Tell us a bit about your background and how you first got involved with Gaming Arts?
I have been in the supplier side of the gaming industry since 1999. Prior to that I was at the attorney general’s office in Nevada where I represented the Nevada Gaming Control Board and Nevada Gaming Commission, so I cut my teeth on the regulatory side and then moved over to the supplier’s side.
I’ve held a number of positions within the supplier side. In 2018, I had an opportunity to join Gaming Arts. At the time, David Colvin, the company’s owner, was looking to begin the entry into the slot business. Prior to my joining, Gaming Arts had been a Bingo and Keno company. While we still have those roots, we have developed the slot business since 2018.
It’s been a very interesting ride. We’ve had a lot of success but of course we’ve also had our fair share of challenges, most recently with COVID-19. We continue to press on and so far the results have been quite good. So we will continue to be there for our customers in America and across the globe as the world continues to heal from this pandemic.
What are the main things you would say you have learned from your time in the industry that you now apply at Gaming Arts?
First of all, it’s about product and people. At the end of the day, you need a compelling offering for your customers’ players. We are in the content business, or the “hit record business,” so you have to have a large enough library of games that people want to play. Surrounding that are great people who can help implement the vision for the product.
At Gaming Arts we have both product and people. We are small but we continue to see great results and promise in the market, even post COVID. We have released new products which are COVID-suited. By that I mean we have products which naturally socially space from one another, so that adheres to all social spacing guidelines. Then we also have Casino Wizard, which is a multi-game electronic table game that gives players the opportunity to play blackjack, craps, roulette and baccarat. It gives players that table gaming experience without needing to be close to other players.
How has Gaming Arts changed as a company since you first joined almost three years ago?
First of all, we didn’t forget our roots. We still have the core business within Keno and Bingo. We have continued to provide innovation within the Keno and bingo space, but while we’re doing that we have literally built a slot company from the ground up.
To be able to deliver machines in the gaming environment, much less the post-COVID gaming environment, is no small task. You have to concern yourself with every facet of the operation. You have to have licensing and the ability to build the games, ship the games, sell the games, service the games and then do it all over again. It’s been a gratifying experience building that from the ground up.
As we look forward to the rest of 2020 and next year, what is the absolute focus for the company?
Even during the pandemic we’ve never lost sight of continuing to improve our R&D. To their credit, the R&D team kept going, kept creating games and kept getting them regulatory approval through the test lab. During the pandemic, we continued to grow our library and when we look back I think we will recognize that that was a really good decision.
In addition to that, we’re taking our time to prepare for 2021 and will continue to put out our titles. These will come out in moderate amounts between now and the end of the year, with the hope that 2021 will really turn the corner in terms of recovery.