Jens Halle, managing director of Austrian Gaming Industries GmbH (AGI), will steer the wholly owned Novomatic Group subsidiary from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., from August onwards.

Halle will be working out of Novomatic Americas’ recently acquired offices in Ft. Lauderdale, where it will operate in conjunction with Reel Games, a company with which it has a three-year association in North America. Ft. Lauderdale will be the commercial hub for Novomatic Americas, from the U.S. down to Argentina. Reel Games will cover sales in all of North America, the Caribbean and the cruise lines.

The move reflects a change in emphasis for the Austrian-based gaming machines giant, which expects to see most of its growth coming from Asia and, particularly, Latin America in coming years, while continuing to nurture its huge operations in Europe. “I have been regularly travelling to South America of late so, by moving to Florida, my travel routine will basically be reversed and thus be considerably more efficient.” said Halle, who is committed to returning to company headquarters in Gumpoldskirchen on a frequent basis. He will continue to report to Novomatic’s board and its president, Johann F. Graf.

As part of the move, AGI will seek to re-establish its Florida license, which had lapsed several years ago. The company has recently re-established a presence in North America, exhibiting jointly with Reel Games at NIGA and Southern Gaming Summit.

Halle started in the gaming industry in 1988 with German games producer TH Bergmann. He also served as managing director of Bally Europe before joining Novomatic in 1999 as managing director of AGI, where, during his tenure, the company has grown to be one of the largest gaming machine manufacturers in the world.