Interview with Herman Ng, CEO and Executive Director, APE
1) What has been the biggest development for your company in Asia this year?
So far, we have been working on expanding the distribution of Konami’s Fortune Cup Horse Racing ETG product. The products have been released at two of the most prominent casinos in Asia since March. We’ve worked hard with the team at Konami to further refine the product. At the same time, we have coordinated a rewards promotion scheme with the casinos to further expand its reach to players.
2) Where are you experiencing the most demand at present?
Electronic Table Games (ETG) are gaining traction in modern casinos in both Macau and South East Asia as they are user-friendly and can be easily upgraded. Macau-leading ETG vendors such as Jumbo and Spintec provide reconfigurable and customizable stadium / standalone table games terminals. Such terminals can be used to play up to 8 different types of table games, such as Baccarat, Roulette, Sic-Bo, etc, in just one terminal. Reconfigurable products that can support games that speed up gameplay is gaining traction and are replacing the 12 seated / 8 seated single game round shape machines. This helps reduce the center unit cost for casinos and is a key trend in the global slot machine market.
3) What are your plans for 2019?
Following the pace of Asia-Pacific market expansion, APE is looking to regional distribution in Vietnam, the Philippines, and Cambodia. We are also increasing our sales, expanding the number of our people and our relationships in these cities. In the next couple of years, those regions are going to provide significant growth for us. In addition, we intend to further develop our maintenance and servicing operation in our home market of Macau.
We will also have news from our partner manufacturers, such as Spintec carving out market share in the Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia and trying to go into Laos while maintaining business in Macau and Malaysia. Jumbo from Taiwan is our trustworthy partner. They intend to roll out a range of promotions for their latest slot games in 2019 and new ETG games in 2020.
4) Which do you see being the most promising markets in the next few years?
Roulette seemed to be the most popular table game over the past years. However, due to increasing numbers of players visiting from China in recent years, products such as Sic-Bo & Baccarat are on going to be a trend in the coming years. Undoubtedly, Japan is another huge market for both ETG & EGM, and APE has a solution on both standalone & stadium.
In terms of geography, Vietnam, Philippines, Cambodia, and Japan will be the most promising markets in the next few years. Citizens of Vietnam being allowed to gamble in casinos has made a significance to its gaming market potential with a series of new casinos in the works.
5) Are you making any changes in Asia, either expanding your team, or management, to take advantage of market opportunities?
In September 2018, right after our cooperation started with Glimex Philippines, we have worked together and imported 7.6% of the product into the Philippines in only three months. This is a very impressive number and both Glimex and APE are looking forward to more opportunities in 2019. Our company is also eyeing in Vietnam and Cambodia along with our strategic partners for our planned product roadmap.
APE Macau is a proud sponsor of the ASEAN Gaming Summit 2019, held from 19-21 March 2019 at Conrad Manila.