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Offbeat

Austrian gambler who was ‘incapacitated’ by slot machine addiction wins US$2.9 million in compensation

  • The man spent US$2.3 million to slot machines over 10 years
  • The court found the man was under the influence of addiction
PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 23 October, 2018, 1:09am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 23 October, 2018, 5:55am

An Austrian court has ordered a gambling company to pay 2.5 million euros (US$2.87 million) to a gambler the court found was under the influence of addiction, in a judgment made public on Monday.

The complainant said that over a period of 10 years starting in 2002 he spent around 2 million euros (US$2.3 million) in slot machines run by the Novomatic company in the capital Vienna.

According to an expert opinion heard by the court in the town of Wiener Neustadt, the man was “partially incapacitated” through his addiction, which rendered his bets invalid.

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Novomatic, which is based near Wiener Neustadt, is one of the world’s biggest gambling technology companies with operations in dozens of countries worldwide. It said it will appeal the judgment.

In 2015 municipal authorities in Vienna banned slot machines outside casinos to combat gambling addiction. The city had around 2,600 such machines before the ban came into force.