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Pokies manufacturer Aristocrat boasts of strong 2018

Tue, Jan 1, 2:42am by Staff Writer

The managing director of Asia Pacific Aristocrat Leisure Chris Rowe recently announced that 2018 was a “great year” for the poker machine manufacturer.

Despite few new Aristocrat casinos opening in 2018, a strong uptake in machine refreshes and loyalty to the company from consumers has seen the company bring momentum into 2019.

“We were not expecting as many new openings this year but have seen great loyalty in terms of refresh,” Mr Rowe told Free Aristocrat Pokies.

The growth in the Asia Pacific region is no longer limited to the hotbeds of Macau and China, but has extended to the Philippines and Vietnam, with the former a market that is craving a new product.

New casinos provide huge windfall opportunities

The opening of a new casino is important for casino equipment suppliers, as the venues need to add large quantities of product to equip their gaming floors.

In Macau there was only one large-scale casino opening in 2018 when the MGM Cotai casino resort launched in February.

A second casino opened in the city in June, the City of Dreams Macau, but it focused on table games for high-betting players.

When looking forward to what 2019 will bring, Mr Rower was optimistic that the year would bring further growth.

“It is shaping up to be a good 2019,” he said.

There will be continued growth in Vietnam, as well as Cambodia, Malaysia and Singapore. It is expected Macau’s newest casino the Grand Lisboa Palace will open towards the end of 2019.

SJM Holdings Limited, the owner of the Grand Lisboa Palace said it opened the government would allow it to operate 300 to 500 new-to-market gaming tables at the venue.

Chief Executive Officer Ambrose So Shu Fai is responsible for 20 casinos across Macau and has overseen this latest venture since it broke ground in 2014.

The company hopes that the finished casino will be among the go-to places in Macau with a host of shopping, dining and entertainment facilities complementing the casino.

It will aim to compete with the nearby Venetian Macao from Sands China Limited and Melco Resorts and Entertainment Limited’s $3.2 billion Studio City Macau.

Australian company with global ties

A number of Aristocrat’s senior management executives have relocated from Australia to the United States given the group’s largest customers are based in that region.

Mr Rowe has said that the change has not and will not impact the company’s operations in Asia.

“I don’t see any impact from the movement of management. We are still very much an Australian company, listed on the Australian Stock Exchange,” he said.

A number of new products and plans were introduced to the Macau market at the MGS Entertainment Show recently.

Gross gaming revenue from poker machines in the Macau market stood at US$1.38 billion in the first nine months of 2018, up 16.8 per cent in year-on-year terms according to the city’s gaming regulator.

One of the new products exhibited at the MGS Entertainment Show was ‘Gold Stacks 88’.

The game has already been launched in the United States and has been brought into the Asia Pacific market with optimised currency, languages and jackpots.

Another product that was showcased at the trade show was ‘Spin It Grand’. It follows up on the popular ‘Super Wheel Blast’ and uses a wheel mechanic to deliver credit prizes.

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