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Gaming Guru

Rod Smith
 

Golden Nugget Owners Bank on Technology

25 March 2004

LAS VEGAS -- Travelscape founders Tim Poster and Tom Breitling, the new owners of the Golden Nugget who built their reputations in the high-tech business, are again banking their fortunes on technology.

The Poster Financial Group principals Wednesday awarded a contract to Aristocrat Technologies to take the management of their casino floor where it has never gone before.

"Tim and I have extensive background in technology and how it applies to business," Breitling said. "We took a look at using technology to improve (the) casino business."

The biggest opportunity for the new owners, he said, was managing the operation of the casino floor, which led the pair to the Aristocrat deal that Breitling called the "first step in (our) becoming a leader in the gaming industry."

Aristocrat Technologies President Gavin Isaacs said the contract to add the company's Oasis Casino Management System to all new and existing Golden Nugget slot machines will drive incremental revenue into the properties and provide operational efficiencies at the same time, boosting the casinos' bottom line.

Aristocrat Technologies, the U.S. subsidiary of Australia-based Aristocrat Leisure Ltd. will provide the management systems.

"With our reputation for leveraging technology to deliver successful business solutions, we selected the powerful tools that the Oasis suite provides for our casino operations and our casino marketing initiatives," Poster said.

For Australia-based Aristocrat, which has been working to reassert itself in the United States and increase its U.S. market share, the technology represents the most comprehensive system ever installed all at once.

Isaacs said the Golden Nugget "is very strategic for us" because of the recognition it will garner in the gaming industry.

"It's the highest-profile testimonial to the technology we have in place," he said.

Aristocrat since September has been positioning itself to compete head-to-head with slot manufacturing giant International Gaming Technology.

Reno-based IGT in 2002 accounted for more than 70 percent of the domestic slot machine market, while Aristocrat held less than 20 percent of the U.S. market. Outside the United States, however, Aristocrat's market share exceeds 40 percent.

The all-inclusive package from Aristocrat will provide the two Golden Nugget properties with the full Oasis suite, including Quickets ticket-in/ticket-out technology for cashless wagering, player-tracking software, online accounting tools, customized cage operations, and Aristocrat's most advanced marketing and promotions technology.

Aristocrat will also provide technology services to the Golden Nugget properties including maintenance, software upgrades and training.

Poster said he expects Artistocrat's marketing applications to be helpful in developing promotions and player rewards to entice added customers and increased levels of play.

Aristocrat will begin installing its Oasis system at the Las Vegas property immediately for a projected "go live" date in the second quarter. Installation at the Golden Nugget Laughlin is scheduled for completion later this year.

For the installation of Aristocrat's Quickets ticket-in/ticket-out set-up, the Golden Nugget and Aristocrat will begin upgrading 400 machines late this month and will have converted 800 machines within the next two to three months, Golden Nugget Chief Information Officer Dan Ives said.

By next year, all 1,260 of the property's slot and video poker machines will be upgraded to use Quickets.

For the Golden Nugget, Quickets' advantages include faster play, maximizing play and win throughout the casino, and more expedient customer service on the floor, Ives said. Bill readers will be programmed to read tickets as well as accept bills.