After NeoGames acquisition, Aristocrat looks to Quebec and beyond

Aristocrat Gaming Chief Revenue Officer Kurt Gissane spoke to CGB ahead of CGS

There’s only one more working week to go before the gaming industry flocks to Toronto for the 2024 Canadian Gaming Summit.

Ahead of Canada’s premier gaming and betting event at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Canadian Gaming Business spoke to Chief Revenue Officer for Aristocrat Gaming Kurt Gissane.

CGB: What elements of Canadian Gaming Summit work so well for your organisation, and why is it important for you to be there this year?

Kurt Gissane: Aristocrat Gaming is a proud member of the Canadian Gaming Association (CGA), and as such, the Canadian Gaming Summit provides us the opportunity to network with fellow members, customers, and key partners. We are always seeking ways to better build relationships and understand market sentiment and our customers’ needs, and the Summit provides an excellent forum.

CGB: What’s your key objective at this year’s event and what are the main products/services you’ll be promoting?

KG: Our key objective this year is to connect with our customers and bring awareness to the products we’ll be introducing into the Quebec VLT market.

CGB: What would you highlight as the biggest opportunity in the betting and gaming industry over the next couple of years?

KG: If it’s important to our customers, it’s important to us. At Aristocrat, we have an incredible depth of experience and ability to create leading solutions for our customers. Additionally, we believe some of the greatest opportunities are entry into new specialty markets, creating an omni-channel experience for players to enjoy their favorite brands in whatever format they choose to play, and continuing to invest in innovation like Aristocrat Gaming has been doing for many years.

CGB: What elements of your business do you feel are best placed to take advantage of that opportunity?

KG: Aristocrat Gaming has been strategically expanding into specialty markets like the Georgia Coin Operated Amusement Machine (COAM) market and our upcoming entry into the Quebec lottery market. We also recently completed the acquisition of NeoGames, which together with Anaxi, our real money gaming business, now becomes Aristocrat Interactive, bringing an expanded portfolio of capabilities across a broad range of channels and geographies. Finally, Aristocrat Gaming continues to lead the industry with our investment into D&D and will continue to do so.

CGB: What areas of the business should we be looking to for innovation in the next 12 months?

KG: We innovate in every space we touch – hardware, software, math, design, land-based, RMG, responsible gaming, and more. One recent example is our NFL slots, where we completely changed what is possible in a slot game – bringing 32 teams into one game. That simply didn’t exist before and is a prime example of our forward-thinking designs that players love. Meanwhile, we also created an industry-leading responsible gaming initiative called Know Your Max. In late April, we closed a deal to bring NeoGames into the Aristocrat umbrella. So, it’s not hyperbole to say that Aristocrat, Aristocrat Gaming, and Aristocrat Interactive each lead the industry in innovation, and we are excited to take our customers and their players on this journey with us over the next 12 months.

CGB: What new technology do you feel will have the biggest impact for stakeholders?

KG: We’ll leave the speculation to the analysts. What we can say is Aristocrat will continue to lead the industry in land-based and interactive initiatives.

CGB: What core challenges do you help solve for your customers/partners?

KG: We look at each customer individually, and we consider each of their challenges uniquely. We understand the gaming industry, like life, is not a one-size-fits-all landscape. We leverage our vast portfolio of products to help each customer meet their needs in every market we operate in. Why do we do that? Because we want to continue to be the provider of choice for our customers.

CGB: Who have you especially enjoyed working with over the past year and why?

KG: We have a special appreciation for all our customers and partners. Personally, being appointed to the Board of Directors of the CGA back in December 2023 was a great honour.

CGB: Can you tell us more specifically how you’ve worked with the CGA and how the relationship is developing?

KG: Through my experience, having worked for multiple suppliers and in a variety of countries, I’m able to bring a unique perspective to the CGA to help achieve its goals while driving growth and exposure for the Canadian Gaming market.

CGB: What are you hoping to learn from the conference at the Canadian Gaming Summit and which elements of the agenda will you be focusing on the most?

KG: We’re looking forward to sitting on a variety of panels, especially those related to responsible gaming. Furthering responsible gaming efforts is always a top priority for us as we’re continuously looking at how to further invest and evolve in that space.

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