Online Poker Report

NV Licensee Profile: Bally Technologies

This is one of a series of profiles covering companies that hold a license to operate in Nevada’s online gambling market.

Bally Technologies is a Las Vegas-based outfit best known for their development of a variety of gaming devices. The company also structures and executes player backends for gaming devices, and provides a number of related services to casinos and other customers.

Details and Timeline of Bally Technology’s Nevada License

Bally Technologies applied for two Nevada licenses, both a service provider and as an online poker manufacturer.

On June 6, 2012 Bally’s license application was recommended for approval by the Nevada Gaming Control Board following a hearing. Bally’s became the first company to receive such an approval from the NGCB and their application was sent on to the Nevada Gaming Commission for final approval.

On Thursday, June 21, 2012, Bally Technologies became the first company licensed by the Nevada Gaming Commission to act as a Gaming Manufacturer and Service Provider. Bally’s license was approved unanimously, and on the same day the NGC also approved IGT’s license.

As a licensed service provider and manufacturer Bally’s will have multiple roles in the new online poker industry. Based on their partnership with Amaya Gaming (see more on this below) it would appear that Bally will be focusing on creating new games and products for the online poker industry, and leaving the day-to-day operations of the software to Amaya.

Partnerships and role in Nevada market

In February of 2013, Bally Technologies partnered with Amaya Gaming –the current owners of the OnGame Poker Network—with Amaya supplying the poker platform for Bally’s online poker site. Bally’s would still need to find an online poker operator to partner with in order to dip their toes in the Nevada online poker market; a move they made in September of 2012 when theyaligned themselves with Stratosphere Casino owners American Casino and Entertainment Properties (ACEP), a company that has received an online operator’s license from the NGC.

In 2012 Bally technologies also partnered with Aristocrat Technologies, with the two companies planning to offer a full slate of online gaming options in the newly regulated market. This partnership may start moving forward now that Aristocrat Technologies has been approved as a Service Provider on May 23, 2013

Bally Technologies: Company Overview

What would eventually become Bally Technologies started out as two separate companies: Advanced Patent Technology which began in 1968 as a patent development firm, and Bally which was started in 1932 as a slot machine manufacturer.

Advanced Patent Technology is the more interesting of the two, as its road to gaming was long and winding. When you consider that the company was far removed from the gaming industry in its earliest days it makes for an interesting tale, a tale we’ll pick-up in 1979.

For Advanced Patent Technology their path to the gaming industry began in 1979 when the company purchased the United Coin Machine Company, a massive slot machine company, and Advanced Patent technology was suddenly in the gaming business, but it would take nearly 20 years before they joined forces with Bally.

That same year the company announced plans for a hotel/casino in Laughlin, Nevada, and in the following years they had countless run-ins with the Nevada Gaming Commission, so many issues in fact that the now rebranded Gaming and Technology inc. sold its Laughlin Casino, the River Belle, and stuck to slot machines until 1989, when it once again got into the casino game, and once again with a new corporate name, United Gaming inc. – don’t worry, eventually it will be called Bally Technologies!

United Gaming ran a number of smaller casinos in and around Las Vegas, as well as expanding to Louisiana in later years, but it wasn’t until the mid 1990’s (under the new name Alliance Gaming corp.) and after a three-plus year process that included an attempted hostile takeover of Bally Entertainment in 1995, that the company would cement itself as a major player in the casino world when negotiations between the two companies, Bally and Alliance, concluded and the two corporations finally came to an agreement in 1996.

Since the merger Bally Technologies (as the company eventually became known in 2006) has been one of the top slot machine and video manufacturers around the world. The company’s headquarters are located in Las Vegas, Nevada, and it is a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange.

Bally Technologies: Power Players

  • Bally Technologies outgoing CEO: Richard Haddrill (Haddrill left Bally’s December 31, 2012): Despite leaving the company I left Haddrill’s name here because he oversaw the licensing of Bally’s in the Nevada market. Haddrill leaves behind a long resume filled with accomplishments, and new CEO Ramesh Srinivasan will have some very big shoes to fill.
  • Bally Technologies incoming CEO and former COO and President Ramesh Srinivasan: Srinivasan was promoted to President of Bally Technologies in March of 2011, and added the COO title to his bio in December of 2012, all the while being tapped to replace outgoing CEO Richard Haddrill in January of 2013. Srinivasan has been with Bally’s for nearly a decade and was an integral part of the company’s overseas growth.

Potential in other US markets

Bally is a well known brand in the gaming industry, and considering the company’s propensity to keep their eggs in a number of different baskets, it’s almost a certainty that the Bally’s name will pop-up in other legal, regulated, markets in the US.

Bally has already formed a strategic partnership with Mohegan Sun, even though Connecticut isn’t even on the radar for online gaming legislation.

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Steve Ruddock
Steve Ruddock - Steve covers nearly every angle of online poker in his job as a full-time freelance poker writer. His work for OPR includes a series of profiles on companies licensed for online gambling in Nevada.