Shuffle Master buys software firm

Aug 13, 2002 11:52 AM

NOT SO FAST SHUFFLE! Last week we debunked the rumors of Shuffle Master’s possible merger with Wells Gardner, but this week we’re on course for Shuffle Master’s purchase of Casino Software and Services in Las Vegas. As part of the deal, Oliver Schubert, CEO of Casino Software and Services has joined Shuffle Master as Director of Product Development, Tables. No details on the financing so far.

Among the assets coming to Shuffle Master are Blackjack Survey Voice along with the Bet Watch technology, which target the global table games market.

"The acquisition of these assets is in keeping with Shuffle Master’s strategy of acquiring successful and promising products and technologies to leverage into our distribution system," said Shuffle Master CEO Mark Yoseloff. "In this case, we not only garner control of two exciting products, but, perhaps, more importantly, we have gained a talented inventor and developer in Oliver Schubert, who will add to our already talented engineering team."


A MOUNTAIN(EER) OF JOY: Checking out the attendees at the recent opening of the Grand Hotel at the Mountaineer Race Track & Gaming Resort in Chester, W. Va., no one would have suspected that the owners of the facility ”” the stockholders ”” had just taken a bath because of a disappointing quarter.

For President and CEO Ted Arneault, it was quite a contrast from his effort to put a positive spin on the quarterly numbers. At the social function introducing about 500 of the business elite and local and state politicians, Arneault predicted a major boost to tourism and the local economy.

During the grand opening evening, invited guests listened to chamber music as they toured the 258-room hotel that features a two-story, art deco marble-tiled lobby, the Bonne Vie Steakhouse, and the Mahogany Piano Bar.


MONEY BACKS HIS CONFIDENCE: Tom Gallagher, president and CEO of Park Place Entertainment Corp. (PPE) is so confident that his company is headed in the right direction, he is backing his confidence with his own money.

During the first week of August, Gallagher reported to the Securities and Exchange Commission that he had purchased 20,000 shares of PPE at an average price of $8.75 a share for an investment of $175,000.

This wasn’t the only time that Gallagher has reached down deep to acquire Park Place Entertainment stock. In February, he purchased 65,000 shares at an average price of about $8.95 making his cost about $580,000.

During a period when so many gaming executives have been selling their company’s shares, it’s interesting to see that one man, at least, is betting the other way.


MORE GREEN IN HIS FUTURE: Sumner Redstone, the wily Wall Street investor who was the biggest single stockholder in WMS Industries (WMS) with more than nine million shares in his portfolio, was forced, through a divorce settlement, to turn over about three million of these shares to his former wife.

Pretty good timing, if it had to happen. Because of software concerns, the price of the WMS shares tanked. Ironically, a similar situation happened with Midway Games (MWY), another company whose shares, strongly held by Redstone, were part of the divorce agreement.

But the software glitch was destined to be short-lived and with laboratory approvals from several jurisdictions, the price of the stock has started moving upward again. The same with Midway Games, producer of the highly-popular and profitable Mortal Kombat video game.

Sometimes, everything is a matter of timing.