Former chief executive Danny Gladstone announced his departure from AGT in September 2018.
Australian pokies manufacturer Ainsworth Gaming Technology or AGT named Lawrence Levy as its the new chief executive. Mr. Levy has 37 years of experience in the gaming industry, including a recent stint at Novomatic. Levy also boasts business experience in over 20 countries worldwide.
Danny Gladstone announced his departure as Ainsworth’s chief executive in September 2018 and the company began its search for a new CEO at the same time. Gladstone held the position from 2007 to 2019, but he is set to depart permanently on June 30, 2019. Lawrence Levy takes the reins on June 1, 2019.
Mr. Gladstone forged a tremendous legacy with the company. He took AGT from a purely Australian poker machine manufacturer to a global operator with deep business interests in the United States. Meanwhile, Danny Gladstone assures Ainsworth would remain an Aussie company with a key role on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX).
Lawrence Levy did not reveal his plans, but in announcing his hire, the company stress steadiness and continuity. Graeme Campbell, the current Ainsworth chairman, said of Mr. Levy, “Lawrence is a highly respected and experienced gaming executive and I am confident that he will further assist the Company achieve its strategies to become a leading provider of innovative gaming technology to the global market.”
Ainsworth Game Technology (AGT)
Ainsworth has corporate offices in Australia, the United States, Brazil, the United Kingdom, and Macau. The company has nearly 500 employees and operations in over 50 countries worldwide. AGT’s main headquarters is in Newington, New South Wales.
The Ambassador poker machine (2001) was a turning point in Ainsworth’s corporate history. The company’s first 21st century pokie had a more powerful processor allowed for highly animated graphics that proved popular with Aussie punters. In 2007, the Ambassador SL model evolved into a formidable international poker machine series.
By 2013, the company featured a wide range of trendy poker machines, including the linked progressive pokies, Players Paradise, and the high performing Rumble Rumble pokies game, which featured the Wide Boy: Reels of Wheels and Quadshot game range.
Len Ainsworth and Aristocrat
Ainsworth Game Technology’s history is intertwined with the history of Aristocrat Leisure. Legendary pokies executive Len Ainsworth founded both companies. Len Ainsworth founded Aristocrat Technologies in 1953 when he built his first poker machine. At the time, pokies were confined to private club gaming, and Clubmaster gaming machines set the standard for Australian pokies of the 1950s.
Aristocrat Nevada began production in 1961, the same year the company expanded into Europe and the United States. AGT manufactured one of the first electronic pokies in the 1970s with the “Wild West” poker machine. Aristocrat created the Microstar line of poker machines and the innovative “Virtual Reel” and consequently seized dominant position as the top Australian pokies manufacturer.
Len Ainsworth: 1st Ainsworth CEO
Len Ainsworth left the company he founded in the 1990s, but not in any way one might have expected. Doctors diagnosed Ainsworth with terminal cancer, so he handed over the company to his children. When it turned out Len’s terminal cancer was not as terminal as expected, he left his children in control of Aristocrat and built a rival company: Ainsworth.
Therefore, Ainsworth Game Technology is the 1995 brainchild of an older Len Ainsworth who came through a near-death experience. Ainsworth Game Technology remains a top competitor to Aristocrat Leisure.
Astra Games is AGT”s pokies distributor in the United Kingdom. Ainsworth maintains American offices in Las Vegas and Deerfield Beach, Florida (Miami). The pokies distributor opened American operations in 2016, though it the company broke ground on the Las Vegas Ainsworth facility in2014. Ainsworth Game Technology Asia’s headquarters is in Macau.
About Lawrence Levy: Ainsworth CEO
The 56-year old Lawrence Levy is a British citizen. Levy began as a croupier in a London casino, so he brings with him knowledge of every level of the gaming business.
The new CEO brings a global perspective to his position at Ainsworth. He held a number of positions at Novomatic and was operational and sales manager in Novomatic’s Central America and South America regions. Levy’s most recent positon was Vice President of Global Sales at Novomatic AG Austria, the company’s main headquarters.
Lawrence Levy took the position of Crown Gaming Peru’s manager in 2009. Crown Gaming Peru is Novomatic’s Peruvian division (and has nothing to do with Australia’s Crown Resorts).
About Danny Gladstone
The Danny Gladstone era proved pivotal in Ainsworth’s history. Graeme Campbell gave his approval to Gladstone’s leadership: “I would like to state that he has been an excellent CEO for AGT.”
“He has successfully driven significant international expansion and growth in recurring revenues. Ainsworth is much stronger for Danny’s contribution. We are delighted he will continue to assist us in the future. A thorough and extensive search process will be undertaken to secure a new CEO who can lead AGT to the next stages of growth and profitability.”
International expansion is fraught with potential perils. Gladstone had his share of troubles getting into the North American gaming business, including issues with a social casion site. Yet the company is much larger and healtier after his 12 years at the helm.