Novomatic might not be an instantly recognizable name as far as most online casino players are concerned, but it's one of the oldest and biggest gaming companies in the world. The reason why it isn't quite as brand-famous as companies like Micrograming and Evolution is probably because Novomatic was founded to produce gaming equipment and services for land-based casinos, sportsbooks and lottery organizations. However, Novomatic also provides a range of fantastic games for online casinos, so you'll see its name becoming more prominent as it continues to make headway in this area.
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Novomatic was founded by Austrian entrepreneur Professor Johann F. Graf in 1980. It started producing the first ADMIRAL gaming machines for land-based gambling venues, and quickly expanded into several other European countries, including France, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland. Expansion into the Republic of South Africa came in 1988, and in 1989 the company launched its American Poker II machine, which has since become known simply as "The Legend".
By 1990, the company was working in over 30 countries around the world, and over the next decade, it started operating casinos in a number of them. It also developed its first multiplayer devices and released its iconic Dolphin's Pearl pokie game.
Novomatic opened the first airport casino in Germany in Frankfurt in the year 2000. By 2002, it was enjoying massive success with its Novo Multi-Roulette installations, as well as its Lucky Lady's Charm and Sizzling Hot games. The company then created a monster hit with its Egyptian-themed Book of Ra pokie slot. By 2005, the Novomatic Group achieved an annual turnover of €1 billion.
2011 was the year in which Novomatic took its first steps into the online market by acquiring the Greentube Group. It is the Greentube name that you'll most often see when playing online casino games from Novomatic.
Today, the Novomatic Group works in around 100 countries and has locations in 50 of them. The company employs over 21,000 staff worldwide.
You have seen how Novomatic is primarily a technology and services company that has spent most of its time focusing on the land-based casino gaming industry. However, many of its most iconic and successful land-based games can also be played at online casinos. These have mostly been released online through the Greentube brand, which has over 380 titles in its catalogue, but there are also plenty of games that have been released under the Novomatic name.
Ironically, it is the Greentube branded games that are most popular pokies in New Zealand. If you want to discover what makes them so special, here are three of the most notable titles that we can recommend without hesitation:
1. Dolphin's Pearl Deluxe
This is an old game, having been released in 2009, so you shouldn't expect it to have all the bells and whistles of any that have been launched in more recent years. What makes this game so special is that it's an online version of the massively popular land-based pokie that was released by Novomatic in 2001.
Dolphin's Pearl Deluxe is a five-reel pokie machine with ten pay lines that takes place under the sea. Symbols include a variety of colourful fish, a seahorse, a dolphin wild and a pearl in an oyster shell scatter. The scatter can award a special bonus game that gives you 15 free spins with an x3 multiplier improving all wins.
2. Lucky Lady's Charm
Lucky Lady's Charm is another online port of a land-based smash hit from Novomatic. This game was released by Greentube in 2019, so while it's completely modern it is still faithful to the original machine of many years earlier. Symbols include a four-leaf clover, gold coin, horseshoe, ladybird, and a lucky charm. The Lady herself is wild, and a crystal ball serves as a scatter.
A gamble feature will give you the chance to double up wins by predicting whether the next playing card in a series will be red or black. Land three or more scatters to receive 15 free spins with an x3 multiplier in place.
3. Book of Ra
One of the most popular online video pokies from this company is Book of Ra, which was released by Greentube more than a decade ago. We said earlier that Novomatic had a massive hit with this game in land-based venues, and the Egyptian-themed pokie has proven just as popular online.
This five-reel game has a simple but very attractive format, with symbols that include a variety of Egyptian treasures, a male adventurer and the Book of Ra itself. The Book of Ra serves as a scatter, and when you land three or more of them you'll receive 10 free spins. During the free spins round, the adventurer symbol can expand to cover three reel positions if doing so will give you a win.
TIP: If you happen to like the Book of Ra video pokie, you should also check out Book of Ra Deluxe and Book of Ra Deluxe 6, both of which give you a chance to win over 10,000 times your bet.
These three games don't even scratch the surface of the hundreds available, but they do provide great examples of Novomatic's style and approach. Because the brand was established to provide products and services to land-based gambling venues, its games tend to have a classic casino style that never gets old. Of course, the formats of more recent online releases tend to be a bit more involved, but you can always count on this company to deliver an authentic casino gaming experience.
While most of the online games put out by Novomatic and Greentube are video pokies, there are a handful of card and table games that have also been released. Unfortunately, only one of them is currently playable at online casinos in New Zealand, and that is Royal Crown Blackjack. This is a 2018 release that allows you to play up to three hands of blackjack at the same time. It's an enjoyable game but has little to set it apart from the many other blackjack titles out there, so don't waste too much time hunting it down if your usual casino haunts don't offer the title.
It has been good to welcome Novomatic games to the online casino world, but the company is still primarily focused on providing products and services to land-based venues. That is why the company was founded, and it's a tradition that continues to this day. The good news is that this gives its online releases a classic feel and style that is becoming increasingly rare, so if you're an online player who enjoys old-school gaming, Novomatic and Greentube are definitely brands to note.
Novomatic is an absolute giant in the gaming world, so it shouldn't be any surprise to hear that it has received a number of awards in its more than 40 years of operating. Some of the most notable ones aren't related to any particular game but rather to Novomatic's roaring success as a business. Here are some examples:
All of the online casino games from Novomatic that are currently available to Kiwi players in NZ can be played on mobile devices as easily as they can on desktop or laptop computers. Some of the more recent pokie releases that you can take for a spin on mobile devices include Lord of the Ocean: 10 Win Ways, Stars Inferno, Slots, Diamond Link Mighty Buffalo and 40 Wild Fire 6.
There aren't many gaming companies that have been around for more than four decades and are still going strong, but Novomatic is one of the few that has. Even more impressive, it is also a company that is leading the field in many ways, and while its online operations still seem to be quite secondary to its work in offline venues, the games that it has made available to online players are impressive and well worth spending time with. We have no doubt that Novomatic will continue to innovate in all that it does, and that the company will be serving players for decades to come.