Control board approves acquisition of WMS Gaming by New York company
The state Gaming Control Board conducted its monthly meeting today in Las Vegas.
The issue: Scientific Games of New York needs regulatory approval to complete the acquisition of WMS Gaming of Waukegan, Ill., in a $1.5 billion deal announced in January.
The vote: 3-0 to recommend approval of the transaction to the Nevada Gaming Commission
What it means: If approved by the commission on Sept. 26, the two companies would receive the state's approval for the transaction. Other states would have to sign off on the deal, which has been approved by shareholders of both companies.
Scientific, which formerly operated as Autotote and provided automated tote boards at horse and dog racing tracks, now generates most of its revenue providing equipment and operating lotteries around the world. The company reported $64 million in earnings last year, a 78 percent increase since 2005, on revenue of $690 million, which increased by 300 percent since 2005.
By differing measures, WMS is either the nation's second or third largest manufacturer of video slot machines and produces the themed Reel 'em In, Monopoly and the Price is Right slot machines.
WMS has a distribution center in Las Vegas that employs 150 people. Scientific Chairman and CEO Loren Weil said the company would maintain and add to the company's presence in Las Vegas.
The board also briefly questioned Scientific Games' principal owner, Ronald Perelman, who is listed at No. 79 on the Forbes magazine net worth ranking of the world's billionaires.
In an interview following the board's action, Perelman said Scientific "would have an important presence in Las Vegas" but didn't offer details on expansion plans.
"You've got to be where your customers are," Perelman said.