Q: What kind of recovery are you seeing in the land-based industry in Southeast Asia?
A: As we all know, the industry has been hit hard, and some countries have had more prolonged and repeated impacts than others. So, it’s been a two-stage ‘recovery’ with Macau now leading the way, and other countries seemingly recovering and then going backwards into lockdown again. We are very hopeful for our customers that we will see a stronger bounce back on reopening as we have seen in other countries, such as Australia and in the USA.
Q: What are you expecting for the second half of the year?
Well, we know that there will be operational challenges for not only our customers, but also for IGT. Social distancing and travel restrictions will apply for some time to come, into 2022, so we expect that may limit our customers’ ability to invest in as many new gaming upgrades. Also, there are global shortages in the supply of electronic components such as semiconductors that is affecting every industry – from Apple to Ford – and this is impacting gaming equipment supply too, so that presents another challenge for us all.
At IGT, we’ve been continuing to develop new games adapted to the COVID environment and new systems functionality such as more cashless tools to help our customers do more with less. We’ve also been working closely with customers to provide updates to their gaming fleet so as players come back, they are seeing new products that give a great experience such as our popular Ying Cai Shen link.
Q: Do you have any new products / initiatives focused on the Asian markets?
Yes we are launching a series of innovative games designed specifically for Asian markets, one of which we are particularly excited about is Fire Dragon. Fire Dragon has a fantastic feature to get more players into slot machines by giving them the faster gratification available on table games. Players can get Instant Free Games by increasing their bet with the Dragon’s Touch – taking them straight to the feature.
Also when you look at our class-leading ADVANTAGE system solution, we’ve been working throughout the pandemic on adding to our suite of contactless and cashless system products – now customers can be COVID compliant, keeping their customers safe while boosting their efficiencies and revenues. We have also seen countries like Australia, where casinos are announcing that they will be phasing out cash – our ADVANTAGE solution set is ready for this.