ideo Gaming Technologies (VGT), an Aristocrat company, has confirmed the settlement of its litigation with Castle Hill Gaming, after more than two years of proceedings.
In accordance with a statement by Castle Hill, the U.S. District Court in Tulsa, Oklahoma dismissed 19 of Video Gaming Technologies' (VGT) 20 registered trademark claims against Castle Hill, and the latter settled VGT's remaining claims with money from its insurance policy and a few insignificant changes to some of its Class II games.
Under the terms of the settlement, CHG will change out, and no longer use the game titles New Money, Arctic Cash, Arctic Ice and Welcome to Nugget Mountain, along with any associated artwork and characters, and any variations of these games. CHG agreed to make a payment to VGT of $3 million.
Castle Hill is a privately-held startup that placed its first Class II electronic gaming machine into casinos in 2015.
In addition, CHG will remove and no longer use certain machine features and paytables. All relevant games and machines will be modified by April 1, 2020.
Hector Fernandez, President, Aristocrat, said, “This settlement again confirms VGT’s (and Aristocrat’s) determination to protect our intellectual property, including VGT’s market-leading Class II portfolio. We will continue to be proactive and aggressive in defending our assets going forward.”
Castle Hill Gaming’s response
According to Castle Hill officials, VGT spent ‘millions of dollars more on attorneys' fees litigating the dispute than it will receive from Castle Hill's insurance company’.
The statement further reads that in Oklahoma, where both Aristocrat and Castle Hill compete, Aristocrat has 47% market share for all leased games. ‘Castle Hill does not yet have enough market share to even appear in the report,’ the company said.
Castle Hill Gaming's CEO, Arthur Watson, stated: "We are thrilled with this David versus Goliath outcome. I believe that VGT and its parent company, Aristocrat, wanted to put us out of business because they saw us as a competitive threat. Our games are performing at par with their games in many of the casinos in which we compete. But we have survived, thrived, and are entering new markets like Historical Horse Racing."