Slot machine picture brightening

Apr 17, 2007 4:38 AM

Slot machine manufacturers had little to cheer about in 2006 as most casino operators decided to stay with the mix of slots titles currently on their casino floors rather than exchange them like they did when the industry was overwhelmed by the ticket in/ticket out boom.

But the atmosphere may be changing.

New jurisdictions continue to come on line, thus generating a need for machines.

Pennsylvania recently added racinos in Philadelphia, Wilkes-Barre, Chester and Erie while Florida last week added Isle of Capri’s Pompano Park to Gulfstream Park and two nearby dog tracks.

Also, almost unnoticed, are the video lottery terminals installed at a half-dozen racetracks in New York State.

Just last week, Bally Technologies Inc. (BYI) announced that it had signed a contract extension with the New York Lottery, thus ensuring that its 6,300 machines will continue to operate statewide through 2010.

Bally also noted that there has been a major expansion at the Yonkers Raceway’s Empire City slots emporium where 1,400 machines were added, bringing the facility’s total to 5,478. Management looks forward to boosting that number to 7,200 machines.

And in Rhode Island, the racino formerly known as Lincoln Park recently re-opened with a new name and an additional 2,000 machines. The property, bought last year by BLB Investors, is now called Twin River.

The upgraded Lincoln gambling property has prompted Massachusetts legislators to take a more serious look at adding slot machines to its floundering racetracks.

Throw in Kansas and possibly Indiana and the picture for slots manufacturers begins to look brighter.