Aristocrat “Doubling Down” on Tulsa with Groundbreaking for Class II VGT Center

Posted on: July 10, 2021, 11:31h. 

Last updated on: July 11, 2021, 01:27h.

Representatives from Aristocrat Gaming, the Indian gaming industry, and the Tulsa business community gathered in that northeast Oklahoma city on Thursday to break ground on Aristocrat’s newest facility.

Aristocrat Oklahoma
From left: Deanne McKissick, Aristocrat Gaming senior vice president of customer order execution; Mike Neal, Tulsa Chamber of Commerce president and CEO; Hector Fernandez, Aristocrat president of Americas & EMEA; James Starr, Aristocrat’s VGT President; Matthew Morgan, Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association chairman; and Jerry Hale, VGT VP of Midwest Operations get ready to turn over dirt for the ceremonial groundbreaking of Aristocrat’s new Class II gaming center in Tulsa on Thursday. (Image: Aristocrat Gaming)

The 137,500-square-foot building, to be called the Tulsa Operations Center, will bring together 300 employees who work on Class II video gaming terminals for the company. The new space will include a mix of manufacturing, office, and warehousing space.

At Thursday’s groundbreaking, Aristocrat President of Americas and EMEA Hector Fernandez told the crowd in attendance that the company is “doubling down” on its relationship with Tulsa.

That is why we are making this 10-year commitment that will lead the community into the future,” he said. “Oklahoma is important to us as a company, and we are committed to helping our customers and our employees succeed.”

Company officials expect the 112,500-square-foot warehouse and manufacturing center will be completed by this winter, with the office space finished by next spring.

Aristocrat’s Class II games are developed by the company’s Video Gaming Technologies Inc.

Class II Gaming Big in Oklahoma

Class II gaming includes bingo-based games and non-banked card games, such as a poker room, where the house does not compete against players. For VGTs, that means the terminals determine winners based on electronic bingo games instead of a random number generator that’s used in Class III slot machines.

Under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, tribal nations that pass a gaming ordinance that the National Indian Gaming Commission accepts can typically operate a Class II gaming facility in their state of origin, provided that the games are legal in that state.

Unlike Class III gaming, tribal nations do not need a gaming compact with the state in order to operate a Class II casino.

Matthew Morgan, chairman of the Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association, told CNHI Oklahoma in December 2019 that most casinos in the state offer up to 60 percent Class II games, depending on the facility. Usually, Class II games are found in more rural markets, he added.

According to Aristocrat’s website, the Video Gaming Technologies division has installed more than 20,000 Class II VGTs in nearly 150 gaming venues across the US.

About Aristocrat

Aristocrat is a subsidiary of Australian-based Aristocrat Leisure Limited. The parent company, which makes Class II and Class III games, employs more than 6,000 workers. It also is involved in other facets of gaming technology. That includes working on cashless gaming technology with Boyd Gaming.

The company has been approved to offer games in more than 300 gaming jurisdictions spread across more than 90 countries.