Following recent changes within the low stake gaming sector, the Gauselmann Group is the only fully integrated organisation in the UK with brands covering the AGC, Bingo, Single Site Operating, Cash Handling and Manufacturing sectors of the industry. Coinslot took the opportunity to get a holistic perspective on the business by speaking with the heads responsible for Praesepe, GeWeTe, Regal Gaming & Leisure, Blueprint Operations and Betcom.
BLUEPRINT OPERATIONS – NICOLA WALLBANK
October’s ACOS represented an important milestone in the development of the Blueprint brand. We went to Olympia with two important new cabinet launches in the form of the Wave B3 and the Alphamax Cat C both of which were extremely well received buy the industry. At the time I described ACOS as being Blueprint’s ‘comeback show’ and I certainly think the feedback we received at show, during our launch event for customers held at the iconic Ivy Club and throughout the last quarter of 2019 has confirmed that view. We met our key targets during the year, marked a number of significant business wins in both the AGC and Bingo sectors and continued to consistently deliver solid B3 and Cat C game content.
There remains a great deal to do in 2020 but we are both excited and optimistic about the coming year. We operate in what is a highly competitive business and we recognise that our customers have a choice of product, however we believe we can deliver on both content and cabinets in order to achieve our ultimate objective which is to maximise revenue on behalf of our customers.
BETCOM – SIMON MCCARTHY
Analogue remains a successful and buoyant part of the Cat C sector and one that we have grown market share and confirmed Betcom’s position as number 1 in the market. What it has demonstrated is the power of licenses when used in conjunction with strong proven games. This has been evident in the success that we have achieved with The Chase series, which will see its fourth iteration The Chase – Head To Head – launched at EAG and of course Deal Or No Deal. We have demonstrated that players like strong licensed product and that will be reflected in our game pipeline moving forward. There are a number of issues that we believe will be key to the industry’s prosperity in 2020.
Cashless gaming is an important part of the debate and will be a big talking point at EAG. There’s also issues relating to the rollout of the £20 polymer note and the on-going challenge of how to engage with players and be able to offer an entertaining alternative to compete for the £1 leisure spend.
GEWETE – MARK EDMUNDSON
Reviewing 2019 the GeWeTe Cash Recycler was again our most popular machine offering a wide range of functions in the one secure cabinet for both Bingo and AGC’s. We used ACOS to launch the new Cash Recycler Premium and MARS has been received well by many operators a response that’s expanded our market share for both TITO and Date capture. Our success with Roadchef Motorway Services was one of the high points: as a Group we supplied all of their sites with Blueprint and GeWeTe machines plus our MARS TITO and Data capture system, this was a major Team effort which went smoothly. In 2020 we’ve seen an increase in the installation of MARS for both TITO and Data systems and an increase in the use of cashless transactions on the back of TITO.
Our expansion into new sectors has been a challenge, but helped increase market share. The release of the new £20 will be one of the main service and support topics of the year. Praesepe – Mark Schertle At our company conference in November we brought together all of the company’s 157 Venue Managers encompassing both the Merkur Cashino and Beacon Bingo brands to two events held in Birmingham and London. The message was incredibly positive. I was able to underline the sheer size of Gauselmann’s investment in the UK totalling some £45m. This level of investment will ensure that all of our venues over the next few years will be modernised to become the ‘go to’ place for premium low stake gaming experiences on the High Street. By significantly strengthening our learning and development department, we will be ensuring the consistency of high standards are achieved across the UK. The conferences represented a hugely worthwhile initiative and showed that the calibre of our people aligned to our progressive business development strategy will deliver a very bright future for the business.
REGAL GAMING & LEISURE – MATT BICKNELL
2019 was an exciting period for the Regal Brand which not only continued to be a major player in the pub market but also actively supported the Group move into Motorway Services sector of the industry. We led the way in terms of the transformation into a digital gaming solutions provider with full connectivity across the whole estate and real time game performance monitoring and analysis. Achieving full connectivity across our entire digital estate was most definitely a high point of the year as was leveraging connectivity to enhance data analytical capabilities for customers and ultimately driving cashbox growth for our customers.
Working as part of the wider Gauselmann group in order to help develop, deliver and roll out the Alphamax cabinet and successfully mobilising and rolling out of the Roadchef contract were both major statements in terms of adopting an integrated approach to business development. In 2020 we can expect further digital innovation in order to leverage the investment made into the connected estate, continued strong performance from the Alphamax cabinet and high performing new digital content all set against the challenge of marketplace consolidation.