“The high quality of Novomatic’s products and their good performance once again ensured growth in all segments in 2023”

As 2023 comes to a close, gaming technology group Novomatic summed up the major developments that took place this year, including product launches, new strategies, and market expansion, in an exclusive interview with Yogonet.

In the conversation, Novomatic members of the board Ryszard Presch and Johannes Gratzl touched upon these topics, along with discussing the company’s milestones with Greentube, Novomatic’s Digital Gaming and Entertainment Division, and the plans for 2024.

What is your assessment of the year, and what can you tell us about 2024?

Ryszard Presch: The high quality of our products and their good performance have once again ensured growth in all segments this year and targeted investments in product developments as well as technologies enabled us to further increase demand for Novomatic products.

Against the backdrop of our comprehensive ESG strategy, the further expansion of photovoltaic systems is also a planned fixpoint in the coming year. We will therefore continue to invest significantly in sustainable energy supply in 2024

In times of energy crises, this will make us even more independent than we already are thanks to our high level of vertical integration. For example, the group’s largest photovoltaic system is currently being built on an area of 20,000 m² at the headquarters site in Gumpoldskirchen and will go into full operation in spring 2024.

Johannes Gratzl: The year 2023 was also characterized by strategic acquisitions, which also contributed to growth, with the result that the number of fully consolidated companies within the group has increased to 215.

In the coming year, we will continue to evaluate the potential to further expand our position as market leader in the core European markets of Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK, the Netherlands, and numerous countries in Eastern and Southern Europe. Our growth strategy is also focused on gaining further market shares in the USA, Australia, Latin America, and Africa.

Do you think new technologies such as AI will play a key role in the development of products and services in the gaming industry in the next year? Which other trends do you see gaining momentum?

Presch: As a technology leader in the entertainment industry with 32 technology centers in 15 countries, Novomatic has a very positive attitude towards innovative developments and the group has already received numerous awards for its developments, both for gaming floors and the digital portfolio. 5,000 registered IP rights and around 200 new games and their variants per year are proof of our innovative strength. 

Therefore Novomatic is currently working on a group roadmap to create standardized framework conditions for the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in all group companies so that future developments in this area can also be used safely in a professional context. AI can support users in their work and open up new opportunities. However, employees continue to play a key role in the development process.

What markets and verticals surprised you the most in how they developed this year? Which markets do you expect to gain momentum next year?
Gratzl: The online, mobile, and social gaming sector in particular has been experiencing unstoppable growth for several years. In this context several strategic acquisitions enabled Greentube, Novomatic’s Digital Gaming and Entertainment Division, to successfully complement the international portfolio in the areas of software development as well as system and platform technology. In the coming year, we will again be focusing on online activities. 

However, we are also seeing continuous growth in the emerging sports betting segment in the US market, as more and more states are regulating sports betting and casino operators are expanding their offering as a result. I am happy to see that they are increasingly relying on Novomatic technologies.

The company presented a new premium product line at G2E for international markets, called the V.I.P. X series. How was this product received at the show, and what role do you expect it to play in the coming year?
Presch: With regard to the high demands on technology and quality standards, we are pleased that our premium cabinets in the V.I.P. X series have been well received among international show visitors. And as operators are always looking for a special and innovative entertainment experience for their customers, the V.I.P. X series is the perfect choice. 

Thus, we expect this product line to be something that ambitious operators will definitely consider for their slot floors. For the new year, we can already reveal that we will be presenting an addition to this premium segment at ICE in February. The new, exclusive products show that the Novomatic portfolio offers the right solution for every requirement.