The race for two additional casino concessions in the Austrian federal capital has been decided after a tender period lasting more than one year.
The Austria Ministry of Finance has awarded one of the two new casino concessions in the capital Vienna to Grand Casino Wien, an international joint-venture led by Stadtcasino Baden Group, renown operator of Grand Casino Baden near Zurich and Casino Davos in Switzerland.
Together with its German partner Gauselmann group a high-class casino and entertainment project will be developed in the historical Palais Schwarzenberg, one of the most prominent baroque-style buildings in the Austrian capital. The first-time granting of a casino concession to an international applicant also marks the end of the 60-year-long casino monopoly in Austria.
Detlef Brose, CEO of Stadtcasino Baden AG, said: “We are more than happy about this decision but at the same time fully aware that it is associated with a large degree of responsibility. We are committed to create a casino of international appeal that Vienna merits. A premium casino is planned, one that can compete with international renowned top locations such as Monte Carlo. “We want to offer our guests unparalleled gaming and entertainment experience, combined with a successful mix of restaurants, bars and events. Beyond that Grand Casino Vienna will also adopt a leading approach in responsible gaming, gained on our home market in Switzerland for more than a decade.”
“The Grand Casino in Palais Schwarzenberg is more than just a casino. It is the engine for an urban development project connecting the Vienna City Centre and the new Central Station, in which a total of approximately €100m will be invested,” added Hubertus Thonhauser, Chairman of the board of directors of the Grand Casino Vienna operating company.
As part of the investment a central park next to Palais Schwarzenberg will be open to the general public and upgraded with F&B-services. Furthermore, in one wing of the Palais the Schwarzenberg family foundation, partner of Grand Casino Vienna, is planning a boutique hotel. In addition, an underground parking adjacent to the Palais with over 200 spaces will be built and operated by the Breiteneder Group, a leading Austria operator of parking lots. The construction work will be started immediately and executed in close coordination with the Federal Monuments Office.
“This fast kick-off is possible because the planning and approval processes have been advanced already during the tender-process for the concession”, said Mr. Thonhauser. ”The objective is to create a contemporary and modern interpretation of a classical casino, putting Vienna on the international map of casino destinations”. From today’s perspective renovation is expected to take at least 12 months.
The Grand Casino Vienna will offer 28 gaming tables as well as 290 slot machines with the historical baroque-style ceremonial and representation rooms of the Palais Schwarzenberg reserved exclusively for table games. Spacious bars, lounge and smoking areas as well as a multi-functional entertainment room will complete the offer.
Apart from the locals market, Grand Casino Wien will primarily target customers from the core gaming markets of Asia, Russia and the Middle East.