International Game Technology, a maker of slot machines and software for Internet gaming sites, would benefit from a proposal being discussed in U.S. Congress to legalize online gambling, a company spokesman said.
Shares of the Reno, Nevada-based company surged as much as 5.4 percent after three U.S. House Republicans said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, is trying to pass legislation that would legalize and tax some Internet gambling.
“We would be in a position to license our content to the big players that would enter that space, like the MGMs and Sands and such,” International Game’s Vice President of Investor Relations Matthew Moyer said in a phone interview, referring to MGM Resorts International, the biggest casino operator on the Las Vegas Strip, and Las Vegas Sands Corp.
IGT already operates content on some of the U.K.’s biggest gaming sites where online gambling is legal, he said, “so we would be considered a leader in supplying companies that want to get into that here.” Moyer said the chances of the bill passing in the lame duck session of congress are “probably slim.”
The shares advanced 5 percent to $16.33 at 4 p.m. in New York for the biggest gain in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index. IGT has declined 13 percent this year, compared with a 9.8 percent gain in the S&P 500 and a 31 percent rise by gambling companies in the measure.