International Game Technology have recently put themselves through a customer panel, which was presented at the annual Investor Day presentation in New York City earlier this month. The panel was not made up of the kind of players that you would find at Golden Tiger online, but rather of industry figures who had dealt with IGT on a professional scale: a Canadian gaming official, three executives from American Indian casinos, and a slot machine route operator from Illinois, all of whom were able to provide a fresh perspective on the slot machine creator’s systems, strategies, and of course their games.
The panel did not just talk about IGT in a positive way, but they also highlighted areas in which they felt that the company could do better. They even looked at some of the competition in the gaming sector in order to discuss the way in which IGT measured up to them. “What we found interesting, besides commentary that was broadly supportive of IGT’s content and customer service, was the positive commentary certain of these customers had on Bally Technologies improving competitive positioning,” JP Morgan gaming analyst Joe Greff told investors after the meeting. On top of the panel of customers, there were also officials from IGT who discussed the competitive landscape of the market, and how it had been somewhat transformed throughout 2013. One of the big changes which has happened recently was the purchase of SHFL Entertainment by Bally Technologies for $1.3 billion, which meant that Bally now owns SHFL’s table games, management systems, and the Australian slot machine division, which also has reach into Asia. Meanwhile, the slot manufacturers WMS Industries Incorporated was bought in October by the Scientific Games Corporation for $1.5 billion. Smaller slot machine providers have been getting more attention this year also, such as Aristocrat Technologies, MultiMedia Games, and Konami Gaming.
The rivals as a group have managed to chip away at the position which IGT have long held as the leading industry provider of slot machine games and other gaming equipment; however, they do remain the number one manufacturer when you look at them in terms of annual revenue, total games in the field, research and development spending, and market share. “In some ways, we’re facing the same competition, but just a slightly different color,” IGT Chief Financial Officer John Vandemore said in an interview last week. “We’re not threatened by competition. It’s something that makes us better.” Generally speaking, the reaction from investors to the meeting has been largely positive; they earned accolades for their panel, with the Deutsche Bank gaming analyst Carlo Santarelli describing the investor day as informational. “We didn’t want the panel to be a commercial for IGT,” Vandemore said. “We told them to be as forthright they wanted. We thought it gave an unvarnished point of view on the state of the industry.” It seems as though proceedings may have paid off; other speakers included the IGT CEO Patti Hart, and the Executive Vice President of Global Sales Eric Tom.
Published by John Sullivan of Online Casino Club.