Hills Nevada hearing set; Cantor withdraws IPO; Shuffle Master moving on up

TAGs: bmm international, Cantor Gaming, Nevada gaming control board, Shuffle Master, William Hill

william-hill-nevada-cantor-shuffle-masterUK bookmaker William Hill will get its long-awaited hearing before the Nevada Gaming Control Board next week. The GCB will hold a meeting June 7 at which it will consider (among other items) Hills’ 2011 acquisitions of Nevada-based betting operators American Wagering (maker of Leroy’s App, America’s first sanctioned mobile sports betting offering), Cal Neva Sports Book and Brandywine Bookmaking. In April, the Guardian speculated that Hills’ application for a Nevada gaming license was on the rocks due in part to concerns over William Hill Online JV partner Playtech, whose majority owner Teddy Sagi once did a nine-month stint in an Israeli prison for stock manipulation. In a bid to improve their chances of passing the GCB sniff test, Hills recently pulled out of the Australian market to avoid the faintest whiff of impropriety. Assuming the GCB doesn’t discover any nasty surprises lurking up Hills’ back passage, the buck would pass to the state Gaming Commission, whose next scheduled meeting is June 21.

Hills’ move into Nevada will put it in direct competition with Cantor Gaming, the Cantor Fitzgerald subsidiary that operates sportsbooks at a number of Las Vegas casinos. This week, another Cantor subsidiary – Cantor Entertainment Technology (CET) – withdrew the $100m initial public offering registration it filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission in December. CET plans to resubmit the registration at a later date under the new confidential filing provisions of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012, which took effect April 5. In doing so, CET becomes the first company to publicly cite a desire for privacy in pulling a planned IPO off the table. Can’t think what Cantor finds too embarrassing to reveal, unless it’s the fact that its sports betting hold percentage is less than half that of the average Vegas book.

Shuffle Master Gaming has paid $2.2m for a nine-acre parcel of Las Vegas turf on which it plans to construct a new corporate HQ and manufacturing office. The blueprints envision a 110k-square-foot space grouping the company’s various operations – currently scattered over four separate locations – under a single zip code. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that construction on Shuffle Master’s new Xanadu is slated to begin this summer with a fall 2013 completion date.

Also planning a move to larger digs is BMM International, which tests and certifies gaming technology for both brick-and-mortar and online casinos. BMM’s Wendy Anderson told Vegas Inc. that the company plans to add another 100 employees to its current 50-person roster to handle the expected influx of new business prompted by Nevada’s decision to outsource the technology testing of the state’s prospective online poker licensees. The company says the new digs will be four times larger than their current lodgings.


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