Every year, the gambling world records its usual winners and losers. This year is no different but off cause the name of the winners appears more interesting than in the former years.
As we shut down the curtains for the year 2019, a popular betting company, Sazka group, has made a move in the direction of becoming the major shareholder of Casinos Austria. The question is, was this pre-planned or it is just good that has shown up for the group? Well, talk about good management.
The company plans to purchase a further 17.19% of the shares, on top of the 38% is already owns. This will mean it will automatically become the controlling shareholders at Casinos Austria. Sazka is a popular betting company with its origins in the Czech Republic. It also has its operations in Austria, Cyprus, Greece, and Italy.
This news could not have come at a worse time for Novomatic Group, whose shares at the company will be reduced to zero. However, Novomatic will still retain its 11% shares at the Osterreichische Lotterien. This is a popular Casinos Austria’s Lottery which presently owns a local online gambling site, Win2Day.
News that reached Calvinayre.com news desk, indicate that this is one of the most trying moments for the Austria based gambling company, both politically and economically. Apparently, the Novomatic Group is in the middle of a political stalemate, which was aggravated by its support to have Peter Sidlo appointed to Casinos Austria Board.
His appointment is somehow controversial due to his connection to the political scene. This has raised red flags and has even attracted the attention of Austrian Legislators, who have begun investigating the issue.
In this light, it is obvious Sidlo’s appointment would favor Novomatic Group in a number of ways. In Austria, there are a number of laws restricting the opening of online gambling sites by private companies. It is supposed once Sidlo is appointed, the government will lift these laws making it easier to open and run an online gambling site.
This will enable private companies, Novomatic included, to open their own online gambling sites. Definitely, this will mean more profits for them. Sometime back, Novomatic land-based slots and parlor licenses were suspended in Vienna. Sidlo’s appointment might result in the ban on these licenses been uplifted and business continuing as usual.
Recently, Robert Chvatal, Sazka chairperson, has put forth claims that he has been under great pressure by both Sidlo and Novomatic Group, to give a go-ahead to the appointment of Sidlo as Casinos Austria’s new Chief Finance Officer. This is despite his lack of skills and appropriate experience in the financial world. However, both Sidlo and the seniors at the Novomatic group have vehemently denied these accusations.
In just half the economic year, ending June 30, Sazka reported net earnings of 625.3 million euros from gaming alone. This was up 6.8% from the previous year with pre-tax profit increased by 35% to 192.4 million euros.