Paradise Entertainment, like the majority of the companies in the global gaming industry, has been hit hard by the pandemic, but has taken measures to reduce costs and is counting on technology and new products to help drive the rebound.
Chairman and Managing Director Jay Chun outlined to Asia Gaming Brief the actions the company has taken and how he believes technology has, and will continue to shape the future of the industry.
At the beginning of the pandemic, Paradise undertook a detailed review to identify its strengths and explored other businesses. As part of the review, it chose not to renew its casino management services agreement with Casino Waldo, which expired at the end of February.
Chun, who is also head of the Macau Gaming Equipment Manufacturing Association, said the casino would have needed an injection of capital to meet new compliance regulatory requirements on top of already high operating costs. With the addition of the pandemic, Paradise chose not to request an extension and instead to focus on the operations of Casino Kam Pek Paradise.
“Had such a decision not been made swiftly, Paradise would have suffered a more severe loss in 2020,” he said.
He adds that credit also needs to be given for the outperformance of flagship product, the Live Multi-Game terminals.
“The beauty of the LMG machines is that they can offer a more private, comfortable, spacious gaming environment for individual gaming patrons than traditional gaming tables could provide. This inspired us when designing and developing gaming products, the objectives should not only offer gaming satisfaction to patrons solely, but also highlight the importance of facilitating and promoting public health awareness on casino management strategy.”
Going forward all stakeholders are likely to make health and safety a priority.
The pandemic also affected the plan of deployment of Paradise’s self-developed slot machines in various markets. In view of such circumstances, Chun highlighted that Paradise had adopted a flexible and tailor-made approach to cater for individual clients strategically.
For instance, in terms of pricing and marketing strategies for the launch of slot machines in various US markets including Oklahoma, Florida, California, Mississippi, etc. and expediting the licensing processes, where applicable, such that the group would be more ready to reap the harvest when the pandemic passes.
Chun said he firmly believes that technology and innovation will be a key driving force to capture the rebound of economies. Continued investment in research and development on the 5th generation mobile network (5G), artificial intelligence (AI) and other high-tech products, such as smart wear, smart home and wireless terminal products in areas of education, sports and living etc. shall enable us to take advantage of the recovery of sustainable growth when the prevailing health issues have been addressed, he said.
In November 2020, Paradise showcased its array of the latest 5G, AI and other high-tech products at the Third International Import Expo held in Shanghai. This was the second time that Paradise had taken part in this Expo. In addition to exhibiting high-tech products, this year Paradise showcased its anti-epidemic medical products under its own brand, MedicTec, These included infrared thermometers (body temperature warning), plug-in copper fibre personal protection face masks, medical use goggles, medical use face shields, etc.
“During this extraordinary period of time, Paradise made use of its extensive network in the PRC to provide procurement services in the PRC for overseas , which has made a positive contribution to its results,” he said.
On the other hand, to further attenuate the adverse effects as a result of the pandemic, the group has taken various measures on cost control, including reducing marketing and promotional expenses of the casinos under the group’s management, requesting and lobbying landlords to reduce rents, and introducing family care leaves to employees, etc.
In the gaming industry, Chun also sees technology and innovation as being the key to driving further growth. He points out that the concept of mixing table games with technology was unprecedented when Paradise first developed its live multi games.
The LMG terminals came about as a response to issues faced in Macau, such as a shortage of dealers and operating inefficiencies, coupled with high minimum bets for gaming tables, which was putting off clients.
It was also a game-changer for Macau’s casino operators given the cap on gaming tables imposed by the Macau Government. LMG, being Paradise’s first flagship product, has been patented in main gaming jurisdictions and continues to be in high demand from major casino operators, both in Macau and overseas.
Given its success in LMGs, the group is now working to develop new slot machines for clients, which have started to debut in global markets such as North America, Southeast Asia and Macau.
Chun said this product diversification was a key milestone for the group. “Moreover, having a dual capacity as a casino management service provider as well as a provider of gaming machines and equipment, we know what clicks for the success of gaming elements and appetite for both gaming players and casino operators, especially for Asia gaming players and we input more attractive Asian related factors in development of our new exciting slot games,” he said.
Looking forward, Chun says there still should be room for growth with the aid of technology. He says that innovation in slot machines may improve their popularity, which still lags in Macau compared with markets such as Las Vegas.
In witness of the rapid development 5G technology, Mr. Chun expects that technology will not be too long to be incorporated into gaming development to open a new horizon of technical possibilities.