Originally formed by a group of five poker machine specialists, with a team of experienced mathematicians, game designers, software and hardware engineers, Atlas Gaming Pty Ltd, a poker machine technology company based in Melbourne, entered into administration in October.

Currently 24 companies and individuals are owed $4.46 million by Atlas Gaming Pty Ltd, with a related company Atlas Gaming Technologies owing a further $2.46 million to its 18 Australian and US employees. A further $415K is owed to the Australian Taxation Office and smaller creditors.

With other subsidiary companies within the group the total debt figure is reportedly over $9.5 million.

The largest single shareholder of the parent company Atlas Gaming Holdings is former politician and current President of the Hawthorn Football Club, Jeff Kennett. Mr Kennett holds almost 8% of the company shares following significant investments and loans. It is estimated he is owed over $600,000. Director Robert Sloot is owed $108,000 and Alessandro Ciampoli the applicant on many of the company patents, is owed $402,000.

While he had no operational role at Atlas, Mr Kennett said the Atlas team worked very hard but had struggled through the significant impact of COVID-19 lockdowns and the economic restrictions placed on hospitality venues that limited potential gaming machine sales. A late sale of the business did not eventuate forcing the company to close.

Mr Kennett commented that the company “set themselves up and worked very hard then ran out of money. They asked me if I’d put some money in to keep them going and realise their dream and I said yes, and I’ve done that on a couple of occasions in terms of increasing my shareholding and more recently in terms of lending them money.”

Currently Atlas Gaming Technologies holds over 20 patents relating to poker machine triggers for bonus features, graphics and video compression.

It is understood the company administrators are seeking an extension due to strong interest from potential buyers in a possible sale of the company.