June 2, 2023 3 min read


Aristocrat’s CEO Speaks about the Gaming Industry’s Resilience

Fernandez pointed out that, interestingly, companies that invested during the COVID downturn actually came back stronger

Hector Fernandez, the chief executive officer of Aristocrat Gaming, spoke with CNBC about the future of the gambling industry and the resilience of gaming. He highlighted that the industry has demonstrated its strength time and time again, surviving periods of economic difficulties and financial unrest.

While macroeconomic conditions do have some effect on gaming, the American industry has recorded no significant change in consumer behavior during difficult periods. Fernandez noted that many US companies have reported impressive march figures, attesting to the strength of the gambling ecosystem.

Fernandez pointed out that, interestingly, companies that invested during the COVID downturn actually came back stronger. On the contrary, companies that made cuts are now lagging behind those that were able to lean in.

Fernandez: Asia Presents Tremendous Growth Opportunities

The interviewers asked Fernandez about the importance of the Asian market to his company. To that, the CEO replied that Asia presents tremendous growth opportunities. The Philippines and Singapore, for example, are markets that have surpassed the pre-COVID GGR levels.

At the same time, Macau is showing positive signs of recovery. While the special administrative region is yet to fully recover, the visitation rates are rebounding, sparking optimism about the future of Macau gaming. In April, for example, hotel occupancy exceeded 80%, Fernandez noted.

Aristocrat Gaming’s CEO noted that there are many similarities between North America and Macau.

Through COVID, through lockdown periods, people kind of missed out on live experiences – the ability to go somewhere and have social interactions. What we saw is that as the world opened back up, humans just really craved that live experience and that ability to have fun and disconnect, if you will.

Hector Fernandez, CEO, Aristocrat Gaming

He added that he is certain Asia is experiencing a similar thing right now.

Many Customers Tend to Spend More

When asked to comment on the trends in player spending Fernandez said that his company noted that player wallets in certain regions are now bigger.

One of the phenomena we’ve seen is that the wallets are bigger. As consumers do come back and engage in gaming, the overall wallet has grown. I think that’s really as a result of that period where they weren’t able to engage.

Hector Fernandez, CEO, Aristocrat Gaming

Overall, Fernandez seems optimistic about the future of gaming in spite of the temporary economic headwinds. He believes that the industry is poised to rebound and grow further.


Although Fiona doesn't have a long-spanning background within the gambling industry, she is an incredibly skilled journalist who has built a strong interest in the constantly growing iGaming network. The team at GamblingNews.com is glad to have her on our roster to help deliver the best stories as soon as they hit. Aside from writing, she loves to dabble in online casino games such as slots and roulette, both for her own enjoyment and also as research to better improve her understanding of the industry.

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