TULSA — Video Gaming Technologies Inc., which has a large manufacturing facility in Tulsa, appears to have struck the jackpot with its $1.3 billion acquisition by an Australian company.
Sydney-based Aristocrat Leisure Ltd., also a maker of gaming devices, announced the deal for closely held Video Gaming Technologies on Monday.
Video Gaming Technologies was founded in 1991 by Jon Yarbrough. It has become the industry leader in class II gaming machines, which are based on a bingo-style strategy where users play against each other. Class III gamers compete against the house.
Video Gaming Technologies is based in Franklin, Tenn., and builds most of its games in Tulsa. Last August, it moved into a 114,000-square-foot plant at 12000 E Skelly Drive.
The company employs about 250 people in Tulsa, out of a total of about 350 throughout Oklahoma. Companywide, the company employs 650 people.
‘Expanding its footprint’
“We are very excited about the deal,” spokeswoman Deborah Dwyer said in a telephone interview. “This is not about Aristocrat finding synergies for cutbacks, but more about expanding its footprint in the United States. It should be great for us.”
Video Gaming Technologies’ games are mechanical, while Aristocrat’s units are video-based. “VGT has a complementary product offering,” Jamie Odell, CEO of Aristocrat, said in a news release.
In addition to video gaming systems, Aristocrat makes table gaming equipment and offers other products and services for the casino, club and hotel industries.
In addition to locations in Tulsa and Tennessee, Video Gaming Technologies has a game design studio in Reno, Nev. A subsidiary, Red Ball Gaming, is based in Mexico.
Overall, Video Gaming Technologies operates more than 20,000 gaming machines in 146 casinos.
Dwyer said the deal is scheduled to close in the first half of 2015, pending regulatory approval. Video Gaming Technologies founder Yarbrough will serve as an adviser for six months after the acquisition closes, Dwyer said.