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Office of Fair Trading investigates Scientific Games and Barcrest deal

Scientific Games, an American lottery firm are in negotiations to purchase Barcrest Group limited for £35 million but The Office of Fair Trading economic regulator are investigating the purchase

Barcrest supplies Europe with their gaming contents and machines and is also a subsidiary of IGT, International Game Technology. If Scientific Games are successful in buying Barcrest, then the Manchester based Barcrest would be integrated with Scientific Games’ Global Draw and Games Media gaming sections.

Last month, Scientific Games signed a contract deal and went into negotiations with IGT for the purchase of Barcrest Group limited but then they said that the deal was conditional upon obtaining UK competition approvals and ‘certain third-party consents’.

The Office of Fair Trading is currently trying to investigate whether this agreement would reduce the UK’s gaming competition sector. The Global Draw is also owned by Scientific Games and results suggest that it has a 43% market share and runs 18,000 machines in more than 3,500 venues as well as major bookmakers and Wolverhampton’s Games Media operator.

Barcrest supplies gaming machines to betting shop, bingo halls, pubs, private members’ clubs and arcades and also provides mobile games, internet and interactive television and currently has around 300 people working for it.

Ian Timmis, The Global Draw and Games Media’s Chief Executive Officer stated that “this transaction represents a major step forward in strengthening and expanding our server-based gaming content.”

“In addition, it will provide the opportunity for us to bring the advanced capabilities of our state-of-the-art gaming systems and operational expertise to new wide area gaming venues such as UK-based gaming centres and bingo halls along with venues in Italy and the Czech Republic.”

Barcrest’s huge library of gaming titles will be added to Scientific Game’s current portfolio and digital deliver network and will also extend its UK server-based presence to new pubs and betting shop locations if this proposal becomes a reality.

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