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Cyberview signs major Italian systems contract

Aristocrat purchases EssNet

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Aristocrat purchases EssNet

Aristocrat Leisure has announced its move into the server-based video lottery market, with a share purchase agreement to acquire Scandinavian high technology gaming company, EssNet Interactive, for approximately A$70m. 

The deal  is expected to be completed this month.  This acquisition allows Aristocrat to exploit the growing global market for server-based video lottery offerings.  Another major benefit will be the use of the video lottery technology to accelerate development of in-casino and cross-casino server-based video lottery offerings.  Another major benefit will be the use of the video lottery technology   to accelerate development of poker casino and cross-casino server-based content delivery within traditional markets, which is expected to be a major growth sector in world gaming markets over the next 10 years.  Paul Oneile, aristocrat CEO and Managing Director said of the deal: “This is a key strategic opportunity for us to enter a segment of the gaming global market in which we do not currently compete.  We anticipate that the demand for this type of product offering will grow significantly in future years in many jurisdictions, especially in Europe and Asia. 

The Interactive technology is world class and will also be of significant value to Aristocrat in our existing core markets as we continue to invest heavily in the development of our server-based gaming product offering,” he added.  Following a global competitive evaluation, Interactwive was awarded a contract by Norse Tipping, the Norwegian lottery, in November 2003 for the supply of an interactive was awarded a contract by Norse Tipping, the Norwegian lottery, in November 2003 for the supply of an interactive video lottery system and around 10,000 terminals.  The roll-out of this opportunity, pending resolution of a legal challenge in the European Courts, is expected to re-commence in early 2007.  Reidar Nordby, President of Norsk Tipping, said: “The Interactive system is the most technologically advanced VLT system today.”

Aristocrat has also entered into a Strategic Alliance Agreement with Tattersall’s, which represents a further step in the development of the strong relationship between these two substantial Australian gaming companies.  It will also enable Aristocrat to further develop and utilize Interactive’s gaming system technology, the development of which included the active involvement of Tattersall’s.  Aristocrat intends to commit significant research and development resources to ensure the optimizations of Interactive’s potential.  This is effectively a start-up operation and the financial performance of Interactive will be dependent on the speed of the roll-out of its products.  The Aristocrat deal to acquire EssNet Interactive comes just a month after US lottery giant, Scientific Games completed the purchase of the online lottery assets of EssNet AB for US$60m.  the acquisition adds seven states in Germany, the national lotteries of Hungary and Norway, Golden Casket and Tattersall’s Lottery in Australia, and other national lotteries, to its portfo9lio of customers.  EssNet’s 2005 online lottery revenues totaled around $40m.  According to Scientific Games Chairman and CEO Lorne Weil: “The EssNet acquisition not only gives us some strong operations in Europe, especially Germany, but also an important foothold in Australia, one of the major gaming markets in the world.”  EssNet operations will be integrated into the larger business over the next few months in a process expected to be completed in the second half of 2006.”

Crazy Frog burns in Gulf of Arden

Harry Levy Amusements has lots a container of the Crazy Frog-themed Annoying Thing whacker machines after the ship, Hyundai Fortune, burned in the Gulf of Arden last month following an explosion.  The machines, many of which were due for an Easter delivery, were part of an estimated US$300m of cargo that was destroyed in the accident which is believed to have been caused by containers of fireworks.  Harry Levy ’s Colin Mallery said of the incident: “It is a great shame to have lost this consignment of machines. 

The Annoying Thing was the star of our redemption offering at the ATEI and has sold likehot cross burns this Easter.  But operators would do well to wait for a new delivery, as the frog will release three singles in the upcoming months and is set for its own TV show next year.  This is truly the license to watch.”



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