IGT name among valued assets being acquired by GTECH

GTECH Holdings is paying $6.4 billion to acquire International Game Technology, but the Italy-based lottery giant is taking on more than just “Wheel of Fortune” and the company’s other slot machine titles and products.

GTECH wants the name IGT.

At last week’s Nevada gaming regulatory hearing, GTECH Chairman Lorenzo Pellicioli revealed the merged company will be known as IGT when the buyout closes in April. The holding company that combines GTECH and IGT will operate under the name International Game Technology PLC.

The name GTECH will slowly disappear. Analysts believe it’s a smart move.

“Within the equipment world, outside of Italy, IGT has a well-known reputation that overshadows GTECH’s and, more importantly, can help grow market share going forward,” Macquarie Securities gaming analyst Chad Beynon said.

Union Gaming Group analyst Chris Jones said GTECH has limited recognition globally.

“It makes a lot of sense,” Jones said. “The most important gaming markets, such as North America, Australia and even Asia, are more aware of the IGT name than the GTECH brand.”

Within the casino operating community, however, IGT will mean nothing unless the products change.

During Caesars Entertainment Corp.’s quarterly conference call Monday, Chairman Gary Loveman summed up the feelings of casino operators: Current slot machine offerings are out of date with today’s consumer.

“I remain very concerned that the product is antiquated as a category,” Loveman said.

Caesars Interactive Entertainment, the company’s online gaming division, does a better job than traditional slot machine manufacturers, Loveman said.

“They innovate remarkably fast and improve their product and how it is enjoyed by their customers constantly,” Loveman said. “I think there is tremendous opportunity there.”

Gaming Control Board Chairman A.G. Burnett agrees. Nevada lawmakers are considering Senate Bill 9, which allows manufacturers to incorporate video game technology into slot machines. The idea is to create more games of skill, rather than just games of chance.

Burnett told KNPR’s “State of Nevada” that casinos need to find ways to get new customers in front of slot machines.

“Hopefully they’ll be attractive to the younger demographic, which is now visiting in record numbers,” Burnett said. “To do that, old-style gaming is going to have to make way for some new ideas.”

So the gauntlet has been thrown down to the new IGT.

GTECH — and soon to be IGT CEO — Marco Sala told regulators last week the company understands that task.

The GTECH-IGT merger allows game titles to be used across multiple platforms — traditional slot machines, social gaming, Internet gaming and lotteries. Similar products on different platforms reduces research and development costs. The merger is expected to save $280 million in corporate costs.

IGT has been responsible for many of the products and concepts now considered common on slot machine floors such as video poker, ticket in-ticket out technology, progressive jackpots, and Megabucks.

IGT introduced the “Wheel of Fortune” slot machine in 1996. The game is still one of the industry’s best games.

In 2012, IGT CEO Patti Hart was criticized by the investment community after she engineered the $500 million buyout of DoubleDown Casino, a social gaming giant considered the leading free-to-play site on Facebook and other platforms.

Most of those critics soon ate their words. DoubleDown and IGT’s social gaming business is profitable and a meaningful contributor to earnings. DoubleDown includes many popular IGT game titles, including “Wheel of Fortune.”

Combined, GTECH and IGT would have produced more than $6.1 billion in revenue and almost $2.1 billion in cash flow over a 12-month period that ended last September. GTECH, however, dominates the combined companies’ financial pages, primarily through the Italian lottery business. Postmerger, 39 percent of the overall revenue will come from Italy.

“The remaining pie, we believe can grow though IGT’s relationships and reputation, which in many ways is important enough to maintain the legacy IGT brand name,” Beynon said.

IGT was founded in 1975 by slot machine pioneer Si Redd. By 1989, the company estimated it produced one-half of the world’s 300,000 slot machines. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, IGT bought several rival slot machine and gaming technology companies, helping to strengthen its position as the global slot machine leader.

Then the recession hit.

IGT’s stock price is more than 60 percent below its 2005 average closing figure. The company’s revenue declined 27 percent in just two years while it over-spent on technology and innovations at time when casino operators were holding back on spending for new games and products.

Competition caught up. Last year, analysts declared Bally Technologies the leading gaming equipment provider.

Those rough periods seem to be forgotten.

“Despite what one’s view is of IGT products today, the legacy of IGT is undisputed,” Jones said.

Howard Stutz’s Inside Gaming column appears Wednesdays and Sundays. He can be reached at hstutz@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3871. Find him on Twitter: @howardstutz.

ad-high_impact_4
Business
Elaine Wynn continues her fight to change Wynn Resorts board
Elaine Wynn, the largest shareholder of Wynn Resorts Ltd., is seeking to kick a friend of her ex-husband Steve Wynn off the company’s board of directors. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Zillow is getting into house flipping in Las Vegas
Las Vegas Review-Journal real estate reporter Eli Segall says flipping houses has waned in popularity after the housing bubble burst.
Ellis Island Buys Mt. Charleston Lodge
Ellis Island, which operates a casino, brewery and hotel just off the Strip, purchased the Mt. Charleston Lodge in early April.
Casinos to be penalized for allowing drug-impaired customers to gamble
Nevada Gaming Commission Chairman Tony Alamo talks about an amendment making casinos subject to the same disciplinary standards of preventing people to gamble if impaired by drugs as they are for letting them play while intoxicated by alcohol.
Terrible Herbst to open large travel center in Southern Nevada
The 50,000-square-foot commercial travel center will include 96 fuel pumps and the third White Castle restaurant in Southern Nevada. Wade Tyler Millward reports.
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
Hooters owner talks about room upgrades at his hotel-casino
George Ruff, founder and senior principal of Trinity Hotel Investors L.L.C., owner of Hooters Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, talks about recent room upgrades at the hotel. K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Passengers Discuss Allegiant Air
Allegiant Air passengers voice their views on the airline at McCarran International Airport on April 16, 2018. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Longtime Las Vegas attorney John Momot dies at age 74
Criminal defense attorney John Momot, who represented mob figures and even played himself in the movie “Casino,” has died.
Trump Slams Amazon for Not Paying Enough in Taxes
Trump Slams Amazon for Not Paying Enough in Taxes Trump tweeted his concerns about the company on Thursday. This isn't the first time Trump commented on the issues via Twitter. August 2017 December 2017 Amazon did hold back on paying state taxes in 1995, but the company has been routinely collecting state sales taxes since then. In 2016, the company's report from the Securities and Exchange Commission confirmed it paid $412 million in taxes.
David Copperfield in court after man injured during magic trick
The attorney for a British man who is suing illusionist David Copperfield said his client suffered serious injuries after being called on stage during Copperfield's show at MGM Grand.
eyecandylab CEO shows augmented reality during NAB
Robin Sho Moser, CEO and co-founder of eyecandylab gives an augmented reality demonstration at his booth during the National Association of Broadcaster Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center. K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Trends in access to capital for local black business owners
Denette Braud, owner of Braud’s Funnel Cake Cafe, talks about what owning her own business means to her.
Sir Richard Branson announces purchase of Hard Rock Hotel
Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, has acquired the Hard Rock Hotel with partners and plans to turn it into a Virgin-branded property by the end of 2019.
Calvary Christian Learning Academy, “There was no fair warning.”
Samantha O’Brien, whose three-year-old daughter attended the Calvary Christian Learning Academy daycare, found out Monday night when her daughter’s teacher called about the school closing.
Adobe unveils #HackTheBracket application for March Madness
Adobe unveiled their #HackTheBracket application at the Adobe Summit trade show at Sands Expo. People can use data from Adobe Analytics to make their bracket for March Madness. K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Adidas Signs Yankees' Star Aaron Judge
Adidas Signs New York Yankees Star Aaron Judge The slugger is set to don a new set of stripes this season after signing with the apparel company. Aaron Judge Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The deal includes branding on his batting gloves and wristbands. Judge, the AL's reigning Rookie of the Year, was previously under contract with Under Armour since 2014. Judge won the American League Rookie of the Year award last season after setting an MLB record for most homers in a rookie season (52).
Esports athletes are sponsored, too
Meet Red Bull-sponsored professional esports player Daryl S. Lewis, better known by his in-game name Snake Eyez. Nicole Raz Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Bettor Investments turned into a bad bet
Bettor Investments formerly operated a Nevada-licensed entity betting operation. The company promised “conservative growth, profits and stability for our investors.” Matt Stuart, who ran the fund, shut it down in late 2016 and never made good on an agreement with shareholders.
Starbucks Will Give You $10 Million for a Better Cup Design
Starbucks Will Give You $10 Million for a Better Cup Design Get your thinking caps on because the company is looking for a new cup that's easier to recycle. The $10 million grant challenge sees Starbucks partnering with investor group Closed Loop Partners for the project. According to CNN Money, Aside from the new cup design challenge, Starbucks stated it will test a cup with an inner lining made from plant fibers to prevent hot liquid from leaking. Will you join the challenge for #Bettercups?
Las Vegas bartenders who worked the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival question what they were paid
Reneé Black, left, and her husband Griffin Black talk to the Review-Journal at their home in Las Vegas, Tuesday, March 6, 2018. Reneé was a bartender at Route 91, and Griffin was a bar back. They were hired as independent contractors, but received forms months later indicating they were employees. They also were never paid their last day of tips. Nicole Raz/Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Bad-beat jackpot money will finally be awarded
People who thought they had won in Station Casinos’ “bad beat jackpot” poker promotion were unhappy. They waited months to get paid. And now the bad-beat jackpot is gone.
New developments coming to Las Vegas' Craig Road
Gina Gavan, economic and business development director for North Las Vegas, discusses new development projects on Craig Road in North Las Vegas. Art Marroquin/ Las Vegas Review-Journal
Companies bet their futures on cryptocurrency
Two Las Vegas entrepreneurs talk about finding their niche in blockchain enabled technologies and digital currency.
Solar panels reduce energy bill for CCSD
Wilbur and Theresa Faiss Middle School is one of 42 CCSD schools with solar panel installations, saving approximately $514,000 per year in energy costs.
Dallisa Hocking And A Grandmothers Psychic Gift
Dallisa Hocking’s new “boutique soul center” pays tribute to her late Grandma Ellie. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Can't pay the IRS? You do have options
There's a little more than five weeks until this year’s tax filing deadline of April 17. But many small business owners are wondering, “How am I going to pay my taxes?” When owners haven’t set aside enough money to cover what they owe the government, they have options. — The easiest and cheapest alternative may be to dip into personal savings. — If you have available credit, you may want to borrow from a lender or credit card. — Also, the IRS can work out an installment payment plan.
Amazon Offering Discounted Prime Memberships to Medicaid Recipients
Amazon Offering Discounted Prime Memberships to Medicaid Recipients Individuals with a valid Medicaid or Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card The $5.99 membership can be renewed every year for up to four years. The reduced Prime membership comes with the same benefits of a standard one, including free two-day shipping, Prime Video, Prime Music and Prime Now. Last year, Amazon also joined a USDA pilot program that allows those receiving government assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to buy groceries through online markets like Amazon's FreshDirect or Walmart.
Jeff Bezos New Net Worth Revealed, Still Richest Man Alive
At the end of 2017, Bezos was estimated to be worth $112 billion, earning the top spot on Forbes' world's billionaires list. According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, the Amazon founder's net worth is now $127 billion, which the report states is the combined wealth of 2.3 million Americans.
Dick's Sporting Goods Ends Sale of Assault Weapons Florida School Shooting
Dick's Sporting Goods Ends Sale of Assault Weapons Florida School Shooting The retailer announced the move in an open letter and an appearance by CEO Ed Stack on 'Good Morning America.' Ed Stack, (Good Morning America) Ed Stack, (Good Morning America) Dick's is also ending the sale of high-capacity magazines and sales of guns to people under 21 years old. The company ended the sale of assault weapons at Dick's-branded stores after the Newtown, Conn. school shooting in 2012. However, they were still selling them at its 35 Field & Stream locations. Nikolas Cruz, 17, shot and killed 17 students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida on Feb. 14.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
ad-infeed_1
ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Events
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like