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Ainsworth-Novomatic joint platform still 12 months away

Wednesday, 07 February 2018 23:53
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The CEO of global gaming giant Novomatic says it will still be at least another 12 months before the Austrian company fully integrates with Asia-Pacific slot machine manufacturer Ainsworth Game Technologies.

Speaking at a special press event at ICE Totally Gaming in London this week, Harald Neumann described Novomatic’s acquisition of a 52% share in Ainsworth – finalized on 5 January 2018 – as a major boost for his firm’s Asian expansion plans but added that it would be business as usual for the two entities in the short term.

“We are currently working towards integrating our products onto one platform which will make it much easier for us to develop and share our games,” Neumann said.

“That will likely take another 12 to 18 months before we’re completely ready to progress and take advantage of Ainsworth’s expertize in the Asian market.”

The two companies are currently working on implementation of five heads of terms relating to how they will work together now that the acquisition has been completed. They include online products, game assets, the selling of Ainsworth products into Europe, the exclusive distribution of Novomatic products by Ainsworth in Australia and New Zealand and finally non-exclusive distribution of Novomatic products by Ainsworth into North America.

Ainsworth CEO Danny Gladstone said that, “As far as we’re concerned, being part of such a large unit complements everything that we do and is good for the industry in general.”

Novomatic IPO delayed

Neumann also revealed that it will be at least another three years before Novomatic revisits an earlier plan to launch an initial public offering.

The company announced last year its intention to list on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange but scrapped the idea in September.

“At the end of the day we had to make a decision on whether it was correct to push the IPO and finally we decided to wait,” Neumann told Inside Asian Gaming in an exclusive interview. “Now that was clearly the right decision because we have seen some developments since then. For example, in Germany online gaming was not regulated but based on the European laws we could provide our services there. Then in November the High Court in Germany gave out the decision that online gaming is illegal in Germany.

“At the same time, which in my opinion was no coincidence, the European community brought out information that in the case of gaming, the local law is stronger than the European law. So there was no argument anymore and we had to close the German online business.

“At the end of the day it is very difficult for us to move ahead because there is a lot of regulatory discussion going on. Aside from the situation in Germany there are similar discussions going on in Italy and the UK, so I think this will take another two or three years before these issues are solved and we have another opportunity.”

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