Interview with Nadia Popova, director – EGT Central America, for Games Magazine
How EGT positions itself on the market of Central and South America?
Central and South America are currently among the most attractive and interesting markets in our industry and EGT has an ambitious growth plan for the region. Currently our company has established itself as one of the fastest developing gaming suppliers, being the largest to the Caribbean. We are working with most of the local operators and are striving to meet the demands of the domestic players. In 2016 we raised our revenues substantially, opened our offices in Colombia and Peru, entered new markets, made numerous installations and initiated several strategic partnerships.
In 2017 we will keep our focus unchanged, expanding even further and faster in the region, bringing many new games, providing an excellent service and developing specific market strategies for each country, to be put into action by our local sales teams.
You said that EGT is the main supplier to the Caribbean. To what products do you owe your success?
At the moment we are the main supplier of the most developed markets in the region - St. Maarten, Curacao, the Dominican Republic, Aruba, Jamaica and Suriname. We achieved great success this year with our Premier P-24/24 Up cabinet, followed by the jackpot system Egypt Quest and the P-27/32H St slot model, supplied with the Collection series multigame mixes. We also made several installations of our Cat 4 Cash jackpot system in Curacao, where the product received high acclaim from operators and players alike and became the best performing on the island. We are looking forward to our first Curved cabinets (P-42V Up and P-42V St) arrivals in Aruba and St. Maarten. These models of Premier series will certainly make a splash together with another product of EGT – the Touch Roulette Table of Luxury series. It will appear in the Caribbean, at first in the Dominican Republic and then into Aruba, St. Maarten and Curacao.
Could you tell us more about the opening of EGT’s new office in Colombia and about your plans for further expansion in the country?
Being closer to our customers has always proved a successful strategy for EGT. Colombia with its 80,000 legal machines is undoubtedly an attractive market and we have considered it as one of high potential for us. We opened our new office in the country so we could improve our services and achieve a stronger presence in the territory. After only one month we were already sure that were heading into the right direction – we signed our first contract for 200 machines. We started with our Classic Vega+ slot model, which was supplied to various Codere properties in Colombia in the past and gained fast in popularity, and intend to go on with our Premier series models which will certainly bring our local services to another level. Actually we have already inked several deals for the Premier cabinets with large operators in the country. Codere for example is extending our partnership with the P-27/27 St Slim and P-24/24 Up machines, all Crown casinos will soon be supplied with our latest Premier multigame mixes, as well as with the Collection series one, designed specifically for the Latin American markets, where players enjoy the multi denominations.
As sales results we forecast to achieve the installation of 1,500 gaming stations till the end of 2017.
How about the market of Mexico? Do you consider it important?
Mexico is the biggest market in the region, but as it is more complex, we decided to step into it a little bit later. However, its attractiveness is obvious – it has the highest growth potential, and EGT is now prepared to become one of the key local casino equipment providers. We have already completed several successful installations in various Caliente casinos and have provided our first machines to Logrand group – one of the major local operators. Both companies chose our P-24/24 Up cabinet of Premier series and will probably go on with some other models in 2017.
Building on our initial success, we are delivering our first group of 150 machines for Codere Mexico, that will be spread across many different casinos throughout the county. Part of the installations will include our new 4 Happy Hits jackpot system, housed in the curved Premier cabinet of EGT – the P-42V St, others will feature the Collection Series multigame mixes, presented again in the curved cabinets, and the slot model P-27/27 St Slim.
We have high expectations for the 4 Happy Hits though, as it is very flexible when it comes to settings and is especially designed for casinos where players are leaning to the American type of games with very high hit rate. Moreover, in Mexico will be installed stand-alone machines with linked progressive jackpot, which will raise the users’ excitement to the maximum.
What could you tell us about the EGT office in Panama? What are your future plans for its development?
Our office in Panama has been a great success since its very opening in 2014. EGT is within the few manufacturers that have its own local center in the country. We have come a long way since our first installation of the Vega Vision+ slot model. Now we are partnering with all the key operators in Panama and are constantly presenting new products to them - we just completed the first delivery of our P-27/32 H St and P-27/42 St Egypt Quest cabinets.
The leadership of EGT in the country roots also in its best developed technical support. Our response time is short and the maintenance and repair services are assisted online 24 hours a day by our team in Sofia. This year we are also opening our new local service centre, which will provide the spare parts for all the Americas, including the Caribbean. It will optimize our technical support by 30% and will assist our neighbouring offices too.
Another forthcoming project is the expansion of our show room in the country, so it could welcome customers from the whole region 365 days a year and to be used for trainings, presentations and try-outs.
Last but not least, we are also establishing a team to assist our online games sales in Central and South America where we intend to expand with our interactive portfolio too, after several highly successful installations of the kind. We offer over 70 internet-based video slot games, available for desktop or handheld devices and are constantly updating their range with new titles.