Winning Big in Asia with Slots

Keith McDonnell on key factors to consider when building a business in Asia

Here’s a tip for Asian operators from KM iGaming CEO Keith McDonnell: Hit the slot machines to make your money.

Live dealers are out and slot machines are in, at least in Asia.

KM iGaming CEO Keith McDonnell told that for the past year, there has been an increased thrust in random number generator (RNG) games in Asia, which operators should now take advantage of.

“You know, 18 months ago in casino, it was all about live dealer, baccarat and other games with live dealer, but I think over the last 12 to 18 months (there) has been an increased thrust in random number generator games, slot machines in particular,” McDonnell said. “I think operators who have built credibility and trustworthiness in the region, they can put RNG out now and people will trust them.”

McDonnell, however, warned operators to go in with realistic expectations because there’s a whole lot more to the business than just translating websites into Mandarin.

“I think a lot of operators, they get sort of star glazed by the sort of numbers they hear about for Asia, (and) they want to get in quick,” McDonnell said. “It’s really important to build a strong network of contacts from local people who got good experience in the region. That could be payment providers, that could be product providers such as sports booker or casino, and just having local representatives, who, they know the regulators, they know the authorities, they know the licensing companies. Don’t go in blind, don’t go in expecting to make a lot of money in the first year. That’s not what’s going to happen.”

He said it’s best to be “really realistic and cautious” during the first year of operation rather than trying hard to make telephone number profits.

“Spend the first year really realistic spending. Building networks, contacts, (and) relationships are really, really important. Get people on the ground to want to work for you, get them to want you to succeed, get them to go the extra yard, and you know, maybe after 12 months, if you’re still there, you’re break-even, you can then start to invest more into marketing and get bigger profits,” McDonnell said.