Austrian casino operator and gaming equipment maker Novomatic AG recently announced a tie-up with Australia-based slot machine supplier Ainsworth Game Technology Ltd. Currently, both companies have a relatively small presence in the Asian market as they are represented by distributors. The two companies intend to increase their presence in the market once they merge their strengths.

In spite of Ainsworth’s shareholders approving the sale of 52.2 percent of the company’s shares, to Novomatic, the tie-up was still pending due to a couple of regulatory approvals which were expected to be completed by the third quarter of 2017.

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In a statement, Jens Einhaus Novomatic’s sales director said, “We are doing good business over at Genting Malaysia [Bhd’s Resorts World Genting casino complex]. In Vietnam, our distributor managed to get a couple of good deals. [We are] also in Saipan. Our biggest and best market is South Korea, where we are by far the number one performing manufacturer.”

Novomatic AG is an active supplier in a number of gaming segments such as casino, sports betting, and lottery, mobile and online play all over the world. Over 235,000 gaming devices and video lottery terminals in more than 1,600 avenues, including gaming casinos and parlors are currently being operated by the Novomatic group. Novomatic’s worldwide sales for 2016 had increased in several markets. The Novomatic stand at the Macao Gaming Show 2016, which was held in November have already featured a couple of Ainsworth’s products.

Initially Novomatic focused on the European market, after which they slowly fanned out. So far, Asia did not feature on their list of priorities as compared to the other markets, thus they were only available to the Asian market via their distributor – Jade Entertainment and Gaming Technologies Inc.

According to Macau’s gaming regulator, there were less than 15,800 slot machines in Macau as of September 30th whereas in Nevada during the same period of time, the state-wide number of slots was 10 times greater than Macau, according to the data compiled by the Center for Gaming Research at the University of Nevada. Thus, despite commanding large headline gross gaming revenue figures in Asian markets like Singapore and Macau the actual number of gaming machines that are currently available are quite low.

Mr. Einhaus stated that while the tie-up is expected to completed only during the third quarter of next year, both companies are already discussing possible product development synergies.

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