Despite difficult political parameters in Germany, it was possible for the Gauselmann Group to slightly increase the total business volume in 2013 from €1.79bn to €1.85bn.
“In view of the numerous political challenges from the communal level to the federal level, that greatly affect the business results in Germany, we are satisfied with this result as we began focusing on international business at the right time,” stated Paul Gauselmann.
The number of employees rose by 1,757 to 8,161. Approx. €214m were invested in 2013, a majority of which was in research and development.
The basis for the core business, commercial gaming machines with low stakes and prizes in Germany, has been the reasonable legal parameters for more than 60 years which are threatened with being thrown out of joint through the new laws and regulations. According to the current legal situation, however, commercial gaming in Germany is to be eradicated in 2017 – if jurisdiction or political reason do not prevent this – resulting in the loss of over 50 percent of the current 70,000 industry employees. Thus, the industry is fighting united together against the demands from the state that has initiated the corresponding laws as it and jurists doubt their constitutionality: On the one hand lawsuits, on the other hand, negotiations with voluntary offers – such as all arcades being certified – are underway. “The goal must be to find a solution that enables the many millions of players in Germany to continually enjoy attractive, regulated and value-for-money gaming and at the same time to offer qualified responsible gaming and furthermore secure an economic livelihood for the operators,” added Mr. Gauselmann.
Due to the situation in the German market, the Gauselmann Group is strongly pushing the new business divisions of sports betting and online gaming as well as the expansion of its own games, gaming machines and arcades outside of Germany. Accordingly, international business further increased: making up over 40 percent of total turnover.
A particular highlight in 2013 and a milestone in the Gauselmann Group history was winning the tender of casino licences in the state of Saxony-Anhalt. The Gauselmann Group will together with its partner, Stadtcasino Baden AG from Switzerland, be active in the casino market in Germany for the first time from 2014 onwards. As recently announced, both companies have received a licence for the Grand Casino Vienna in the past days. Furthermore, the first Gauselmann online casino that has gone online in 2013 under www.merkur-spielcasino.de with licence from Schleswig-Holstein also represents a first in the company history – although without lasting economic success as Schleswig Holstein has departed from its separate path and the licences are limited time-wise until 2017.
Besides the core business, the entire restoration of Schloss Benkhausen as new seminar and training centre of the Gauselmann Group was successfully completed in 2013 privately by the entrepreneurial family. A truly unique place for the training and further education for its employees and for external companies has been created. Also the unique ‘German Coin-Op Museum – Gauselmann Collection’ has found a new, spectacular home at Schloss Benkhausen.