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International ESG rating upgrade for NOVOMATIC

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In this year’s ISS ESG sustainability rating, the international gaming technology group NOVOMATIC was upgraded, making it one of the top performers in the electronics industry.

ISS ESG (Institutional Shareholder Services Inc.), a rating agency specializing in sustainability, is one of the world’s three leading ESG rating agencies, along with Sustainalytics and Moody’s ESG Solutions. The assessment of a company’s environmental, economic and social performance as part of the Corporate Rating is based on approximately 100 industry-specific indicators. ISS ESG ensures that the ratings remain current through regular updates.

In October 2023, ISS ESG raised NOVOMATIC AG’s rating to “C” for the first time, placing the company in the top 30% of the electronics industry. With this development, NOVOMATIC joins the ranks of global industry leaders such as Apple, Dell and HP.

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NOVOMATIC has improved particularly in the areas of “Employees and suppliers”, “Society and product responsibility” and “Corporate governance and business ethics”. ESG is an integral part of NOVOMATIC AG’s corporate strategy as the company strives for continuous improvement as part of its comprehensive sustainability program.

“As an international gaming technology group, we have always assumed social responsibility and act conscientiously and transparently in all areas of our business,” emphasizes NOVOMATIC Executive Board Member Ryszard Presch. Fellow Board Member Johannes Gratzl adds: “We are delighted that our extensive commitment to sustainability has now been recognized by ISS ESG with a top rating. With this rating, we have made a great leap forward, and our level of transparency is now at the highest level. We are also well above the industry average when it comes to the core issue of working conditions and standards,” says Gratzl.

NOVOMATIC has already received many important awards and top ratings for its Group-wide commitment to sustainability, including most recently PwC’s ESG Ranking 2023, in which the company emerged as the industry winner.

Central Europe

Low6 equips BETFAN with free-to-play arcade games

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The multi-game partnership sees the legal Polish operator build out its proposition by appealing to the nostalgia of much-loved games

Low6, the leading gamification innovator, has secured an agreement with BETFAN, a new legal Polish bookmaker, to deliver a suite of free-to-play games. The operator has earmarked Low6’s pioneering spin on free-to-play games as a strategic addition to their product offering to retain and boost their active player base.

The new product offering will launch BETFAN’s first arcade-style game, Horse Race. The side scroller game challengers players to navigate a horse between sporting objects by tapping their touchscreen or mouse. The further they progress in the game, the more points they earn.

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The portfolio will also include a Bingo game where players will be issued a digital card of sporting events that are marked-off in real time with in-play action. Players are rewarded by getting a line or full-house on completing their card.

“Our goal is to make constant progress.” comments Jakub Świsłowski, Vice President of BETFAN. “The future of our sportsbook division sees free-to-play games as a key development in our product offering. We truly believe that our partnership with Low6 will allow us to make a huge difference in the Polish market and this cooperation will also open up new doors for sportsbooks in Poland”.

“BETFAN, like Low6, are focused on innovation and we’re delighted that part of our portfolio of games will be implemented within their product suite.” comments Jamie Mitchell CEO of Low6. “That our first game is delivered as a new, innovative arcade solution means we have something that the betting market has never seen before. We can’t wait to flick the switch and launch our arcade offering to the wider sportsbook and igaming verticals.”

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Central Europe

DSWV Calls for Changes as Black Market Betting Rises in 2023

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The German Sports Betting Association (DSWV) has analysed the development of the German sports betting market for 2023 at its annual press conference. The main focus was on tax revenues, the black market and player protection.

Decline in Tax Revenue

In 2023, legal sports betting providers in Germany recorded stakes of €7.72 billion, a decrease of 5.4% compared to the previous year.

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“Instead, the money flows into the coffers of the black market providers,” DSWV President Mathias Dahms said.

This development illustrates the challenges facing the legal market. One important reason for the decline is the migration of many players to illegal offerings. For example, since the State Treaty on Gambling came into force in 2021, regulated providers have not been able to keep up with the extensive betting offers of the black market due to a limited betting programme. The association is, therefore, calling for attractive framework conditions for regulated providers so that they remain competitive.

Combating the Black Market

Despite regulation, the black market has a significant market share in Germany. Studies, such as the Schnabl study by DSWV and DOCV, show that around half of the time spent by German online gambling users is spent on illegal sites. This alarming development requires urgent action on the part of the Joint Gambling Authority of the federal states (GGL). The DSWV is, therefore, calling for a reorientation of the current regulatory policy in order to strengthen the legal market and curb the black market.

Promotion of Player Protection

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Many interested parties will open betting accounts during the European Football Championship. It is, therefore, all the more important that gamblers are directed to the legal market. Advertising helps to make the brands of legal providers stand out from the illegal offers on the black market. Only companies permitted by the GGL protect players. In the debate on sports betting advertising, the DSWV is, therefore, expressly opposed to a ban on advertising.

“No company can survive if it is not allowed to advertise, and this must remain the case for sports betting providers. Otherwise, players are left with the black market, where there are no protective measures and controls,” Dahms said during the conference.

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Central Europe

Greentube debuts content in Slovakia

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Greentube, the NOVOMATIC Digital Gaming and Entertainment division, has taken its diverse portfolio of popular slots live in Slovakia, marking further European growth for the company in regulated markets.

Now available via a range of the country’s leading online casino brands, players will be able to get their hands on Greentube’s upcoming releases such as Book of Ra™ Deluxe 10: Win Ways™, Sizzling Hot™ Deluxe 10 Win Ways™ and Top o’ the Money™ – Pots of Wealth.

These new releases will sit alongside the supplier’s classic games which have proved their enduring appeal among European players including hit titles such as Book of Ra™, Sizzling Hot™ and Ultrahot Deluxe™.

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This latest market entry into Slovakia furthers Greentube’s growth in Central Europe and mirrors its progress globally, in line with its strategy for the year ahead.

Opher Ben Zvi, Deputy Head of Global Sales at Greentube, said: “Slovakia is another step forward in our roadmap for 2024. It’s a country with great potential and one where we expect big things from our proven content.

“Our range of games is set to provide a diverse choice for players, beginning with our successful WinWays™ titles. These will soon be joined by the global hits from our Diamond Mystery™, Diamond Link™ and Cash Connection™ game series.

“We’re proud to see them on offer to an even larger demographic via our partners in the country.”

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