Bally Wulff merges under one name – one company

Bally Wulff Vertriebs has merged with Bally Wulff Automaten to form an integrated company trading under the name of Bally Wulff Automaten. The roots for the two companies (sales and marketing in Western Germany, and production in West Berlin) goes back to the 1960s when a so called Berlin allowance offered considerable tax benefits. The two companies were merged by means of internal restructuring. As of 2006, the 161 employees from the 20 outlets and service points from all over Germany will be working together with their 170 colleagues at the Berlin headquarters under the name of Bally Wulff Automaten.

  Concentrating on one location will simplify the processing of incoming orders and accountancy. Last year, the Berlin company prepared itself for the introduction of a new IT system, which allowed the company to make the most of the system’s advantages. The first steps of restructuring were taken three years ago: the accounts department, EDP and wholesale business were relocated to Berlin. Since the beginning of the 90s there haven’t been any tax benefits for the two separate companies as the Berlin allowance was abolished. Bernhard Eber, Marketing Director, succinctly stated: “Our employees won’t have to undergo many changes, since Bally Wulff remains Bally Wulff. ”

Hyatt threatens to abandon Albania

Greek casino group Hyatt Regency has threatened to close its casino in Albania after the government unexpectedly quadrupled slot machine tax. The poker casino is in the capital, Tirana, and commenced operations on December 7, with an initial capacity of 21 tables and 240 slot machines. Hyatt effectively owns 30.6 per cent of the casino, but is expected to receive a management fee of three per cent of sales plus 10 per cent of  EBITDA for running the casino. Greek investor Laska Rides owns 20.4 per cent of the casino and an Albanian company owns about 49 per cent.

In November, Austrian Touchscreen specialist TAB- Austria began its new international Virtual Pinball tournament. The competition to find the world’s greatest Virtual Pinball player ends on February 1, 2006, after the finalist prove their mettele in TAB’s Pirates of the Sega game. This worldwide tournament is made possible thanks to TAB’s online Terminal management, which is already well known for its networking of TAB’s Silverball terminals. OTM ensures that everyone connected online to the Virtual Pinball network is able to take part in the competition. Players can register free on every online Virtual Pinball. The tournament, called Pirates 2005, involves the pinball game, Pirates of the sea, one of five games on the multi-game platform Virtual Pinball.

  During the game, pirates must fulfill seven separate tasks, such as hiring a crew and avoiding shark attacks. Fantastic graphic and fabulous sounds make this a unique pinball experience. Despite the hi-tech element of the game, the realistic tilt function and vibration feedback gives a convincing mechanical feel. Players around the world have already shown their enthusiasm for the games : “We have much more registrations for this tournament than we had expected and the number of play is raising daily,” said a TAB spokesperson.

Flamboyant Australian media magnate, Kerry Packer, the country’s richest man, died on December 27 at the age of 68. Mr. Packer transformed cricket when he took on the game’s establishment by founding the World Series in 1977 and luring top players with huge salaries. Forbes magazine valued him at US $ 5bn (£ 2.9bn) this year. His interests also included mining and property. Mr Packer was known as one of the world’s biggest gamblers. Reputedly winning and losing millions in casinos. He died in his sleep at home among his family in Sydney, a statement said. the exact cause of his death is not yet clear, but he had suffered health problems including cancer, and had undergone a kidney transplant.

First French  Cash Fever install

Atronic International and Ludi install France’s first Cash Fever at the La Siesta Casino.

Atronic International, in collaboration with French distributor Ludi, has installed its first dynami bonus link Cash Fever into the French market. The bank of six e-motion machines featuring three Cash Fever titles went live at La Siesta Casino, antibes, part of the moliflor Group, at the end of November and has been impressing the casino management and players since. Slot Manager for the casino, arnaud Loret, said: “Cash Fever is offering our players exactly what they want and expect, a combination of interactive game play, attractive jackpots. Different bonuses on the same game and free online poker games with multipliers. It also gives them the possibility to win a big jackpot with a fair bet. ” Cash Fever is expected to follow in the footsteps of e-motion,

which has enjoyed success in the French market since the fist install at Casino Divonne and Casino Rhul in Nice during October last year. The new bank of Cash Fever machines is complimented by a fully animated Cash Fever sign and plasma screen attracting the attention of players from all over the vast casino floor. Mr. Loret went on to say : “It is a great pleasure for us to be the first casino in France to offer Cash Fever to our players. ” Sales manager for Atronic, Stuart German, said: “This has been superb opportunity for us to be able to introduce a totally new gaming concept to the French market. Cash Fever is the only product of kind to be installed in France and the players have taken to it quickly and with the casino to secure this deal and we would like to thank them for achieving another milestone for Atronic in France. ”