Aristocrat Says ‘Hola’ To Mexico City

The Latin American market is one of great potential—and even greater so in Mexico, where the government has recently approved the implementation of Class III games. This development has caused many international companies to take notice and strategize how to make the most of this fresh and exciting market. But one company, the industry-leading Aristocrat, has taken its new business plan straight to the heart of Mexico by opening an office in the country’s capital.

This Mexico City location, headed by Aristocrat’s Vice President of Latin America Alvaro Nores and Director of Sales and Operations Carlos Carrion, will handle direct sales to customers in Mexico, machine placement and general support, including local technical support and logistic and operation resources. Nores also oversees the company’s office in Buenos Aires.

The decision to open the office wasn’t made lightly, as the company started market research back in March 2009. By September of last year there was a business plan in place for how to approach the office opening and the search was on for a location and staff. To establish a position in Mexico City was a natural choice. Carrion explained: “The most important operators in Mexico have their headquarters in this city, and particularly in the section called Lomas de Chapultepec, where our office is also located. The Mexico office is strategically placed to enhance our market participation in Mexico, as we will be having ongoing, personal contact with our customers. This will be its biggest benefit.”

There were already a number of Aristocrat customers in Mexico as corporate accounts that have now been taken up by the new Mexico City office. The office is already working with many major Mexican operators, and with a large number of additional local operators that are in the process of being approved as new customers by the compliance department. Generally, they are doing business with a majority of the companies that are currently approved by the Secretaría de Gobernación (SEGOB), the upper-level government agency in charge of internal affairs.

Learning the rules and regulations involved with branching out to a different market is part of the process, though it can have its headaches. But Aristocrat has worked through them so far. “Opening an office in a foreign country is always complicated, but we are making steady progress,” Carrion said. “Fortunately we were able to have the opening of our office before the ELA trade show in Mexico. Since then, we have sold and delivered more machines to Mexico, and are in the process of closing more deals. Things are definitely moving in the right direction.”

And if Aristocrat continues on this path, there is a strong likelihood that this rapidly growing market will be theirs for the taking. “There are more than 60,000 machines already installed in this country, saturating the market with Class II products, as well as games known as Latin bingo. The incorporation of Class III machines gives the opportunity to the players to have another choice or alternative. From experiences in other regions, it is expected that Class III games will take over and become the preferred product, with most of the operators planning to replace their Class II product with Class III for a local market. This is creating a window of opportunity for Aristocrat.”

Opportunity can be wasted, though, if the appropriate effort isn’t made in taking advantage of it. So while Aristocrat has extensive experience in many jurisdictions across the globe, Mexico will require a customized approach and carefully thought-out plan of attack.

As Carrion stated, “The success of Aristocrat in other regions in Latin America is based on how we’ve been able to tailor operations, and business in Mexico is no exception. In order to have success in a different culture, we have to immerse ourselves in it to understand as much as possible. Customers in Mexico are used to doing business in a particular way, completely distinct from other regions. Thus, we have to adapt.”

One of the issues that the company will pay close attention to is the act of finding the perfect equipment and platform for every customer and region, as trends and needs can vary even within one country. An essential offering will be games that operate in Spanish to cater to the locals market.

The extra attention to detail, all taking place in customers’ back yards, will provide Aristocrat’s new and existing operator relationships with an even greater advantage in their own market. Working directly with a local manufacturer ensures that the products are original and include the latest innovations and much-valued personal support. Aristocrat is also responsible for complying with local regulations for each and every jurisdiction, which they accomplish by investing extensive resources in R&D and compliance. “The product that we offer in each country has been tested and certified in labs, and we are in a position to offer a professional response to any circumstance,” Carrion stated. “Aristocrat cannot guarantee that products obtained from secondary markets will comply with all the requirements and be certified to work in a different jurisdiction from the one where it was originally installed. We invite all operators to work directly with us and avoid complications with their operations.”

Aristocrat has spent the last few years gearing up to offer this burgeoning market with the support and innovation that it requires. Through direct and indirect participation in all of the major Latin American trade shows—like ELA Mexico, SAGSE Argentina, SAGSE Panama, FADJA Colombia and PGS Peru—the company has been steadily growing its visibility and reputation as one of the most important gaming manufacturers in the region.

The Mexico City office is well aware of the essential value of a regional connection, and works toward it at all opportunities, but has by no means lost its link to the rest of the world. That’s one of the advantages of being a new, shiny cog in the well-oiled machine of an international corporation. Nores and Carrion will maintain relationships with Aristocrat’s vast network that includes nearly every continent, with offices from Argentina to London to Australia.

“To install our games in all operations in Mexico is the ultimate goal,” Carrion said. “We want to provide the operators with the right equipment and software, and be viewed as a trusted commercial partner providing profitable gaming solutions.”

So here’s a hearty felicitaciones y buena suerte (congratulations and good luck) to Aristocrat and its new branch—not that they seem to need it.

Leave a Comment