Novomatic Leaves German Online Gambling Market

Austrian gambling technology group Novomatic exited the online gambling market in Germany at the end of December, a spokesman said on Tuesday, calling for more regulatory clarity there.

In September Novomatic shelved plans for a 5 billion euro initial public offering on the Frankfurt bourse due to due to uncertainty over new regulations regarding gambling halls in one of its most important markets, Germany.

Novomatic generates around 40 percent of its sales from gambling equipment, the rest stemming from operating gambling halls. Online activities only account for a small percentage of sales as internet gambling is illegal in many countries.

A spokesman for Novomatic confirmed a report by Austrian news agency APA about it ceasing to rent out its technology to German online casinos that use it for real-money gambling.

“Unfortunately there are many providers which continue to place copied gaming content unlawfully on the German market without having relevant agreements with us,” a spokesman said in an emailed statement.

He said there was a need for German regulators to revamp online gambling rules as the current situation was “unclear”.

The firm had previously spoken of a “significantly tougher… framework” for the gaming business in Germany. Novomatic has also referred to that country as its “most important” market.

Novomatic’s company-wide revenues from online and mobile gaming amounted to EUR28.7 million for the first six months of 2017; only 2.4 percent of the firm’s reported total revenue of approximately EUR1.22 billion, according to its interim financial statement.

Its’s interim group revenue rose 11.3 percent year-on-year, which it said was mainly due to a significant increase in the tally of electronic slot machines operated by the firm worldwide.

The group operates more than 260,000 gaming terminals and video lottery terminals (VLT) in its over 2,100 “gaming operations as well as via rental concepts”, according to the firm’s latest release. The company is active in several gaming segments around the world, including casino, lottery, sports betting, online and mobile.