he new program permits a limited number of video-lottery terminals in licensed bars, taverns, restaurants, truck stops and certain other venues that offer on-premise alcohol consumption, and requires that the video-gaming devices be sold through a distributor. More than 21,000 Illinois restaurants and bars serve liquor.
“Partnering with Suzo-Happ as our exclusive distributor in Illinois makes good business sense because of the company’s leadership position as a key supplier to both the gaming and amusement industries, their strong team, and the company’s already well-established relationships with Illinois operators who currently market other products to bars, restaurants, and truck stops,” said Gavin Isaacs, COO of Bally Technologies.
Suzo-Happ, founded in 1986 in Elk Grove Village, Ill., manufactures and distributes more than 12,000 SKUs to the North American gaming, amusement, and industrial markets; and processes more than 650 shipments per day. After a 24-year history of success in Elk Grove Village, Suzo-Happ is expanding to a new 7,432 sqm facility in Mount Prospect, Ill., where it will house its headquarters, manufacturing, and distribution business.
“We’re excited to help facilitate Bally’s entry into the Illinois video-lottery market and represent Bally’s cutting-edge games to our customers and partners throughout the state,” said Tom Happ, Executive Vice President, Suzo-Happ. “As an Illinois founded and based company, with more than 150 employees in the state, we want to do everything possible to help this program succeed, and that’s why we’ve teamed up with Bally Technologies, a 78-year gaming leader with strong roots in Illinois.”
Bally was founded in Chicago in 1932 as Bally Manufacturing Company. Today Bally oversees its Midwest casino sales and service operations from its base in Naperville, Ill., which is led by Brian Pierce, the Company’s Vice President of Sales – Eastern North America.
In related news, Bally announced the appointment of Rick Meitzler as Director of Sales to oversee Bally’s Illinois video-lottery operations, working closely with Suzo-Happ. Meitzler returns to Bally after serving as Senior Vice President of Ainsworth Game Technology’s North American business. Before that, he served nearly 30 years with Bally Technologies in various sales and service functions, ending his tenure in 2007 as Director of Midwest Sales.