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Austrian Gaming Industries, the slot-manufacturing subsidiary of Austria’s Novomatic Group of Companies, has been in an expansion mode for the past year, in a campaign to translate its traditional dominance of the European slot market to new jurisdictions in Asia and the Americas.
According to Max Lindenberg, who heads marketing business development for Novomatic, the company has been courting new markets in Argentina, Peru and elsewhere in Central and South America. “We are in contact with major operators in Paraguay, for entry in the beginning of 2010,” Lindenberg says. “This demonstrates our focus on the South American market, where we have subsidiaries in Argentina, Peru, Chile and Paraguay.”
In Peru, the company operates 13 casinos, with more in development.
Lindenberg says Novomatic is in constant contact with its affiliates in South American markets, to assure game design for that part of the world is targeted to the players. “That is the advantage of being an operator,” he says. “You get feedback and information directly from those markets, which you can incorporate in game development.”
This year, Novomatic also has turned more attention to North America, where the company is licensed in Colorado and Florida, and is pursuing contracts with distributors to spread its games to more Native American markets.
“We have developed special financing packages for our customers in the U.S.,” Lindenberg says. “We had record revenues last year, which enables us to invest in financial packages for our customers, to drive our aggressive expansion policy.”
That expansion will get a boost from the G2E show.?
It’s no secret that Novomatic makes its major product introductions at the International Gaming Exhibition in London every January.
However, every fall, the Global Gaming Expo serves as a reminder to the North American gaming industry of the incredible innovation that pours fourth every year from the dean of European slot-makers.
This year, Novomatic will introduce G2E attendees to the server-based platform it launched last January. Called “Novo Unity II,” it provides networked capabilities for electronic multi-player table games.
“We’re bringing operators the opportunity to run an unlimited number of individual player stations connected to one live game, and to interconnect those machines between roulette, blackjack, craps and other games,” says Lindenberg.
Also at G2E, the company will display its “Super V+ Gaming” cabinet, which incorporates three video monitors; and its slant-top cabinet with the popular “flip-screen” feature. This feature allows players to step on a foot pedal to switch the player interface between the main game screen and the top-box LCD monitor. “It’s been very well-accepted on international gaming floors already,” says Lindenberg.
The company will showcase some 35 titles for its “Coolfire II” series of video slots. New titles include “Diana’s Realm,” “Animal Athletes,” “Hot for Love” and “Waikiki Beach.” The titles will be displayed in the “Super-V+ Gaminator Multi-Game” format, as well as the flagship Super-V+ Gaminator upright, and the “Novo Super-Vision” and “Novo-Vision” slant-tops.
The multi-game format features up to 27 games per game mix, and multi-denomination formats with up to seven player-selectable denominations.
The company also will display 12 Super-V+ slots linked to a jackpot controller called “Flexi-Link,” which enables a multi-level mystery progressive jackpot. A popular theme for this setup is “Buffalo Thunder,” which offers a display of four jackpot levels on a large overhead screen. Called “Powerlink,” the display requires no additional interfaces-it is “plug and play.”
In all, 12 new Novomatic game themes have been developed specifically for G2E. While more will no doubt be in store for the London show, Novomatic’s G2E lineup nevertheless serves as a reminder of the benefits of a major slot-maker just below the U.S. radar-but nothing less than legendary in Europe.