CASINOS Austria’s first cashless operation in an Austrian Casino has been launched at the Casino Velden in Velden am Wörthersee in the Austrian Federak State of Carinthia, close to the Slovenian boarder.

      After several workshops and careful preparations, casinos Austria implemented Attronic Systems ’ Chip Cash smat card cashless solution in its casinos. The casino switched all of its machines over to Chip Cash in one go, eliminating the use of coins in all machines on the same day. Players now have the choice to load the Chip Cash card at the cash desk or to load the card at the machines, using the machine’s bill acceptor to insert the bills and directly load the credits onto the card.
     “We were very pleased to see our players accepting the card without any problems ”, said Dr Hainzl, casinos Austria’s head of operations.
     “Since the introduction of Chip Cash, the slot game turnover in Velden has continually increased. We are very happy about having chosen Chip Cash over other solutions that had been offered and have found a reliable partner in Atronic Systems. ”
      Gerhard Burda, chief executive of Atronic, was present during the Velden launch. He said : “It had been a somewhat slow start for Chip Cash in Europe after it had taken the South African market by storm a few years ago. However, in the last 18 to 24 months, we’ve made significant inroads in the market and have a Chip Cash installation in almost every European country where it’s legal. As a native Austrian, I am especially pleased that Casinos Austria has now chosen our solution. ”

Shuffle master finalises Stragames acquisition

SHUFFLE master has completed its acquisition of Stargames by purchasing 95 percent of outstanding Stargames shares.

      Based in Sydney, Australia, Stargames developes, manufactures and distributes a wide range of electronic entertainment gaming products. Its product offerings include the Rapid Table Games and Vegas Star multiterminal gaming machine platforms, as well as a broad line of video slots designed primarily for the Australian and Asian gaming markets.
      With approximately 200 employees, Stargames generated US $ 48m in profitable gaming revenues in its fiscal year ended June 30, 2005.
     “The Stargames acquisition represents a significant milestone for Shuffle master and signals a new era for our company’s product growth and expansion,” said Mark Yoseloff, chairman of the board and chief executive. “Their products will both enhance our entertainment products portfolio and provide additional electronic platforms for our branded content, will superbly position our company to expand our presence in the fast-growing AustralAsian region.

     “We anticipate the transaction will be modestly accretive to fiscal 2006 earnings per share and operating cash flows, with larger gains expected starting in the second full combined year. We are targeting approximately 25 per cent growth in quarter-over –quarter and year-over-year fiscal 2006 earnings per share.
     “With the immediate integration of the Stargames products, our direct sales forces will enable the Vegas Star and Rapid Table Game platforms to be aggressively promoted in areas where they have been previously underrepresented, and will enable us to compete more successfully in key growth areas like Europe, Asia and North America. This acquisitions will further solidify our position as the industry’s premier table game provider. ”

Lucky six get Pennsylvania license

THE Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has awarded licenses to six companies to manufacture slot machines and associated equipment.
      All six licenses are subject to a series of 40 conditions set by the board to ensure that the requirements of the Pennsylvania Race Horse Development and Gaming Act and Board regulations are met. “These are the first licenses of any sort approved by the board since we began work on the implementation of the Act,” said Tad Decker, chairman of the board. “This is a major step for expanded gaming in Pennsylvania. ”

      The board approved the licenses for Aristocrat Technologies Australia, IGT, NRT Technology, Western Money Systems and WMS Gaming. The Gaming Control Board received 13 applications for licenses during the first phase and will address the remaining seven companies from the first phase of applications at a later date. The remaining applicants are Atronic Americas, bally Gaming, GTECH, Spielo Manufacturing, Konami Gaming, Konami Corporation and Shuffle master.
      Under the new Act, the board will licenses 14 gaming facilities across the state.

*  TCS John Huxley Australia has appointed Alan Stevens, well known and highly regarded within the gaming industry, as sales manager. Stevens has a strong and successful background in a gaming equipment supply and will be based in Melbourne. “We are delighted with Alan’s appointment; his many years of gaming supply expertise will strengthen our service delivery throughout the region,” commented Bryan Jenkins, TCS ’ managing director.