Aristocrat multi-player stake
Aristocrat Leisure takes a big step into the multi-player arena with 50 per cent of Elektroncek
Australian slot manufacturer, Aristocrat Leisure, is to pay A $ 50m to purchase a 50 per cent interest in Slovenian gaming manufacturer Elektroncek. Elektroncek, which trades under the Interblock brand, manufactures gaming products, including roulette, dice and sic bo multi-players. Aristocrat’s initial investment will be A $48m (30m euros). Up to a further A $ 16m (10m euros) will be invested, depending on financial performance targets for the years December 31, 2005 and 2006. “This is our first acquisition for a number of years,” commented Aristocrat Leisure’s Ian Timmis on the deal. “Having created a global strategic plan for the group in 2004, one of the planks was product extension. Aristocrat sits within a narrow slice of the gaming market, producing slots and casino management systems, and while we acknowledged the need to expand geographically, we also looked to expand our product range. It was then a decision as to whether we make or buy, but purely from an economic standpoint we chose to acquire. In terms of speed to market, brand recognition and ongoing product approval, if we’d taken the decision to develop our own product it would have taken us a number of years, and even then I doubt we could have got anywhere near Elektroncek’s stage of development. Of course, you have to pay for quality brands and InterBlock is a great product. We took the decision that acquisition is the better, faster route to market. A $ 50m is a fair and reasonable price for our share of the business.” Asked if Aristocrat would rebrand, Mr Timmis said that this would certainly not happen in the short-term. “The deal is a 50/50 joint venture, which means that this is not an Aristocrat product. We reserve our position and will keep the InterBlock brand.” However, Aristocrat is joining a saturated gaming sector, particularly in Europe, though Mr Timmis is unfazed.
“The multi-player market is competitive, it’s natural product extension for us. We’ve been closely watching the trend towards electronic table games from live games, and believe it is a great area for growth.” And why choose Slovenia manufacturer Elektroncek from the multitude of companies now producing multi-players? Mr Timmis explained: “We have been aware of Elektroncek for some time. The company has been getting great traction in Europe and the Far East, especially in Macau, and has product approval in New South Wales, which is a very important market for us. Elektroncek is probably the leading multi-player company in terms of shipped share of this product. Elektroncek has all the research and development knowledge in this field, and while we bring Aristocrat’s technical input to the deal, the most significant factor we provide is significant global distribution. Elektroncek has a series of new products waiting to be unveiled and we’re excited by the prospect of bringing them to a worldwide audience.”
Skygames distributors added to the Impera fold
“I’d like to come to Austria and see if those Skygames are reality!” was the challenge laid down to Austrian slot manufacturer, Impera, by US company Nova wished to sample Impera’s Skygames Technology for itself, first-hand. The result is that Nova is now the distribution partner for Impera in the US. “With Nova Gaming we now have a very strong partner in the United States,” explained Impera’s Jurgen Burgstaller. But Nova Gaming is not the company’s only new distributor. With its new partner Game Works, Impera is working together in The Netherlands too. “Skygames has revolutionized all existing systems and therefore it was not really difficult to inspire other companies,” stated Mr. Burgstaller. “We seek to ensure that these new partnerships are developing well in the future, building a team has a lot of new ideas. As the Skygames offer state-of-the-art soft and hardware, as well as a variety of games with individual themes, bonuses, jackpots, free games, and special features, they are future-proof for the market’s demands. There’s also the possibility to connect Skygames to Impera’s integrated Video Lottery Terminals Systems ProLink, which was major reason for Czech distributor, Jamp, to also build its partnership with the innovative Austrian company.
Bally launches Alpha in Europe
The much anticipated European launch of the Bally Gaming and Systems new platform takes places this month with Alpha and the M9000 cabinet at EELEX
Bally Gaming and systems has officially launched its new Alpha operating platform for sale throughout Europe. Already enjoying success in the US and other international markets, the new Alpha operating system offers a deep and robust pipeline of approved titles for European operators, including the following debut games: Ocean Dreams, Queen of Cairo, Winning Times and Hidden Riches. Many more titles are currently planned for release to European gaming operators in coming months. A custom Alpha operating system has been created for European casinos so that Alpha game titles can offer specific currency support, auto-play, ‘beat the dealer’ and ‘free games bonus rounds to players. The cutting-edge Alpha operating system also offers a powerful and flexible game engine designed to give both operators and players more control over the Gaming Poker Experience than ever before. Along with multi-coin and multi-line configurations. Alpha even allows operators to associate different payout percentages with different monetary denominations. “Bally’s position in the European video market has been weak over the last few years,” conceded Bally Gaming’s Paul Roden. “However, with a state-of-the-art new platform, we can offer the right functionality and developments to move forward into the future and offer a full range of standalone games. Today that functionality includes terrific speed of play, active stops of the reels, hi-res graphics, multi denom and a tremendous set of back-office management tools for the operator.”
But while the Alpha platform represents a huge step forward for bally in europe, Mr. Roden does not see the new platforms the single factor that will stimulate a turn around. “We’re not just selling a piece of equipment, we are selling a gaming experience,” emphasized Mr. Roden. Alpha enables us to deliver the quality of games operators want to see, and for the first time we have a dedicated games development team in Europe, purely focused on speed of play, attraction and interaction with the player.” Alpha has already found success in the US, but translating that success to Europe has proved a problem in the past. It’s something of which Mr. Roden is very aware. “The Bally launch in the US utilized Alpha with a style of game that’s proved extremely successful with reel spinning brands in video format will have some resonance as a niche product in Europe, it won’t be our main focus. Our focus is upon an international style video product, designed for this market. What the launch in the US confirms is the reliability, the ease of development and implementation and the ergonomics of the cabinet are exactly right.” This dramatic new operating system deserves an equally dramatic new cabinet. With its sleek and modern good looks, the new M9000 cabinet housing the ALPHA O/S is a marvel of superior design, advanced engineering and ergonomic comfort.
Great holiday give-away from Casino Technology
Casino Technology has launched a spectacular ICE 2006 exhibition promotion targeted at gaming executives. The international slot manufacturer is set to give away a holiday worth £ 5,000 to one lucky attendee of the ICE show in January. The competition is free and open to all gaming executives, who can simply log on and register their details at www.casino-technology.com/ holiday before the first day of the show. Having completed this first step, entrants then confirm their registration with their business card before the draw takes place on the Wednesday of the show at 3pm. Entrants must be present at the time of the draw, whereby Casino Technology’s Milo Borissov will present the lucky winner with their prize on stand No. 3260 Casino Technology’s Steve Surch said of the competition: “It’s a terrific opportunity to meet customers at the show, generate excitement on the stand and reward one lucky winner with a spectacular holiday prize. We hope that as many people as possible will take part in the competition and look forward to welcoming everyone at the online poker .”