Merkur: “PGS is a clear and positive sign that the LatAm gaming industry is on the rise to, and hopefully even beyond, the levels of two years ago”

Mercur Gaminga subsidiary of the German group Gauselmannconfirmed last month its attendance at the 19th edition of Peru Gaming Show (PGS)which will take place on June 15-16 at the Jockey Exhibition Center, in Lima. The gaming manufacturer will take one of the largest stands, #61where a full local and international team will present a display of groundbreaking products.

Welcoming the full return of the Peru Gaming Show, David Orrick, director of Industry Relations with Merkur Gamingspoke with Yogonet about the company’s hopes and expectations for the event.

Merkur said its exhibition will focus on Linked Progressive Jackpot innovations, why have you decided to focus on that particular segment this time? Which product line-up have you selected in order to meet the demands of the particular and diverse Latam markets that will be represented in Lima? Could you anticipate further details about Merkur’s tradeshow strategy for Peru Gaming Show this year?

In a market that is constantly changing and evolving today’s players have come to demand ever greater levels of what we can generically describe as ‘gaming entertainment’. The most obvious example of this is the rise in player popularity of the linked progressive jackpots that are now a ‘must have’ attraction for any successful gaming floor. These links (as in, for example of already extremely successful Link Zone that will take a center stage The pride of place in Lima) offer players not just the entertainment of playing great base games, but also the realistic possibility of going on to win big prizes in the links’ jackpot phases. Entertainment plus Excitement: a major attraction for players and a vital asset for operators. Linked progressive jackpots are a reality for today and, in terms of our product selection, not something that is still on a future horizon.

Merkur will have one of the event’s largest booths. Why have you decided to make such an investment and secure such a large space for this event?

We see the 2022 edition of Peru Gaming Show as a clear and positive sign that the LatAm gaming industrythat was impacted so negatively by the Covid pandemic, is on the rise to, and hopefully even beyond, the levels of two years ago. We see PGS as a key B2B event for all of LatAm and we are determined to present our offerings in the same manner and style as was the case in previous years. Your question used the term ‘investment’ and that is exactly what the size and style of our show presence will reflect. Our customers and business partners have every right to expect to see Merkur back at its very best and that is exactly what we aim to provide.

Which are the company’s key goals and expectations for the event? How do you plan to capitalize on the presence of key regional operators, regulators and trade bodies? Which markets do you target in particular with your presence there?

Merkur’s goals and expectations for PGS 2022 can be best explained by the answer that we gave to your previous question. We predict and expect a large attendance at PGS. From Peru itself, of course, but also from all across the LatAm region. We are sure to see significant visitor levels from all the operators, regulators and trade bodies that you noted. We will welcome them, one and all, and seek to maximise those contacts to mutual advantage. Many times trade shows have been correctly described as being the ‘lifeblood of the gaming industry’ and the loss of such events in recent past times have seen business as being in an enforced stranglehold. Now it is time to recover and to get back to business. That is what we realistically expect to result from PGS this time around.

What synergies do you plan to drive and boost with Gauselmann’s brands GeWeTe and edict egaming GmbH in Lima? How?

dict and GeWeTe are both hugely successful companies in their own right. The huge synergies that exist come from both existing in (and thus because of) their existing under the brand of the Merkur Sun. Gaming today requires modern cash handling technology innovations (GeWeTe) and, to a large degree influenced by the effects of the global Covid pandemic, excellence in online gaming solutions (edict). Those companies are specialists in their own fields and they will join us in Lima not at all as ‘add ons’ but as equal partners in our PGS 2022 presentation.

Earlier this month, Merkur held an in-person gathering of its international teams from across Europe and Latin America for its 2022 International Sales Event. Which were the key takeaways and learnings from that gathering, which could be reflected in an event like PGS? What added value has it brought for your tradeshow strategy?

Our recent International Sales Event was held in our own Merkur Spielbank Hohensyburg propertyclose to Dortmund, and attended by colleagues from around the world, many of whom had not met each other in the last two years. The event was focused primarily around products but there was also an important family purpose on bringing team members back together, renewing and refreshing those important contacts that had been missing for so long. What we all, as individuals, took away from the event was renewing that team approach that is a key element of the Merkur culture. It was three days very well spent and which, in the case of PGS, will see our team properly ‘match fit’ and ready for kick off.

After Merkur’s withdrawal from ICE 2022, it has attended other events like FIJMA Madrid recently. It said PGS 2022 will be “a huge step towards a post-pandemic normalization of the gaming industry’s vital live and in-person major trade exhibitions in key locations around the world.” What’s your assessment of this in-person comeback so far, and what impact is it having in your regional business strategies and outlook?

ICE 2022 was, as you have noted, a non-event for the land based gaming sector and thus the opportunity to attend FIJMA in Madrid was very welcome. There was a very real pleasure in entering the expo centre, seeing the familiar booths, hearing the familiar machine sounds and greeting colleagues along the aisles. And that was all before the doors opened to show visitors! After that FIJMA was a trade show. It was a great pleasure to attend and be part of. That the FIJMA organisers have since announced dates in February 2023 for the next running of their event may well have an impact on ICE in London. That remains to be seenof course, but the overall truth is that the possibility to return to live and in-person exhibitions can only be seen as a positive, now and for the future.

Some Latam markets are currently discussing legislation for different gaming verticals, most notably Brazil, which keeps working on options to open the broad gambling market. What is Merkur’s approach to these potential new Latam markets, and what impact do you expect this regulatory momentum will have in your business areas, and the gaming industry in general?

The opening of new markets (and new segments within existing markets) obviously create very welcome opportunities across the whole gaming spectrum. The key to success is to be in the right place, at the right time and with the right solutions for the market. Merkur does its homework, seeks out information and makes the necessary contacts. When the time is right, we will take the necessary actions in the right manner.

Are there any Latam-tailored developments in the pipeline in order to gain competitive advantage and differential assets?

Great question! To which I could only really answer ‘Yes, there are’ but, since these matters would obviously reflect sensitive commercial information I can only add that Our commercial research work never ceases and we set ourselves new objectives and challenges constantly.

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