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Aristocrat cheers growth

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Unicum introduces chinese interface

Packer finalises concession

 

 

International NEWS

EUROPE

SEGA Europe is moving its headquarters to Chessington, north of London, shortly and with it the company will take its spares business, which was previously contracted to Suzo International.  The five-year contract has come to an end and the company has taken the business back to house in its new offices with a dedicated spares counter.

UK 

The largest adult gaming centre operator in Britain, Talarius, with its 185 locations and over 10,000 machines in operation, reported sales growth of 15 per cent in the first half of its financial year ending July 15, 2006.  The Quicksilver gaming centres has grown in number from 164 with the acquisition of leisurama Entertainments in March.

US

Redemption Plus, a distributor of redemption merchandise for the FEC and learning centre markets, was ranked number 42 in Ingram’s Corporate 100 Report this year.  Ingram’s, the Kansas City metropolitan area.

UK

Namco Operations Europe has purchased the Number 10 bowling group.  The bowling company has sites in several British cities and the purchases brings the number of locations operated  by Namco Operations in the UK and Spain to 16, including the prestige locations at London’s County Hall and Manchester’s Trafford Centre.

MERIT ORCHESTRATES CHINA COPY RAIDS

Merits relentless pursuit of counterfeiters has taken it to mainland China for the first time.  Director of government relations Bob Fay announced on August 9 that the previous day a series of raids had taken place in Panyu and Guangzhou, China, taking in five companies.  A number of counterfeit machines and boards had been seized, an instant fine was imposed on one company, and the discovery of illegal gambling machines at another company had brought a heavy police presence and subsequent seizure of over 150 illegal gaming machines.


      The companies raided were EXL Electronics, Jingge Computer Science and Technology, Chengtai Electronics Technology, Chengtai Electronics Technology, Totem Amusement and Guangzhou XIPU Electronics Co.  In addition to the seizure of equipment, Fay’s Chinese-based attorneys, who  led the raids, took ’50-60 pages’ of records which would show inter- company trading in copy games and identified export markets in a number of countries.  “The records will help us pinpoint where games were sent and therefore where to turn our attention next,” said Fay.

     

A three-month investigation by Fay and his investigators had pinpointed 14 suspect Chinese companies from ads placed in a Chinese-language coin machine magazine and from other sources.  These were short-listed to the six companies which the investigating team felt were the principal sources of copies and they were raided simultaneously by the Chinese Administration for Industry and Commerce Commission (AIC), an organization unique to China which is able to investigate allegations of copying, seize equipment and records and impose immediate fines on the principles of the companies.  They were joined by officers of other Chinese commercial departments and when the illegal gaming machines were found in two of the raided companies, 150 police officers were brought in.


      “It was all very successful,” said Fay.  “We had some excellent cooperation form the Chinese authorities, the raids were carefully coordinated and yielded some major finds both in copy games and in data.”  In the past few months Mr. Fay’s activities have seen some starting successes in Hong Kong, Singapore and South Africa, providing information which directly led to the raids in China.  Four of the companies were based in Panyu, the principal  Chinese coin machines manufacturing base, and one, Jingge, in nearby Guangzhou.
      “In two factories we found shipments all ready and prepared for dispatch,” he said.  The undisclosed number of Merit copies were supplemented in two instances by the illegal gambling machines – it is a serious offence in China to deal in gambling machines – and in one case no fewer that 255 slots were uncovered and seized by the police.

      “Where the principals of the companies were on the premises at the time of the raid, the AIC was able to impose immediate fines of the equivalent of US $ 2,500,” said Fay, “but the amount of the fine is not important here – what is more significant is the seizure of machines and records and the knowledge that the Chinese authorities now have those companies  under observations.”
      He added that the investigations into counterfeit games and boards were by no means concluded after the successful operations in Asia and Africa and that the company’s investigating team would now turn its attention on to other geographic areas, helped by the paperwork seized in china.  “We will continue to keep the locations we have already undertaken action in close scrutiny7,” he said, “and we will be working with the customs  officials in those countries to tighten up their procedures to catch counterfeit games passing in and out of their territories.”

 

 

 
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