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Greentube achieved ISO2701 certification in 2019, a very high standard regarding information security and a requirement for entry to the Swiss online market, which Greentube accomplished in 2019. "Our entry was very successful and Switzerland has already become one of the key markets for our B2B business," stated Mr. Graf. "In addition, we started working upon our Remote Game Server architecture in 2019, which should be launched in the second half of 2020, and we are also virtualising our server infrastructure, which will mean that our services are cloud- orientated going forward."


On the products side, Greentube is preparing to launch a new social casino targeting the American market called Diamond Cash. Te company is due to announce the launch of Diamond Cash in the next couple of weeks, following the successful launch of Greentube's in-house developed jackpot series of games under the Diamond League brand. Te first release, Mighty Elephant, continues to out-perform competitor games since launch.


In terms of market entries, the number of newly opened regulated markets entered by Greentube included Switzerland, Denmark, Czech Republic, Croatia, Lithuania, Armenia and Portugal. Te portfolio of markets serviced by Greentube is increasing with only a few white spots left in Europe. Te plan for 2020 includes a number of interesting market developments, including the Netherlands, which is in preparation to open mid- 2021, with a second major market in Germany formulating its regulations, with both presenting huge opportunities for Greentube.


"We are preparing entry to a number of complex and strict markets, including Germany and the Netherlands" stated Mr. Graf. "We expect to gain significant market share when these jurisdictions open to online gaming in 2021 - the final two large


markets that Greentube is currently not servicing. Overseas, we are planning to enter Canada with game distribution and New Jersey by the end of this year. In Latin America, beyond our current market penetration in Colombia, we have Mexico on the agenda in 2020 and Chile shortly thereafter."


In terms of server-based solutions, Greentube is working on new market opportunities in which the business can offer a full 360 degree omni- channel solution. Currently, legislation lags behind the technology, but Mr. Graf is convinced that in the next few years the opportunity for this technology will arise within gaming regulations. "One of the highlights this year at ICE is a new omni-channel jackpot game that is produced by NOVOMATIC and distributed by Greentube, which is called Cash Connection: Charming Lady," described Mr. Graf. "Tis is a special development as it is not only available for the land-based casino market, but we have created AWP versions, EGTs and it will be distributed by Greentube for online and mobile channels. We are very excited that this is happening in parallel in the UK with one of our largest customers, preparing an omni- channel launch both offline and online."


UK HITTING ALL THE RIGHT NOTES


Last year wasn't just a period of great change for NOVOMATIC in the UK, it was also a record year for revenues and in terms of EBITDA, which meant that the company ended the year on a high. “We sold a group of companies all of which were in very good financial shape," explained Zane Mersich, CEO of NOVOMATIC UK. "Te rationale for selling the businesses was as a result of focusing upon market segments and sub- segments in which we have a leading market presence. We looked at the UK and chose to focus on operations, casino equipment and technology


supply, where we have market-leading positions and move forward on this basis. As a result, we sold a group of companies who were operating in the pub sector and motorway service stations and the companies manufacturing and designing product for these areas. It was a very good deal."


In the UK, NOVOMATIC continues to operate with around 2,200 staff and is a leading presence in the casino space, whereby every casino floor constitutes around 60 per cent of NOVOMATIC products. "If you scroll back a decade, we had only a single digit percentage in the UK, so we like to think that we’ve done a good job in the casino space in the UK and we will continue to do so in a more significant manner," added Mr. Mersich. "We plan to output more games, designs, cabinets etc. We have formed a new company, NOVOMATIC Gaming UK, which is headed up by industry veteran Phil Burke. Tere is a clear strategy to bolster our team and our product range and to make sure we are on the right side of any regulatory change that may come our way."


In terms of the operations side of the business, NOVOMATIC has around 230 high street gaming venues, which are performing strongly, with the company enjoying year on year growth from 2018 into 2019 of around 20 per cent. In January of this year, the company is up nearly 20 per cent on figures from 2019. "We have been investing in the business, investing in the customer journey and food and beverage," explained Mr. Mersich. "We have sought to reinvent the adult gaming venue in the UK for the 21st Century, and I think this model is working incredibly well for us."


Te target is to increase the number of venues in the UK to at least 300 venues in the next 18 months to two years, with a clear emphasis on organic growth as opposed to acquisitions, as according to Mr. Mersich, there aren’t too many


NEWSWIRE / INTERACTIVE / MARKET DATA P55


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