Online Gambling Players Like International Game Technology Tip Their Hands

Includes: BYI, IGT, SHFL
by: Michael Murdoch

The recent clarification of the Wire Act (pdf) has led to rampant speculation, about who would throw their hat in the ring in the online gambling arena. Finally, in the aftermath of the Nevada Gaming Commission's subsequent ruling (pdf), we have some answers courtesy of Vegas Inc as to the applications that are in the pipeline.

Here are some of the initial applicants - bound to be major players, should they get approved by the Commission. The list includes four publicly traded companies, including one that IPOd this week.

Personally, I feel the multiples here leave something to be desired, but I suppose it's possible that that's the industry. The only one of the lot I like is International Game Technology (NYSE:IGT). It is already a decent player, its existing products are good (it makes top-notch video slot machines), and its multiples are under control.

IGT also recently acquired a software company, Double Down and last year acquired the Swedish company Entraction. On the negative side, like most of the major players it was also caught up in several shareholder lawsuits last year, and like all the Vegas players it has financials that may involve some sleight of hand, if these lawsuits are to be believed.

I'll admit, Shuffle Master (NASDAQ:SHFL) may have potential for small-cap growth investors, but I'm not familiar with its products. I'm unimpressed by Bally Technologies (NYSE:BYI) and the recent Caesar's Entertainment (NASDAQ:CZR) IPO as a result of value indicators.

1. Cantor Gaming
Cantor Gaming is a subsidiary of Cantor Fitzgerald.

2. Shuffle Master
Shuffle Master is a publicly traded small cap on NASDAQ.
24.97 P/E
3.33 P/B
780.54M Market Cap

3. International Game Technology (IGT)
IGT is an S&P 500 company on the NYSE. Video Slots.
17.32 P/E
3.21 P/B
4.64B Market Cap

4. Bally Technologies
Bally is another video slots player, like IGT. Listed on NYSE.
23.04 P/E
9.25 P/B

5. Caesar's Entertainment
IPOd on NASDAQ on February 8.

6. The South Point

Privately owned.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.