A name synonymous with technology and innovation, Novomatic continues to grow its presence across North America reports Jens Einhaus, VP of International Sales for Europe and the Americas, while the company is set to present a broad range of its latest product and solutions at G2E Las Vegas this October.
Casino Review: You took over Novomatic sales duties for Europe and the Americas earlier this year. In terms of sales, what are some of your key goals for the Americas and some of the initiatives you’ll be undertaking or have already launched in the region in 2019?
Jens Einhaus: We have several strategies working here: To start, we will expand our support of the Americas team to expedite market penetration as they continue to rapidly enter into these emerging markets.
Importantly, we focus on the areas of the North American market in which we can have the most success. For us, that it is the VGT markets, Class III Markets including Tribal Gaming, Canada and Puerto Rico and the US Sports Betting segments.
We will be getting into Pennsylvania VGT’s and adding licenses in Mississippi and Colorado by the end of this year, which spells exponential growth for Novomatic Americas.
The North American team, led by president and CEO, Rick Meitzler and with significant support from our team in Austria, are moving quickly into viable markets.
We are a large global team, and recognise that we are small and nimble in the US, but with significant industry expertise, and therefore, we can move and react quickly to market opportunities.
We have a goal in the US of continuing to identify our customers’ needs and issues and offering them solutions that meet their business need. We have a lot of demand from our customers for premium play games at a fair value.
They want familiar style multi-level progressives with premium style and reasonable price points. Novomatic Americas is focused on that challenge. We listened and you will see that at G2E.
CR: As a tradeshow, what does G2E Las Vegas offer Novomatic?
JE: G2E provides a stage for Novomatic to showcase the depth and breadth of our product offerings not just in the US, but globally. We’ll be expanding upon our existing progressive product lines by incorporating familiar features in a way that will differentiate us from our competitors. The most noticeable change to Novomatic’s G2E booth will be the expansion of our Progressive Product and Sports Betting product offerings. We are also able to showcase these changes experientially and entertainingly. G2E is our platform to demonstrate our strength and show the collegial relationship of all our global resources.
CR: Which product segments will you be highlighting at this year’s G2E and can you give us any hints about some of the new innovations and solutions you’ll be debuting at the show?
JE: Novomatic is known for technology and innovation, so of course you should expect that at G2E.
On our booth, we have plunged into the progressive link segment in a big way with the successful linked progressive, Thunder Cash Link. We continue to add new progressives to that segment like the original Pay Day Progressives, Money Party progressive link, and the Samurai Beauty progressive experience.
We will support those links and continue to add to the product lines into 2020 and beyond.
The sports betting kiosk segment is also a huge focus.
Look for us to continue to forge creative partnerships and agreements with major sports betting software providers into 2020.
The VGT market, especially Illinois with the addition of the sixth game and Pennsylvania offer significant opportunity for Novomatic Americas.
We are currently the number one performing game in Illinois VGT locations, and with the addition of the sixth title, we are poised to capture a large portion of that growth.
We are also launching our Novo Rewards kiosk in three versions, powered by the global Casino Management System myACP, which is tailored to both the Illinois and Pennsylvania marketplaces.
CR: Reflecting G2E’s Las Vegas setting, in your view, what is the current direction of the US market in terms of consumer trends and what are players and operators looking for?
JE: Sports betting is the number one trend in the US market. Most significant operators are expanding and creating relationships across all lines.
Mobile, kiosks, slot machine sports betting, it is all in play and moving forward. Major suppliers are building technology to provide sports betting platforms with a mobile and online component.
Technology friendly hardware recognizes that the world connects to everything through their smartphones and therefore you must have specific primary offerings in your equipment for the smartphone-driven world: USB ports and wireless chargers are becoming a requirement.
Progressives continue to be a staple, and extra-large format games like Voodoo Fortunes on the Novostar V.I.P. Royal 2.65 will continue to permeate floors if the content is engaging. Stepper slots have started to re-emerge in the US, and operators will continue to keep that core product on their floor.
Players are looking for an entertainment experience, not just a game. Our progressive products give people an immersive experience with the thrills of familiar progressive product lines that they know and love with a Novomatic twist.
Progressives, sports betting, future technology and stepper slots are just a few trends we are seeing.
CR: Looking at the Americas as a whole, where has Novomatic seen success in the last twelve months?
JE: Absolutely. The Novomatic America’s team have gained significant market share with the Thunder Cash Link progressives and the Novomatic ActionBook self-service betting kiosk.
We have forged agreements with Kambi and others to become the go-to sports betting kiosk provider.
We make a very popular kiosk that we have placed over 200 plus into the US market and continue to increase that number as players and operators become aware of the responsiveness and durability of our product.
Given the long-term relationships and expertise of Rick Meitzler and our Americas team, we have VGT partners that are turning to them for the sixth game and for our customisable myACP system.
We are also expanding our business into Puerto Rico and have a team on the ground to support that initiative. Importantly, we have just put our first games into Canada with the Gateway Casino group.
Finally, we have designed a VGT Novo Reward kiosk for VGT customer use, and we are rolling that out into several major VGT operator venues. With our continued support of the US market and the experienced team that Rick leads, the future looks significant for Novomatic Americas.