Nevada gambling regulators approve Bally-SHFL deal

LAS VEGAS — Nevada gambling regulators signed off Thursday on a $1.3 billion buyout by Bally Technologies Inc. of a rival casino device company formerly known as ShuffleMaster.

The acquisition of SHFL Entertainment Inc. was approved during a joint meeting of the Nevada Gaming Control Board and Nevada Gaming Commission, commission executive Adriana Fralick said.

The deal was characterized as a friendly move after the boards of the two publicly traded companies approved it in July.

Bally Technologies President and CEO Ramesh Srinivasan cast it as a strategic expansion that would widen the range of products and services offered over a broader area including Australia and Asia.

SHFL Entertainment CEO Gavin Isaacs focused on the companies’ similar goals.

The deal needs federal regulatory approval, but Srinivasan told the Las Vegas Review-Journal he expects it will be finalized before the end of the year.

Bally promised to pay $23.25 per share and acquire $8 million in SHFL debt and $41 million in cash.

SHFL shareholders approved the deal Tuesday.

Both companies are based in Las Vegas.

Bally dates to 1932. It makes slot machines including reel-spinning and video slots, and casino management and accounting systems.

SHFL, founded in Minnesota in 1983, began with automatic card-shuffling devices and expanded into other casino systems.

SHFL stock traded Thursday at $23.19, up 3 cents.

Bally traded at $71.61, up $2.02 or 2.9 percent.


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