Austria’s fourth-richest man, Johann Graf, grew up in a single-room flat in Vienna with no running water. As a youth he seemed destined to become a butcher like his father and after an apprenticeship in the family shop he earned the title of master butcher – the youngest ever so anointed by the Austrian meat industry. But instead of slinging sirloin Graf instead began importing pinball machines from Belgium and setting them up in brothels, cafes and pubs in 1974 when he was 28 years old.
Graf then signed on as an agent for a British slot machine company. When the age of electronic machines arrived Graf carved out a business servicing the new games. His expertise led to the forming of Novomatic Automatenhandels in 1980. He created the Admiral line of gaming machines with cabinet play for slots, video poker, video lottery and casino table games. By 1982 Novomatic was in Switzerland and when the Communist world blew apart in the late 1980s Graf moved swiftly into the global market, targeting countries with looser casino restrictions. Today Novomatic does business through offices in 43 countries that oversee some 1,200 sports betting and gaming venues.
To grease the skids for its move from land-based casinos into interactive gaming in 2010 by purchasing a 70 percent interest in Greentube Internet Entertainment Solutions, a leading developer and provider of gaming solutions for the Internet and mobile devices. One of Greentube’s biggest hits was in the 3D market with a ski-racing game called Ski Challenge. Novomatic’s stake was increased to complete ownership in 2011.
Novomatic Casino Games
The marriage of Novomatic’s decades of land-based experience with Greentube’s software wizardry has enabled many of gamers’ favourite casino slots to move smoothly online with no loss of quality. Mermaid’s Pearl, Fruits ‘n Sevens and Bugs ‘n Bees appear on small screens as they do in the slots parlour. A Novomatic-powered slots game boasts a distinctive graphical look with popping graphics and crisp presentations.
Novomatic has taken its most popular slots title and enhanced them with “deluxe” versions. Book of Ra Deluxe takes on the Egyptian theme with a wild scatter, an expanding wild and re-triggerable free spins. Lucky Lady’s Charm Deluxe takes its talismans of horseshoes and ladybugs and glass gazing balls to chase a 20,000-coin jackpot with free spins bringing triple the awards. Sizzling Hot Deluxe brings the classic fruit machine play to online gamers with the ability to wager up to 400 coins. Beetle Mania Deluxe unveils its cast of musical insects with a maximum wager manipulation of 100,000X the initial stake. Dolphin’s Pearl Deluxe is almost as generous with a potential award of 27,000X the opening bet.
Novomatic does not support system-wide progressive jackpots but jackpot hunters can indulge their passions for big prizes with progressive features in slots such as King’s Treasure and Golden Sevens. Most Novomatic slots also give gamers a gamble option after each win that can increase prizes on the turn of a card.
Online bingo from Novomatic maximizes the fun with multiplayer functionality and a choice between a 75-ball and a 90-ball game. The Greentube gaming platform allows integration of multiplayer card games as well – as many as ten players can sit in on hands of online poker.
After scoring with the 3D version of the national sport of Austria, Novomatic/Greentube has continued to bring out web-based skill games based on action sports. In addition to Ski Challenge gamers can do battle in Moto Race Challenge, Football Challenge, Mountain Bike Challenge and the VW Polo Cup. Novomatic has built it worldwide gaming dominance with minimal help from branded games but it has signed a long-term agreement with three-time Formula-1 World Champion Niki Lauda.