In Germany and the race to buy local enterprise Westdeutsche Spielbanken GmbH and assume control over its casino monopoly for the state of North Rhine-Westphalia until the end of 2035 is now reportedly down to a trio of runners.
According to a report from G3Newswire, the firm is responsible for gambling-friendly facilities in the communities of Aachen, Duisburg, Bremen, Bad Oeynhausen, Dortmund and Bremerhaven and was put up for sale late last year following an earlier decision to privatize the state-owned company owing to the incoming State Treaty on Gambling. The source detailed that the operator’s shares are currently being held by the development bank of North Rhine-Westphalia, NRW.Bank, with the local government touting the business as capable of producing gross gaming revenues between now and 2035 of approximately €3.1 billion ($3.7 billion).
Westdeutsche Spielbanken GmbH, which is moreover known as Westspiel Group, reportedly employs some 900 people while the local government is also said to be considering whether to sweeten any purchase arrangement by granting the operator’s new owner permission to open as many as two new casinos in North Rhine-Westphalia, which is one of Germany’s economic powerhouses as well as its most populated state with nearly 18 million people.
The Europe-wide tender for the business of Westdeutsche Spielbanken GmbH was reportedly launched under the management of accounting specialist Warth and Klein Grant Thornton AG on December 18 featuring no minimum bid conditions. The subsequent 16-week period purportedly produced three concrete offers for the entirety as a whole with the local government now due to sit down to pick a final winner.
Although officials have reportedly not officially released the names of these parties, rumors have long persisted that German gaming machines giant Gauselmann Group was preparing to lodge a proposal. The successful completion of such a move would purportedly allow the Espelkamp-headquartered firm to fold the operations of Westdeutsche Spielbanken GmbH, which encompass around 900 slots in addition to some 80 gaming tables, into an already substantial local estate that comprises ten casinos and well over 700 Merkur-branded gambling arcades.
Despite the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the source reported that Westdeutsche Spielbanken GmbH recently recorded a drop of only about 14% year-on-year in aggregated annual gross gaming revenues to around €117 million ($139 million). This purportedly saw it chalk up a consolidated net profit in the region of €3.2 million ($3.8 million) as its combined contributions to a range of public causes swelled by roughly 13% to almost €59 million ($70 million).