Gambling Addict Awards $2.9 Million to Compensate FOBT Use

austria court casino rulingIn what that seems like a landmark case in the history of the gambling industry, an Austria based court has awarded a whopping $2.98 million to a vulnerable player as compensation money for FOBT use.

The claimant was declared “partially incapacitated” by an expert for his gambling addiction which has led to bets getting void as per the court verdict.

The Wiener Neustadt court in Austria has ordered Novomatic which is the defendant, in this case, to pay out the amount to this player who has been a gaming addict playing slot machines for the past one decade.

It was thought that the complainant has squandered an amount of $2.3 million between the period 2002 and 2012. He had stopped playing 3 years ago before the slot machines outside the casinos were banned by the Government of Austria.

Partially Incapacitated

According to the plaintiff, the gambling addiction was so severe that he was unable to concentrate on his work and this motivated the legal recourse. The court judgment which was made public this week said that the player was under addiction influence when he placed the gambling bets and this makes the bets completely void and invalid.

This is not the first instance that Novomatic has experienced such kind of loss and the company is looking forward to appealing to this judgment in the coming months.

As per the court ruling, the slot machines supplied by Novomatic were available for public access at several locations outside casino floors like gas stations and retail shops. This ease of access to the slot machines was restricted in January 2015 when slot machines outside the casinos were banned by Austria government.

This ban was implemented with the view to address problem gambling in the country especially among the low-income group. The court ruling further stated that the slot machines used by anonymous complainant allowed the bets so huge that all gambling rules were flouted and there was no regulation on the stakes played on such machines.

UK Bookmaker in a Similar Case

Last month, a similar case came up in the United Kingdom when a bookmaker by the name of Mark Jarvis was ordered to pay an amount of $122,000 to a woman who has become a gambling addict to the odd betting slot machines situated at Leicester shops.

In the last 2 years, the woman had spent £34,000 on a single slot machine and had stolen an amount of £11,250 from her employer to satiate her gambling needs. Between the period from September 2016 and February 2017, the woman used the stolen money from her employer to gamble. The machine where she played had a maximum stake of £100 which was way above the £2 proposed limit set by the UK gambling commission.

The court found the bookmaker to clearly breach the Social Responsibility Code where companies are forbidden to allow gamblers to place more bets.

In the year 2001, fixed odds betting terminals were introduced in the United Kingdom and had led to several issues that have been debated in the Parliament ever since. In 2017, a report from Campaign for Fairer Gambling showed that people lost a massive amount of money at fixed odds betting machines.

In 2016, the combined estimate for Leicester was around £9.7 million. There are 40 Mark Jarvis shops in the city of Leicester and in the neighbouring counties.


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