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G3 interviews 24 Seven Gaming’s Simon McCarthy about starting a new Cat C/B developer business in the UK market

What’s the background and history of yourself and the company, its inception and mission?

So, here is the history lesson… I started in the industry in June 1982 at the ripe old age of 16. At JPM I progressed through the customer services department from bench engineer to field support engineer and eventually moved into sales. At the time JPM was based in Hadfield Road in Cardiff. JPM was the starting point of a 30+ year career in the design development and manufacturing side of the ‘pay to play’ gaming industry.

It is very evident that the industry is ever changing, whether it be in the innovative designs of the products, or the structure of the customer base through to the landscape of the retailers’ outlets. One thing is certain, if you don’t move with the times then you’re asking for problems. This is why as a start-up (nine months into the life of 24 Seven Gaming), we are clearly focused on product and customers’ requirements.

The formation of 24 Seven Gaming came about from the opportunity in the latter part of 2012 to start my own company after having 30 plus years in the corporate world (JPM, Astra and Ainsworth) – I have to admit that this has been very challenging, yet ultimately very rewarding.

Our mission at 24 Seven Gaming is to provide entertaining, affordable and reliable product to those customers and markets that are commercially viable to us. We are open-minded in our business approach and are flexible enough to consider any number of business models that allow us to get the right product to market.

What’s the company’s current licensing situation, what are the products and connections with marketplace and international/domestic scope?

24 Seven Gaming holds a full UK Gambling Commission licence which allows for the design, development, manufacture, sale and operation of product within the UK marketplace. Clearly we are focusing within our own ‘home market’ initially with the recent launch of Crazy Vegas Cat C £70 model, the culmination of several months design and development for us. Crazy Vegas is the first in a range of Cat C (£70) models to be released. In relation to Cat C we intend to launch approximately 6-8 models per annum.

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Simon McCarthy, founder and owner, 24 Seven Gaming

24 Seven currently develops for the UK namely Cat C, B4, and B3 games for its own machines and for third parties. 24 Seven has an established market position in the UK, with market opportunities within several European countries currently in the planning; these markets are serviced via its offices in Cardiff in the UK, together with a network of UK and International distributors.

As a start-up we made a conscious decision when it came to the ‘platform’ and based on customer requirements we utilised Scorpion 5 technology. We offer a rebuild cabinet called Orbit or a new cabinet called EOS, in order to offer a complete service to operators. We also offer a 'conversion' on existing customer base machines. The challenge for us was always to find a 'like minded' business partner when it came to games design. I have to say that the partnership that has been forged between 24 Seven Gaming and Pro V Games of Oldham, headed up by Paul Howarth, has been excellent.

Given the numerous markets and contacts that have been built up over the years, we are well positioned to move into several European markets. We have our sights on two-three initially, as with any new developments we need to concentrate on machine sales to help fund the future investment in development to allow our progression into these territories – so it’s a case of watch this space…

What are your views on the market; its standing today and prospects for new business?

We find ourselves at a point in time whereby the launch of a new brand coincides with the pending

implementation of £100 on Cat C games. The opportunities are there, it is a case of realising those opportunities and delivering excellent performance and reliable product. Our focus is primarily on analogue-based reels. We believe there will always be a market requirement for this product within the UK, and to be a niche player in this arena suits us perfectly. To complement our product range we have developed a digital low cost product for the UK B3 market that will be released in the coming months.

What are the goals of the company and the plans you have in place to expand the business?

We have a wealth of gaming experience that has been built over the years from working within several leading gaming development companies in the UK. Given that our experience covers both the UK and European gaming

markets, we are currently steadily growing our presence and market share.

To ensure this is done methodically, we currently engage with a number of key business partners and they range from production and procurement facilities, which are outsourced, through to development partners and industry supply chain. Ultimately, this is a 24 Seven Gaming product with our badge, therefore, our build quality and reputation is of paramount importance to us.

Our growth will come with product recognition over time.

What are the key boxes to tick and achieve with 24 Seven Gaming?

Within the first year of trading we plan to launch into the UK market Cat C (£70), Cat B4 (£250) and Cat B3 (£500) product along with the triennial updates to coincide with these product launches.

We are also working with some key and innovative overseas companies to bring into the UK alternative products. This again will happen over the coming months.

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