California Votes Are Smiling Slot Big Companies

Nevada’s largest slot makers said they were ready to run assembly lines after California voters on Wednesday approved a gambling expansion that could add up to 17,000 machines at four of the Golden State’s largest Indian casinos.

Game analysts have speculated that between 6,000 and 10,000 slot machines could be transported over the next 12 months. The timing depends on adding them to existing casinos, as those four shortages now have the ability to double or triple slot machine offerings.

The results translate into a 27% increase in the California slot machine market, and thrilling results for slot makers and Wall Street.

“It’s like adding an entire new state to the mix,” said Chuck Brook, senior vice president of international gaming technology government relations. California’s expansion is greater than the potential of 15,000 slot machines being proposed for five casinos in Maryland and 15,000 slot machines in Kansas.

“While expansion will gradually be achieved over time, we are happy to see that it is possible,” Brooke said. 카지노사이트 순위

Wachovia Capital Markets gaming analyst Brian McGill said major slot makers including IGT, Bally Technologies and WMS Industries could see earnings per share increase from at least 6 cents to 7 cents based on California sales and shipments.

“The passage of the four-slot referendum in California is undoubtedly a positive thing for equipment manufacturers, and it comes amid two weeks of slot expansion in the U.S.,” McGill said.

California’s approval Tuesday followed good news from Florida last week for slot makers. Voters approved 6,000 slot machines at three Miami-Dade County racetracks, and the state’s governor allowed the Seminole Indian tribe to add slot machines to seven casinos.

“Obviously, we’re very happy,” said Gavin Isaacs, chief operating officer of Bali Technologies. “It’s good news for all of us, but there’s still a lot of work to be done.”

The vote marks the culmination of a nearly year-long battle between four of India’s wealthiest tribes – Sicuan in San Diego, Pechanga in Temecula, Morongo in Banning and Agua Caliente in Palm Springs.

The tribes negotiated new gaming compacts with California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who agreed to pay increased fees and returns, potentially totaling $9 billion, over the compacts’ 23-year lifespan in exchange for more slot machines. The state legislature and the U.S. Department of the Interior signed the contracts. However, the wealthy racetrack owner and labor group UNITE-HERE challenged the two competing Indian tribes, saying the compacts were unfair to the smaller tribes.

Four initiatives asking voters to approve expanded voting have qualified for the ballot, making it one of the most expensive campaigns in California’s history. Both sides have spent nearly $150 million to swallow voters with competing messages.

Slot manufacturers didn’t want to get into the fight between their biggest customers, so they stayed on the sidelines to wait for the results.

“We just kept our heads down, but we were obviously happy with the results,” Brooke said.

California is already India’s largest casino market, with an estimated $7.7 billion in sales in 2006, accounting for nearly 30 percent of gambling revenue generated by tribes nationwide. As of the end of last year, 57 casinos in California had about 63,000 slot machines.

Slot machine company representatives and game analysts speculated the initiative’s approval could pave the way for other tribes to negotiate similar contracts with states.

A tribe in Santa Barbara County may be interested in adding 5,000 slot machines, while a tribe in Sonoma County may be ready to revive plans, the Sacramento Bee reported on Wednesday. A tribe in El Dorado County will compete with Nevada casinos in the Lake Taho area for customers if it builds an already approved casino, and may want to restart contracts to increase slot service.

With California facing a $10 billion fiscal deficit, Schwarzenegger told the San Diego Union-Tribune he would negotiate if the new agreements meant increased state revenue.

Schwarzenegger said, “I’m only interested in one thing, one thing. Indian game tribes pay their fair share and we in California get money because we need it.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *