Harald Neumann discusses the way forward with regulation

Harald Neumann discusses the way forward with regulation

4 February 2020

In today’s fireside chat, Harald Neumann, CEO of Novomatic AG, was speaking about the importance of regulation within the gaming industry but warned that an all out ban on specific platforms wasn’t the solution.

“Many politicians believe that gaming bans are the simple solution because then their job is done. But players will always find a way to play even if it’s illegal. Unfortunately, the 20% of politicians who are against gaming create 80% of the press and so the view in the media is mostly negative. It’s our job to train them and educate them.”

Celebrating its 40th Anniversary, the Novomatic Group is one of the biggest international producers and operators of gaming technologies and employs more than 30,000 staff worldwide. The global nature of the company means that it faces different regulation challenges in different countries.

Neumann cited recent changes in Europe as having a major effect, “In total we lost approximately 300 million of EBITDA just through regulatory changes in Germany, Austria and tax increases in Italy.”

As a company that only operates in regulated countries, Novomatic is dedicated to working with regulators in order to create systems that work for all. “Regulation has to be fair for all participants, for the operator, for the governments and for the players. And it has to entertain the players.”

Neumann emphasised the need for excellent access control, especially for minors, in both land based and online sectors whilst at the same time proposing that strict laws are put in place to punish illegal outfits.

And he was positive that steps could be taken in the future where certification is given to those upholding excellent standards of player protection and gaming. “In my opinion, there should be certification for operators in the online and land spaces because you have to separate the good ones and the bad ones.”

And so is there such a thing as the optimal model for gaming regulation?

Neumann answered, “I think you need regulation because the player protection issue is very important but it has to be specifically made and not to send the players to the illegal markets. If you put the best from different countries all together then maybe you would get the optimal regulation but currently I don’t know one country where you have really optimal regulation.”