Gaming Equipment Companies Virtually Expand

by , Jun 25, 2012 | 1:40 pm

Wheel of Fortune machine maker IGT betting on online poker. (Image from IGT’s website)

Casinos were hard hit during the financial downturn, putting pressure on their gaming machine and equipment suppliers. A flurry of deals suggests game suppliers are looking to reduce their exposure to brick and mortar casinos by tapping into online gambling.

Shuffle Master sells and leases poker card shuffling machines. As Howard Stutz noted, the company posted healthy revenues last quarter. But Shuffle Master’s future growth may come from dealing virtual cards. In March, the company agreed to acquire the European online poker software company Ongame Network.

This month, Shuffle Master and gaming equipment maker Bally Technologies inked a deal to have Ongame’s poker network operate on Bally’s iGaming platform. On June 21, Bally was granted final approval for one of Nevada’s new interactive gambling licenses.

In May, gaming equipment supplier International Game Technologies (IGT) (think Wheel of Fortune) tendered an offer to pick up Sweden’s online poker network provider Entraction. One month later, IGT was another recipient of a Nevada online gaming license.

WMS, the manufacturer of Wizard of Oz and Reel’Em In, recently acquired Swedish online casino company Jadestone and the social online casino game provider Phantom EFX. WMS has secured preliminary approval from the Nevada State Gaming Control Board for an interactive gambling license.


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