The Austrian-based slots developer Novomatic has been ordered to pay a slots player a staggering €437,950 after it was alleged the company had taken advantage of the player’s gambling addiction.
The Austrian slots player, whose name remains anonymous, hired the services of a lawyer, Christopher Naske, to help him recoup a percentage of his debt that totalled over €790,000 during a four year period of gambling addiction on Novomatic-developed slot machines.
It was claimed by the player and his legal representative that Novomatic and its subsidiary firm, Austrian Gaming Industries, did not do enough to prevent him from gambling excessive amounts on the slot machines.
Judge Rainer Lipowec ruled in favour of the player against Novomatic after the player underwent a psychiatric evaluation that concluded the accumulated debts incurred by the player between the years of 2006 and 2010 should be officially declared null and void. It was also agreed that due to incapacity as a result of the player’s addiction that compensation should be awarded to the player by Novomatic.
Novomatic has established itself as one of the leading slots developers in the European market for releasing land-based and online products. Its top slots releases include the iconic Book of Ra Deluxe slot and the Oriental-themed Katana slot, also known as Shogun.
Controversially, the slot machines were not located at land-based casinos leading to calls backing for Austrian laws to be changed so that slot machines are only accessible at land-based casinos limiting access to gambling addicts. As a result, slot machines will only be available to play in land-based casinos from 1st January, 2015.
Novomatic has confirmed that it plans to appeal the decision to reward the six figure payout to the player. The developer also plans to submit a case to the Austrian constitutional law court to ensure that the new laws being introduced prevent a similar case from happening in the future.