While this ongoing pandemic continues to be a major problem for the world overall, the gaming industry has navigated a rough road and emerged in relatively good shape especially compared to other global industries, according to the Executive Director of the Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers (AGEM), Marcus Prater.
“The suppliers have continued to innovate, and we saw that at the Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas in October,” he tells Yogonet in an exclusive interview. He said that the organization, following the rebound of the global supplier sector, is in a “much better position” now than in 2020 or early 2021.
The trade association represents manufacturers and suppliers of electronic gaming devices, lotteries, systems, table games, key components and support products and services for the gaming industry.
Based on the feedback you’ve received from the companies that conform AGEM, and its work with regulators and local authorities, which do you anticipate will be the main issues driving the 2022 agenda? What do you think will be the new challenges for the gambling industry next year?
I think the main issues facing AGEM and its member companies in the new year will be to continue to engage with both customers and regulators coming out of the pandemic. Without our customers, as casino operators succeeding, then the suppliers won’t be able to capitalize on the new machines, games, systems, and overall technology solutions they have developed. With casinos in the U.S. having a very successful year from a revenue standpoint, I think that bodes well for suppliers heading into the new year. We have also been very active in working with regulatory agencies in a variety of global jurisdictions to make sure the rules we all follow can evolve to keep up with emerging technologies. We’re pleased with the response from regulators who understand a healthy gaming industry overall is good for everyone involved.
Where will AGEM’s focus be in 2022 and what new milestones do you anticipate for the market? Which segments or sectors do you anticipate will see the most growth?
AGEM will transition to a new Executive Director in Daron Dorsey starting March 1, but our overall mission will remain the same and that is to look after the overall health of the global supplier sector. Our members individually, anchored by the big slot companies, will continue to drive innovation and that means every aspect of every regulated market in the world. The continued growth in iGaming and sports betting may get all of the headlines, but each regulated market, whether it’s a state or tribal market in the U.S. or a market like Macau that needs to rally, deserves the attention of AGEM overall and our members in particular. We will also continue to focus on issues involving responsible gaming and education and doing the right thing for our industry.”