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Howard Stutz

Aristocrat Leisure replaces leader of U.S. operations

15 September 2008

AUSTRALIA AND LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- Australia-based slot machine maker Aristocrat Leisure Ltd. has tapped a new president of its American operations for the second time in the last two years.

The company announced Thursday that Tim Parrott had been replaced as head of Las Vegas-based Aristocrat Technologies by Nick Khin, who has overseen Aristocrat's operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa since September 2006. Khin has been with Aristocrat since 2002.

Parrott, who was also the CEO of the American operations, replaced Gavin Isaacs as president in 2006. Isaacs left Aristocrat when his contract expired. He became the chief operating officer at slot machine rival Bally Technologies.

In a statement, Aristocrat Leisure Chief Executive Officer Paul Oneile complimented Khin.

"I am confident that his leadership style coupled with his intimate understanding of global gaming markets and customers will establish Aristocrat as the pre-eminent supplier of gaming solutions in the Americas region," Oneile said.

Aristocrat has had several ups and downs since entering the American slot machine market in 2001. The company is considered Australia's leading slot machine provider but has been unable to make a significant crack in the American gaming market, which is controlled by International Game Technology, Bally and WMS Industries.

Parrott had been an executive with several casino companies. Before joining Aristocrat, he was on the board of directors for casino operator Pinnacle Entertainment.

Mark Wilson, the Australia-based gaming analyst for Deutsche Bank, told investors the change was made because earnings from the American operation were expected to show a decline by 35 percent in the past two years.

"We view the appointment of Nick Khin as a modest positive, although he still lacks U.S. gaming experience," Wilson said in an investors note. "The U.S. represents a number of challenges including the difficult macro environment."

On the Australian Stock Exchange, Aristocrat shares rose 19 cents Australian to close at $7 Australian ($5.76 U.S.)