Colombian market is going to be our main focus in 2016
Apr 13, 2016
Excerpt from an interview of Nadia Popova, director EGT – Panama, for Yogonet
What are you going to display at FADJA this year?
FADJA Colombia has long been among the most important regional events for the gaming industry and for EGT the show is an amazing opportunity to introduce its next-generation products, like the first curved cabinets of Premier series, the progressive jackpot system “Fu Gui Rong Hua”, the Luxury touch screen roulette table, etc. At the same time the event will also mark the next stage of our company’s expansion in Central America and the Caribbean, where we have accelerating sales performance and are already well known for our highly diverse portfolio and complete suite of casino solutions. We are going to present most of them to the Colombian gaming audience and I’m looking forward to receiving its first feedback.
What is it that makes the Colombian market so attractive and thriving? What are your best performing products or lines in the country?
Having in mind the great sucess of EGT in Central America and the Caribbean and the high ranking of our machines in the region, I anticipate that Colombia might be our next biggest market locally. Gambling is a traditional entertainment activity in the country and generates over $10 bn pesos a year. The number of slot machines and casinos has trebled over the last 10 years and the perspectives for the future are bright. The Coljuegos has enacted new regulations and has positive results in restricting the illegal gambling which was a major setback. Also, around 30,000 outdated slot machines will have to be replaced with newer models, as part of the policy for online connectivity to a central server, controlled by the government. All this creates new opportunities for EGT, moreover the slot machines are the most popular form of gambling in Colombia and it is where our company has an extensive experience and very strong product line-up. The online gaming is also shaping to be an attractive option for young adults and affluent players, its potential being estimated to another $19 bn pesos. In case it becomes regulated, it will open new perspectives for EGT’s interactive division as well.
Both operators and gaming companies often refer to Colombia as one of LatAm's ripest markets for investment, due to its stability and growth. However, over the past days, several operators have shown concerns about the possible legalization of gambling in Brazil. Will there still be business potential in Colombia if Brazil finally legalizes gambling?
For sure the legalization of gambling in Brazil will affect Colombia and many other countries in the region, especially those that permit internet-based gaming, as an estimation shows that currently over 8 million Brazilians play online via offshore sites. I don’t expect a serious downtrend for the Colombian market though, because, as I mentioned, the country has developed its own strong tradition in the industry. I even believe that regulating the gambling in Brazil may have a positive effect on the local reputation of the sector in general.
Are you undertaking any new projects in the country you'd like to share with our readers?
Colombian market is going to be our main focus in 2016 and we will strive to build a strong EGT brand awareness in the country. As for our market approach, we have put a lot of hard work into developing specially tailored gaming solutions for our Latin American customers. This strategy has so far been paying off in terms of sales, machine’s performance, players’ preferences, so we will stick to it also in Colombia. For our success we will mainly rely on our Premier series products – the proven ones, like the P-24/24 Up cabinet, and the newly emerged models, like the P-42V Curve, as well as on EGT’s jackpot systems.