Johann Graf, the 73 years old butcher turned billionaire is facing several challenges with his gambling company, Novomatic. Johann set up the company four decades ago, but right now, the company is in problems due to the coronavirus pandemic where people are distancing themselves from casinos and slot machines.
Johann Graf’s Ascent
Fifty years ago, Johann started as a butcher in Vienna, Austria, but now through his own caliber, he has reached this position where his net worth is nearly five billion euros. He is now Austria’s 2nd richest man, right behind Red Bull’s co-founder, Dietrich Mateschitz.
Johann’s primary source of wealth is his gambling company, Novomatic that operates gambling bars and Novomatic’s games are counted amongst some of the best selling games. Also, slot machines from Novomatic are set up in many of the well-known casinos around the world, with over two thousand gaming facilities in fifty countries.
He made it possible for the common man to gamble instead of making it something the rich-only people can take part it. This decision helped his gambling business become a success in the 1990s.
Soon enough, Novomatic was among the most sought after companies in Austria to work at with excellent pay packages, private pension contributions, food courts, and company cars.
Novomatic and the Problems
Apart from far fewer footfalls at the casinos, Novomatic is also facing corruption allegations, the company’s chief executive left. Also, the company has to refinance nearly one billion euros in debt.
Before the pandemic, Novomatic got tangled in political scandal last year, where the company was accused of political funding in return for favorable legislation that would allow Novomatic to win casino license and national online license. However, the company has denied these allegations. However, these charges will have a negative effect on the company’s Austrian business.
The Slump in Earnings
As per analysts, earnings are expected to go down by as much as forty percent due to a drop in business. Additionally, the company needs to repay a debt of around 450M euros in the next one year.
Post Pandemic Endeavors
Novomatic expects to improve its growth with business consolidation in Europe and by providing new offers in Africa, Australia, the U.S., and Latin America. Similarly, there are plans to set up gambling machines at gas stations, cafes, and bars in the U.S.