The state government of North Rhine-Westphalia has decided that it will sell off its Westspiel-Casino group, which runs four casinos in Aachen, Dortmund, Duisburg and Bad Oeynhausen and wants to open a fifth casino in Cologne.
In 2016 the company’s GGR increased slightly to €80.4m in 2016 but the company still made a loss of €2.9m, which followed a loss of €8.5m in 2015.
The Gauselmann Group headquartered in Espelkamp in the far northeast of North Rhine-Westphalia has been linked to a potential purchase. It operates 330 gambling halls in Germany with its subsidiary, Merkur Spielbanken, winning a tender for the operation of two casinos in Saxony-Anhalt in 2013.
Mario Hoffmeister, Head of Central Communications at the Gauselmann Group said in the local press: “Of course, we have a fundamental interest in the takeover. If that’s the topic, we’d love to listen to it and decide if it could be a worthwhile investment.”
Westspiel has been looking for a new location for the planned casino following unforeseen problems with the subsoil. Westspiel is believed to have uncovered a subway shaft and an old Prussian fortification wall under the site.
Way back in 2013, Cologne was selected by the state government as the new home for the fifth Westspiel-Casino in North Rhine-Westphalia when it beat off competition from Münster, Dusseldorf, Neuss and Koenigswinter. The aim was to build the biggest casino in Germany capable of attracting 400,000 visitors annually.