Inspired Gaming Group is best known for its strong presence is server-based games in Europe. There it claims to have more than 35,000 machines in operation. But the United Kingdom-based company – named by the London Stock Exchange as one of ‘1,000 Companies to Inspire Britain’ – also has a presence in the virtual sports game market in mainland China’s state lottery system.
Now it is looking to expand in other parts of Asia. The firm has appointed gaming industry veteran Harmen Brenninkmeijer (pictured) as senior vice president for Asia and Strategic Markets, based in Hong Kong.
In case his surname sounds familiar to newcomers to the gaming sector, Mr Brenninkmeijer confirmed to GGR Asia that he’s a member of the German-Dutch family that founded the C&A chain of fashion retail stores.
“I’m from the poor side of the family,” he jokes. “I’m descended from one of the brothers that didn’t join the C&A business.”
His actual employer’s main casino products are Sabre Multi-Win Roulette, and Sabre Multi-Win Baccarat, but the firm also makes Class III (i.e., casino) slots for the Latin American market.
Inspired is probably best known currently for its Storm HD video lottery terminals in Italy, and its Category B2/B3 slots in the U.K.
The firm says that when the U.K. changed the law in July 2011 to allow £2 (US$3.31) stake games for Category B3 products, Inspired was able remotely to update all 14,000 of its terminals in the market “in a matter of hours”. That was due to Inspired’s centrally managed server-based gaming.
Now it’s aiming to offer that kind of service in Asia – perhaps to operators of bingo parlours, lottery outlets or casinos, where the outlet network is spread across a country or jurisdiction.
“We’re not exactly a casino product firm where we say ‘we can deliver a bank of six or 10 machines’,” explains Mr Brenninkmeijer.
“We’re looking more at route-type operations where we could build an infrastructure, where everything is strongly controlled, where we have the downloadable capabilities to make the games adjustable to the tastes of the players in the country. Our experiences are that when you go into a market with a larger number of machines, then – based on the players’ experience – you can modify the games.”
He adds: “It’s not easy for non-Asian suppliers to come into an Asian market and know what games will work. Even companies like Aristocrat have taken years and years to come up with the right games for the market. We believe we can be a competitor to virtually anyone in any country, provided we have the scale and the time.”
Mr Brenninkmeijer says Inspired’s casino product for Asia is currently completing certification by Gaming Laboratories International.
“Once I feel comfortable that we have a product I can deliver to the market, I’ll sign up one or two test clients and we’ll take it from there,” he explains.
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"I am not going to speculate on what the [casino licence refreshment] tender requirements would be. I have full confidence and faith in the Macau government to treat everyone fairly"
Wilfred Wong Ying Wai
President and chief operating officer of Macau-based casino operator Sands China