Online Poker Report

NV Licensee Profile: International Game Technology

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

International Game Technology (IGT) is a Nevada based gaming company that deals in virtually every aspect of Brick & Mortar and online gaming, ranging from product design and development, to marketing and sales for both live casino games and online gaming.

Details and Timeline of IGT’s Nevada License

As mentioned above, service provider licenses do not allow the licensee to operate an online poker room in Nevada; a Class 1 service provider instead deals with the site’s software and maintenance and is one of the most vetted licenses a company can apply for as they handle all of the code and back-end issues at online poker sites.

Partnerships and Role in the Las Vegas market

IGT has been working a number of different angles in the Nevada market; as mentioned above, they purchased Double Down Interactive for $500 million (Double Down Interactive is a social gaming creator creating Facebook style gambling games) and then IGT scooped-up Entraction Holdings AB, a major player in online poker for many years, and a familiar name to online poker players. IGT paid $115 million for Entraction, but has shelved the network for the time being.

It will be interesting to see how IGT repositions itself, along with Entraction and Double Down assets in the Nevada market.

IGT Company Overview

IGT is one of the biggest names in the gaming industry both in the US and abroad, with interactive offices in the US, England, Estonia, and Sweden, as well as offices in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Estonia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

IGT has been around in one form or another since the 1950’s, and is one of the biggest players in the gaming industry. After decades of private ownership the company made the decision to go public in 1981 –IGT is now part of the S&P 500– after launching its Video Poker machines which were an absolute smash hit.

In 1984 IGT continued to expand into new arenas, acquiring Electronic Data Technologies (EDT) and using that company’s product to be an innovator in the player tracking systems which are currently at the heart of today’s VIP Loyalty Programs throughout casinos around the globe.

In the 1990’s IGT went from a US company to a major international player, establishing offices in the UK, followed by South America and Africa, and during this time, in 1996, the company hit gaming gold with its Wheel of Fortune Slot Machine, which is recognized as one of the most successful gaming machines in the history of gambling; a progressive machine that is still at the heart of every casino’s slot area.

In the mid-2000’s IGT went all-in with online gaming, and purchased WagerWorks, which allowed IGT inroads into the lucrative online gambling market, as WagerWorks supplied software to established online casinos like Paddy Power, William Hill, and Betfair. In the lead-up to receiving their Nevada License IGT also purchased Double Down Interactive and Entraction Holdings, two online gaming software companies.

In addition to their new inroads in the online gaming industry, IGT supplies a number of popular Brick & Mortar casino games ranging from Star Wars, to Fort Knox, to Family Guy, to the aforementioned Wheel of Fortune, and will likely be a big part of online gaming in the future.

IGT Power Players

The current CEO of IGT is Patti Hart, who has served in that role since 2009, and has been on the IGT Board of Directors dating back to 2006. A successful executive at companies such as Pinnacle and Yahoo, Hart is also a founding member of the Global Gaming Women initiative and contributes to a number of gaming publications.

Other bigwigs at IGT include:

  • IGT’s President: Eric Berg

  • IGT’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO): John Vandemore

  • IGT’s Chief Operating Officer (COO): Eric Tom

(Ed note: An earlier version of this profile mistakenly identified former CFO Patrick Cavanaugh as the current CFO. Cavanaugh was replaced in 2012.)

IGT’s Potential in other US markets

As a Class 1 service provider IGT will likely have plenty of opportunities to be active in other states where online gaming legislation passes.

This will be especially true if states start forming inter-state compacts. IGT also seems to take the long-view of online gaming, evidenced by their moves before even receiving an online gaming license in Nevada.

External Links

*Resources: www.wikipedia.org, www.igt.com

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Steve Ruddock
- Steve covers nearly every angle of online poker in his job as a full-time freelance poker writer. His primary focus for OPR is the developing legal and legislative picture for regulated US online poker and gambling.