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Gaming Guru

Richard N. Velotta
 

CEO for newly minted IGT rings opening bell on Street

8 April 2015

Right, that’s IGT CEO Marco Sala — not GTECH CEO Marco Sala.

Sala ushered in the new era for the company that has made a name for Nevada in the gaming equipment manufacturing sector, closing on the GTECH’s $6.4 billion acquisition of the slot machine-manufacturing juggernaut that over the past decade has migrated much of its corporate structure to Las Vegas from Reno.

Now, the Italian company whose corporate headquarters is in London and has operations in Rome, Las Vegas and Providence, R.I., is the leading end-to-end global gaming company operating on multiple platforms.

The company began trading on the New York Stock Exchange Tuesday under the ticker symbol “IGT,” prompting the opportunity for Sala to ring the opening bell.

The stock closed Tuesday at $20.08 a share, up $2.40 or 13.6 percent from the opening on about twice the normal volume of shares traded.

“We are pleased to welcome IGT to the NYSE,” Thomas Farley, New York Stock Exchange group president, said in a statement. “IGT is a premier global gaming operator shaping the future of entertainment and gaming and an excellent addition to the NYSE’s community of the world’s leading companies.”

The company also unveiled a new logo Tuesday and began taking advantage of the $280 million in savings on corporate costs the company anticipates.

The newly minted IGT is now the world’s top gaming machine manufacturer as well as the top lottery contractor with traditional lottery sales, instant tickets, scratch tickets and video lottery terminals in 41 U.S. states and in more than 100 countries worldwide.

In an interview with the Review-Journal, Sala said IGT would continue to focus on casino products and technology in Nevada, maintaining research and development in studios in Nevada. He said the company’s Rhode Island location would house its U.S. lottery operations.

Sala said over the next 24 months, the company would increase its investment in technological development and interactive products and grow business by listening to customers.

“We’ll take advantage of the content library we have acquired and offer it across all platforms, slot machines, our lotteries, social media, mobile and interactive (Internet gaming),” he said.

He’s not worried about the United States not embracing Internet play since the company is well-positioned in other parts of the world. The company does not intend to enter the political fray over Internet gambling.

With combined revenue in 2014 of $6 billion, Sala believes the company is well-positioned to expand its reach to new customers in new geographic locations as well as through new channels. The company now owns the most successful game title of all time in “Wheel of Fortune,” which was introduced in 1996.

Sala expects market share to increase with its acquisition and he’s heard the critics who are concerned that equipment manufacturers aren’t developing content that is attracting young players into the casinos.

In a recent Nevada Gaming Control Board meeting, Sala said developing products that are appealing to new, younger audience will be what drives the company in the months ahead.
CEO for newly minted IGT rings opening bell on Street is republished from Online.CasinoCity.com.