Small Nuggets of News

Australian slot manufacturer Aristocrat Leisure Ltd. has sold its Japanese units to Fields Corp., a company focused on the pachinko and pachislot industry in Japan. The sale covers Aristocrat’s entire Japan operations, including KK Aristocrat Technologies and KK Spiky, the company said in a statement. Aristocrat Leisure had stated in April that it planned to retain its KK Spiky business. “The transaction completed concurrently with the signing of the sale and purchase agreement,” Aristocrat Leisure said. The decision follows what it described as a “strategic review” of its Japanese business. The company had announced on April 21 that it would wind down its main Japanese unit. The Japan business had become “less relevant to Aristocrat’s predominantly recurring revenue footprint,” the company said.  •  Payment solutions provider Global Payments has completed the acquisition of the gaming assets from Certegy Check Services, a subsidiary of Fidelity National Information Services (FIS). In a statement confirming the deal, Global Payments said the deal relates to its business for licensed gaming operators. The FIS operation includes 260 marquee gaming client locations and provides a wide-ranging suite of services designed specifically for the gaming industry. The acquisition of Certegy Check Services comes after Global Payments in March finalized a deal to purchase payment gateway Realex Payments.  •  E-table supplier Interblock has installed its first Mini Star Roulette product in Serbia, and now the Playoff Casino in Kragujevac is home to the country’s first Mini Star 5 electronic roulette product. Interblock’s Mini Star 5 electronic roulette game features the field-proven Golden Chip Progressive Jackpot. “I am very proud and happy that we have purchased Interblock’s beautiful Mini Star Roulette,” said Playoff Casino spokesman Zoran Živojinovi?. “I appreciate Interblock’s game quality and the overall luxury brand of Interblock. Based on that and on our great business relationship, we decided to move forward with this installation, and we are excited to bring this game to our players.”  •  London-based Genesis Gaming announced the industry premiere of the “Rotating Reels” feature in its latest video slot game, Gods Of Giza, available on the Quickfire Network. The new feature helps deliver bigger and more frequent wins by rotating a full 360 degrees following each free spin, stopping every 90 degrees to re-evaluate new winning combinations from the shifting symbols.  •  As Japancontinues to debate legal casinos, Clarion Events Ltd. has announced that its second Japan Gaming Congress will take place October 7-9 in Tokyo.The event will focus on “identifying and implementing an integrated resort model that will maximize benefits for all parties, including operators and the Japanese economy,” the organizers said.  •  Vietnam’s Ministry of Finance has rejected a proposal from the Khanh Hoa Provincial People’s Committee for a casino license. Of seven casinos already licensed in Vietnam, six are operational. The ministry said the latest application was incomplete, and “must include the estimated total investment capital, financing sources and the planned construction timeline of the complex.”  •  MGM Arena construction workers have installed the final beam of the $375 million arena. The ground breaking was on May 1, 2014, with the arena set to open April 1, 2016. AEG is in negotiations with several companies for the naming rights.   Station Casinos LLC is hoping to sell shares to the public after being out of bankruptcy for four years. Speculation has Station Casinos valued at more than $3.5 billion, which includes $2.15 billion in debt.    The Palms will fill a vacant area in its casino with a Hooters restaurant, likely in July of this year. The area previously was a sports bar/nightclub named Heraea.   New York State Police are nearing completion of background investigations for the three upstate casino developers. The licenses are expected to be issued by the end of the year.  •  The Westgate Las Vegas will take two weeks to upgrade its Superbook, set to finish September 1, two days before college football kicks off. The general outline will stay in tact but upgrades all around will be seen, including the replacing of all 60 screens in the book.  •  SLS Las Vegas valet employees are asking the Teamsters Union to stop an organizing effort near the casino. As of recently, 34 of the 50-person valet staff had signed a petition asking for them to leave. Nearly half of SLS employees are represented by a union.  •  The Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations and the Border City have given initial approval for a $20 million casino. They still need the correct approvals collected by Little Pine First Nation. The casino hopes to open by spring of 2016.  •  Tequila Taqueria opened inside Bally’s Las Vegas. The restaurant presents a fun and unique take on Mexican, while offering a wide selection o tequila and mescal.    Scientific Games has announced company division SG Gaming released a new line of games falling into arcade, bingo, and licensed betting office categories. Some of the games featured are: Monopoly Big Event, Rocky: The Italian Stallion, Rainbow Riches Pic ‘n’ Mix.  •  Wynn Resorts Ltd. has seen stock drop 60 percent of its equity value since last spring’s price of $247 per share.  •  The Nevada legislature approved a $1.1 billion tax hike that will affect payroll, sales, businesses and cigarette taxes. Governor Brian Sandoval is expected to sign the bill into law.  •  Last week the Soboba Reservation in Riverside County, California put 500 acres of land into trust. The tribe plans to relocate its existing casino to the property, which also includes the Country Club at Soboba. This process could take years since, although the Bureau of Indian Affairs put the land into trust, it has not yet been designated for gaming. That will require environmental reviews and many other studies.  •  The defunct Hollywood Park racetrack is making way for a stadium and shopping center in Inglewood, California. Last week the 75-year-old grandstands were demolished with explosives. The 80,000-seat stadium, which could be the new home for the Rams, the Raiders, or even the Chargers, is proposed to break ground by the end of this year.  •  The partnership of Glob
al Gaming Expo
(G2E) and the Latin America promoter Monografie S.A. has been renewed. The announcement was made in advance of G2E, which will be held September 29-October 1 in Las Vegas. The partnership with Monografie is intended to help attract Latin American casino operators to the expo.  •  The Malta Gaming Authority has approved the first application for a casino cruise for the Golicher Group’s ship Crystal Serenity beginning June 5. The casino ship will offer blackjack, craps, roulette, among the table games, and a variety of slot machines. The Malta parliament recently approved of legislation legalizing casino cruises.  •  The chiefs of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations in Canada last week voted to authorize a $20 million casino in Lloydminster. Construction could begin as soon as July and open by the spring of 2016. The project will probably include a 250-room hotel and 1,500 seat convention center and will be located near the border with Alberta. Spearheading the project will be the Little Pine and Onion Lake Cree Nation although all of the federation’s tribes will be investors. The proposal has been in the works for five years. The approval of the provincial government is also required to proceed.  •  New Mexico’s Hilton Santa Fe Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino is in the process of upgrading restaurant offerings at its Red Sage, the Pool Grill, the Grill at Towa Golf Club and other venues, in order to upgrade amenities in order to remain competitive. It also recently opened the brand new Iguana Café, which was formerly the Mica Café, transforming it from predominantly American cuisine to New Mexico cuisine. The addition of the Iguana Cantina is part of the ongoing renovation.  •  Suzo Happ, a gaming and amusement manufacturer and distributor will, for the second year, and in cooperation with the Technical Department of the Macau Government School, provide on-the-job training for students. They will be sent to Las Vegas, Suzo-Happ’s headquarters, and provided hands on training to give them a taste for the gaming industry. According to Harald Wagemaker, executive vice president sales and Marketing of Gaming and Casino EMEA at Suzo-Happ, “As the leading company throughout the world for components and spare part solutions, we see it as our duty to reflect the opportunities our industry offers.”  •  The Coeur d’Alene Tribe of Idaho has asked the state Supreme Court to rule that a law passed by the legislature banning instant horse racing terminals at the state’s three racetracks was not legally vetoed by Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter. The tribe claims that the veto was not transmitted to lawmakers in a timely manner. Instant racing terminals allow betters to wager on past races where the names are removed. The tribe does not like the machines because it says they too closely resemble slot machines.