“We have great expectations on the Mexican market”
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Sebastián Salat, President of the firm that entered to the Mexican market a year ago, highlighted the “incredible potential” of the country.
Which was the WMS experience in its debut in ELA?
The fact of having entered the Mexican market a year ago with a product that is already installed in many casinos in Mexico City and other places of the country has allowed us to reach the first event with the luck of having demonstrated everyone the performance of the product.
At this moment, Mexican operators, in particular the main five, have our machines and have come to the show knowing that the product works well. It has helped a lot because it is a new market for us. It is our first show, but the arrival here has been a quite remarkable experience.
With regards to the event itself, I am amazed because we met operators we didn’t know. Mexico is a new country for us. Right now we have five operators, but we are talking to others that also aim to have our machines.
What products did you choose to present?
There are many machines in Mexico that operate in informal or illegal places. We saw that there are many machines belonging to us that are second-hand or from previous series. That’s why we thought we had to come here with a product that did not exist in Mexico, although it demanded a financial effort from our part. So we entered with Blue Bird 2, in both its reel and video lines. This is the product we boost and the one we have in Mexico almost exclusively. It is the premium and top-level product from our catalogue.
Which was the feedback from the operators that visited your booth?
Splendid. Mexico has been supplied with big machines, but perhaps not with this level and with all the features that Blue Bird 2 has (buttons that are video screens, double screen, the sound, etc.). The response has been spectacular. Even more, considering that the performance of the product can now be demonstrated in several Mexican casinos. There are many players that come to our machines. It means that its reputation can be proved, on top of the presence of the packing.
How do you see the Mexican market? Which is its current situation and its future?
The market has an incredible potential. Nowadays, I do not think there is a market in the world that has the growth potential that the Mexican market has. The two main problems are legal uncertainty and the low level of fight against illegality. There is a mixture of illusion due to the potential of the market and concern due to legal uncertainty and illegal operators that are not being fought properly. We are reasonably excited.
How do you aim to position the company in this market?
Despite our target is Mexico in general, we noted that the North East of the country is a place where the Class III machine has more presence. It is logic, because that part of the population has more access to American casinos and go to Las Vegas more frequently. There, there is more culture for the insercion of this product. While in the City of Mexico and in the South is the bingo machine the one that has a more remarkable role. We are targeting both markets equally, but the truth is that we believe we will have a fastest start in the North West. We have had it in Mexico City, and in the South, it costs a little more.
Which markets are you targeting this year?
The four big markets have always been Argentina, Uruguay, Colombia (with all the uncertainty due to ETESA change), Peru (a difficult country due to usual regulatory changes, but that is emerging from the dificulties it has been through in recent months)
and Chile (that is still in the reconstruction phase after the earthquake). Argentina, Uruguay, Colombia, Peru and Panama will take the most of our efforts. However, we attend the whole Central America and the Caribbean because we think that, in times of economic difficulties, there is no small market. Instead of settling down in those more profitable markets, necessity forces us to pay attention to all markets equally.