WestSpiel's four casinos

Gauselmann Group acquisition of NRW casinos gets antitrust approval

“We are looking forward to welcoming the new employees to our company,” said founder and Chairman Paul Gauselmann. The group placed emphasis on personally introducing the management to colleagues in the casino locations.
2021-09-08
Germany
Reading time 1:42 min
As of September 1, the four Westdeutsche Spielbanken (WestSpiel)-operated casinos in North Rhine-Westphalia are now part of the group. Gauselmann initially reached a purchase agreement on the acquisition with state-owned NRW.BANK for $168.3 million on July 20. Additionally, the company has the option to open two more venues in NRW.

Antitrust authorities have approved the purchase of NRW casinos by the Gauselmann Group, announced the German land-based gaming developer and operator. This marks the completion of the procedure, with all competent authorities having greenlighted the sale: as of September 1, the four Westdeutsche Spielbanken (WestSpiel)-operated casinos in Nordheim-Westfalen are now part of the group.

The Gauselmann Group initially reached a purchase agreement on the acquisition of the casinos with state-owned NRW.BANK for $168.3 million on July 20, with the official acquisition taking place on the 1st of September upon antitrust approval. The casinos have now become the latest venues to become part of the company.

“We are looking forward to welcoming the new employees to our company,” said founder and Chairman of the Management Board Paul Gauselmann. “We will align the casinos in NRW even more successfully.”

According to a press release, the company used the time between the signing of the purchase agreement and the final approval by the antitrust authorities to prepare for the integration of the gaming facilities into the corporate group.

In addition to technical and organizational aspects of the acquisition, the Gauselmnn group placed “particular emphasis” on personally introducing the management to colleagues in the casino locations as well as in the headquarters, located in Duisburg.

“We will further intensify this dialogue in the coming weeks and have planned welcome events for all new colleagues in our training center at Scholl Benkhausen,” said David Schnabel, Managing Director of Merkur Spielbanken.

Following the completion of the transaction, the company can thus expand its casino portfolio to include the locations of Aachen, Bad Oeynhausen, Dortmund-Hohensyburg and Duisburg, and additionally has the option to open two more venues in NRW.

The acquisition follows a privatization tender launched in January by Nordrhein-Westfalen’s Ministry of the Interior and professional services firm Warth & Klein Grant Thornton. By winning the tender, its terms grant the Gauselmann Group a 15-year monopoly over land-based gaming in the region.

The four casinos will be subject to a 30% gross revenue tax for all income up to 15 million euro, and the two new casinos that the group can build would be taxed at 25% of gross revenue for their first two years of operation. WestSpiel’s gross gaming revenue for 2019 was reported to be $138.5 million.

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