Ahead of ICE London, Casino Review caught up with Tomaz Zvipelj, Interblock’s president for EMEA, to discuss the company’s landmark 2019 and its ambitious plans for the year ahead.
Casino Review: What does having a presence at ICE represent for Interblock?
Tomaz Zvipelj: Interblock will be exhibiting at ICE for our 23rd consecutive year in 2020 and we believe this fact serves to underscore the show’s importance for us. At the same time, as the first show of the calender year, ICE also affords us the opportunity to take the temperature of the industry, to look where it’s headed, and to receive valuable feedback from visitors.
CR: What will be some of the primary focuses for you at this year’s show?
TZ: We believe our innovative solutions continue to set the pace for the ETG segment. As always, we have a lot to show at ICE and our product portfolio this year reflects that we’ve successfully expanded from being an electronic table games provider to competing in the slot and live table gaming segments. Our extensive range of solutions means Interblock is now a one-stop shop for a successful casino floor, with our continually growing list of new and repeat customers confirming that we’re on the right track in terms of our R&D efforts and with our latest innovations. At this year’s show, we’ll also take the opportunity to spotlight our new co-branding agreement with Playboy, a recognisable and established brand which we feel will have strong appeal for both operators and players.
CR: What new innovations will you be unveiling at ICE 2020?
TZ: We’ll be spotlighting our new SW platform called Interflex which combines all of our games as well as additional features such as side bets which help further boost the profitability of the games. We’ll also be showcasing our latest security features both in terms of SW and HW to help prevent fraud, and our market ready Universal cabinet line. We’ve been extremely successful in bringing traditional live casino games to players in a multi-terminal environment with our Stadiums and Pulse arenas in the past and now we’re bringing this same excitement to our single player products. Reflecting this, our Universal cabinet Roulette, BJ, Punto Banco, SicBo and Craps have successfully passed beta trials globally and based on the feedback we’ve received will be one of the drivers to accelerate our growth and boost our market share even further.
CR: What have been some of Interblock’s standout moments in the last twelve months and based on your experience in 2019, where would you say the market’s headed?
TZ: We saw a record 2019 both in terms of units delivered and revenue generated in the EMEA region. This has proven that our decision to focus on the electronic and automated segment of the casino floor was the right one. In terms of regional trends, we’ve seen that more and more emphasis is being given to reducing casinos’ operating expenses, while at the same time bringing more excitement to players through higher number of games per hour, the ability to play several games at the same time as well as additional features such as side bets and jackpots. I’d like to point out that we’re always extremely proud of every single installation we make. We take pride in the fact that despite our growth, we still consider each of our customers friends and part of Interblock family. During the last year we successfully increased our footprint with a number of Europe and Africa’s leading operators such as Rank UK, Holland Casino, Casinos Austria, Germany’s Westspiel Casinos and the Peermont Group which operates properties across South Africa and Botswana – to name just a few – with our Stadiums and Pulse arenas.
CR: What are some of Interblock’s plans for 2020, will you be expanding into any new markets or increasing your footprint in existing ones?
TZ: As always, we’re not content to sit on our past successes, so we’ll be working hard to make sure we retain our lead in the ETG segment. Key focuses for this year include successfully rolling out our new SW platform and Universal cabinets across all of our markets, not just in EMEA but worldwide. While it’s still early days, we’ve already got 2020 off on the right foot and we’re confident that we’re on track for yet another record year.