Aruze Gaming America, the Las Vegas-based slot supplier and subsidiary of Japan’s Universal Entertainment, filed a notice with the state of Nevada that it would close its Las Vegas headquarters effective August 18 and lay off 100 employees.
The closure follows the manufacturer’s filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January, which it described as only a financial restructuring following a garnishment judgment against Kazuo Okada, founder of Universal and Aruze Gaming’s sole shareholder.
The garnishment judgment is for $27.4 million owed to Bartlit Beck LLP, a law firm with offices in Denver and Chicago that represented Okada personally in the multi-year lawsuit against former Wynn Resorts Chairman Steve Wynn, which ended dueling lawsuits between Wynn and Universal that ultimately ended with a $2.6 billion settlement to be paid by Universal.
The January judgment authorized Bartlit Beck to collect $50 million in fees from Universal’s loans owed to Okada.
Okada also faces a warrant for his arrest in the Philippines over his takeover of the casino resort bearing his name earlier this year.
Leading ETG supplier Interblock will buy Aruze’s line of electronic table games, including the popular craps products like Roll to Win Craps, a hybrid crap game played on a craps-style table but only requiring one dealer; Shoot to Win Craps, a popular automated craps game with a central chamber that rolls dice on a shot of air; and as hybrid roulette and blackjack games.
John Connelly, global CEO of Interblock, said the company will work with Aruze clients to “ensure a smooth transition and the continuation of excellent customer service.”
“Aruze Gaming provides us with a new level of diversity we feel will accelerate our vision to make Interblock synonymous with table game technology,” Connelly said in a release. “As we continue to differentiate ourselves in the gaming industry, this acquisition empowers us to offer a broader range of high-quality, innovative gaming solutions to our valued partners in both a traditional and online offering.”
Empire Technological Group, DBA Play Synergy, announced the pending acquisition of Aruze Gaming America’s slot operations, including land-based assets, a slot route and online gaming. The transaction is subject to court and regulatory approvals.
Play Synergy will take over Aruze’s online and land-based slot operations in the U.S., including sales, support and service. The company indicated that current customers should not be affected, and the transition will be as smooth as possible.
The acquisition will add Aruze’s slot games to the portfolio of Play Synergy. Play Synergy has an existing relationship with Aruze which began in 2022. Under the terms of their strategic partnership, Aruze has installed some of its retail games on Play Synergy cabinets. That has allowed both companies to expand faster.
Play Synergy did not disclose the financial specifics of the deal. However, it says it’s confident that the deal will close within 30 days, pending regulatory and court approvals.
Kelcey Allison, Play Synergy’s senior vice president of sales and marketing, formerly spent seven years as CEO of Aruze Gaming, leaving in 2016.
Play Synergy’s acquisitions will include the games in Aruze’s new arcade-style Activ-Play lineup—gambling versions of some of the most popular carnival and amusement games in history. One that has been packing customers into installations in Downtown Las Vegas is Go Go Claw, a casino version of the familiar crane/claw machines found in arcades and bowling alleys.