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Gaming News Articles

Interview: Francisco Vidal on the prospects of gambling business development in the CIS

Francisco Vidal is the CEO at major entertainment complex Sortis & Golden Lion Casinos in Panama. Francisco is an expert of gambling business, having started as a croupier at London and Las Vegas casinos and becoming the head of several casinos in a very short term, namely Comar Group and Cirsa International in the Dominican Republic. Over a couple of years, he travelled almost throughout all countries of the West Indies, gaining the managerial positions. At the Russian Gaming Week 2017 conference, he will make a presentation titled “Building a Healthy Casino Industry in Russia – Casino Operations point of view”.

An expert toldRGW teamabout the prospects of the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) market development, confirming his interest in attending of the RGW 2017 conference to surprise the audience with his presentation.

Russia Gaming Week Features Francisco Vidal




1) Is the CIS market considered as promising for the European companies that work in the gambling industry? Please explain your opinion.

- I would not see the CIS market as a whole, but more on a country by country basis and on those terms obviously the main opportunities are in Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Belarus (to name just a few); countries with bigger populations and with a stronger customer base (in terms of income and gaming culture). As long as the different markets are at this moment underdeveloped, there is of course opportunities for several of the main gaming groups in Western Europe (British, French, Germans, Austrians, etc.) but I do not see them entering the CIS countries without local partners. In my view, there is a lot of work to be done in terms of building trust, social connections, and comprehension of the business environment from the part of the foreign operators before starting operations in the CIS countries.

2) What can the European/American and CIS businessmen offer one another? What are the opportunities and risks?

- Obviously both the American and the Western European operators are more experienced, they have been involved in the gaming sector for more years, and depending on the country, they do have specific expertise in running different formats of casinos (from the classical, pure gambling operation to the more sophisticated integrated resorts that you find in Las Vegas, Macau, etc.). I do think that there is a natural divide when thinking about the possibility of potential partnerships between western operators and CIS businessmen, the former would provide the operational know how (CRM systems, management staff, operational procedures, product mix and configuration, etc.) and the latter - their understanding of the business/political environment, and the social/political connections to get things done. In my experience, those partnerships are quite difficult to maintain over the long term, so it would be smart to have a clause that specifies the potential sale of the partnership to the other part when the time comes.

- Regarding the opportunities and risks, I do see the potential of a mature collaboration once the proper bond of trust has been built between the partners of developing attractive and well-designed venues that will be managed professionally with a long-term focus. Over time, well-managed operations are profitable for the corporations behind them and provide the customer with a genuine and enjoyable casino experience, apart from generating taxes for the government and have a positive impact on their communities through social initiatives financed by casino operators. Obviously, the main risk is losing the investment, I was involved directly in a partnership between a Spanish operator and Mexican businessmen in 2012-2014, and that was the perfect example of how not to do things, in the end, the Spanish operator lost millions of Euros, the operation never opened (although it was built and ready to operate) and the Mexicans walked away almost unharmed.

3) How will the CIS gambling market develop in the future? What trends can be observed?

- I hope that each country will establish a proper legal environment for operators according to the nature of their economies, for example, the integrated resorts model is not for everybody, every country should adapt their laws to the needs of its populations. Most probably in the long term, the decisions made by the biggest countries (Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan) will set the path for the rest, because depending on what they do, that will create opportunities in the surrounding countries or not.

- The way I see it now, the developing of specific gaming zones is the main trend in the CIS market, and probably, at this point in time it is the right thing to do. Most probably, Russia is not ready yet to have casinos in every city, for me it is a question of maturity of the economy and the social fabric of each country; for more than 45 years, gaming in the USA was allowed only in the state of Nevada, nowadays there are casinos almost in every state and Indian reservations. Regarding the customer base, I think that for some time, until the economies of the CIS countries develop more, casino venues will be targeted towards VIP customers and will offer a luxury product (high limits, credit lines, refunds and so on).

4) You have an insider knowledge of the casino market. What do you think is the problem of gambling development in the CIS?

- From the distance, what I can see is the weakness of the gaming regulation and business environment, there are no clear rules in most countries; so potential investors both local and foreign are afraid of losing their investment. Most of the CIS countries are relatively new, they have a lot of things to fix before gaming, and that is quite understandable; for me, it is a question of priorities, what to do first. Most probably, the gaming agenda is a secondary issue within the general regulation of the economic activities in most of the CIS countries, however as an industry we have to defend our interest in a proper manner, and work side by side with government institutions in order to design and implement a legal framework that will give gaming operators confidence and stability. Once the legal infrastructure is in place, the investments will flow into the economy of the different CIS countries improve.

When looking at my responses, take into account that I have never worked directly in a CIS country, my European experience is related to the United Kingdom, Spain and Croatia.

5) Why are you interested in attending the Russian Gaming Week 2017? What do you expect from the conference?

- I really like the country, its culture, gastronomy and the sophistication of its people (speaking in general terms), more specific to the conference; I hope to learn a little bit more about the potential opportunities for business in the region and to establish professional connections with local businessmen/casino executives.

6) How would you impress attendees at the conference? What new things could they learn?

- Well, it would be very naïve from my part to tell the local operators how to conduct business in their markets (I managed several casinos in Croatia in the past, which is a relatively close market, but that doesn´t mean that I have some kind of special knowledge that relates to CIS operators); what I will try to do is to give some ideas or principles that from my point of view could serve them to operate their venues with a long-term focus, something that new operators normally do not take into account. Every time that a new city or region is exposed to a full-fledged casino venue, people gamble very aggressively, and over time many customers get burned in the process, something that is not healthy nor desirable for the gaming operators. My presentation covers several topics related to the protection of the customer and how to improve the gaming experience, everyone knows the potential negative effects of having a gaming offer right at your doorsteps, but there are actions and policies that could help to reduce them, and that is what my presentation is about.

- I hope that the attendees will discover several ideas that will help them when conducting their day to day operations (my presentation is directed towards casino operators and executives), including: what can they do to minimize problem gambling in their customer base, which information should we provide to the customers in order to extend their life cycle, what can they do to improve the gaming experience both in table games and slots and how to train casino management, just to name a few.



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Apple’s India Sales Surge 33% in Shift From China
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Apple’s annual sales in India hit a record of almost $8 billion, underscoring a rapidly growing market where the iPhone maker now assembles more of its devices and operates two flagship stores. Bloomberg Intelligence's Anurag Rana joins Caroline Hyde and Ed Ludlow on "Bloomberg Technology." -------- Like this video? Subscribe to Bloomberg Technology on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrM7B7SL_g1edFOnmj-SDKg   Watch the latest full episodes of "Bloomberg Technology" with Caroline Hyde and Ed Ludlow here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLfAX25ZLrPGTygCwn55voYZ_LYyKjxokJ   Get the latest in tech from Silicon Valley and around the world here: https://www.bloomberg.com/technology Connect with us on... X: https://twitter.com/technology Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BloombergTechnology Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bloombergbusiness/   Follow Ed Ludlow on X here: https://twitter.com/EdLudlow Follow Caroline Hyde on X here: https://twitter.com/CarolineHydeTV   Listen to the daily Bloomberg Technology podcast here: https://www.bloomberg.com/podcasts/series/bloomberg-technology   More from Bloomberg Business Connect with us on... X: https://twitter.com/business Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bloombergbusiness Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bloombergbusiness/ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/bloomberg-news/ TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@bloombergbusiness

Published: 15th Jul 2024 08:30:12   By: Bloomberg Technology

Technology News Analysis Video: Musk Donates to Trump, Tapping Fortune to Swing 2024 Race

Musk Donates to Trump, Tapping Fortune to Swing 2024 Race
Play Video: Musk Donates to Trump, Tapping Fortune to Swing 2024 Race


Billionaire Elon Musk has donated to a super political action committee working to elect Donald Trump to the White House, a major gambit by the world’s richest person to make his imprint on the US political landscape. Bloomberg's Max Chafkin joins Caroline Hyde and Ed Ludlow on "Bloomberg Technology." -------- Like this video? Subscribe to Bloomberg Technology on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrM7B7SL_g1edFOnmj-SDKg   Watch the latest full episodes of "Bloomberg Technology" with Caroline Hyde and Ed Ludlow here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLfAX25ZLrPGTygCwn55voYZ_LYyKjxokJ   Get the latest in tech from Silicon Valley and around the world here: https://www.bloomberg.com/technology Connect with us on... X: https://twitter.com/technology Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BloombergTechnology Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bloombergbusiness/   Follow Ed Ludlow on X here: https://twitter.com/EdLudlow Follow Caroline Hyde on X here: https://twitter.com/CarolineHydeTV   Listen to the daily Bloomberg Technology podcast here: https://www.bloomberg.com/podcasts/series/bloomberg-technology   More from Bloomberg Business Connect with us on... X: https://twitter.com/business Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bloombergbusiness Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bloombergbusiness/ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/bloomberg-news/ TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@bloombergbusiness

Published: 15th Jul 2024 07:59:34   By: Bloomberg Technology

Technology News Analysis Video: Disinformation Swirls on Social Media After Trump Attack

Disinformation Swirls on Social Media After Trump Attack
Play Video: Disinformation Swirls on Social Media After Trump Attack


The Heritage Foundation's Tech Policy Center Director Kara Frederick joins Caroline Hyde and Ed Ludlow to break down misinformation swirling on major social media platforms after the assassination attempt on former President Donald Trump at a campaign rally in Pennsylvania. She also discusses the wider role of technology in the upcoming election on "Bloomberg Technology." -------- Like this video? Subscribe to Bloomberg Technology on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrM7B7SL_g1edFOnmj-SDKg   Watch the latest full episodes of "Bloomberg Technology" with Caroline Hyde and Ed Ludlow here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLfAX25ZLrPGTygCwn55voYZ_LYyKjxokJ   Get the latest in tech from Silicon Valley and around the world here: https://www.bloomberg.com/technology Connect with us on... X: https://twitter.com/technology Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BloombergTechnology Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bloombergbusiness/   Follow Ed Ludlow on X here: https://twitter.com/EdLudlow Follow Caroline Hyde on X here: https://twitter.com/CarolineHydeTV   Listen to the daily Bloomberg Technology podcast here: https://www.bloomberg.com/podcasts/series/bloomberg-technology   More from Bloomberg Business Connect with us on... X: https://twitter.com/business Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bloombergbusiness Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bloombergbusiness/ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/bloomberg-news/ TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@bloombergbusiness

Published: 15th Jul 2024 07:52:05   By: Bloomberg Technology

Technology News Analysis Video: Attack on Trump and Apple's Record High | Bloomberg Technology

Attack on Trump and Apple
Play Video: Attack on Trump and Apple's Record High | Bloomberg Technology


Bloomberg's Caroline Hyde and Ed Ludlow break down the aftermath of the attack on former President Donald Trump as the RNC kicks off in Milwaukee. Plus, Google eyes Wiz for its biggest ever acquisition, and Apple shares hit a record high. O5:50 Social Media After Trump Rally Shooting 20:19 Alphabet in Talks to Buy Wiz in $23B Deal 25:23 Musk Says He Fully Endorses Trump 31:30 C3 AI CEO Tom Siebel -------- "Bloomberg Technology" is our daily news program focused exclusively on technology, innovation and the future of business hosted by Ed Ludlow from San Francisco and Caroline Hyde in New York. Like this video? Subscribe and turn on the notifications for Bloomberg Technology on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrM7B7SL_g1edFOnmj-SDKg Watch the latest full episodes of "Bloomberg Technology" with Caroline Hyde and Ed Ludlow here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLfAX25ZLrPGRzfILkSd-YiWfsoloCETAe Get the latest in tech from Silicon Valley and around the world here: https://www.bloomberg.com/technology Follow Ed Ludlow on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/EdLudlow Follow Caroline Hyde on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/CarolineHydeTV Connect with us on... Twitter: https://twitter.com/technology Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BloombergTechnology Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bloombergbusiness/

Published: 15th Jul 2024 07:19:58   By: Bloomberg Technology

Technology News Analysis Video: General Catalyst, Amazon Bet $63M on AI Robotics Startup

General Catalyst, Amazon Bet $63M on AI Robotics Startup
Play Video: General Catalyst, Amazon Bet $63M on AI Robotics Startup


AI robotics startup Standard Bots has raised $63 million over a series of deals. A majority of that funding haul, which has not been previously reported, comes from a $39 million Series B round led by General Catalyst with participation from the Amazon Industrial Innovation Fund and Samsung Next. Standard Bots CEO Evan Beard joins Caroline Hyde and Ed Ludlow on "Bloomberg Technology." -------- Like this video? Subscribe to Bloomberg Technology on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrM7B7SL_g1edFOnmj-SDKg   Watch the latest full episodes of "Bloomberg Technology" with Caroline Hyde and Ed Ludlow here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLfAX25ZLrPGTygCwn55voYZ_LYyKjxokJ   Get the latest in tech from Silicon Valley and around the world here: https://www.bloomberg.com/technology Connect with us on... X: https://twitter.com/technology Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BloombergTechnology Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bloombergbusiness/   Follow Ed Ludlow on X here: https://twitter.com/EdLudlow Follow Caroline Hyde on X here: https://twitter.com/CarolineHydeTV   Listen to the daily Bloomberg Technology podcast here: https://www.bloomberg.com/podcasts/series/bloomberg-technology   More from Bloomberg Business Connect with us on... X: https://twitter.com/business Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bloombergbusiness Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bloombergbusiness/ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/bloomberg-news/ TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@bloombergbusiness

Published: 12th Jul 2024 07:32:21   By: Bloomberg Technology

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