Novomatic Ordered To Pay Addictive Austrian Gambler Big Bucks

Novomatic appeals ruling

Novomatic to make appeal after an Austrian court upheld the decision to award gambling addict EUR 440, 000.

An Austrian gambler lost EUR 800, 000 over a four year period at land-based slot machines operated by Austrian gambling operator Novomatic. The man then hired a lawyer to help subtract him from his debts claiming that his addiction to gambling was exploited by Novomatic.

The man underwent a psychiatric evaluation. The findings convinced the court that the man’s gambling debts incurred between the period 2006 and 2010 should be declared null and void. The gambling addict won Euro 440, 000 when the courts ruled in his favor.

This has fueled a debate because the compulsive gambler became indebted while playing slots that were not located in casinos. Under Austrian gambling laws slots are allowed to be located outside of casinos all across Austria in many non-casino locations, even gas stations.

To solve this Viennese Events Act’s shortfall and to protect vulnerable and low-income gamblers local politicians have asked for the law to be amended. Come January 1, 2015 new laws will see to it that slots are kept within casino venues. It is believed that if the 1,500 of the estimated 2,600 non-casino slots in Vienna run by Novomatic, the land-based and mobile casino owner were allowed to be inside this would not have happened.

However, Novomatic is not only challenging the ruling of the court decision for them to pay over the EUR 440 K judgement but vows to go before the Austrian constitutional court if needs be concerning the new laws. It must be pointed out though, that it has become common practice for many gambling operators worldwide to have the slots operator’s staff takes measures to ensure that players do not go beyond their limit, a practice dubbed ‘self-exclusion’.

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