A week after the Global Gaming Expo (G2E) was held in Las Vegas at The Venetian Expo, DRGT’s Jurgen De Munck (CEO); Alex Stiglich (Managing Director, Colombia, Paraguay, Peru & Uruguay); and Alfredo Moreno (Managing Director, Mexico), reflect on the company’s participation at the major gambling industry event.
In an interview with Yogonet, the executives discuss the products unveiled this year and their main takeaways from the expo.
Booth 4405 remains a great location at the Venetian and a busy one at that. How does the location work for you?
Jurgen De Munck: Yes, we managed to secure this location thanks to RX Global (Reed Exhibitions) a couple of years ago, and it is indeed a winner; right opposite the closest access and egress door to the Venetian itself. Everyone passes our booth at some stage during the show, and as such I don’t see us relinquishing this spot any time soon.
Alex Stiglich: Whilst we put a lot of time and effort into scheduling customer and potential customer meetings ahead of the event, this locale does secure us a high number of walk-ins too; often towards the end of the day as visitors stop by on their way out.
I can honestly say that either I or my respective Uruguayan and Colombian colleagues Nicolas and Geffry were doing demos and chatting with customers well after the close on all three days of the show.
What were the most popular tech and prominent products you showcased at the event?
Stiglich: Without a doubt our new web-based reporting suite. The look of it alone, when we were doing demos, ended up drawing further attention and additional ‘feet.’
I really must commend our developers in Graz, Austria – what we now have is something really special. Granted we have always enjoyed considerable custom based on our initial reporting software, but this is next level. The functionality, ease of use, uniform UI, and interoperability between player and operations reporting is quite phenomenal, and the speed is unprecedented.
Alfredo Moreno: I agree. As always, the Mexico office, understandably, had a major presence in Vegas, and our customers and prospective customers kept the 6 of us busy too.
Everyone had nothing but good things to say with those ‘little’ extras often being the talking point: things like being able to switch to either a light or dark mode, and that within a report on games, you can simply type a player name in the search bar and move directly to player data without having to change applications or search within a menu for the player data tab.
The graph options and pre-populated historical reference periods were also a winner. This new stuff is (even more) customer-centric – we love it!
When we chatted ahead of the show, Alfredo, you noted the launch of your new Player App at G2E. How did that go?
Moreno: Actually, even better than I expected. As I said before the show, the drApp allows players to ‘connect’ to their EGM via an ever-changing QR code presented by our drScreenUltra player interface, or a static code on the EGM itself and also offers top-up functionality directly via a player’s bank card – these two bits of tech were a hit on their own.
De Munck: The drApp was also quite a discussion point for the marketeers at the show, not just the Slots and Tables managers. It was great to see how they immediately caught on to the communication opportunities it presented to them.
The fact that direct push notifications could be sent to individual players, clusters of players, or an entire database got them excited – as we all know, that little round red dot with a number in it showing (unread message/s) on the home page of your phone is a great ‘engagement initiator’.
Notifications aside, phones now in most cases use biometrics to ‘unlock themselves’ – Do your access solutions now offer that functionality too?
De Munck: Yes. We started to offer a similar type of solution during COVID when we were able to integrate mask and temperature recognition scanners into our access control gates and the obvious evolution from that was proper facial recognition, in so doing, removing the need for any sort of tapping or swiping to enter an establishment.
Stiglich: As well as the need for a staff member to physically verify the player once they have swiped or tapped at the entrance gate – our facial recognition tech does that automatically.
During Covid, times were tough particularly in the hospitality sector – by all accounts, now well over a year later, DRGT not only managed to navigate itself through that ‘proverbial’ storm rather well but has shown some considerable growth since then.
De Munck: Yes, we did, and we have. Luckily, we were almost debt-free ahead of the onset of the initial lockdowns, and as such, in a very fortunate position – one many businesses wished they were in in 2020 when it all started.
You know we celebrated our 20th anniversary in 2023 and I can proudly say that after two decades of solid organic growth, we remain a financially sound company – in fact, we’ve grown our installed base by I’d estimate more than 15% since the beginning of last year. I count ourselves fortunate, but as the saying goes you (often) make your luck.
Thanks again for your time. What is in store for the company for the near future?
De Munck: ICE London. If the resurgence of G2E is anything to go by, the final London iteration of ICE will be a cracker too.
Moreno: Absolutely! We had a good Vegas show, and I mean a really good show – London is indeed calling.
De Munck: And one last thing: we’re at a new location at ICE 2024, now in the South Hall, at ExCel. See you at booth S6-350 in February.
DRGT G2E 2023