Speaking to CNBC, a media news outlet, Aristocrat CEO Hector Fernandez explained that the company’s decision to invest more heavily in the online gaming sector was not necessarily out of a fear that interactive gaming platforms are going to take over the land-based sector.
Aristocrat Sees a Dual Future for Online and Land-Based Gambling
There is a balance to be struck between the two verticals, and Fernandez feels positive that the long-term strategy Aristocrat embarks on will cover both the land-based and online gaming sectors. Physical gaming has been growing in a “robust way” of late, and it will continue to do so in the years to follow, the executive noted.
Digital and online gaming platforms are not the land-based sector killer either, Fernandez said, dismissing a popular fear that has long prevented many states and jurisdictions across the United States to embark on expanding online gambling.
Of course, there have been other fears as well – including the impact on society the mass expansion of online gambling may have if left unchecked, including an increase in problem gambling rates.
Aristocrat though has definitely appreciated the additional reach and revenue impact the company’s real money gaming (RMG) segment has had on operational results. In recent months, the Australian gaming giant has closed deals for both Roxor Gaming and NeoGames, two platforms specializing in the vertical specifically. Fernandez offered further insight into why he thought his argument was tenable.
“We do believe digital gaming will play a role. It will be a dual role, however, where a player can engage in a digital fashion but when they want that […] social interaction that you just can’t get from sitting on your phone, they will go to a land-based casino to experience that,” the chief executive said.
People Determined to Experience Land-Based Casinos No Matter What
Fernandez is fairly right to be optimistic. Entire markets and jurisdictions have begun shifting their focus from the land-based sector and gambling in general to other verticals. Macau, home to some of the biggest gambling companies and casino resorts, is now doubling down to promote the tourism industry that is tied to these resorts, without necessarily pushing casino products front and center.
Meanwhile, Fernandez said that his visit to Singapore was part of the company’s interest in exploring new opportunities for land-based gaming, including in Asia. He then paralleled how North America and Asia have reacted to COVID-19 and the subsequent reopening.
According to Fernandez, once the restrictions were lifted, and people were allowed to go somewhere and be present there physically, consumers did flock to the land-based sector rather than sitting on their phones.