By Andrew Starke

Listed pub operator National Leisure and Gaming (NLG), the largest gaming player in the NSW hotels market, is reconsidering its relationship with poker machine maker Aristocrat and several of its landlords.

NLG is presently in negotiations with Aristocrat to replace about 100 gaming machines while it is also in talks with its multiple landlords over the operator’s request for additional gaming entitlements.

CEO Andrew Jolliffe, told TheShout that NLG continued to enjoy a ‘very close and productive relationship’ with Aristocrat.

“That said, I'm sure Aristocrat would be the first to concede that challenges to their local ship share has never been greater; the resultant affect being a more competitive market place and a superior outcome for the end user,” he said.

"Simplistically, it is incumbent upon me to ensure that NLG is properly positioned in terms of machine product and configuration.”

Jolliffe would not confirm if the pub operator was also in discussions with Aristocrat’s US-based rivals Bally or Azure, saying only that Aristocrat had a long history of delivering winning outcomes for both NLG and the Australian gaming industry.

“It should be no surprise then that I have very high levels of expectation regarding Aristocrat's performance, but no higher than that which they have historically conditioned me to have throughout our long standing and highly successful relationship to date,” he said.

“Accordingly, I'm aware of no reason as to why this relationship won't continue to prosper.”

Jolliffe also confirmed that a number of NLG’s landlords had complied with its request for additional gaming entitlements.

“Pursuant to a condition contained within the various leases NLG operates, we contacted multiple NLG land lords and requested the purchase of additional gaming entitlements; the first batch of which will come on line next week and will commence generating incremental revenues forthwith,” he said.

“Whilst being entirely consistent with the lease provisions, this process is also an important measure to execute so as to properly maximise the potential of several NLG venues.”

Jolliffe contends that NLG is ‘patently under machined, and therefore under resourced’, and has venues turning over in excess of $1m per week without the full complement of machines permissible on the licence.

"NLG, like most operators in the space, has had to contend with a raft of headwinds; however not having the appropriate number of EGM's in which to compete on a level playing field is an impost the company simply must overcome,” he said.

“One needs to remember that NLG won't own the additional entitlements purchased on its behalf, and the procurement of same by NLG's various land lords will also serve to protect the gaming capacity of the hotel licence they own. We'd argue that it's a strategically pragmatic process for all stakeholders.”


The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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