The WestSpiel casinos are to be privatized. Politicians in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia were able to agree on this after many discussions. In the meantime, a lot of progress has been made here, and the application process is in full swing. Several companies are likely to be interested and have submitted their documents for a takeover of the four plus two casino locations. But how far are we in the privatization process? And which interested parties are there? Westdeutsche Spielbanken GmbH & Co. KG wraps itself in a veil of silence.
It took a long time. It was a few years before politics in North Rhine-Westphalia managed to get through to the privatization of the WestSpiel casinos. But now the “cornerstones” of privatization are in place and the process seems to be moving relatively quickly. In any case, that is the assumption from the only published information that is known about privatization. The WestSpiel Casinos cover themselves in a cloak of silence and do not disclose any information about how things are going with the applicants and the application process.
Industry experts assume that around four to six companies could be interested in taking over WestSpiel Casinos. If their application documents have been accepted, these companies could look forward to the four existing casino locations in Aachen, Bad Oeynhausen, Dortmund and Duisburg. In addition, the new operator is allowed to open two additional casinos at other locations. In this case, the cities of Düsseldorf and Cologne are hot favorites. It was precisely these two additional locations that ultimately ensured that several companies were interested in taking over WestSpiel Casinos. Immediately after the privatization plans became known, the additional locations were not planned. At that time, the “feedback” from the industry was largely that one is not interested in a takeover. This would only become interesting if the licenses were additionally upgraded. That happened through the two additional locations.
Applications are carefully checked
All documents submitted by the companies are now carefully checked. The auditing company Warth & Klein Grant Thornton AG from Düsseldorf is responsible for this. Above all, they will ensure that the application documents meet the formal requirements and have been submitted in full. If this is the case, a small pre-selection could already be made. In the further course, the remaining applicants should then submit their bids for the takeover of the casinos. These bidders have to meet numerous different requirements. The company must have at least 20 million euros in equity. Gambling experience is likely to play an important role and play the past success in stores.
The final decision on privatization should be made in the coming months. In the end, the auditors would have to agree, the previous owner and of course the Ministry of the Interior of North Rhine-Westphalia. The interested parties have to go through a whole marathon of exams and tests. But who are these interested parties anyway?
Who is eligible for the WestSpiel takeover?
Since no details from the bidding process are made public, one can only speculate about possible applicants. Basically, only large companies come into question here. After all, the value of WestSpiel is estimated at around 2.7 billion euros. Even if the companies did not have to pay such a sum for the takeover – the casinos are not cheap. The Gauselmann Group, based in Germany, is considered to be particularly keen for the takeover. The company already operates a number of gambling halls in Germany, is a sponsor of the city of Düsseldorf and is considered a model company in the Federal Republic of Germany.