Sat, Jun 8, 4:01pm by Kevin Pitstock
Australia-based Aristocrat Technologies signed an agreement with a Billings, Montana gaming machine manufacturing company to produce 3 machines per year over the next three years. Grand Vision Gaming of Billings became Aristocrat’s sole distributor in Montana last year.
Under terms of the agreement, Grand Vision Gaming will produce three gaming machines: Buffalo Pokies, 5 Dragons Pokies, and Miss Kitty Pokies. These poker machines expand the gaming options for gamblers from Montana, who enjoy the graphics and dynamic payouts of games like Buffalo, which are some of the best in the world.
This is a lucrative deal for Aristocrat Technologies. Punters in Australia may not be as familiar with the large gambling industry in the state of Montana, even though they’ve probably heard about Nevada casino cities like Las Vegas and Reno and the east coast gaming destination of Atlantic City.
Yet Montana’s 143 gambling venues ranks it number three of all states in the United States. Only Nevada (378) and California (178) exceed that number. Even traditional casino gambling states like New Jersey, Mississippi, Washington, and Oklahoma have fewer locations to gamble than Montana.
This is only one measure of Montana’s impact on the American gambling landscape. Sports betting is another indication of the role Montana plays, despite being 44th out of 50 states in terms of population.
The presence of Yellowstone National Park, Glacier National Park, and the Little Bighorn National Battlefield Monument makes Montana a tourist destination in the USA. Its natural beauty as a Plains State at the base of the Rocky Mountains gives Montana its nickname, “The Big Sky Country”, which draws many Americans wanting to see unspoiled nature.
Montana also happens to be one of only 4 US states where sports betting is legal. According to the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act or “PASPA” law, only Delaware, Nevada, Oregon, and Montana are allowed to operate bookmakers (called “sportsbooks” in the USA).
Only states which had legal sports betting before 1992 were given this exception. New Jersey could have been exempted, but their lawmakers dithered–much to their current regret. This is why New Jersey’s government, Chris Christie, has suggested his state plans to defy the US federal government and allow sports betting in the struggling Atlantic City casinos.
Montana has no such problems with the law. Therefore, Aristocrat’s new contract stands to provide the Aussie gambling company with a lucrative new avenue for business.
Aristocrat Technologies has been a leader in Australian casino gambling for 50 years. The company employs over 2,200 employees worldwide (many of them Australians). Aristocrat Technology gambling machines are found in over 200 nations throughout the world.
Aristocrat’s current chief executive officer is Jamie Odell, who has been the CEO since February 2009. Before taking over leadership of Aristocrat Technologies, Mr Odell was the managing director of Foster’s, with duties marketing and distributing beer, wine, ale, and lager throughout Australian and Asia.
Grand Vision Gaming is a locally owned Billings, Montana manufacturer. The company has four owners, who operate a machine production plant in the Billings area. Bernie Herrington, one of the owners, says they are excited to work with Aristocrat, as their Buffalo Moon game is one of the most popular pokies in the world.
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