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MGM China looks for Macau extension

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Grant Bowie, CEO and executive director of the Macau-based casino operator MGM China said the group would be “happy” for any opportunity for talks to obtain a two-year extension of the Macau gaming rights, which is currently held by its Macau operating unit.

He said: “We would be happy to work through with the [Macau] government for any opportunity which would lead us to an extension for two years or for however long the government would see fit and appropriate.”

MGM China’s current Macau casino license will expire in 2020.

In February this year, MGM China opened the HKD27-billion (US$3.4-billion) MGM Cotai casino resort in the city, which analysts say should take beyond 2020 to achieve payback.

MGM China’s Macau gaming permit technically stems from a sub-concession spun off from the rights of fellow Macau operator SJM Holdings Ltd. Those current concession rights expire in 2020.

On Wednesday Ambrose So Shu Fai, CEO of the latter firm, told media that it would like to get a two-year extension for its current Macau gaming concession, to put it on the same starting line for a fresh concession tender process as four other Macau operators, that see their current respective gaming rights expire in 2022. SJM Holdings’ first Cotai resort, the HKD36-billion Grand Lisboa Palace, is not expected to open until the second half of 2019, according to Mr So.

On Friday, GGRAsia asked MGM China’s Mr Bowie whether it would automatically follow legally that if SJM Holdings got a Macau extension, MGM China too would get one.

He told us only: “We believe we have language in our concession consistent with the other concessions and sub-concessionaires.”

Mr Bowie further noted: “We continue to work with the government, and are hopeful that we would have a positive outcome with an extension of our concession.”

Macau gaming law states that the licences of the existing holders can be extended for a maximum of up to five years from their original expiry dates. But once a gaming concession contract expires, any new concession would have to be granted via a public tender. In that sense, say gaming lawyers familiar with the matter, there is no such thing in the Macau context as a “concession renewal.”

Regarding the MGM brand in China, Mr Bowie also told GGRAsia on Friday that he was in Shanghai in mainland China for the opening that night of the Bellagio Shanghai hotel located on the city’s waterside thoroughfare the Bund. The new non-gaming property is named after the Bellagio Las Vegas casino resort.

The Shanghai version has 162 luxury rooms and suites and is a product of the joint venture between the operating company of Diaoyutai State Guesthouse – the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s venue for hosting heads of state – and MGM China’s parent, U.S. casino operator MGM Resorts International.

GGRAsia asked Mr Bowie whether the hotel could act as a feeder facility for MGM China’s resorts in Macau.

Mr Bowie told us: “The Diaoyutai MGM joint venture has always been seen as a positive opportunity to get the brand out, and provide opportunities to extend the reach.”

Source: GGRAsia

Source: European Gaming Media and Events

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International Game Technology PLC to Host Second Quarter 2018 Results Conference Call on Tuesday, July 31, 2018

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International Game Technology PLC to Host Second Quarter 2018 Results Conference Call on Tuesday, July 31, 2018Reading Time: 2 minutes

LONDON, July, 2018 — International Game Technology PLC (“IGT”) (NYSE:IGT) will host a conference call and live webcast to discuss second quarter 2018 results for the period ended June 30, 2018 on Tuesday, July 31, 2018.

Conference call:
Tuesday, July 31, 2018
8:00 a.m. EDT

US/Canada Toll-Free Dial-In Number: +1 844 842 7999
Dial-In Number (Outside US/Canada): +1 612 979 9887
Conference ID (passcode): 3642779

Webcast:
A live webcast may be accessed along with accompanying slides under “News, Events & Presentations” in the Investor Relations section of IGT’s website at www.IGT.com. A replay of the webcast will be available on the website following the live event.

Telephone replay:
A telephone replay of the call will be available for one week:

US/Canada Toll-Free Dial-In Number: +1 855 859 2056
Dial-In Number (Outside US/Canada): +1 404 537 3406
Conference ID (passcode): 3642779

 

About IGT:
IGT (NYSE:IGT) is the global leader in gaming. We enable players to experience their favorite games across all channels and regulated segments, from Gaming Machines and Lotteries to Interactive and Social Gaming. Leveraging a wealth of premium content, substantial investment in innovation, in-depth customer intelligence, operational expertise and leading-edge technology, our gaming solutions anticipate the demands of consumers wherever they decide to play. We have a well-established local presence and relationships with governments and regulators in more than 100 countries around the world, and create value by adhering to the highest standards of service, integrity, and responsibility. IGT has over 12,000 employees. For more information, please visit www.IGT.com.

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This news release may contain forward-looking statements (including within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995) concerning International Game Technology PLC and its consolidated subsidiaries (the “Company”) and other matters. These statements may discuss goals, intentions, and expectations as to future plans, trends, events, dividends, results of operations, or financial condition, or otherwise, based on current beliefs of the management of the Company as well as assumptions made by, and information currently available to, such management. Forward-looking statements may be accompanied by words such as “aim,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “plan,” “could,” “would,” “should,” “shall,” “continue,” “estimate,” “expect,” “forecast,” “future,” “guidance,” “intend,” “may,” “will,” “possible,” “potential,” “predict,” “project” or the negative or other variations of them. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date on which such statements are made and are subject to various risks and uncertainties, many of which are outside the Company’s control. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should any of the underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may differ materially from those predicted in the forward-looking statements and from past results, performance, or achievements. Therefore, you should not place undue reliance on such statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements include (but are not limited to) the factors and risks described in the Company’s annual report on Form 20-F for the financial year ended December 31, 2017 and other documents filed from time to time with the SEC, which are available on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov and on the investor relations section of the Company’s website at www.IGT.com. Except as required under applicable law, the Company does not assume any obligation to update these forward-looking statements. You should carefully consider these factors and other risks and uncertainties that affect the Company’s business. All forward-looking statements contained in this news release are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement. All subsequent written or oral forward-looking statements attributable to International Game Technology PLC, or persons acting on its behalf, are expressly qualified in its entirety by this cautionary statement.

Source: Press Release submitted to European Gaming Media

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Big Fish Games migrates to new HQ, with plans to reel in top talent with eye-catching space

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Big Fish Games migrates to new HQ, with plans to reel in top talent with eye-catching spaceReading Time: 3 minutes

Big Fish Games has a new headquarters to go along with its new leader.

The Seattle-based gaming company, which was acquired by Australia’s Aristocrat Technologies for $990 million earlier this year, moved into its new office in Seattle’s Pioneer Square this week. In the appropriately named Maritime building, Big Fish has leased all the office space — 187,000 square feet in total — with more than enough room to house its 633 Seattle employees plus the more than 100 open positions the company is advertising online.

The move is another sign of a new era for Big Fish. In 2014 it was acquired by Churchill Downs Inc., operator of the famous Kentucky Derby racetrack, for $885 million and sold again to Aristocrat earlier this year.

Just this month the company announced former Electronic Arts and Zynga executive Jeff Karp is joining Big Fish Games as managing director and president. He is taking the helm permanently after former CEO Paul Thelen left following the Aristocrat acquisition.

Aimee Paganini, lead senior game producer for Big Fish, has worked through all these changes. In her six years at the company she’s worked on several of Big Fish’s flagship games like Fairway Solitaire and Panda Pandamonium, and right now her latest game, Let’s Dish, is in Google’s open beta program. Paganini, who leads a team of 27 people, said not much has changed with her day-to-day operations despite the company shuffling between two parent companies in four years.

“I’m really fortunate that I have a boss and a general manager that allows our team to run as a small business,” Paganini said. “They’re the investors, so we need to make them happy.”

But the new headquarters will bring major changes for Paganini and everyone else at Big Fish. Employees felt like fishes out of water in the old HQ space at 333 Elliott West, which Big Fish steadily grew into over the years.

The company started looking for space two years ago, and at the time it surveyed employees to see what they wanted. The main gripe was lack of transit connections. The old office, which is just a few blocks down from where Expedia is setting up its Seattle HQ for a move next year, only has access to a couple of bus lines. Pioneer Square is the transit hub of the region, with hundreds of buses and a light rail line just a few blocks away, and plenty of access to restaurants and other attractions.

“We were out on a deserted island or at least peninsula on Elliott Avenue, so coming here it really opened up the ability for people to go out and experience the neighborhood,” said Evan Cottingham, director of real estate and facilities for Big Fish.

The old office was never a perfect fit for Big Fish, as the company gradually took on more and more space in the building from Classmates.com. Gaming companies have different needs than traditional office users — testing areas, big desks to spread out multiple devices and monitors, lots of collaboration spaces for meetings — and none of that really existed in Big Fish’s old space.

For Big Fish, the new digs will help with recruiting in the competitive gaming hub of Seattle that includes tech giants like Amazon and Microsoft and others prominent gaming powerhouses such as Valve and Bungie. Before, Cottingham said its interview rooms were “windowless dungeons,” and now they look out over the Puget Sound and Olympic Mountains.

Nearby spaces for human testers will have multiple cameras that track eye and hand movement of users when playing.

“Everyone assumes that a game company, a tech company, is a playground, but there’s a lot of work,” Cottingham said. “I can’t fathom how much Aimee and her team does to produce a game, so I need to design for all those ideas.”

Big Fish leased the building close to two years ago in a deal brokered by Seattle real estate company Clark Fadden and has been waiting for its new HQ since. During that time, the Maritime Building has undergone a complex and unique renovation. Crews dropped three additional stories on top of the 108-year-old structure to add to the office space.

 

Source

Source: Press Release submitted to European Gaming Media

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Aruze Gaming America Enters Licensing Agreement with Walker Digital Table Systems, LLC.

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Aruze Gaming America Enters Licensing Agreement with Walker Digital Table Systems, LLC.Reading Time: 2 minutes

Aruze Gaming America, Inc. (“Aruze”) obtaines a license from Walker Digital Table Systems, LLC (“WDTS”) to the world’s most powerful RFID chip technology, PJM3.0™.

 

“As we expand our business, we’re partnering with the best companies in these new areas. We are excited about the potential that these relationships unlock,” said Eric Persson, Aruze Gaming’s Global Chief Operating Officer and President of Aruze Gaming America.

“We are very pleased that Aruze has chosen PJM3.0™ for their RFID chip solution,” said Neil Crossan, Chief Commercial Officer for WDTS. “As a leading casino supplier, they have adopted the global standard, opening up a world of possibilities for their customers. PJM3.0™ is the RFID protocol that supports table gaming applications in the world’s largest casinos, delivering unmatched game protection, data and performance.”

As Aruze continues to expand their product offerings, they will be delivering their casino chips and RFID casino chips to the casino industry before the end of 2018, with the first install slated to happen in October 2018.

Persson adds, “We intend to be a major market disruptor, with the best technologies and prices that are often half that our competitors are charging. Walker Digital’s PJM3.0™ technology coupled with our chips allows us to provide a turnkey product to our customers.”

For more information regarding Aruze’s RFID casino chips or Aruze’s Electronic Table Games products, please contact Brandon Knowles at Brandon.Knowles@Aruze-Gaming.com.

 

About Aruze Gaming:
Aruze Gaming designs, develops, and manufactures slot machines and gaming devices for the global casino market. With affiliates in America, Hong Kong, Australia, South Africa, Macau, Philippines, and Japan, Aruze Gaming produces innovative gaming products, including high-resolution video and stepper slot machines, communal gaming products, and multi-terminal devices.
For more news and information about Aruze, please visit http://www.aruzegaming.com.

About Walker Digital Table Systems:
WDTS provides automation for live-dealt casino games including the RFID-enabled Perfect Pay™ table system that sets the standard for game security, accuracy and efficiency while delivering the player’s preferred live gaming experience. WDTS solutions are powered by patented PJM3.0™ technology, the fastest RFID for gaming. WDTS is headquartered in Las Vegas with sales support in Macau, SAR.
For more information about WDTS, please visit http://www.wdtablesystems.com or email contact@wdtablesystems.com.

Safe Harbor Statement
This press release contains “forward-looking statements” based on current expectations that are inherently subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties. Actual results or achievements may be materially different from those expressed or implied. Our plans and objectives are based on various assumptions, all of which are difficult or impossible to predict accurately and many of which are beyond our control and are subject to change. Therefore, there can be no assurance that any forward-looking statement will prove to be accurate.

Source: Press Release submitted to European Gaming Media

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