slot machine titles as it looks to boost its market share in Asia’s casino hub.
Already renowned as a leader in the systems segment throughout the region, IGT has made no secret in recent years of its plans to become the third major player in Macau’s highly lucrative slots market alongside Aristocrat and Scientific Games via a restructuring of its Asia-Pacific team and development of a broad new range of standalone and linked progressive titles.
Those titles are now being trialled by a number of Macau operators with Hely telling Inside Asian Gaming at ICE London this week that the early signs have been encouraging.
“We’re pleased with what we’re seeing so far,” Hely explained.
“We’re still in that evolving part of the process at the moment where we’ve got the products that we think can perform in the marketplace and now we’ve got to prove ourselves in the trials.
“We’ve got the good will of the operators – the market sentiment is positive towards us – but like everyone else we’ve got to prove ourselves through a trial of 90 days to get the operator’s confidence to purchase some products and engineer some repeat business as well. We’re coming off a base that is under-represented in our opinion but we think there is capacity there for a lot more from an IGT standpoint. It’s just a matter of earning our way further onto those floors.”
Hely noted that IGT’s Australia-New Zealand (ANZ) business had undergone a similar rejuvenation that resulted in a 26% jump in volume in 2018, with the company now turning its attention to Macau and the rest of Asia to follow suit in 2019.
“We knew Asia would probably be lagging by 12 to 18 months in terms of how we collected our efforts from a regional point of view,” he said. “2018 was the year of investment and recalibration, 2019 has to be the year we deliver our results for Asia. We think we’ve got the products to do that.
“We still regard ourselves as arguably the leader in systems in Asia. We have a good product and a standing reputation as far as that is concerned.
“We just need to get the consistency with games now moving forward and I think that will start to come as we come out the other side of those trials.”