Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Gaming Stock Offerings Probed

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Gaming Stock Offerings Probed

Article excerpt

Innovative Gaming Corp. of America, Casino Data Systems and Casino Magic Corp. are being investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission for possible stock fraud in connection with their initial public offerings.

In recent financial statements filed with the SEC, Minneapolis-based Innovative Gaming and Las Vegas-based Casino Data said they received subpoenas Feb. 14 from the SEC to a "formal order of investigation." Casino Magic Corp. of Bay St. Louis, Miss., said Friday that it also had received a subpoena on that date.

The companies said the SEC is examining whether specific gaming companies, including themselves, and certain underwriters involved in the sale of these companies' securities may have engaged in "fraudulent, deceptive or manipulative acts or practices" in connection with their public stock sales.

The companies said the SEC has requested documents from them relating to their initial public offerings.

Attorneys specializing in securities law said the language of the companies' almost identical statements indicates that this is not a routine request for data on markets and securities.

"The memorandum (must have) named particular companies by name and particular broker dealers by name," said Edward Fleischman, an attorney with Rosenman & Colin and a former commissioner at the SEC. "If it's a subpoena, and there is a formal order of investigation, it's not just the normal collection of information," he said.

Officials at Innovative Gaming and Casino Data couldn't be contacted for comment.

Casino Magic's president and chief executive, Marlin Torguson, said, "We have not discovered any facts which would lead us to believe that the company violated any law or otherwise, and the fact that an inquiry is being conducted should not be considered as an opinion on the part of the (SEC) that the violation of any law has occurred. …

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