Saturday, December 22, 2007

Bally Reverses Losses for Shareholders, Players Still Lose

Yesterday the Review Journal ran a story entitled "Bally Technology Reverses Quarterly Losses" -- apparently Bally is selling slot machines and making up with their shareholders.

"The company credited increased game sales for the quarterly earnings jump. Bally sold 5,151 games in the quarter, compared with 3,427 slot machines in the same period a year ago. Those games also came with a higher average price; $13,275 per game compared with $12,011 last year. "We are very pleased with our continued improvement in both business momentum and margins in all the key parts of our business," Bally Chief Executive Officer Richard Haddrill said."

I've never been a fan of Bally slot machines, but they are on the floor, and I have played them.
Here is a link to their website

My favorite part of the Bally's booth at G2E were the bright shiny red shopping bags they were giving away. I showed little interest in their slot machines, and couldn't even tell you about their new offerings.

Their old offerings I know plenty about. I was sucked into the S&W Green Stamp machines but could never come out ahead with them. I've played "Hot Shot", and even tried "Golden Monkey", in fact I've probably tried all their games at one point or another.

One thing I will say I like about the Bally games is their large screens -- perfect for an aging slot jockey whose eyesight isn't what it used to be.

I did learn something new from the Bally's website, and that is that they appear to rule the gaming market in Washington state, and many IGT and WMS machines appear in that repetouire that they control.

Of course, I can't really speak of Bally's without delving into their long and storied past - here is the Wikipedia entry that covers that -

So, it would make sense that Bally's would rebound, as they have plenty of times before. Unfortunately, as a slot jockey, I have not been so lucky on their machines. To make matters worse, I find their machines simplistic and rather boring.

For a slot machine pioneer such as Bally's trailing the pack won't keep a large number of their machines on the floor, and I predict their stock to be (to borrow the industry term) "volatile".

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