Dubai-based Amusement Services International is poised to open its first office in India.

Managing director Prakash Vivekanand told InterGame that the company has signed an agreement on offices, warehouse and showroom in Mumbai. "India is an emerging market of considerable promise," he said. "It will respond to the type of service back-up which ASI offers to its customers in the Middle East."

Vivekanand said that if there are any problems with India it remains with import duties, which stand at 35 per cent of the invoice value currently. "This is a problem for new machines, particularly high-value equipment, but it is a bigger problem, surprisingly, for second-hand machines.

"They have to be accompanied by a certificate from a chartered engineer to testify that they have a residual lifespan of at least five years. That can be difficult to do."

ASI intends to eventually manufacture in India, building games under licence from some of the major suppliers the company already holds distribution rights with in the country. These include Coastal Amusements, Baytek, Merkur, Sam Billiards and International Play and he is currently talking with Sega about handling its product line in India.
"We intend to have a service-driven base in India from where we will not only supply the best of arcade equipment and back it with effective after sales support, we will also do our bit to educate new players into the business of how to operate their site effectively, maximise revenues and rotate equipment between locations," Vivekanand concluded.