Casino equipment supplier Novomatic AG has told GGRAsia the firm has “not sold gaming equipment to the Russian market over the past years”. The firm said additionally that it had “no licence to operate gaming venues in Russia and therefore does not operate venues in Russia.”
It was in response to GGRAsia asking whether the Austria-based group had any of its slot machines or systems currently operating in the Primorye Integrated Entertainment Zone (IEZ), an area earmarked for casino development near Vladivostok, in the Russian Far East.
Russia is currently subject to wide-ranging economic sanctions, following its military invasion of Ukraine.
Either sale or operation of equipment are not the only routes by which proprietary gaming technology can enter a market.
Nonetheless, the Austrian company noted: “Novomatic strictly and as a matter of principle complies with all national laws and regulations, including any sanctions requirements imposed – and as a matter of course also those against Russia.”
It added: “The Novomatic business philosophy has always been to strictly adhere to binding regulations.”
GGRAsia also contacted several other major casino equipment suppliers – with a significant presence in Asia-Pacific markets – on the Russia topic, after Australia-based gaming technology provider Aristocrat Leisure Ltd issued a statement giving an update regarding its presence in Ukraine and Russia.
Aristocrat separately clarified to GGRAsia it had not supplied electronic gaming machines in the Russian land-based sector “for many years”, and had no “gaming business” there. But the company said it had suspended its mobile games in that market, as “operating in Russia is currently not viable.”
Gaming equipment supplier International Game Technology Plc (IGT) said in an email to GGRAsia on March 11, it had “no further feedback” regarding whether the firm had equipment in the Primorye casino resort market.
On March 1, at the time of IGT’s fourth-quarter earnings, Vincent Sadusky, the firm’s recently-appointed chief executive, said on conference call: “It is hard to know if we will experience any impact from the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.”
He added: “We have minimal direct exposure to those countries, but the repercussions for Europe and the rest of the world are difficult to assess at this time.”
GGRAsia also approached gaming technology supplier Light & Wonder Inc – formerly known as Scientific Games Corp – asking about its exposure to the Russia market. We had not received any feedback by the time this story went online.
It is not only some gaming suppliers that have exposure either to Ukraine or Russia, or both places. Several casino operators have also been affected.
Brokerage Daiwa had said in a March 8 note that “sanctions” against the Russian Federation had “led to suspension of the Russia project” in the Primorye IEZ for Hong Kong-listed casino group NagaCorp Ltd.
Summit Ascent Holdings Ltd, the Hong Kong-listed chief backer of the Tigre de Cristal casino resort in Primorye, said in a Tuesday filing it had been “closely monitoring the market conditions and the impact” on business arising from the “Russia-Ukraine conflict since late February 2022”.
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