David Orrick, Director of Industry Relations at Merkur Gaming, discusses some key highlights from the company’s G2E presentation, which will see the company demonstrate a range of new bonus enabled games, along with its new linked progressive jackpot Treasure Link and the Rapid Thunder jackpot feature.
Casino Review: As a show, what does G2E Las Vegas offer Merkur Gaming?
David Orrick: G2E is, like ICE in London, a ‘global’ event. Of course, it is the show for all of the Americas but its reach goes far beyond that; worldwide in fact. The reasons for this are many but primarily and since its inception back in 2001 G2E has always had what we might call ‘the location factor’. Las Vegas is the spiritual home of modern day gaming, the city has the many attractions of ‘things to see and do’ and it is a destination that all the world wants to come and see. London has the same attraction and add to that the sheer scale and depth, in terms of booth space, exhibitors and visitors, of both G2E and ICE and what that creates is a certainty that these are the two events in each year that are a ‘must visit’ for the global gaming community.
For Merkur Gaming and for the whole Gauselmann Group, G2E is an opportunity to meet our customers and business partners from around the world and to demonstrate to them our latest and best product innovations and, most significantly, to do real business.
CR: Bonuses are set to be a key theme for Merkur this year with the launch of your new linked progressive jackpot Treasure Link, while the Rapid Thunder jackpot feature will also be making its G2E debut. Could you tell us some more about them?
DO: Today’s casino players are becoming ever more sophisticated and knowledgeable and they rightly demand ever more entertainment from their play. Our intention is to cater directly to that demand and the results of our great new games range will do just that.
At G2E we will show a big range of new bonus enabled games; starting with Treasure Link and its five scintillating new game titles, African Glory, Dragon Marbles, Golden Silk, Joker Buffalo and Temple of the Nile. Then comes Rapid Thunder that is a bonus feature innovation included as an inbuilt add-on to the already successful Taco Tuesday, Land of Charms, the Asian themed Immortal Emperor, Immortal Princess and Baozang as well as the Egyptian inspired Amulet of the Pharaoh games. Jewels of the Nile has a fixed top Jackpot of $12,500, as has the African inspired Runnin’ Wild, while Striking Fortunes and Big Deal wheel are familiar game titles that have now both been turbocharged with multiple Bonus features and big prizes. This is a major reveal of a fantastic new game range that is certain to attract, enthuse and engage operators and players alike. We look forward with great excitement to the reactions that we are certain we will receive.
CR: Alongside these, which other product segments will you be highlighting this year?
DO: One very good reason that the Merkur Gaming stand is so impressive is that it represents the entire Gauselmann Group’s diversity and its success built up over the past 62 years. The ‘name on the door’ is Merkur Gaming but we will also be joined by teams from cash handling experts GeWeTe and significantly, given the huge importance of the rapidly increasing sports betting environment, by our sports betting innovators Cashpoint.
CR: Looking at the North American market, in your view, where is it heading in terms of consumer trends and what are players and operators looking for?
DO: As already stated, players want ever more entertainment and that is the current ‘buzz theme’ on slot floors. The combination of big bonus games and linked progressive jackpots are top of the slots right now, and this is a trend that will certainly continue to grow in importance throughout the industry.
Operators, particularly those in the US – in both the commercial and tribal government gaming sectors – have proved themselves to be ready and willing to embrace new manufacturers as vendors as they continue to seek out the new games that their players want to enjoy. Attraction is the name of the game and Merkur Gaming will demonstrate at G2E that is exactly what our new Bonus games have to offer.
CR: Merkur’s subsidiaries from across South America will also be on-hand at the show. How significant are the Latam markets for you and what will be some of your key highlights for the region at this year’s G2E?
DO: Merkur Gaming has built a high reputation across Latin American markets that is based on the excellence of our ‘made in Germany’ products, the success of our games, the sales and after sales service that our teams provide and, importantly, the strength of our brand. Latin America is a region where the famous Gauselmann laughing sun symbol shines brightly and we have a total commitment to continuing to build on the success that has been already achieved and to expand and develop further in the future.
Earlier, we spoke about Las Vegas being a ‘must visit’ destination and that is particularly true throughout Latin America. At G2E we will have teams from our subsidiaries in Argentina, Colombia, Mexico and Peru and we expect high visitor volumes from not just those countries but also Uruguay, Paraguay, Chile and further afield. G2E is sometimes described as ‘the show for all the Americas’ and we look forward to meeting our Latin American customers and business partners and opening new opportunities throughout the show.