eGaming Review January 2014 - Page 85

X X X X X S IX X X X X XI X X OFF X DEGAM NG S P O N S O R E D E D IIT O R IIA L SPONSORED ED TOR AL SLOTS AFRICA FOCUS Egaming development Aristocrat- Thinking outside in Africa the box Sam Nickless of Aristocrat Many eyes in the egaming industry are explains how one of the fixed on US and Asian markets in the leaders of the land-based internet next year. However, with slot world is taking its penetration growing in Africa, the premium games to aarange region may present widely of new channels, gaming. untapped market for includingMatt the of Offsidegaming discusses Jellicoe online market. the company’s strategy for the African region in 2014 W hen reviewing business development strategies for 2014 we witnessed most of the industry gearing up for US and/or Asian expansion. However, at Offsidegaming, our strategy for next year targets African markets. The highly regulated US market presents high entry barriers for a medium-sized software company. As for Asia, there are companies making headway, but strong incumbent operators prove for stiff competition. At the outset this decision may seem strange, however we have always focused on emerging markets and Africa looked interesting on a number of fronts. One consideration is the sheer size of the market. SubSaharan Africa has a current population of 1.1 billion and is predicted to double by 2050. Even Nigeria alone is expected to overtake the US population size in the next 30 years. VICTOR CHANDLER Sam Nickless is the Managing Director of Emerging Businesses & Strategy, responsible for Matt Jellicoe is a director of Aristocrat’s lotteries, online and Offsidegaming. Offsidegaming licensing businesses. Sam content provides B2B gaming services to joined Aristocrat in 2009 and was a number of operators inpreviously at National Australia Eastern Europe and Latin America. Bank and at McKinsey & Company. eGaming Review (eGR): market, technological limitations have held Despite the size of the Tell us a little about Aristocrat’s emerging businesses strategy? businesses including egaming from taking back most internet Sam Nicklessinto Africa. However, 2013 really saw this changeour the plunge (SN): Our vision is to reach more players with with game content by providing access throughstarting to take Aris-In both desktop and mobile internet really new channels. off. tocrat began example,years agopenetration is circa 15%well engiUganda for over 50 internet as a manufacturer of but mobile neered, reliable, over 90% with a surprising number of smartphones. penetration is secure and fair gaming machines. The hardware was is estimated that 70% of a few years Africa will have internet It crucial to this. Until only mobiles in ago, we manufactured even basic components like nuts Nigeria is ourselves. Soon the way access at some point in 2014. and bolts already well our business 50-60% smartphonethe sale of the game contentyou can box a to was firmly based on penetration while in Kenya and the buy assmartphone on the street fora land-based casino or club is only a bundle. Now a terminal in about US$50. one, Therefore, it is an enormous market in terms of headcount, albeit important, way of accessing our content. We are now lookingsmartphone get our quality content to players in whatever with for ways to penetration approaching European levels. As legal untapped market, to play. economics may be a barrier, the an market they want although margin potential is definitely there. eGR: What opportunities does that present for deploying Aristocrat’s content in new arenas? Regulation SN: We believe Aristocrat has created some of the most distinctive In terms of licensing, Africa offers a number of interesting and entertainingin marketsgames in the world.and Ghana. South opportunities gambling such as Uganda The success and longevity of our most famous titles inathe majorof operators such Africa has a licensing scheme with number casino markets confirms this belief. It’s the combination of the mathematics and as Sportingbet offering internet sports betting. Though the the feel for the player experiencecompetitive,from ouris often cited South African market is very that comes Kenya deep heritage in this industry. Playing Aristocrat is nonumber constrained as an interesting market and does have a longer of operators, toalthough it can place our terminals. Our initial traditional sports where we is very complex to enter from a suite of games has translated well to the online environment andlottery. betting perspective, with models more akin to our free-to-play apps on theisApple iStore have had rave reviews and plenty of While it still too early to tell which markets we will go into, we downloads. We are now Uganda, Ghana and Nigeria. a number are currently looking at also licensing our content to of land-based operators in markets we would be unlikely to enter as a fully-fledged EGM manufacturer – for example, the 6