Deal for 4,000 gaming devices boosts Bally profit forecast

Analysts hiked their profit forecasts Tuesday for Bally Technologies Inc. of Las Vegas after the company said it signed contracts to sell or lease more than 4,000 video gaming terminals in Illinois over the next two years.

Bally said it's gaining a leading position in the Illinois terminal market and that more than 3,000 of the devices will be connected to its Bally MultiConnect centralized accounting and management system.

Two of the big Bally customers represent more than 1,500 locations throughout Illinois. A new law there allows slot-machine-like gaming in locations such as bars, restaurants, truck stops and fraternal organization with liquor licenses.

While Bally didn't disclose financial projections of its expansion in Illinois, Union Gaming Group analysts in Las Vegas said Bally has seized a good portion of a market it estimates at 10,000 to 30,000 devices.

Union Gaming increased its net revenue estimate for Bally in fiscal year 2014 from $1 billion to $1.03 billion and its EBITDA estimate from $328.4 million to $333.4 million. Union Gaming said Bally should earn $3.54 per share in fiscal 2014, up from $3.47 estimated earlier.

EBITDA means earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.

The Bally video gaming terminals in Illinois will include what Bally called ''iconic'' games such as Blazing 7s and Quick Hit.

Competitor International Game Technology, in the meantime, is touting its machines as the "top earning, more reliable choice for Illinois video gaming terminal operators.'' IGT is offering familiar games like Deuce Wild, Triple Double Bonus Poker, Jack or Better and Video Blackjack.