Novomatic faces €2.5m pay-out to slots addict
Austria’s Regional Court of Wiener Neustadt has ordered Novomatic to pay out €2.5m (£2.2m/$2.9m) in compensation to a gambling addict that spent more than €2m on slot games over a 10-year period.
The individual in question, who was not identified, played Novomatic slots between 2002 and 2012 while suffering with a gambling problem.
Lawyers for the plaintiff said he was “partially incapacitated” by the addiction and that he was unable to work as a result of this issue. All bets were placed on Novomatic devices in the Austrian capital of Vienna.
The court agreed and declared all of the bets placed invalid due to the plaintiff’s gambling problem, ordering Novomatic to pay back the money he lost during the period, plus interest.
Novomatic was also found to be in breach of Austrian laws regarding limits on stakes and payouts for slot machines.
According to the Austrian media, the ruling was made in August, but has only just been made public. Novomatic has stated its intention to appeal against the decision.
Confirmation of the ruling comes after Novomatic in August warned “regulatory pressures” could impact the company moving forward, despite posting a 12.6% year-on-year rise in revenue for the first six months of 2018.
Sales revenue from gaming machines hiked by 96.2%, mainly due to the firm’s takeover of Ainsworth Game Technology, which was finalised in January.
Image: George Hodan