Aristocrat gaming business had been strong and did great this year 2018. This was announced by Chris Rowe, managing director for Asia Pacific Aristocrat Leisure Ltd. Though there were few new Aristocrat casinos opening but he said that there was a strong momentum on the back of the core. He described 2018 as a “great year”. Mr Rowe added: “We were not expecting as many new openings this year but have seen great loyalty in terms of refresh,” he said, referring to casino operators updating their equipment on casino floors.
He added that Aristocrat is seeing lots of activity outside of Macau and in Greater Asia including the Philippines and some expansion in Vietnam. The Philippines continues to excite as a pokies market that craves new product.
New casino openings are important for casino equipment suppliers, as new venues need to order large quantities of product to equip their respective gaming floors. In Macau, there was only one large-scale casino opening in 2018: the MGM Cotai casino resort, which launched to the public in February 2018. Morpheus, a new hotel tower at City of Dreams Macau, opened in June 2018, but is focused on table games for high-betting players.
Aristocrat expecting more growth in 2019
Mr Rowe said he expected Aristocrat to continue to perform well next year. “It is shaping up to be a good 2019,” he stated and added that they will see more going on in Vietnam over time, and continue to spend time in Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore and will see some opening in Macau with Grand Lisboa Palace towards the end of the year.
Grand Lisboa Palace is being developed by Macau-based casino operator SJM Holdings Ltd in the city’s Cotai district. The resort is due to open in the second half of 2019 according to statements by its promoter.
At a corporate level, Aristocrat has since 2017 relocated a number of senior management executives from Australia to the United States, including company chief executive Trevor Croker. Many of the Australian group’s largest customers are based in the United States. Mr Rowe however said the change would 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,” Mr Rowe stated.
New pokies at MGS Entertainment Show
Aristocrat lately exhibited at MGS Entertainment Show 2018 where a lot of new products and plans were introduced to the Macau market.
Aristocrat has got a very strong link portfolio and lot is going on in the standalone space. The standalone games were doing “great” among those people that like to play pokies machines configured for higher denominations. They included players classified by casino operators as being in the premium mass segment.
Gross gaming revenue from pokies machines in the Macau market stood at MOP11.14 billion (US$1.38 billion) in the first nine months of 2018, up by 16.8 percent in year-on-year terms, according to official data compiled by the city’s gaming regulator.
The new products that were exhibited at MGS Entertainment Show was link “Gold Stacks 88”. The game has already been launched in the United States, where it is doing very well,” and now brought it to this market, in terms of optimising for currency, languages and jackpots.
Aristocrat is also showcased at the trade show “Spin It Grand”. “It follows up on a very popular game in this market called ‘Super Wheel Blast. “Spin It Grand” uses a wheel mechanic to deliver credit prizes, growing credit prizes and jackpots during Aristocrat’s ‘Hold ‘n’ Spin Feature’. Its base titles have different levels of standalone progressives and can be seen on the Arc Single, Helix and Viridian Widescreen cabinets.
In the standalone segment, Aristocrat is displayed the game “9 Princes of the Dragon King”. According to the firm’s promotional materials, it “offers players a chance for extremely frequent free games features, through the use of innovative game mechanics.
Other new game titles include “Dragon of the Eastern Ocean” and “Lucky Festival”, “which came out from underneath a very successful link in Asia called ‘Good Fortune’. Aristocrat took two of the unique base games that sit underneath such as ‘Good Fortune’ as standalone games, to increase their presence to the VIP and the premium mass segment.