Scientific Games International Inc. (Nasdaq:SGMS) filed suit in Gainseville, Georgia Wednesday asking a federal judge to stop former Sci-Games VP Brian Keith Cash from using information allegedly stolen from the company before the VP jumped ship to work for rival International Game Technology (Nyse:IGT).
The court filing states that Cash pulled off a “massive theft” by poaching thousands of files before he resigned his position. Scientific Games contends the files contain some of their most valued information.
Scientific Games said in a statement to the Associated Press that, “Unauthorized access or use of our intellectual property, trade secrets, contracts, sales and marketing plans, data files or any other non-public or confidential information is unacceptable,” the statement said.
“As a publicly traded company, this cannot and will not be tolerated,” and, “Scientific Games will continue to pursue all legal remedies available to us.”
According to a report on ABC News, the company alleges that Cash downloaded a minimum of 40 account plans for U.S. lotteries and over 13,000 total items in the two months before resigning June 10 to take a position at IGT’s Lakeland, Florida office.
The lawsuit states that there may be as much as $1 billion in play as companies will be bidding on several major lotteries in 2017 and 2018. According to the report, information in the files includes algorithms and supporting data used to enlighten state lotteries as to which games may prove most profitable under certain circumstances.
“The information contained in Scientific Games’ account plans is a virtual playbook of the company’s business strategy with respect to its existing customers and growing their lottery business,” according to the lawsuit. Were these account plans to fall into a competitor’s hands, the files “would provide a roadmap for stealing away the company’s existing business” as well as hobble future business moves.
Scientific Games launched “the world’s very first secure instant-lottery game” in 1974. GTECH acquired International Game Technology in a merger that saw the company emerge as IGT. In 2006, Italian Lottery giant Lottomatica S.p.A. (Mil: LTO) announced that it had completed the acquisition of Greenwich, Rhode Island based GTech Holdings Corporation. Lottomatica was owned in the majority by Gruppo De Agostini. The De Agostini Group was founded in 1901. It is family-owned and operates in more than 60 countries around the world. Their business sectors include: publishing, media, games and services, and finance.
There is no indication in the filings that IGT had any knowledge of Mr. Cash’s alleged theft of intellectual property. Sci-Games has asked the judge for a temporary restraining order to prevent releasing any of the data. The overwhelming majority of the files in question belonged to Scientific Games according to the filing.
IGT and Scientific Games compete for lottery concessions in most U.S. states and cooperate in some, such as North Carolina.