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International Game Technology Creates Division for Macau Market

16 Feb 2005

By Howard Stutz

RENO, Nevada and MACAU -- Casino gaming is continuing its rapid expansion into the Chinese gaming enclave of Macau, and the industry's leading slot machine manufacturer announced Tuesday it was creating a division to serve the growing market.

Reno-based International Game Technology said the formation of IGT-Asia will serve an area that could be the industry's primary growth vehicle during the later part of this decade.

Las Vegas Sands Corp. now operates the Sands Macau casino, which has 670 slot machines and 328 table games. The company plans to expand the property and also plans to develop the Macau Venetian casino and six hotel properties on the nearby Cotai Strip area that will also include casinos.

Wynn Resorts Ltd. is developing a casino in Macau, and MGM Mirage is also exploring development opportunities in the area.

IGT spokesman Ed Rogich said the new division reflects the emphasis the company is placing on expanding its overseas business. IGT also has a strong presence in Japan and, along with several casino operators, is watching gaming developments in Singapore.

With domestic growth somewhat slowed in 2005, IGT and other slot machine manufacturers are turning to foreign markets to boost sales.

"Asia, and specifically Macau, is rapidly becoming one of the most important gaming markets in the world," IGT international division President Paulus Karskens said in a statement. "It is crucial that IGT have a local sales and support presence in that market."

IGT Managing Director Scott Winzeler, formerly IGT's director of international markets, will oversee the Macau office.

Rogich said that as more Western-style casino developments open in Macau, slot machines and other electronic gaming equipment will become more prevalent. He said the new Macau office gives IGT a starting point as new casinos are developed.

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