Pokies deal sours

EDS pulls out as Intralot looks for a new subcontractor

A subcontract between the company that won the Department of Internal Affairs’ $35 million gaming machine monitoring contract and EDS has fallen over.

Greek company Intralot, a supplier of integrated gaming and transaction processing systems, was awarded the contract in May. It will provide a controller for every poker machine venue, other than casinos, and was to have transmitted the data to a host system at EDS in Upper Hutt.

Intralot said at the time that the six-year contract would provide the base for New Zealand to become Intralot’s Asia–Pacific hub and it would create up to 100 jobs,

25 of them directly and the rest through subcontractors. It planned to take premises at EDS’ Upper Hutt facility.

DIA confirmed that EDS was the subcontractor.

However, a spokesperson for EDS says it has been unable to reach agreement with Intralot. She didn’t say why.

Intralot’s New Zealand manager, Ioannis Katakis, originally refused to comment when contacted by Computerworld, saying: “I can’t see there’s any story.”

In a subsequent phone call, he said EDS had decided to withdraw from the subcontract but that everything had been sorted out and other companies will take the place of EDS. He wouldn’t name them.

The project is proceeding to schedule, he says. A pilot is due to begin by the end of the year, and the rollout has to be completed by March 2007.

A spokesman for DIA, Vince Cholewa, says any changes to the subcontract are not the department’s concern. “Our contract is with Intralot.”

Industry sources suggest Intralot is talking with Telecom, which had bid for the original contract, and IBM.

There are around 1,800 gaming venues and more than 20,000 poker machines, which generated more than $8.6 billion in turnover last year and a profit of $1.035 billion.

The electronic monitoring system will give the department information allowing it to:

  • Monitor how much money is gambled on each machine.
  • Monitor how much each machine pays out in prizes.
  • Monitor how much money should be banked.
  • Ensure that all software used on the machines is identical to the approved versions.
  • Assist in detecting software failures.
  • Assist in detecting tampering with a machine or software.

This month, the department issued a set of technical requirements for gaming venue operators.

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