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Casinos Austria Board Approves Restructuring Plan with 500 Redundancies

Niji Narayan

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Casinos Austria Board Approves Restructuring Plan with 500 Redundancies
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The Supervisory Board of Casinos Austria has approved the restructuring plan which it claims would be “the largest reorganisation in the company’s history.”

According to news in the Austrian media, it plans to make 500 workers redundant as it claims that this would save 1200 jobs. Company pensions will be reduced and up to 25% of salaries could be cut.

SAZKA CEO Robert Chvatal, the majority shareholder in Casinos Austria, said: “This is about saving a company that is in an extremely difficult situation due to its structure and the changed world. We do not want to sell casinos; we want to make them fit for the future.”

General Director Bettina Glatz-Kremsner said: “The Supervisory Board took an important step today to make Casinos Austria AG fit for the future by 2022. The implementation of the ‘ReFIT’ package of measures presented by us today as the board of directors will be the largest reorganisation in the company’s history, which will secure Casinos Austria’s position as THE gaming provider in Austria in the long term.”

“Like many other companies, Casinos Austria was hit hard by the Corona crisis, which made it necessary for the board, the supervisory board and the owners to act quickly and responsibly. Especially because the expected consequences from Corona will also pose great difficulties for us in the near future. But even before the Corona crisis, there was a clear need for action due to the changed framework conditions in our casinos and also at the headquarters and not least because of the smoking ban,” she added.

The two main owners’ representatives are both pleased with the strategy and make it clear they are completely behind the direction they have chosen.

Thomas Schmid, board member of the ÖBAG stated: “It is not about politics or the nationality of the shareholders. It’s not about maximising profits, but about avoiding future losses. It is about saving a company that is in an extremely difficult situation due to its structure and the changed world. We don’t want to sell casinos, we want to make them fit for the future. We support the ReFIT recommendation of the team of experts headed by Bettina Glatz-Kremsner, who worked hard on this plan for several weeks. The concept is based on facts, figures and great judgement as well as valuable inputs from other markets. But it also takes into account the company’s employees by saving 1200 jobs. The management team has our full support to make the company fit again.

“We trust the CASAG management project under the leadership of Bettina Glatz-Kremsner. ÖBAG was particularly committed to preserving as many jobs as possible and all 12 casino locations. It is important to us to carry out the planned measures in a socially acceptable manner and with the involvement of the works council.

“The management assured us that in view of the great challenges for CASAG, the restructuring of the company is essential. The company can only remain successful if the proposed measures are implemented. CASAG is an important company in ÖBAG’s portfolio. As a major tour operator and taxpayer, the company makes a significant contribution to Austria as a business location. The long-term increase in the value of the stake and player protection are central cornerstones of a successful corporate strategy at CASAG.”

Central Europe

RTSmunity strengthen their position on the european market with forBET partnership

George Miller

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RTSmunity strengthen their position on the european market with forBET partnership
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RTSmunity, esports odds and trading provider, continue their expansion on european betting market with new partnership. The new cooperation with polish sportsbook operator forBET comes in a time where many major sports are facing problems, and esports are working as a stable stream of revenue. Customers of forBET will now be able to experience the top esports offer, improved in every measurable aspect – number of markets, uptime, odds.

The partnership between RTSmunity and forBET confirms the strategy that RTSmunity outlined earlier this year, which is continuous expansion on the european market, combined with new partnerships in the US and LatAm region. With many sportsbook operators looking to esports in a new new perspective, forBET demonstrated ability to be fast and agile company, by quickly enhancing their esports betting offer through RTSmunity odds feed.

Pavol Krasnovský, CEO of RTSmunity, said: We are very happy to start a new partnership with forBET. They have been able to succeed in very competitive betting market in Poland, and bringing their esports offer to the top level is the obvious step forward. We are very confident in our solution, and we have demonstrated that we are able to make esports a growing stream of revenue for sportsbook operators.

Petr Pacinek, General Director of forBET, said: The cooperation we have just started is a clear signal of the way we have chosen – continuous improvement of our offer, in order to support growth of our market share. Esports betting is still a developing industry, but already very competitive, and you can’t succeed without having the best offer. That’s why we have chosen RTSmunity to be our new partner, and we count on them to bring us to the top.

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Central Europe

German States in Discussion Over Possible Transition Period for iGaming

Niji Narayan

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German States in Discussion Over Possible Transition Period for iGaming
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Several German states are in discussions over a potential transition period that could allow operators to continue offering online casino products until the vertical is legalised from July 2021.

The exact nature of the discussions and whether this would allow operators to provide online casino without any sort of restriction, is as yet unclear, with reports telling that they do not want to pre-empt the talks.

“The federal states are currently coordinating the extent to which enforcement measures against illegal gambling can be effectively implemented in the transition phase,” a spokesperson for the state government of Nordrhein-Westfalen said.

While other states are yet to respond to requests for comment, local media reports that the chancelleries in Bavaria, Hamburg and Berlin are also involved in the discussions.

The discussions are playing out ahead of the implementation of the Glücksspielneuregulierungstaatsvertrag (GlüNeuRStV) from 1 July 2021. This revised regulatory model, which is currently subject to a standstill period as it is considered by the European Commission, expands the online market beyond sports betting for the first time.

From July next year, online casino and poker will be regulated, albeit under strict conditions, such as a €1 per spin cap on slot stakes, and table games licences restricted to the number of land-based casinos in each state.

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Central Europe

Illegal Gambling on the Rise in Austria

Niji Narayan

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Illegal Gambling on the Rise in Austria
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The Austrian Financial Police have carried out a total of 278 inspections on suspected black market gambling venues since January, resulting in the confiscation of over 660 gaming machines. Over half of the seized machines were found in Vienna, the capital city of Austria.

In a statement issued on July 28, Austria’s financial police set out the progress it has made this year towards a reduction in illegal gambling in the country. It made clear that the majority of illegal gambling activity is taking place in larger urban centres such as Vienna and Linz.

In rural areas, illegal gambling has been largely reduced – for example, in the states of Burgenland, Styria and Vorarlberg combined, only two devices have been found since January.

“I congratulate the colleagues from the financial police on these remarkable successes. Illegal gambling is now concentrated in the metropolitan areas and – thanks to the excellent work of the financial police – is no longer active across the country,” Austria’s finance minister Gernot Blümel said.

“The fight against organised illegal gambling will of course continue to protect players. The ‘gambling mafia’ benefits from peoples addiction and destroys their finances, so we must show absolutely no tolerance here,” he added.

Finance minister Blümel called this year for the creation of an independent gambling regulator for Austria, taking responsibility for the activity away from the treasury.

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