Bally Technologies and Shuffle Master have long been two of the biggest casino technology suppliers in the industry. Now, thanks to a massive merger, the two companies will be working under the same banner.
Bally Technologies has agreed to the acquisition of SHFL Entertainment – the company once known as Shuffle Master – for a price of nearly $1.3 billion in cash. It is the largest acquisition in the company’s history, and one that will help make Bally a dominant force in the casino manufacturing industry.
“Like SHFL, Bally focuses on creating both entertaining player experiences through high-performing content and state-of-the-art technological solutions to increase productivity on the casino floor,” said SHFL CEO Gavin Isaacs in a statement. “United, we become a larger, stronger organization that we believe will best position the company for future growth.”
While both businesses served the casino industry, their strengths were slightly different, which may make the acquisition synergistic for both sides. Bally is primarily known for producing slot machines, including machines based on properties like NASCAR, Playboy and Michael Jackson. Less obvious to consumers, they’re also behind some of the most popular casino management systems used behind the scenes.
Shuffle Up and Let’s Make a Deal
While SHFL does produce slot machines (including popular machines such as Press Your Luck and Let’s Make a Deal), they also offer a number of table game products that are of interest to casinos. Their first product, a mechanical shuffler, became a huge weapon for casinos who were concerned about card counting in blackjack. Today, the company still produces shuffling machines, but also sells its popular table games to casinos, including Three Card Poker, Let It Ride, and Casino War.
SHFL is also a major force outside of the United States market. In their most recently reported quarter, the company earned about 45 percent of its earnings from Asia and Australia.
In order to purchase SHFL, Bally paid $23.25 per share of the company, which has been publicly traded since 1992. That was a 24 percent premium over the price of SHFL stock at the time of the purchase.