Playboy Enterprises Inc. has cut a deal with Bally's Technologies Inc. to bring its Playmates to Las Vegas.


They won't be in the flesh, nor will they have staples in their navels. They'll be iconic renderings on the latest line of Playboy's branded video poker and slot machines.


The company teamed up with Playboy's licensing division and the L.A.-based Playboy Entertainment Group Inc. to roll out the games. Two are already available for distribution and another two will be distributed by the end of the year.


Through a partnership renewed last year, Playboy Enterprises gets a cut of each branded machine sold internationally as well as a percentage of the money played on the games. Bally's doesn't sell the games outright in the United States; the company normally receives an 80-20 revenue split per machine with the casinos. For international customers, the machines retail for around $15,000 each. The deal gives Bally exclusive gaming rights to the images of more than 28 Playmates for use in the machines.


Licensing has become increasingly important to Playboy Enterprises. The division reported the company's largest segment increase in the third quarter, from $4.6 million to $7.5 million, a 41 percent boost in revenue. According to Sarah Haney, vice president of Playboy's licensing group, the brand licensing generates in excess of $700 million in global retail sales.


"The Playboy games are easily our most popular seller internationally," said Marcus Prater, Bally's senior vice president of marketing.


Rags Remembered

Hollywood producer Christian Schoyen found his riches heading an executive search business. Now through his passion, filmmaking, he's trying to make a difference for some individuals who are still struggling.


The formerly impoverished Norwegian immigrant, who now runs L.A.-based Executive Search Research, is making his big screen debut as a producer with his film company's first feature "Living the Dream."


The movie includes some elements of the self-made millionaire's own life. Nine years ago, when he was homeless, he talked his way into using the computer at an unemployment office to start his venture. Then he worked at the kitchen table in the youth hostel where he was living for $75 a month.


Six years after he established the successful executive search firm in 1997, Schoyen founded Rover Films Inc., which focuses on producing feature films with a social message.


"Living the Dream," stars Sean Young, Danny Trejo and Jeff Conaway and was released in Europe in March. Schoyen spent $350,000 to make the film and another $16,000 to market and distribute the picture locally through Laemmle Theaters LLC.


It debuted last week in Los Angeles. More than $10,000 from movie's proceeds will be donated to the L.A. Mission, an organization serving the homeless.


Staff reporter Anne Riley-Katz can be reached at ariley-katz@labusinessjournal.com or at (323) 549-5225, ext. 225.

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