CalvinAyre.com correspondent Becky Liggero was able to talk to George Mangion of GMM Business Solutions, an associate company of PKF Malta, Accountants & Business Advisers at the Legal Gaming in Europe Summit to talk about the Asian Market.
Despite having a background in the Malta gaming industry, Mangion understands full well the climate of the Asian gambling market in large part because of observations made from afar, particularly in China where he says the experiences he and his colleagues had to go through in lobbying politicians to eventually produce licenses is at the same stage of where China is now. “China is also in that part,” he says. “It’s about to take that first step to a long journey and we’ve been watching it for five years now.”
Mangion also talked about the Europe as a “dead market” and points to the enormous growth potential being offered in Asia. Mangion points to the recession of 2008 as the catalyst that led to the former’s decline and compounded by European markets that have been either too prohibitive which has left European countries to fight amongst each other to grab a bigger slice of the market.
“So there’s the recession; there’s less money in people’s pockets; and there are countries wanting to grab more taxes from their natives, making expansion rather difficult”
On the other hand, Mangion believes that Asia is where gambling dreams are going to flourish in the years to come. “It’s a clean place,” he said, while also pointing out that the different gambling culture in the region – “it is almost spiritual for them” – including their preference to play games of skill instead of trying their luck in games like slots.
Having established Asia as the next gambling frontier, Mangion didn’t pull any punches when asked about the kind of revenue potential the region has for gambling operators. “We are talking in the billions,” he said.
Ultimately, Mangion understands the growing perception that Europe is in a plateau, a time where, he says, operators “are counting their fortunes and looking for opportunities”.
“This is the time where pioneers get off their seats and go yonder, and Asia could be very much the place for pioneers”.