Alliance Gaming forms new division; sues Las Vegas rival

Jul 5, 2005 4:05 AM

Alliance Gaming Corp. (AGI) formed a new division to promote its table technology products last week while announcing also that it was suing Shuffle Master Inc. (SHFL) "to prevent Shuffle Master from encroaching on Alliance technology," the company said.

The suit was filed in Seattle on June 6 and charged that Shuffle Master breached a confidentiality agreement with the inventors of Alliance’s gambling table monitoring technology and misappropriated confidential information to compete with its new MP21 system.

As for the new unit, Alliance said it had created the Bally Table Management Systems to promote its MindPlay features, the Bally MPBaccarat card security, the UCS intelligent card show, and state-of-the-art Bally MP21 system for automated tracking of player, bet and card information and a chip manufacturing production line.

In making the announcement, Richard Haddrill, CEO of Alliance Gaming, called the new division the "most comprehensive and accurate table-data package in the market today. The new Bally TMS division reflects the growth of our table games portfolio and our position as the leader in this emerging market of intelligent table games."

On a separate subject, Alliance Gaming announced that it had retired $14 million of debt owed to certain employees involved in the acquisition of Sierra Design Group. The company said it had issued about one million shares of common stock to the employees. Of that amount, Robert Luciano, the company’s chief technology officer and founder of Sierra Design Group, received 882,000 shares.

Moving south

After developing their Connecticut casino into one of the most successful in the world, the Mashantucket Pequot Indians now plan to build a 600-acre resort and casino in the U.S. Virgin Islands where casino gambling is legal.

As part of the development, the tribe, operators of Foxwoods Resort and Casino, plans a 400-room hotel, a marina, 160 residential lots, condominiums, two golf courses, retail shops, a convention center and botanical gardens.

The Pequots said they are working with a development group that owns waterfront property on St. Croix. The site chosen for the development was once an old sugar mill.

Packer

Kerry Packer, considered the richest Australian and one of the world’s best known gamblers, will build a casino in Cardiff Bay, Wales, as a part of a $1.27 billion complex that will house a pair of luxury hotels, an indoor arena for the Cardiff Devils ice hockey team and a snow sport center.

According to press reports, the $360 million casino will be developed and operated by Aspers, a unit of Parker’s Aspinall Packer Group.

Reportedly Packer beat out a competing bid from Ameristar Casinos (ASCA)

Packer, head of a media empire in Australia, became legendary in Las Vegas during the 1990’s as one of the Strip’s most successful gamblers and for his generosity toward dealers and servers.

Curbing the Internet

Showing strong support for the opinion that Internet gambling is illegal, a position espoused by the federal authorities, Indiana lawmakers have banned all such gambling, making it a felony to set up and operate such a site.

The law went into effect on July 1 and resulted in Television Games Network, the country’s largest provider of horse racing Internet content, immediately shutting down its operation.

TVG said it didn’t believe the legislature intended to "curb legal forms of wagering such as pari-mutuel wagering on horse racing," but felt the prudent course of action was to suspend wagering transactions with Indiana residents. The company said it would close all Indiana accounts and refund the money held in these accounts.

The new law had wide support. The House passed the bill 74-21 while the Senate was unanimous, 46-0.

THE INSIDER: Three gaming companies have listed the dates for their quarterly reviews. They are International Game Technology (IGT) that will report on Thursday, July 21 at 6 a.m. PDT. Boyd Gaming Corp. (BYD) will report on Tuesday, July 26, at 1:30 p.m. PDT., and Harrah’s Entertainment Inc. (HET) on Thursday, Aug. 4 at 6 a.m. PDT.

GTECH Holdings Corporation (GTK) says it will pay a quarterly cash dividend on its common stock of $0.085 per share, payable July 29 to shareholders of record on July 15.

Boyd Gaming Corp. (BYD) has announced that it reduced the amount of interest it pays on a bank credit facility by 0.25%. The reduction came about through improvements made by the company with its lenders.

Jeff True has been promoted by Youbet.com Inc. (UBET) to corporate vice president. He will continue as Western Region General Manager for the company.

Shareholders of Mikohn Gaming Corp. (doing business as Progressive Gaming International Corporation) have approved an Equity Incentive Plan covering employees, directors and consultants.

Illinois gaming regulators have renewed the disputed license of Emerald Casino for a four-year period. However, the renewal began in 1999 so the license has now expired. The company must now apply for a new license.

David Cassidy, who has been on an international tour since ending his Las Vegas appearances, will be the keynote speaker during the Hall of Fame induction ceremonies in the National Museum of Racing in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Cassidy has been involved with thoroughbred racing since 1973.

Landry’s Restaurants (LNY) will pay a cash dividend to its stockholders of $0.05 per share to those of record on July 11. The dividend will be paid on July 25.

Morgan Stanley analysts have downgraded the shares of Aztar Corp. (AZR) from equal-weight to under-weight.

For the fourth consecutive year, Shuffle Master Inc. (SHFL) has been listed by Fortune magazine on its list of America’s fastest growing small public companies. The company was ranked 52nd on the list.

Scientific Games Corp. (SGMS) has been awarded two 10-year contracts by the Shanghai Welfare Lottery. The contracts provide that SGMS will supply the lottery with instant tickets and equipment for a keno game.

Australian gaming company Tabcorp Holdings Ltd. is teaming with P&O Princess Cruises International in a bid for a gaming license in Singapore.

GTECH Holdings Corp. has signed a two-year contract extension with the Ohio Lottery Commission.