NEW MEMBERS WERE APPOINTED TO THE SUPERVISORY BOARD AT CASINOS AUSTRIA AG ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING AND SUPERVISORY BOARD MEETING.
- Reorganisation of the Supervisory Board: Wolfgang Hesoun is the new Chairman of the Supervisory Board – additional experts have been appointed
- Syndicate contract brings stability to the corporate group
- Player protection is to be a focus of the Supervisory Board
- Implementation of extensive restructuring programme
- Strengthening of distribution and online offers – fight against illegality
Reorganisation of the Supervisory Board
New members were appointed to the Supervisory Board at Casinos Austria AG Annual General Meeting and Supervisory Board Meeting.
At Casinos Austria AG, Wolfgang Hesoun, a top Austrian manager, took the helm as the new Chairman of the Supervisory Board. His currently sole Vice Chairman is SAZKA Group CEO Robert Chvatal, who has chaired the Board since Walter Rothensteiner’s departure.
ÖBAG Director and former PwC CEO Christine Catasta and compliance and player protection expert Erika Stark-Rittenauer were appointed to the Supervisory Board. Gerhild Hofer and Thomas Polzer are leaving the committee.
“I am delighted that we were able to secure an experienced top manager as President of the Supervisory Board, and that person is Wolfgang Hesoun. Our current personnel decisions show that after a challenging period, we are embarking on a new chapter for the company, one in which the Managing Board, the employees, the Supervisory Board and the owners work together to create a positive future for the company,” says ÖBAG Managing Board member Thomas Schmid.
Syndicate contract brings stability to the company
The basis for the changes in membership of the Boards is the syndicate contract between the SAZKA Group (majority owner) and the state-owned holding company ÖBAG. This contract was recently approved by the EU Competition Commission. “The syndicate contract between the two main owners amicably regulates the strategic development and alignment of the corporate group. Our shared vision and long-term strategy provide the stability that the company needs. This is particularly important in the current difficult situation as well as with regard to the challenges facing the corporate group in the near future. In particular, the two main owners will make a substantial contribution to strengthening distribution and building up new online services, as well as driving forward the urgently needed fight against illegality,” SAZKA CEO Robert Chvatal says about the new cooperation between the owners.
Player protection is to be a focus of the Supervisory Board
Player protection and handling gambling responsibly has always been a central issue within the Casinos Austria/Österreichische Lotterien Group. In future, the Supervisory Board will provide tangible support for the company’s efforts in this crucial area. “Casinos and lotteries bear great social responsibility in the gaming sector. As a core shareholder, it is of particular interest to ÖBAG that our shareholdings continue to expand their pioneering role in the area of player protection in Europe. With Erika Stark-Rittenauer, we on the Supervisory Board can provide valuable input in this regard,” Schmid says with respect to the future focus.
Implementation of the restructuring programme
The report on the ReFIT restructuring programme was discussed at length in today’s meetings. Following intensive negotiations, a comprehensive package was put together in a very short time, and most of it has already been implemented. These far-reaching measures will save 50 million euros in the long run and reduce the number of employees by around 500 FTEs across the entire Group. The fact that almost the entire personnel reduction could be carried out in the form of amicable separations and accompanied by corresponding social plans, new collective agreements and company agreements was noted as a positive aspect. This was possible because an amount in the high double-digit millions was spent on the design of these separation packages. Far-reaching internal restructuring has made processes much more efficient and made it possible to focus on new entrepreneurial tasks. This has created a basis for the long-term security of the corporate group.
ComeOn Group launches in-house developed casino API with Apparat Gaming as first onboarded games provider
Leading iGaming operator ComeOn Group announced the launch of their in-house developed casino API. The group announced German based Apparat Gaming to be the first games provider to benefit from its new API approach, giving ComeOn’s customers access to a portfolio filled with a wide range of exciting games. The agreement with Apparat Gaming marks an exciting business relationship as both entities have the German market as one of their core focuses for the upcoming years. The games are currently available for the German market with a plan to expand into other markets in the near future.
The new casino API is based on cutting edge, seamless technology that will enable ComeOn’s content partners to quickly integrate and benefit from instant distribution across all its jurisdictions and brands. This is part of ComeOn’s continuous focus on product quality to deliver a top of the line entertainment experience to its customer base.
Cristiano Blanco, Chief Product Officer at ComeOn Group, said: “We are very pleased to see Apparat Gaming using our innovative integration technology to provide their exciting games portfolio to all our jurisdictions and brands. This integration was completed within a matter of a few weeks, showing ComeOn’s technical integration power and the level of experience Apparat Gaming has”
Martin Frindt, Co-founder responsible for the partnerships at Apparat Gaming, said: “It is a great honour that ComeOn has chosen Apparat Gaming for their first API integration. Based on this confidence in our capabilities as well as our upcoming games portfolio, we look forward to a great partnership.”
Gauselmann Group Granted Licence for Virtual Slots in Germany
The Gauselmann Group is one of the first providers to be granted a licence to operate virtual slot-machine games in Germany. Since the beginning of August, the Eastern Westphalian company has been authorised to offer its popular and successful slot-machine games online in Germany under the domain www.merkur-spiel.de and thus legally provide first-class gaming fun on the worldwide web.
The Gauselmann Group filed the application for permission to offer virtual slot-machine games with the Saxony-Anhalt State Administration Office back in July 2021.
“We have been waiting in the wings for some time with our range of virtual slot-machine games under the ‘Merkur Spiel’ brand. So we are all the more enthusiastic that we can now offer our online players the chance to enjoy the same Merkur classics that have been played millions of times at our bricks-and-mortar venues. This approval is an important and big step for us towards becoming the best omnichannel provider in the whole of Europe,” said Markus Ettlin, Management Spokesperson of Merkur Sportwetten GmbH.
The development of games content for both the land-based and online segments has been one of the core competencies of the Gauselmann Group for many years. At a total of 13 locations worldwide, gaming specialists develop highly innovative games and game systems based on current market and customer trends, thus always striking the right cord with gaming enthusiasts. While international gaming has long been at home in the digital world, now the German online gaming market is also able to benefit from the innovative games developments of the Gauselmann Group.
The offering of virtual slot-machine games on the Internet complies with the legal requirements set out in the State Treaty on Gambling. The licence certifies that the family-run corporate group fully complies with the regulatory and statutory requirements governing the operation of virtual slot-machine games.
German games industry has published its annual report for 2022
What are the trends in the German games market? How many people are employed in the development and publishing of computer and video games in Germany? And how have the conditions for game development changed here in Germany? Answers to these and many other questions can be found in the ‘Annual report of the German games industry 2022’ that was published today by game – the German Games Industry Association. Over nearly 60 pages, the annual report delivers a comprehensive overview that extends from video game players in Germany to market developments through to regional support measures and fundings. Various German games industry institutions have been given their own chapters, including devcom, the esports player foundation, the Foundation for Digital Games Culture (Stiftung Digitale Spielekultur) and the Entertainment Software Self-Regulation Body (USK), as have gamescom and the German Computer Games Awards (Deutscher Computerspielpreis). As a result, the ‘Annual report of the German games industry 2022’ succeeds in providing an in-depth look at the latest developments in Germany as a games location.
The annual report of the German games industry is published in German and English and is available free of charge on the game website.
game – the German Games Industry Association
We are the association of the German games industry. Our members include developers, publishers and many other games industry actors such as esports event organisers, educational establishments and service providers. As a joint organiser of gamescom, we are responsible for the world’s biggest event for computer and video games. We are an expert partner for media and for political and social institutions, and answer questions relating to market development, games culture and media literacy. Our mission is to make Germany the best games location.
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