SFORZA (CEO OF GAMENET) “OUR STRONGPOINTS ARE RESPONSIVENESS TO THE MARKET AND THE PROTECTION OF OUR OPERATORS”
“An extraordinarily rapid response to the market and the protection of our operators”: these, in a nutshell, are the key factors in Gamenet’s success, as detailed - in an exclusive interview with Agimeg – by the company’s Chief Executive Officer Claudio Sforza.
q. Early estimates of the net margin of licensees for the year 2013 ranks Gamenet just behind the three major players (Lottomatica, Sisal and Snai). Some would find this rather surprising. What is your opinion of the ranking?
a. “This data doesn’t surprise us, because we are aware of the great work we have carried out over the last three years. And indeed, if this ranking were to include the figures for corporate debt, and took into account only the Italian market, Gamenet would be in first place, and we would be extremely proud of that”.
q. What were the keys to this success?
a. “One of our strengths has certainly been our quick response to market needs. The Italian market is in a phase of rapid evolution, and needs partners who can provide quick and effective solutions. In this sense, Gamenet is lucky enough to be a streamlined company, with a young and dynamic team comprising fewer than 200 people in total. We are therefore able to provide support that is rapid, professional and competitive, with a 360° approach to all our associates. Among other things, the fact that we have a majority shareholder who holds 92% of the company allows us to benefit from a direct and quick line of decision-making that gives us a real advantage in our relationship with the market. Another advantage is the direct management of credit, which has become more effective.”
q. In an AWP market that seems to overlook Operators, what is your position on this matter?
a. “We do not agree with the strategy employed by some in the industry. The position of the Operator is important because it allows us to effectively handle vital points in the supply chain. This is why the Operators remain at the heart of the Newslot project. With the establishment of Gamenet Renting, we can offer our operators a range of services to support their activities”.
q. What has changed since your arrival, compared to the previous management?
a. “Since 2010 Gamenet has gone through a process of organizational change in terms of the objectives proposed in the past, which had purely commercial aims; these have given way to a more entrepreneurial outlook for the company. With this transformation, it was natural that there would be a change in management; however, this has left us with a solid company. Today we are proud to say that the decision we made, to work towards Gamenet’s position as a true enterprise with a high profile and objectives, has proved to be a successful one.”
q. What do you think of the political massacre that for too long has beset the entertainment industry?
a. “The main guilty party in this debacle is undoubtedly the market itself. Indeed, the industry is suffering from a serious inability to be recognized for what it actually is – namely, a very important economic sector at the forefront of the fight against illegal gambling, and in which players are protected and supported both in terms of recreation, and also from a social point of view. In addition, the sector’s downside is that it is too disjointed, placing it at the centre of conflicting currents which do not help in achieving objectives of common interest. For example, the A.C.A.D.I. (the association of amusement machine licensees), which acts as a collector, does not cover all the companies in the sector (Lottomatica, Bplus and Gamenet itself are missing, and together these amount to 70% of the gaming and amusement market) and therefore there is a definite lack of organizations that realistically represent the licensees. We need entities that are more representative, and we need less fragmentation and greater collaboration between companies. Taking all of this into consideration, it will always be very complicated to solve problems that are mainly of a political nature”.
q. Going back to numbers: in 2013, Gamenet had around 11% of the market share, in terms of turnover in the AWP sector, and 16% of the VLT market. These are impressive figures.
a. "These figures make us particularly proud of the work we’ve done. In particular, with reference to the VLT segment, Gamenet has 14% of the total fleet and is able to bring in 16% of national revenues for this segment. This means that our machines are very high-performance, and have had an excellent response from the market. In fairness, it should be mentioned that Bplus has yet to install approximately 5000 VLTs, so the percentages of market impact may vary slightly. This however does not affect the leading role that Gamenet plays, as recognised by the market”. FF/AGIMEG
Interview published by Agimeg on 20/03/2014. Read the interview online.