Jumbo turns 20 with big plans for the future

Jumbo Technology is celebrating its 20th birthday this year and after successful expansion in Asia, it’s now turning its sights further afield. 

The company was founded in Taiwan in 2000 with a vision to create a full range of gaming products that would provide a one-stop shop for operators. It also wanted to develop slot machines that were fair and would be trusted by an Asian audience, which at the time was sceptical towards electronic gaming.

Two decades later, it has expanded into Macau, the Philippines, South Korea, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia and Myanmar. It has a global customer base and has deployed more than 12,000 machines in over 200 casinos and clubs.

The Philippines, which again was one of the best-performing markets in Asia last year before the coronavirus forced the closure of properties across the nation, is a particular focus of attention for Jumbo, as well as many other leading suppliers.

“Right now we see a lot of potential growth in the Philippines. It’s a fast growing market,” said Allen Hsu, Associate Vice President of Business Development . “We will be dedicating more to supporting that market, in both existing and new properties. They are very open to trying new products. The slot market is very big, as is the mass market, so there is a lot of opportunity.”

Hsu said Jumbo had also been seeing a lot of growth in Cambodia, while the Vietnamese market is also expanding fast.

“We are trying to get out of Asia too and are looking for example at Australia. We are working with a distributor to develop something specific for that market.”

Hsu said the company had been hoping to expand there this year, but given the current situation the picture is unclear. 

“It’s having a very big impact. With casinos closing there’s a lot of lost sales, but we are trying our best to keep in touch with our customers etc,” he said.

Like most companies at present, the focus is on keeping its 473 employees safe and managing existing clients under difficult conditions. Jumbo put social distancing practices in place in February and requires anyone entering its facility to wear a mask and sanitise their hands. 

It has reduced the number of people working in the office by 50 percent and provides quarantine facilities for anyone who has had to travel outside of Taiwan. 

However, Hsu points out that social distancing doesn’t mean social disconnection. 

“We are still providing service and support to our customers and distributors. We are also looking out for their safety, in which we  have shipped out face mask pads, hand sanitizers, and HCLO liquid making machines to a few of  our distributors located in dangerous hot spots with very scarce supplies.” 

To mark its 20th year, the company is introducing four new products, which had been doing well prior to the crisis.

One in particular is the Fortune Cruise six-seater fishing game, which was enjoying success in Cambodia. It is also launching a new generation ETG and a slot jackpot link called Long Yi Fa. The slot has a multi-denomination feature and multiple ways to trigger the Grand Jackpot. It also incorporates a Rising Dragon free game option which continues some features from the popular Yi Lu Fa Jackpot Link, such as multipliers and free spins.

The company’s slots were first introduced in Macau in 2005 and after that into Cambodia and the Philippines. As is common to all new entrants into Macau, Jumbo says negotiating the regulatory requirements was challenging.

However, once installed, Hsu says the company’s Asian roots has given it an advantage in knowing what the Chinese player base is looking for. 

Recently, Hsu says Jumbo is noting a preference for bigger screens for both slots and ETG’s and its newer products reflect this, which also allows for more gaming features to be incorporated. It has also noticed a trend to wide-area linked jackpots.

“We needed to develop more slot games with attractive progressive links to boost the running numbers on the jackpot because players are chasing higher amounts of jackpot pools,” he said. “In regards to ETGs, we need to design games which remain the feelings of authentic table games and create some special features to attract younger players.”

Looking beyond the crisis, for Jumbo one of the most exciting prospects on the horizon is Japan’s eventual opening of integrated resorts.