A merger within a merger has brought Mark Newburg to the
forefront of Aristocrat Technology.
“Right now we are a minor player in the market,” said
the American-born Newburg, who was appointed president last week as a result of
Aristocrat and Casino Data Systems combining forces.
“Our objective is profitable growth,” said Newburg,
who joined the Australian-based video games corporation from National Cash
Register, where he was vice president of the financial solutions division for
the Asia, Pacific and Japan regions.
Aristocrat finalized a merger last January with CDS,
based in Las Vegas. The move signaled the start of the company’s new-look
“Things are hectic now with the move into the new
office,” Newburg said in his first interview since the merger. “Right now,
our short term plan is to keep delivering the revenue and profitability to
Aristocrat holds 100 licenses worldwide, including 17 in
the U.S. The company’s plan is to become a greater player in the Las Vegas
market, without sacrificing its worldwide obligations.
“We are the world leader in developing video gaming
software,” said Carolan Pepin, the corporation’s marketing manager.
“Merging with CDS allows us to tap into their marketing expertise.”
The “Penguins Pays” game is the only Aristocrat
product approved by the Nevada Gaming Control Board and available in state
casinos. The merger is seen as a way to speed up the approval ÂÃ‚Âprocess.
“We would be able to get our games approved, but the
process would take longer,” Pepin said. “The big thing was getting our first
game approved. A good way to describe the process was like taking the service
road to the Control Board. Now, with the merger, we can take the interstate.”
Aristocrat boasts the largest, most diverse library of
any gaming manufacturer, with more than 300 registered patents, designs and
“The company, correctly in my view, is in a
globalization track,” Newburg said. “We want to be sure to provide
entertainment and games globally. This requires that you think globally and act
locally. You have to make things that would appeal to the local environment.”
Newburg, who received his Masters degree at the
University of Dayton, has not lived in the U.S. for 12 years. However, he said
the move to Las Vegas would not be difficult.
“There is so much to do and so little time to get it
done,” he said. “My wife and I really like Las Vegas. My main focus is
getting the 720 employees here in the two companies integrated. We have two
different structures, two different cultures.”
Aristocrat has 30 video games in casinos worldwide, but
only one in Nevada. The merger with CDS has speeded up the timetable.
“We are expecting more approvals later this month,”
said Greg France, vice president of marketing. “The hope is that four or five
more games every month for the next few months can receive approval by the
Gaming Control Board. Penguin has been a very good success, but we’re trying
to build a library.”
Aristocrat has enjoyed five consecutive years of record
profits since becoming a publicly traded company (Aristocrat Leisure Limited aka
ALL) on the Australian Stock Exchange in 1996. The firm’s most popular games
worldwide include Penguin Pays, Queen of the Nile, Dolphin Treasure and Wild
“We are looking to grow the North American and South
American markets,” France said. “In Oregon, we dominate 50 percent of the
market. Nevada is a very mature market and our games appeal to that type. Not
only do we think we will have success with locals in Las Vegas, but we can offer
games that cater to the traveling population of the Strip.”
The American Gaming Summit voted Aristocrat’s “Big
Top Keno” game as this year’s Most Innovative Gaming Product. The
corporation also has a global patent on 20-line video games.
“We are the leaders in technology and now we have the
systems and marketing means to start catching up in Las Vegas,” France said.
Newburg believes Aristocrat will continue to be
successful if it follows two specific ÂÃ‚Âguidelines.
“Getting the organization ready, and getting the
product ready,” he said. “If we always do that, and I pick up a few
Australian phrases, we are going meet our goals.”
Newburg is married and has three children, all in
college. His wife is named Dawn and
the collegians are Jason, Matthew and Jessica.