Celebrating 20 years of continuous operation in Romania, Game World looks back on two decades of successes and plans to diversify the services offered in the company’s gambling rooms, to consolidate its market position, as well as new investments in outreach and social responsibility programs, in order to develop the market and improve the industry’s public image.
20 years ago, when Game World entered the Romanian gambling market, the thought of staying in business for two decades might have seemed at least overly optimistic, if not utterly utopian. 1999 was a particularly difficult time for Romanian economy, with an inflation rate that had shot past 45%, the highest level since. The next year was an election year, marked by deep uncertainty and an inflation rate that was almost just as high.
Considering the circumstances, Game World’s move looked a lot like a bet: a new investment on a market that was still poor and unreformed, dependent on imports and very sensitive to shocks, both external and internal, and facing growing deficits as well. At first sight, it was seemingly a very risky bet.
20 years later
Still, Game World made its move and not only did it manage to stay afloat but constantly thrived, as one of the few companies to continuously operate for such a long time in Romania’s gambling industry. Currently, the company operates the largest gambling facility in Romania, Game World Bucharest Mall Vitan, which is now getting even bigger following a fresh major investment in enlargement, new equipment, and upgrades.
Game World stays thus faithful to its long-standing philosophy of doing business responsibly, to lay the groundwork for the next 20 years on the local market. As part of this project, Game World Bucharest Mall Vitan has added more floor space and new, state-of-the-art games and equipment, all the while preserving the particular character of Game World that is so appreciated by players.
„In celebration of our first 20 year-anniversary, we opened the new gambling area right on the 20th of September, at a party specifically dedicated to this event. We intend to offer here the most up-to-date and innovative gambling experience available in Romania, with the latest slot machine models and roulette gambling stations, with networked equipment that is unique to Romania, like the two video walls totaling more than 20 square meters, as well as art pieces and original set pieces like the “thank you” message for our clients consisting of over 3,000 images from the company’s history dating back to 1999 and displayed over more than 20 sqm. We have also launched a series of promotional campaigns with prizes totaling in excess of 1.3 million euros, including of course our «20 Cars for 20 Years» anniversary promotional campaign”, says Strategy Director Attila Török.
Scholarships for future professional psychologists – a unique project in Romania
„An anniversary project we are very proud of is the Game World Scholarships, a first-of-a-kind initiative launched this school year, offering 20 scholarships to senior college Psychology students who intend to do research in the prevention and treatment of gambling addiction disorders as part of their graduation thesis. This a first for Romania, at least in college-level psychology studies, although in Western Europe and North America the private sponsorship of university research is well established and provides tangible results. We want our project to set the framework for the private financing of college-level research to benefit bright students”, said Andrei Frimescu, Game World Marketing & PR Manager.
A magic party
Since we mentioned our anniversary party, we should say that it was positively great, with a record number of guests attending. The headlining act, Elena Gheorghe and Vanghilizmo Group’s “Lună albă” (“White Moon”) concert, was a fantastic show, followed by many others through the night – an acrobat and a magic show, living statues, dancing – and enlivened by the music of the three guest DJs. We had other surprises as well, like the Live Cigar Rolling Show hosted by El Unico, a genuine „torcedor” – a Cuban master in cigar-making. The promotional prizes matched the quality of the show, with 336,000 lei handed out throughout the night.
Game World was also one of the partners in the celebration of Bucharest Mall’s 20-year anniversary as the first modern shopping mall in the Romanian capital city. Especially appreciated were the concerts held in the mall’s parking lot, featuring special guests like Antonia, Horia Brenciu and the HB Orchestra, and 5Gang.
The contribution of Game World
In more ways than one, over the past two decades Game World has passed a graduation exam of sorts; it may be said that Game World has helped the Romanian gambling market reach a mature phase. As one of the market leaders, operating several of the country’s largest gambling rooms, Game World has made a major contribution to raising service quality standards, as well as to the introduction of innovative, state-of-the-art equipment, and transforming gambling rooms into spaces meant for experiences – which include games but primarily provide entertainment, the opportunity to socialize, watch sports events or simply to relax.
All these years, Game World has contributed to the consolidation of the industry and changing its public image. „We keep striving to present a more accurate picture of this industry, despite certain negative views and deeply held biases, through outreach initiatives like Joc Responsabil (Responsible Gambling), the only project in Romania designed to support the people facing gambling problems, or Antrenat de Majorat (Graduation Training), an information and education campaign directed at young people. In other words, while we constantly look for new ways to raise quality standards we also work with the other members of ROMSLOT Association to deal with how our industry is viewed by the public”, adds Attila Török.
This is Game World’s primary objective, along with consolidating the company’s market position: to develop here a modern gambling industry that welcomes innovation and the challenges of the 21st century, with generally accepted procedures and quality standards, oriented towards consistently providing clients with memorable entertainment experiences, an industry that has transparent practices as well as an unbiased public image.
This is Game World’s mission for the next 20 years.