Last September, Swedish gaming software firm Boss Media announced that it had signed an Internet casino software deal with an unnamed land-based casino company. This week, the company revealed that its mystery licensee is Sun International Hotels Limited.
Sun, a Bahamas-based international resort and gaming company, develops, operates and manages premier resort and casino properties. It's a gold-gilded jewel-like company with a glistening array of properties including the Atlantis, Mohegan Sun, Resorts Casino Hotel, Ocean Club and Indian Casino. Its 10 properties are scattered across the globe, including locations in Atlantic City and Connecticut.
Not many land-based casinos have ventured online. In fact, there is just a handful of like-minded companies seeing success beyond a bricks-and-mortar existence that have morphed into clicks-and-mortar stardom. Sun joins a select group that includes Lasseters in Australia; Ladbrokes, the entertainment division of Hilton Group plc and Stanley Leisure, which owns the famous Crockfords casino in England. With a "core value No. 1" designated as "blow the customer away," Sun International seems ready for the bold move online.
When Boss Media announced the contract with Sun International, the new client wanted to remain anonymous for "competitive reasons." Boss Media officials were ecstatic about the deal, nonetheless.
"This is an important breakthrough for our company," Johan Sigvardsson, Boss Media's chief executive officer said at the time. "We've now established Boss Media as a casino supplier within the traditional, land-based gaming industry."
The Sun International deal followed another successful land-based venture for Boss Media. Last year, in a bold move to remain competitive and up-to-date, the Swedish government contracted Boss Media to provide Internet casino software for Casino Cosmopol, a subsidiary of Svenka Spel, a government owned gaming company. The Cosmopol Internet casino will be used primarily to market the four traditional, international casinos scheduled to open in Sweden.
How important are the deals with land-based casinos? In the company's just released year-end statement for 2000, officials attributed a decline in new licensees during the fourth quarter as "demand is now primarily from corporations in the land-based gaming industry."
As a result, the company says in the report, "Customers that lack any direct association to the land-based gaming industry will experience increased difficulty in establishing their operations within the Internet gaming market. They will be disadvantaged from the start because they lack a well-established trademark and a pre-existing customer base.
"In the future, major land-based gaming interests will become the leaders in the Internet gaming industry. Therefore, Boss Media is currently increasing its efforts to make these land-based interests its primary customers."
Boss reported last year's profits as having reached SEK 185.5 million.
The company has signed 36 clients to date.