Jurgen De Munck, DR Gaming Technology’s Chief Executive Officer, the company’s Mexican Managing Director, Alfredo Moreno and his LatAm and Caribbean counterpart Alex Stiglich discuss the company’s attendance at Juegos Miami in May and the significant success of their Tables Jackpot Games and Management System.
Q1: BlackJack11’s has been a phenomenal success in Europe and Africa, and the hype seems to now have crossed the Atlantic too. Can you tell me more?
Jurgen: Yes and thanks; BlackJack11’s has indeed proven extremely popular, and we are very proud of how well the game has done.
It is at present arguably the more profitable tables side-bet game ever on the Africa continent with tables operating across all three major operators’ properties there; namely Peermont, Sun International and Tsogo Sun. The game is also installed in the Hippodrome in London, Grand Kaz in the Seychelles, and a number of casinos in Belgium and Cyprus.
Then as you correctly say, it ‘crossed the Atlantic’, where it has proven successful at venues in the Dominican Republic and in Peru, and most recently in Mexico, where we opened an office just over a year ago.
Q2: So where exactly has the product been installed in Mexico Alfredo, and how has it been received?
Alfredo: For me, the response has been fantastic! As an ex-operator myself, I can really see why the game is doing so well. To quote Berkys Estrella, Director at Palace Casino Miravalle in Monterrey, who in addition to seeing a marked increase in footfall and revenue, keeps telling me how her staff and players ‘…. love the game, it’s quick and easy to learn, and fun to deal and play’.
We currently have seven tables installed across some of the Miravalle Group’s casinos, a number which we intend to increase significantly across the rest of the Group over the coming months, adding to what already is a list of in excess of 50 new BlackJack11’s tables requests across a number of Mexican operators’ casinos in 2019.
At the end of the day though, players show their love for any game with their wallet and BlackJack11’s number speak for themselves.
Q3: It is quite rare for a product to have such a wide global appeal, what do you think has given it this edge?
Jurgen: As you know from many of our systems-related discussions, our design mantra is and always will be ‘the player first’.
Whether we are designing systems or jackpots, these three words ultimately decide what we pursue and what we don’t.
Blackjack as a standalone game is known the world over; this already gave us a significant cross-cultural appeal, we weren’t trying to ‘re-invent the wheel’. What we did design though was an easy extension to ‘21’, that was simple to understand, quick to play, and offered expanded fixed odds and jackpot payouts to make the game more exciting. I don’t think it’s anything more ground-breaking than that, but it works, and works extremely well. Players love it, and as a result operators do too.
Alfredo: Just to add to that, we launched a similar Tables side-bet game in London in February for Poker called Poker21’s and it too was well received. We have yet to bring it to Mexico, but in time I am sure we will see similar success.
Q4: You referred to your design mantra earlier, and your systems; you have always had a very strong management system, I believe it too has had some major developments done to better cater for the tables market?
Alex: Slots have always been at the forefront of management systems development based simply on the technology they use. As electronic gaming equipment evolved so did the mass of data generated by these machines. Table games on the other hand remain very manual and labour intensive, which has it’s positives and negatives. It creates great customer engagement opportunities, but as technology progressed on slots with the likes of online player tracking and player rewards and points, that personal touch was lost as Tables staff spent more and more time having to manually capture game play data.
Our Tables Management System now seamlessly integrates Tables game play data into our accounting, cage and reporting modules, in so doing replacing a lot of the aforementioned ‘pen and paper’ work, as a result affording operators the ability to recoup that much needed time for staff to actually engage with players. We’re now also able to offer double player loyalty points to players of our side-bet jackpot games; ultimately getting ever closer to the kind of functionaity and rewards available to Slots players and slots managers.
Q5: To Juegos Miami now; this event is very different from the likes of a G2E or an ICE, why are you here?
Alfredo: Well G2E Las Vegas provides a perfect platform for both Alex and I to showcase our technology and product offering to our American customers, and ICE does the same for DRGTs African and European customers. The environment though is quite formal as it should be, so what Juegos Miami offers is a more relaxed and informal truly Latin American type event. To this end, despite us attending the various talks and conferece get togethers, we will be sponsoring a Gin and Tequila tasting event on the Wednesday afternoon, giving attendees the perfect opportunity to engage with us in a more relaxed environment, and embrace a truly local experience.
Alex: Exactly! Juegos Miami is truly Latino. Clarion’s Country Roundtable initiative re-enforces this, providing attending decision makers direct access to regulators and the opportunity to engage, rather than just listen to a speaker. Furthermore, considering our ongoing expansions in Mexico, and Latin America and the Caribbean, it makes sense for us to be aligned with what must be one of the the most respected gaming events in the region.
Q6: Any closing comments Jurgen?
Jurgen: Alex and Alfredo continue to drive what remain two key regions for DRGT. The relationships they have created, and customers they have secured is commendable, and I look forward to growing these relationships with them and initiating new ones in Miami.