Austrian gaming giant NOVOMATIC has appointed Bally Technologies' Rick Meitzler as vice president of North American sales, as the supplier looks to significantly increase its business in the US market.

Meitzler will take on the role under the company’s subsidiary, NOVOMATIC Americas, and will be based in Chicago, with a brief to “put NOVOMATIC firmly on the map” as a leading supplier of gaming machines in the US.

He said that the company’s line of gaming products, such as its new Dominator cabinet, and the success it has seen in other international markets means it is ready to make an impact in North America.

“I look forward to taking these groundbreaking products to market very soon and I already know that US operators are more than keen to see and try them,” he said. “NOVOMATIC has such a proud reputation in the global gaming industry and, of course, the huge advantage of the innovation and direction skills of its founder and owner, Professor Johann F. Graf.”

“I regard it as a great honour for me to be asked to play a significant part in what I am certain will be major success story across America,” Meitzler added.

He joins NOVOMATIC from Bally Technologies, where he spent the past three years as director of sales for the US Midwest, and previously oversaw Australian supplier Ainsworth Game Technologies’ entry to the US market as senior vice president of North American Operations.

His appointment coincides with the news that NOVOMATIC Americas chief executive Jens Halle is to step down from his role at the end of the year.

“We are all absolutely delighted to welcome Rick Meitzler to this crucial position. I have known him, as both a former colleague and a personal friend, for many years and I am extremely happy that he has agreed to take up this key appointment,” Halle said of the appointment. “Rick is extremely well respected throughout the industry and he brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to NOVOMATIC as we now more aggressively pursue key North American markets.”