Gaming in South and Central America

With the gaming landscape in Latin America changing so rapidly, CEM caught up with some of the top suppliers in the industry to discuss how they are adapting to current market conditions and to learn about some of their latest products.

Aristocrat has been in the gaming industry for more than 50 years, building on its Australian market leadership and reputation to become a premium supplier of groundbreaking technologies and services to the international gaming industry. Today, Aristocrat operates in more than 200 jurisdictions around the world, offering a diverse product lineup that extends from electronic gaming machines to complete gaming solutions, including systems, services, electronic tables and ancillary equipment.

Alvaro Nores, VP of Latin America Sales
“Aristocrat sells and places gaming machines throughout Latin America. The company manages sales, service and support from offices in Buenos Aires, Argentina and Mexico City, Mexico where Aristocrat has product showrooms and training facilities.

“Aristocrat’s objective is to be the leading supplier of gaming solutions to the industry. The company is committed to growing its business in Latin America and will continue to add Spanish titles to its extensive games portfolio for the region.

“The Latin American region is an important market for all manufacturers. Aristocrat has a strong presence and serves its customers directly or via distributors. Colombia is emerging as a key market in the region. Aristocrat already has a leading share in main cities’ casinos and is quickly becoming the preferred supplier for the industry.

“We deliver Latin America’s greatest gaming experience by introducing breakthrough innovation and the best entertainment to players. Our new games like Wonder Four are industry changers, loved by new and frequent players. Our games are specially adapted to the region, like Spanish language and currency denominations relevant to each country where we have market presence.”

Bally Technologies
Bally Technologies Inc. is a diversified, worldwide gaming company that designs, manufactures, distributes and operates gaming devices and computerized monitoring, accounting and player-tracking systems for gaming devices. In addition to selling gaming devices, the company also offers customers a wide range of purchase and lease options.

Derik Mooberry, Senior Vice President of Product and Operations
“Our primary business is games, casino management systems and interactive solutions for the global gaming market. Our Latin American operations are supported by more than 50 employees in offices spread throughout the region. The team works with operators to make sure they have the latest games, systems, mobile and interactive solutions, and all the support they might require.

“Our goal is innovation in both games and systems technology for casino operators in Latin America, and to grow the company by focusing on the needs of our customers. We have a large library of innovative games that continue to perform exceptionally well and resonate with the market. The recent launches surrounding Michael Jackson King of Pop™ and GREASE™ perfectly demonstrate the positive response to our new game offerings. Thanks to improvements in game development and compliance procedures, we are able to offer Latin American operators premium titles almost simultaneity to their release in North America.

“Latin America is a large market with diverse needs, and Bally Technologies continues to be flexible in providing the best products in each jurisdiction. We see opportunities for growth in almost all areas.

“Bally systems and games continue to perform well in Chile and Argentina, where we already have a large presence. After several years of working with distributors, Bally has opened offices in Peru to respond directly to our customers, yielding high growth in the market. We’ve also increased market share in Colombia and continue to see excellent results. Uruguay is also an up-and-coming market with a lot of growth potential. All regions in Latin America continue to drive expansion of our system products.

“Of course, this increased demand for all Bally products leads to a higher demand for talent and support. Bally offices continue to grow, adding some of the most professional team members in the industry. Bally Mexico has recently relocated to a new office space, and increased its number of employees by 50 percent over the past year.

“From the fast-paced fever of U-Race™ to the touch-triggered interactivity of U-Roll™, Bally games are exhilarating. Whether you’re from Latin America, Europe or South Africa, our portfolio features a host of games featuring engaging play mechanics, clever themes and animated graphics that deliver an exceptional play experience. From must-hit stand-alone progressives, multipliers and entertaining features that take wilds, stacked reels, free games, Quick Hit™, Hot Zone™ and iDeck™ to the next level, the game content always kicks the fun into high gear. Games like Michael Jackson King of Pop, which we are currently launching into the market, have tremendous appeal in Latin America for Michael Jackson’s beloved music, famous dance moves and the tremendous interaction and bonus features in the game itself.”

COPAG is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of playing cards and the leading manufacturer of high-quality 100 percent plastic playing cards for casinos and individual card players. The company is part of the worldwide Carta Mundi group of companies. COPAG cards have been used in World Series of Poker and World Poker Tour events, and currently are seen by millions in hit televised tournaments such as the Heartland Poker Tour.

Rafael Lisboa, International Key Account
“Supported by our partner TCSJOHNHUXLEY, we are the market leader in Latin America with 75 percent of the casinos using our coated paper and/or 100 percent of our plastic playing cards. They have different sales teams with focus in different countries that analyze what would be the best product for the customer, and then they contact us. In our office, we have designers with expertise in creating original layouts and after the customer’s approval, the production is started. It’s a very simple but extremely confidential process with our customers.

“We have the state-of-the-art equipment to always provide our customers with the best playing cards available in the market. By being a Brazilian company, we have several benefits when doing business with other Latin American companies, due to the economic and political agreement called Mercosul (Mercado Comum do Sul, or Southern Common Market), which gives us the chance to have lower tax rates to the member states, besides having the best options for freight values and shorter delivery time, for example.

“These great opportunities serve as an incentive to always offer our customer the best complete service in buying playing cards. By doing this, we trust that we are on the right path to having our playing cards in every casino in the region.

“The casino market is restricted to some countries in Latin America. Recently, in some countries, the gaming industry was even prohibited due to new presidential decisions, in countries such as Equador, Venezuela and Bolivia. Mexico is another example, but for different reasons: there’s no regulation for table games …

“We have a unique portfolio available to our clients… Our 100 percent plastic playing cards are known worldwide due to their exclusive formula, which offers a unique experience to the players. Knowing that our customers have different options for the shuffler machines, we guarantee that our playing cards work perfectly in every one available in the market through several tests that our factory runs in every machine.

“We also offer several security features in every order, to minimize the problems that may occur from the production process until product delivery. We have one new service that may be very attractive to everyone: a partnership with ZL Consulting, a security gaming consultant. Every customer has the option to have some hours of consultancy only for buying our playing cards.

“Our expertise in the region, especially considering that we live in and follow every single event in Latin America, makes us aware of problems that may affect our company and our customers, such as national strikes and customs clearance problems, for example. By knowing all this and living each day in the same conditions as our customers, we are much better prepared than our competition and can face every problem that may occur before and better than everyone.”

Novomatic Holding is an integrated global gaming company and a producer of high-tech gaming equipment and an operator of gaming outlets. The company offers its products and operations only in well-regulated markets with precise regulatory frameworks. The main markets of the group are the member states of the European Union; the Central, Eastern and South Eastern European markets; as well as expanding markets with exceptional growth such as Asia and Latin America.

Max Lindenberg, Marketing & Business Development
“Latin America and Central America are the hot spots for our industry and Novomatic has clearly focused on the region as well as Asia and North America. We have organizational structures in Latin America that have proven very successful. We are active in countries such as Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Paraguay and Chile, and we have met with a great deal of success, especially in Argentina. In Argentina, we have built a sales and service structure via our subsidiaries AGI Argentina and Octavian de Argentina. In Peru, for example, we went into the market with our dual strategy as both an operators and as a supplier of electronic gaming equipment. Today we are a market leader in both segments.

“Peru has recently been especially strong in the systems business and, via our subsidiary Octavian Argentina, we have been able to put in place a significant number of systems into the market, due to the new regulations that have forced operators to implement casino management solutions. In fact, we have been one of the first to comply with the regulations and to offer our online casino management system—ACP Accounting Control and Progressives.

“Even if we look at some of the quite tough import regulations that have been set in place in Argentina, we are in the lucky position that we have found ways to further import our equipment. This is one of the reasons why we will participate in SAGSE this year again. We can still deliver our products to our customers in Argentina. We already had a very good year 2011 and a first half of 2012 with good prospects for the next year.

“Novomatic is already active in almost all regulated markets in South and Central America. We have always entered these markets after a period of detailed evaluation and have set structures in place to provide potential customers with our products and the necessary staff on the ground for sales, but also for the important after sales service. To cater for our customers the best way possible is why we went into the markets with our subsidiaries in the respective countries.

“Also, the Mexican market is still growing and we are hopeful that the market will become more regulated and that gaming will take place in a highly regulated environment. There currently is a regulatory framework in place in which we can work. Of course there are still some issues which need to be solved by the Mexican authorities, but we remain positive.

“We are both an operator and a manufacturer, so all of the know-how that we get from our operations not only in Europe, but also South America—where, for example, we operate together with Sun International one of the largest resort casinos of South America in Chile—from these operations we get great customer feedback, which is directly brought back to our R&D departments to create products that meet the demand of guests in different jurisdictions.”

Offsidegaming is a leading sports betting provider for the gaming industry. They are a full platform operator, specializing in working with strategic marketing partners across Europe and South America, by building bespoke brands and solutions for any given market. Recently was launched in Peru. It is the first local online operator in the Peruvian market. The site will have a number of Offsidegaming products.

Matt Jellicoe, CEO
“ has already been launched, partners welcomed their first customers and we are expecting great results moving forward. Currently, Inkabet customers can enjoy high quality sportsbook, casino and games. Together with partners, we have further plans for adding LIVE Casino, Poker and Mobile Sportsbook. Enhancing the product offering and improving the platform is part of constant process of delivering the best available solutions to our customers.

“We specialize in providing fully managed cost-effective turnkey solutions for Internet, mobile and retail. Our strength is in the quality of products and services we provide, as well as in our unique approach to partnerships; we do not “sell,” but work hard to build long-term successful businesses.

“We find the region to be very attractive and see a lot of potential. We currently have four successful partnerships in Latin America. There are some challenges, as most countries in the regions have relatively low Internet penetration and underdeveloped online payment solutions. is our most recent project and we look forward to growing our presence in the region even more.

“We are always in search for new opportunities across the world. We know that with the right products and right partners in place, we can build truly successful long-term business. We are sponsoring PowerLatAm and exhibiting at SAGSE in November and I would like to take this opportunity to invite all interested parties to come and talk to us.