The fourth edition of the Andean Gaming Exhibition (FADJA 2002) took place from 10-12 of the past month of April at its new site of Corferias, in Bogota (Colombia). In spite of the serious social and economic circumstances that the country is going through, the Colombian gaming sector is in constant growth; so much so, that according to the State’s numbers, the population invests around 5.000 dollars every year in gambling, almost half of the country’s exports.
ETESA, the state company that has the Games of Chance monopoly – and which allocates part of the legal operator’s taxes to help pay the Colombian people’ medical care – esteems that there is around 60 per cent illegality and, paradoxically, the social benefit is only 150 million dollars. This is why the State is fighting to identify and attract illegal operators so that they normalize their situation with the accordance requirements of the new law that governs the gaming industry in Colombia.
In this context, FADJA 2002 had the participation of companies from the international Casino sector such as Atronic, Bourgogne et Grasset, Unidesa Brazil, Cashcode, Recreativos Franco América, Heal Technology, and also Colombian firms such as Mundo Video or Softronix, Latcom, Industrias C & T, Codesa, Nova International and CDM.
The latter exhibited their new products and services that go from the most sophisticated Slot Machines to electronic roulettes, bill validators, chip counting machines and multiple telecommunications services to facilitate and assure the technological processes of permanent bets. The event was organized by the company Producción Ilimitada. The Director, Mr. José Aníbal Aguirre, was extremely satisfied about the development of the exhibition and said that: “year after year we fulfill the objective of watching the growth and institutionalization of a first-rate event from Colombia to the rest of the world”.
From these pages of “Casinos de Latinoamérica” we must praise the work that Mr. Aguirre is arrying out in search of the definitive consolidation of the exhibition. It still is a small event, but it excels itself every year, which has greater merit in a country like Colombia where the citizen’s insecurity and political and social instability are everyday issues.
Yet another year we must regret the enormous and inexplicable difficulties created at customs to the entry of the products that were going to be exhibited at the show. This time, the most damaged company was Unidesa Gaming who couldn’t show the operators their latest novelties until the last day of the exhibition.
The general impression amongst the managers of the exhibitor companies was that this year’s edition – attended by more that 600 operators – had been better than the previous ones and that the commercial possibilities offered by the Colombian market must be taken into account in the future.
Recreativos Franco América, present in over fifty countries throughout the world, exhibited their latest Slot models such as “Fortune Tens”, “Pole Position”, “Bread Shop”, “Triple Triple Horse” and “Gladiators”.
The Commercial Director of R. Franco América, Mr. Máximo Pellicer, told our special correspondent to the exhibition that: “Our company has supported FADJA from the very beginning. We mustn’t forget that R. Franco América’s plant is located in Bogota. The exhibition is now quite significant.
On this occasion, we have received important orders from clients in Venezuela, Peru, the Caribbean and Colombia itself. In short, the show has been a success for our company”.
Bourgogne et Grasset, world leaders in the manufacture of plaques, American and French chips for Casinos, exhibited their latest novelties, as well as electronic cards and other elements offering security standards by means of technological applications. Visitors to the French company’ stand also had the opportunity of finding the novelties presented by the North American company, Bud Jones, a subsidiary of B&G.
Mr. Laurent Gaubout, responsible of Bourgogne et Grasset for Latin America, told our magazine that: “The Colombian exhibition is getting better every year and the number of visitors is more and more considerable. We are magnémaking a very strong bet, both at B&G and at Bud Jones, on the Latin American market, which is why we are present at this Bogota exhibition and also at the ones in Buenos Aires and Puerto Rico”.
Atronic International presented some of their famous Slot models, such as those of the “Cashline” series: “Babooshka”, “Crazy Fruits”, “Sphinx II”, “Typhoon Lagoon” and “Beetles Unplugged”.
All these attractive models offer brilliant graphic designs and high technology sound. The German firm also took advantage of the exhibition to present their new Sales Manager for the Colombian market, Mr. Juan Guillermo Díaz, who was delighted with the fantastic welcome he received from the professional operators and the great acceptance that the Atronic International machines were having amongst visitors.
Heal Technology exhibited their new multi-seat roulette “Next Generation”, with modular growth, LCD screen system with touch screen active matrix for each player and featuring the magnetic card system and bill acceptors. The roulette also has a central plasma 42” screen and is an exact copy of the bets layout. Moreover, it offers the zero and double zero possibility and multiple credit values for bets.
According to Mr. Fernando Riccio, Heal Technology representative: “Our company has been present in this exhibition since it began and we observe – with satisfaction – that little by little, it is consolidating itself. We have exhibited, amongst other products, our famous electronic roulette Next Generation, for up to 21 players, who can check the last twenty winning numbers and consult the bets they’ve made during the past twenty games. I would like to highlight that we have signed several sale contracts for the Next Generation in Bogota”.
The Canadian company CashCode brought the operators and Colombian professional visitors their bill validator and chip counting machines, with optical, magnetic and induction sensors, that operate without bands.
An official spokesman of CashCode stated to “Casinos de Latinoamérica”: “Our company has exhibited some of its bill validators and coin acceptors models, such as the new “Front-Load FL”. The technology introduced in this new model enables it to offer three different ways of assuring the validation of bills: optical recognition, magnetic recognition through inductive sensors and paper and security thread recognition by means of dielectric sensors. On the other hand, I would also like to highlight the “Starckerles” validator, that features sensors with the latest technological advances that guarantee total security in the bill validation process. These products have been more than tested and offer the highest quality and security levels to international Casino operators”.
Unidesa Gaming Brazil attended the exhibition for the first time, where they presented some of their last generation Slot models with video technology manufactured in Spain, and their models manufactured for the Colombian market, featuring the “Eba” model bill acceptor and 15” screen.
Amongst the machines exhibited, we would like to point out the “Neptune´s Pearls”, “Pieces of Gold”, “Golden Goal” “Turf Club” and “Bingo Slot” models.
Once the show had concluded, Mr. Roberto Moya, Manager of Unidesa for Latin America, told our magazine that: “The Colombian gaming sector is in a growth stage. Our objective is to reach a higher market share, which I think is quite feasible if we take into account that our Slots perfectly meet the requirements and mentality of this country’s players. Thus, Unidesa’s presence in the show will help us achieve this goal”.
SYMPOSIUM ON GAMING
In addition to the exhibition, there was also an Academic Symposium. Some of the issues discussed were: “Impact of the gaming sector in the Colombian economy”; “Control and sanction system”; and “The 643 Law”.
Amongst the speakers were some of the most outstanding members of the Colombian Administration, such as Mr. Henry Cruz, Commercial Vice-president of ETESA; Mr. Carlos Francisco Falla; Mr. Luis Alberto Lopera; Mr. Jorge Castro and Ms. Ana Lucía Ruiz.