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COMMENT
Alex Lee
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Email: al@sjc.c o.uk
Roll up, it’s show time
Laws
need
updating
As the coin-op
the future, trade shows are as thrived for over 100 years. ers of Preview had declared
good a bellwether as any to The stark fact is that the show ‘full’, while FER
Botswana
amusement and soft gauge the direction of the despite the current obses- Interazar provided enough
gaming industry revs
amusement and soft gaming sion with all things commu- positive, newsworthy
up for show season,
sector. As we move into what nication-related – mobile stories and revelations to fill
is fondly known as ‘show phones, Twitter, Facebook the front pages of the maga-
COMMENTARY
Alex Lee underlines
season’, Preview in London, and the like – there is no sub- zine – all set against a back-
the importance of the
FER in Madrid, ENADA in stitute for face to face meet- drop of economic
Rome and BEGE in Sofia will ings when business is to be uncertainty.
trade event, despite all go some way to provide conducted and deals are to It would be churlish for BOTSWANA CASINO
the current
the bedrock of information be made. Similarly, regardless me to make a big prediction CONTROL BOARD CON-
as to the next trends will be of the latest machine’s tech- as to what the next ‘Killer CERNED ABOUT ILLEGAL
obsession with
and what we’ll be doing to nological features, nothing App’ will be prior to the OPERATORS TAKING
remote
drag ourselves out of the can beat getting right up shows opening, although I ADVANTAGE OF OUTDATED
communication.
global recession. close and personal to it and can say for some certainty GAMING LAWS Botswana
One thing for certain is having a good look inside. that the above mentioned currently has two gaming
that when San Francisco- For this reason, coupled events will not only feature laws - the Casino Act and the
based car mechanic Charles with the current economic the latest and best equip- Lotteries and Betting Act -
amous American lation, an instinctive exer- Fey invented the first slot climate, it has never been ment that today’s coin-op but the Ministry of Trade and
F
publishing cise in foresight.” machine in 1895, he could more important to attend industry can offer, but also Industry is currently consid-
magnate Henry R His words still ring true never have predicted the the up-coming trade shows give everyone an opportu- ering a new draft gambling
Luce once said: today, 42 years after his size of the monster he had to make those vital decisions nity to come together as one law.
“Business, more death, with particular refer- unleashed as, despite legal, which will safeguard the and cement the solidarity The CCB’s Boikanyo
than any other occupation, is ence to our industry. social and economic chal- future of your organisation. that has been a feature of our Mathipa believes that
a continual dealing with the While it is nigh on impos- lenges the coin-op industry As Games World was sector since its inception Botswana’s problems are
future; it is a continual calcu- sible to accurately predict has survived and – mostly – going to press, the organis- back in the 19th century. symptomatic of the legisla-
tive problems faced by many
African nations, as they
struggle to identify illegal slot
What the papers say
machines flooding across
their borders.
“Our problems are with
illegal machines - we feel, in a
lot of cases, where some-
body is banned from operat-
ing in other countries, they
sneak into Botswana.”
James
director of MGA, told Operador vendors and coin counters, as While Botswana’s casino
Del Recreativo the effects of the part of its latest strategy at the control board recently estab-
Walker
slowdown are more serious than front of the store. lished a sub-committee on
ever before. “We can say that our At some Wal-Marts there technology and illegal gam-
sector is more affected than were 25 merchandise vending bling in order to track the
MEDIA WATCH
others because the gaming offer machines and amusement movement of illegal machines
is growing randomly,” he stated. products. Coinstar handled over into the country, the commit-
“I think we will hit bottom next 1,200 stores by themselves, tee has yet to begin its work,
year and then, in 2011, will start a while a range of other operators and such machines are
slow recovery.” also had a large number. “All installed in many shops.
A
s the global gaming and Slightly more positive news that equipment flooded the Mathipa added: “They take
amusements industry contin- has come from US trade publica- market,” the manufacturer advantage of the fact that our
ues to ride out the recession, tion Vending Times, which pro- added, “but it doesn’t mean the laws are loose and when they
Spanish monthly Operador Del vided some encouraging words demand for crane equipment is are banned in other countries
Recreativo spoke with several high- for the crane sector. Several less than normal overall.” they proceed to countries
profile Spanish executives in an factors not directly related to the Manufacturers, though no such as Botswana. We can
effort to ascertain when the dark current economy have con- doubt distressed by the deluge of standardise the law regarding
clouds will begin to clear. tributed to distortion of the crane used equipment available, have the transportation of gam-
The magazine cited industry market, mostly in terms of new largely viewed it as a temporary bling machines and devices
tycoon and head of Cirsa Manuel equipment sales. aberration that will eventually so that what is in one state is
Lao as stating the crisis will last for A significant and unexpected self-correct. known in others. If we share
several years. However, while Jose influx of used cranes came into the Jim Dupree of Smart Indus- information between member
Martinez Franco, sales director for marketplace as Wal-Mart stores tries said: “We think it will reach countries of the Gaming Reg-
Recreativos Franco, said his and other big retailers cut back on equilibrium later this year, and ulators Africa Forum and also
company would not be breaking any their coin-op offerings or shut- then the demand for new cranes share a list of operators who
records on its balance sheet for a tered their doors. Rough estimates will increase. And we don’t have been banned then they
while, things may not be as bad as from the field place the number of believe the number of crane sup- will know they will be
first expected. used and pre-owned cranes pliers will decrease. Cranes have excluded across GRAF.”
“I am not an economist hired by recently entering the US market at made a solid print in the concrete Mathipa also called for the
the government to provide a fore- 10,000-18,000 units. This unprece- of this industry. We started pro- bench-marking of gaming
cast,” he said. “But I would like to dented release of working used ducing them in 1987, and think con- and gambling laws across
think that it will be sorted in the equipment has soaked up many sidering cranes ‘staple’ equipment African gaming jurisdictions,
short- to medium-term. I really potential new machine sales, is well founded. The crane will noting that Botswana’s
believe that stimulation of players causing a bottleneck in manufac- make money as long as the opera- current laws have been
will play a key role when it comes to turers’ supply chains. facturer said, refer- tor maintains it and introduces new swamped by technology and
overcoming the economic down- “The crane market was impacted ring to the retail giant’s shift toward product with it. It will sustain its the spread of unlicensed lot-
turn.” greatly by the Wal-Mart shift 18 replacing many traditional front- earnings, and people in the industry teries for which current legis-
Meanwhile, Joan Sanahuja, months ago,” one unnamed manu- end coin-op devices with DVD have recognised that.” lation is inadequate.
GamesWorld | 27 | October 2009
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