´Players will demand a safe environment in which to play´
(Las Vegas, SoloAzar Exclusive).- Chris Rowe, Managing Director, EMEA & LatAm, Aristocrat, spoke exclusively with SoloAzar and made an assessment more than one year after the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. “We feel honored to participate in a global gaming industry that continues to prioritize, above all else, the health and safety of our employees and our customers,” he said.
What assessment can you make one year after the start of the pandemic, as to the current situation of the industry?
Aristocrat is present in a number of countries still fighting very hard against the pandemic. We feel honored to participate in a global gaming industry that continues to prioritize, above all else, the health and safety of our employees and our customers. For the most part, those casinos that have responsibly returned to play have been delighted by the eagerness of players to reengage with live entertainment – many are citing pre-pandemic business volumes. We’re energized by this very strong recovery and see this as a sign of what is to come for those who have yet to reopen.
What challenges did you face as a company?
The challenges were many. As an example, in Latin America and across the globe, we moved thousands of people from corporate offices to remote work in less than 48 hours. Perhaps an unexpected benefit of the crisis was the emergence of rapid and creative problem solving. A number of solutions implemented – particularly related to employee engagement and communication – will survive the pandemic and live for years to come.
On what challenge the results were above expectations during the current situation? Did you get any unexpected opportunities?
In general, the pause in our business gave the team in LATAM a rare opportunity to get back to basics. We focused in three key areas: people, product, and process. We put people first. This allowed us to keep moving forward on product. With our customers and players in mind, we did not decrease our investment in industry-leading game design and development. We have emerged stronger and smarter to be an even better partner for our customers across Latin America through the recovery and beyond.
How would you describe the average player profile today? What are your tastes and demands?
Players will demand a safe environment in which to play. Through Aristocrat Assist™, we worked with our customers to provide safer environments for theirs. After a long period of limited entertainment options, we believe players will seek social interaction. They'll want to play and that's the business we're in, so we keep giving life joy through the power of play. There is evidence in Latin America and around the world that suggests that players are returning to their "old favorites," so it is important that casinos provide the best possible experiences for their customers, and we're there to help them in any way we can. Fortunately, many of our games are already preferred in many casino floors in Latin America, so players are happy to play our games again and regain those experiences they had pre-pandemic.
What are the latest trends in technology, games and habits, which you think came to stay in 2021?
Helping our customers re-open their casinos and providing their patrons the entertainment they have been missing is at the forefront of what we do every day, and technology has played and will play a key role. We maintained our investment in new products, and we’re excited for players in Latin America to experience our award winning MarsX™ cabinet and new games for the region such as Dragon Link™, Cashman Bingo™ and Cash Express Luxury Line™.
What are the most important markets for the company at the moment?
Aristocrat maintains a strong, global presence in both the land-based and digital gaming sectors. We have a desire to lead all segments in which we compete. We recognize that this privilege must be earned by listening and then delivering experiences that delight our customers and theirs. Over recent years, Latin America has grown its profile within Aristocrat’s global business through a combination of experts in region and representatives at the Americas’ headquarters in Las Vegas.