NEWS 10 January 2018
Novomatic exits the German market as it heads down under
By Caroline Watson
At the backend of 2017, Novomatic AG announced that it would be exiting the German market as of the end of December. The gaming equipment supplier stated that it wanted to see greater clarity from the German authorities in regards to online gaming.
The news broke last month when Novomatic’s Greentube subsidiary had instructed German-facing online casino sites to cease offering Novomatic-produced games as of 29 December, 2017.
The exit came as a shock to the industry after Novomatic has previously referred to the country as it’s “most important” market. A spokesperson for Novomatic stated that there was a clear need for German regulators to revamp online gambling regulation as the current situation was “unclear”.
The company explained that the reason for this decision was because some providers of gaming content for Germany-based consumers have been illegally using Novomatic digital products without having first secured agreement from the company.
Reuters reported that Novomatic has now shelved plans for a €5bn initial public offering on the Frankfurt bourse due to uncertainty about new regulations regarding land-based gaming halls in the region.
Nonetheless, Novomatic has now completed its purchase of 52% stake in Australia’s Ainsworth Game Technology.
The company had previously agreed to acquire the majority stake for more than €300m, but required approval from regulatory bodies in various regions.
Harald Neumann, Novomatic’s Chairman, stated: “The compliance investigations carried out as part of this registration were extremely thorough; they included all corporate divisions of Novomatic AG.
“Our shares in Ainsworth are strategically very important for Novomatic; after all, the joint plan is to increase market share in the US to about 10% over the next five years. In the long-term, Novomatic may become the world market leader in the area of gaming.”