On a market populated by several foreign brands, George Pintilei, Marketing Manager, tells us about how you can build a successful domestic business.
BAUM GAMES is a Romanian business success story. Could you please tell us what were the advantages BAUM relied on during so many years of business in the gambling world?
I believe the key to success in this business is the relation to your customers and by that I mean constantly addressing their needs and knowing at all times what it is that encourages them to choose our brand. All our actions, developments, communication strategy, the facilities and support we offer were meant to make sure that all stakeholders entering a relation with BAUM were satisfied of their partnership with us. Whether we are talking about companies that purchased equipment from us, operating collaborators and, last but not least, those who practice gambling in BAUM locations… Then, reliability also plays a key role. Not only in the relations with the customer, but in all aspects of the trade. Ever since the beginning, we took our business seriously and I’d say the track record of the BAUM brand speaks for itself as to the way in which we understood to develop this business. The flexibility to quickly adapt to market and legal changes has always been important to us. We’re no strangers to crucial decisions for the future of our business or unforeseen circumstances. We’ve managed to overcome them all, head held high.
What novelties are you planning for this year’s Entertainment Arena Expo?
For this year, we’ve prepared a new cabinet: Mix7. It offers superior ergonomics and enhanced comfort for the players. It is equipped with three 27” screens, edge screen and cabinet lighting devices, crystal-clear sound and high-quality peripherals.
The 11 versions of Dracula’s Games multigame now have a new cabinet to measure up to the game mathematics we have accustomed our gamblers to. It mixes modern comfort and innovating design to a collection of 37 games that we have developed so far.
The new four-level Jackpot Xing Fu also is one of the products we would like to introduce at this edition of the event. It is a progressive jackpot, an integrating part of the latest two versions of the Dracula Games multigame, through two of the successful games: Asian Treasure and Four Dragons.
The amusement with prizes (AWP) is, of course, part of our offer. This product relies on features that are similar to the casino-specific ones. When we speak about Baum’s amusement with prizes (AWP), we are actually talking about the classical successful cabinet offered so far in two 22” TFT displays (the master display can also be a Touch Screen), reliable buttons and banknote acceptors, LED effects, as well as the Silver Fox platform available with the Draculas Games VIII mix.
This mix includes 10 games: classical and new, with 5, 10, 20 or 40 lines, fruit games, free games, including Baum’s most consecrated games, Draculas Treasure, Hot Fruits, Ramses, Sevens on Forty, Luck of the Irish, etc.
A lot of people appreciate BAUM’s games for their mathematics and the cabinets for their reliability. How would you characterize the development of BAUM’s machines throughout all these years of continuous development?
The positive evolution of the company and the successful refining of the BAUM brand are already unquestionable. Hence the conclusion that this journey would not have been possible if we hadn’t kept up with technological advances and with the evolution of consumer trends in this field when developing our software and our cabinets. From the wooden cabinets and the very rudimentary software back in the days and all the way to the products we currently offer, I believe we have always managed to timely and fortunately adapt. And we have always done that while placing the gamblers’ demands first. If 20 years ago we simply offered a game, nowadays we must offer a whole gambling experience. If 20 years ago we offered a box with a screen and some buttons, nowadays we are talking about three monitors on one and the same cabinet, same curved, some with higher resolutions and designed as ergonomically as possible. And this evolution is a constant one, so that we always have some new games in progress, in various development stages. Well, to sum that up, we are already thinking of the future!
BAUM’s team is one of the most appreciated in the field. How did you manage to put up such a highly performing team and how would you characterize this team now?
We’ve always had our fair share of challenges in this respect. Dumbrăveni, the place where this business was started and where it still resides, is a small town, so that the highly qualified talent pool is quite limited. Because we had no choice, we’ve trained our own people, qualified them, sent them out for studies. Another very important aspect is that we try and see this team as a family where everyone is supportive and everyone encourages each other regardless of the position held. I this spirit we’ve cultivated amongst BAUM’s employees has generated actual benefits.
BAUM brand already is a success in the traditional gambling area. But how is the online platform BAUMBET.RO, the company’s newest development, going, and what are your future plans in this respect?
The challenge of the company’s engaging in a different type of games than the traditional ones is most certainly starting to pay off. The relatively recent launching of the platform BAUMBET.RO was, just like any beginnings, sprinkled with a lot of uncertainties and obstacles. However, we had the big advantage (which we fully used) of the land-based experience, so that I can currently state that we are heading in the direction we had intended and anticipated at the beginning of this new business journey. New important stages are, however, around the corner. Pretty soon, BAUMBET.RO clients will find new games and bets offered by new providers on our platform. We are sure the surprises we have in store will attract an increasing number of gamblers towards our online product. Our goal is to further refine this online gambling experience up to a point where our online customers identify themselves as BAUM brand players, as it often happens with traditional games. This is our desire. We do have the required patients and especially the ideas that we invite you to try out over the period to follow.
What would you say are the main opportunities that will open on our gambling market in 2020 and 2021?
Well, one of them would be the widening of AWP operation. The ones developed by BAUM were very well received by gambling enthusiast and, as a consequence, they were very quickly assimilated on the market. We are expecting a considerable increase of sales over the near future on this segment of our business.
In the slot machine area, our goal is to strengthen our position in the area where are already present and, of course, to also access other localities.
If we were to also look at things from a pessimistic perspective, what would you say the urgent matters that the industry should immediately address are?
This is not necessarily a pessimistic perspective. The business we are operating in has permanently faced challenges and it is quite expectable that will continue in the future. For instance, complying with the new legal requirements on the prevention and control of money laundering and terrorism funding will most certainly require huge efforts on behalf of the operators in the field. We are waiting for the sector-specific regulations, after which we are going to have but sixty days to comply, which will not be easy.
The compliance with the new technical requirements that each slot machine will have to meet is yet another challenge for the industry. It is not the requirements as such that are worrisome to us, because we are able to quickly fulfil those, but, instead, a detail that cannot be observed in such a manner as to maintain the absolutely random nature of the game. Thus, a slot machine cannot achieve its theoretical gain percentage within a determined period of time as the new requirements are going to impose. It can only achieve its percentage after a very large number of games (hundreds of millions).
The image of the industry is another one of our concerns. Our desire to spread amongst the public the idea that the gambling industry is very strictly regulated in Romania is real and substantiated. This is a truth that opinion-makers should more seriously consider when they publish reviews or articles that speak critically of gambling. The reality should matter at least as much as prejudgments. But the reality is that Romania has a mature and responsible gambling industry that substantially contributes to the state budget. Gambling should be regarded just like any other business, respectively realistically assessed and criticized if and when required.
BAUM is already enjoying an international renown that is worthy of appreciation, considering the numerous fairs and exhibitions you have attended so far outside the borders of Romania, as well as the numerous partnerships you have concluded with companies residing in countries on various continents. What is the next step in this area?
Our company will continue its expansion outside the borders of Romania. However, it is not always easy to adapt to the technical requirements in the various jurisdiction, so that we are not expecting any boosting developments. I am sure the growth of business in other geographical areas will unavoidably come if we continue on the same track and keep improving our products from all points of view and launch new and better ones.
A conclusion from you, at the end of our interview?
We’re used to promises: the BAUM brand has pleasant surprises in store for BAUM players. Our goal is to attract as many casino game providers as possible and thus have the widest offer on the market. We’re also thinking of a new <look> for our website… However, I believe that my last, but not least, words should be about <Responsible gambling>. We will continue to promote this principle, the activities in this area, and we promise to offer on BAUMBET.RO the most efficient solutions for the real-time tracking of people with gambling addictions, as well as concrete support for them.