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A Change in Leadership

Primero Games is now helmed by a new owner. By Alexandra McCray Industry legend Mike Macke bought the COAM manufacturer from Kelly Macke, at the end of 2020. The leadership transition points to a pivotal new direction for the company. Macke's 40 years of experience include becoming one for the largest operators in the southeast and extensive knowledge of game design and production. His roots in the industry date back to 1980, when the first company he was involved in created the hit counter top bar game, Little Casino. Revolutionary concepts such as that would become Macke's trademark. From founding Cadillac Jack, a former manufacturer that transformed Class II gaming and thrived in the Mexican market to inventing the "nudge," Macke's contributions have consistently driven the amusement business forward. He is even familiar with redesigning game cabinets to improve the experience for the player and/or the operator for service. And Macke is eager to use his unique insight across various areas of the industry to guide Primero into the future. "One of the exciting things about me getting back involved in the company is that now I can step forward and put the same influence on game design and changes that need to be made that I did a long time ago," he says. "There is data now that tells us the behavior of the game. We can identify what kind of player someone is and how they play," Macke explains. He adds that understanding those features allows the professionals at Primero to design games that fit the player experience. The company already has multiple new products it plans to roll out soon in Georgia. Among them is the manufacturer's introduction of the ticket-in. ticket-out (TITO) feature to the state. Primero also plans to release new pull-tab content for different markets. "Some of the new projects we are releasing provide new interactive and entertaining experiences for the players. I'm ready for a game changer and I think I've got a couple," says Macke. Additionally, Macke's vision is to take his innovative approach to game design and his unmatched understanding of player habits back into Class II and Class Ill markets. Throughout his career, Macke has also been heavily involved with legislation and played an integral role in helping to get the law passed that opened the doors for the machines used today that qualify as Class B to enter the Georgia market. He notes that a deep understanding of the Georgia gaming sector has been integral to his 25 years of success in the state. Knowing the nuances of the market and the players in it is something Macke says sets him and Primero apart and is something that the company will continue to utilize. Outside of groundbreaking launches, one of Macke's intentions for Primero is growth through acquisitions. Heftier investments in research and development will be a priority for the business as well. Macke's current and continued focus, however, is on connecting with customers and ensuring that the company's tagline of "Trust & Value" is at the center of all that it does. The owner has a truly open-door policy and invites customers to share their needs and feedback with him. Understanding what it is like to be both an operator and a manufacturer. Macke knows a steady flow of communication between the two is needed for both parties to prosper. He and his team emphasize that the company's ultimate goal is to create products that genuinely fit a need and bring added value. Customer interaction is not only appreciated and important to them but is desired. Macke believes his presence and supervision will further instill confidence in the Primero brand. Now and in the future. customers can expect a spirit of flexibility and the forward-thinking attitude he is known for. In a sense, Primero has been primed for this transition as new executives with notable backgrounds in the gaming industry have been brought on board within the past two years. Additions to the company include Chief Executive Officer, Greg Gronau; Chief Technology Officer, Jared Torres; and National Sales & Marketing Manager, Michael "Smitty" Smith. Most of the new leaders have worked with Macke in one way or another at some point in time. As the former CEO of Cadillac Jack, Gronau spent three years with Macke. Together, they grew the company from roughly $20 million in profits to $80 million. They plan to do the same with Primero Games. Acquiring the company is not all that is new for Macke. Outside of being a gaming industry innovator. longtime beekeeper and trout farm owner, he has also become a high-profile philanthropist Macke has upheld his family's multigenerational tradition of supporting the Tellus Science Museum in Cartersville, Georgia. His gift of $750,000 in late 2019 was not only Macke's most generous but is also the largest donation the museum has ever received from an individual "It's just something I've always wanted to do. My family was involved in that museum a long time ago," says Macke. As a gesture of gratitude, the museum's Great Hall is now named the "Michael Mayo Macke Great Hail" Moving forward, Macke plans to increase his charitable efforts to give back to the community and the amusement industry as a whole. [Photo by Sarah Uhn]

Primero Games Acquires Metal Manufacturer

Primero Games acquired Metcam, Inc on April 30th, 2022, an Atlanta-based manufacturer of sheet metal cabinets and components. Primero and Metcam have formed a strategic alliance to streamline Primero’s manufacturing operations of gaming cabinets, cash-dispensing kiosks, and Point-of-Sale systems, which will help customers to get their products at a higher level of consistent quality, without being affected by the challenging global supply chain issues. Metcam is a reputable fabrication company of sheet metal components that has been in the industry for 47 years, meeting the growing demands of the market. Due to this acquisition, Primero will be able to offer custom cabinet designs to its large and small customers globally. Mike Macke, gaming industry icon for over 40 years and owner of Primero Games stated, “Adding a gaming cabinet line to our existing product line opens new doors and opportunities to Metcam. Customers globally will enjoy more variety and value in games and cabinets. I am also very proud to say these cabinets are made in the USA.” Metcam CEO, John Mazurek, said “We are extremely excited about the new possibiliies this acquisition brings to Metcam, its employees and customers. The synergy of engineering and design for manufacturing provides its customers added value and a competitive edge.” About Metcam: Metcam marries sustainable practices with high-quality products by streamlining waste reduction processes with innovative equipment and fabrication processes. Metcam has won top honors in the state of Georgia by their customers, in addition to "Small Manufacturer of the Year in Georgia" in 2018. To check out Metcam, click below:

Primero Games Storms UK

Primero Games acquires controlling interest in UK-based iGaming and software supplier, Storm Gaming. With Primero’s acquisition, the new company structure and investment will create a mutually beneficial relationship for both companies with a sizable content library - in addition to global expansion opportunities. Under the new structure, Primero Games, which is owned by industry icon and entrepreneur, Mike Macke, will become the majority shareholder with Richard Sheldon and Darren Breese. Along with Macke, Breese, and Sheldon, joining the board is Sabrina Anthi Howells, continuing as Storm’s Commercial Director, as well as Primero CFO, Victor Kannan, and Primero Business Development Director, Barry Rutherford. This partnership allows Primero to increase its content library, specifically focusing on the iGaming market and entry into new global markets. Primero will have access to Storm’s Remote Game Server with dozens of games to choose from, increasing customer reach and gameplay. Macke is eager for the opportunity to work with Storm’s CEO, Richard Sheldon, and former BluePrint Gaming Founder, Darren Breese. Macke and Breese’s relationship spans over two decades and the joint experience across both teams will allow for accelerated growth. Macke stated, “We are looking for a strategic blend between land-based games and online games. With the successful track record of Storm’s Remote Game Server and Primero’s record of releasing reputable games, this partnership unifies the two. This next chapter is the ideal opportunity for Primero to accelerate into the iGaming market and leverage the remote gaming server for significant growth.” The financial investment backs new manufacturing opportunities in the US for Storm. Macke and Sheldon are focused not only on online strategy growth with the aim of substantial integrations on to the RGS across many platforms, but also on land-based strategy and the opportunity to enter new markets - particularly in the US and Latin America, already in the pipeline. In addition, The UK gaming market offers Primero a stable, regulatory environment to expand land-based strategy. This will see for both companies to grow over the coming years with new product launches in UK gaming markets, new content for iGaming markets, and the entry of new markets for both Primero and Storm. Commenting on the deal, Sheldon stated “The company has worked hard to build a brand in gaming and our ambitions are to be a significant global name in gaming markets worldwide. The link with Primero immediately gives us access to a huge pool of product and talent in the US markets and will allow us to bring some of the best-known content in US land based into the iGaming sectors - as well as a transfer of knowledge and product between the two companies, allowing both companies to grow significantly over the coming years.” To check out Storm Gaming Technology, click below:

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