There are many gaming opportunities in Africa – says Joan Alcorn
During the past 34 years, Joan Alcorn has built a successful career as a business leading Hospitality, Casino & Leisure Marketing and Electronic gaming specialist.
She has successfully developed & initiated major customer loyalty, acquisition and retention programs, tournaments and sponsorships for many internationally recognized casino and leisure companies resulting in major revenue increments. In recent years Joan has also been advisory to numerous Gambling regulators in a variety of jurisdictions on topics such as Responsible Gambling, Compliance, Money Laundering and assisting regulators to stay abreast of industry changes and adapting their legislation so that the ethics of the industry stays intact.
Why is BiG Africa Roadshow important for the local gaming industry and why are you supporting this year’s event?
There is a number of reasons from the obvious of just plain networking and meeting up with old industry friends and forging new relationships, through to brainstorming problems you are encountering in your business as well as learning about new developments here and elsewhere. No one knows everything and everyone and we can all learn something from someone else.
What do you see as the main challenges facing the gaming industry?
The main challenges I see in the industry today throughout Africa is legislatory & taxation; legislation and taxation decisions are made and enforced by people who have no knowledge about gaming and in this way they are strangling an industry that is a very large provider of jobs and infrastructure.
What is your proudest achievement to date, how has that impacted your business and the industry?
In a career as long as mine it is difficult to single out one proudest moment but I think if I have to mention one, it would be when we (T J Gaming Consultants) eight years in Uganda, when they embarked on the path of changing their gaming legislation, managed to put together and lead a Gaming Association made up of all operators and stakeholders and helped them and the government to engage on that level and understand how to move forward and create a legislator and tax system that works for the industry in Uganda.
What are the biggest opportunities for the advancing African gaming industry?
There are many gaming opportunities in Africa and they are great but Africa must first and foremost clean house and remove unscrupulous operators who are only there for themselves and not interested in uplifting the community from where they are earning their living, then the real opportunities will come to the fore.
How did you get into gaming?
I entered the industry via the tourism and hospitality industry from a marketing side in casinos, and the worked with a well-known slots manufacturing company in their R & D division assisting in developing their slots. My business partner (Tom who has been in the industry for around 40 years) and myself established T J Gaming Consultants around 15 years ago and has during this time worked all over the world in the industry helping operators to rejuvenate their operations and setting up new operations and working with legislators to modernise their gaming acts.