Novomatic is to pay €2.5 million in compensation to a Vienna gambling addict who has spent more than €2 million on slot games in the period of ten years. Austria’s Regional Court of Wiener Neustadt ordered the gambling company to pay back the money he lost plus interest.
The gambling addict in question has been gambling on Novomatic slots placed in the capital Vienna starting 2002 and has spent around €2 million until 2012 while suffering from the gambling problem.
According to an expert opinion heard by the court in the town of Wiener Neustadt, the man was “partially incapacitated” through his addiction, which rendered his bets invalid.
He was unable to work as a result of this issue and the court agreed and declared all of his bets invalid, ordering Novomatic to pay back the money he lost plus interest. The ruling was made in August but made public only now. Novomatic stated they will appeal the judgement.
In 2015, municipal authorities in Vienna banned slot machines outside casinos to decrease gambling addiction. Before the ruling, Vienna had nearly 2,600 slot machines installed.
Based near Wiener Neustadt, Novomatic was also discovered to be in breach of Austrian laws regarding stake limits and payouts for the slot machines. We’ll have to wait and see what will happen next and the regulator will penalise the provider.
Novomatic is one of the largest gaming technology companies in the world with a turnover of €2.5 billion in 2017. Founded in 1980, the company has nearly 30,000 employees, 2,100 gaming locations worldwide and 270,000 gaming terminals.
Novomatic issued a warning in August that regulatory pressures could impact the company’s business and further expansion. The report for the first half of the year reported 12.6% year-on-year rise in revenue to €1.36 billion. Various smaller acquisitions in the core markets like Germany, Spain, Italy and Eastern Europe had a positive impact on the numbers.
The company took over Ainsworth Game Technology in January which hiked sales revenue from gaming machines by 96.2%.