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Gaming Guru

Howard Stutz

Shuffle Master chief financial officer resigns after three years

5 November 2007

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- Shuffle Master Chief Financial Officer Richard Baldwin resigned Friday from the gaming equipment supplier.

In a statement, Shuffle Master said Baldwin, who joined the company in 2004, wanted to pursue other opportunities. He will remain as a part-time employee with Shuffle Master for an undisclosed period of time.

"Mr. Baldwin's resignation does not involve any disagreement over any financial matters concerning the company, nor any disagreement with the company's auditors," Shuffle Master said in a statement.

Shuffle Master President and Chief Operating Officer Paul Meyer will serve as acting chief financial officer, a capacity he served before Baldwin's arrival. Meyer has held senior financial positions, including CFO, at several other companies.

Baldwin spent two years with International Game Technology in positions involving finance and investor relations. He spent four years with Anchor Gaming in finance positions. Anchor was purchased in 2002 by IGT.

Shuffle Master was forced to restate its 2006 earnings this year because of an internal accounting error, which caused shares of the company to tumble. In February 2006, Shuffle Master spent $108 million to acquire Australian slot machine maker Stargames. In September, the company completed a $30 million buyout of Progressive Gaming's table game division.

In a note to investors, Deutsche Bank gaming analyst Bill Lerner said there wasn't much more to Baldwin's resignation beyond the company's statement.

"We do not believe Baldwin's resignation has anything to do with new issues at Shuffle Master," Lerner said. "We are confident that Baldwin left for personal reasons and to pursue other opportunities."

Lerner said Shuffle Master has scheduled a meeting in New York on Monday with gaming analysts that could clarify additional matters.