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Aristocrat Reports First-Half Profit, Settles Lawsuit

Aristocrat Reports First-Half Profit, Settles Lawsuit

Australian slot supplier Aristocrat Leisure Ltd. reported net profit of AUD1.31 billion (US$856.6 million), up 27.2 percent from the prior-year period, the result of a deferred tax asset. The profit was boosted by an income tax benefit of AUD925.2 million.

Aristocrat said that, group-wide on a normalized basis, its profit after tax was AUD305.9 million, down 14.2 percent from a year earlier.

In a statement, the company also confirmed the suspension of its dividend amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a separate announcement, Aristocrat revealed that it has agreed in principle on a settlement of two lawsuits in Washington state concerning its social game subsidiary, Big Fish Games.

The lawsuits related to the manner of commercial use of certain intellectual property under the Big Fish Games brand, which Aristocrat acquired for $990 million from Churchill Downs Inc. in 2018. Aristocrat will pay $31 million as part of a $155 million settlement, with Churchill Downs paying the remainder.

Plaintiffs Cheryl Kater, Suzie Kelly and Manasa Thimmegowda claimed the online social gaming platforms “Big Fish Casino,” “Jackpot Magic Slots” and “Epic Diamond Slots” offered certain products that were actually games of chance, of a type prohibited under Washington state law.

In the two lawsuits, the plaintiffs were seeking on behalf of themselves and a nationwide settlement class: return of monies lost; reasonable fees for the work of attorneys; injunctive relief; and treble and punitive damages, among other things, said Aristocrat officials.

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