Luther advises on largest casino privatisation in Germany

Dusseldorf – Gauselmann acquires the WestSpiel Group, the market leader in the German casino market, from NRW.BANK. Luther assists the purchaser in the bidding competition for a successful takeover.


In May 2018, the state government of NRW decided to sell the WestSpiel Group, Germany's largest casino operator. In December 2020, the sale started as a formal concession award procedure. On 20 July 2021, Gauselmann Spielbanken Beteiligungs GmbH ("Gauselmann") was awarded the contract. The selection among the suitable applicants was based on the highest bid for the business shares. The approval of the cartel authorities is still pending.

The WestSpiel Group operates casinos in Aachen, Bad Oeynhausen, Dortmund-Hohensyburg and Duisburg with over 900 employees. The casino in Berlin was already sold in 2013. At that time, Luther acted for NRW.BANK. The casinos in Bremen and Bremerhaven are the subject of a separate sale process.

With the acquisition of the WestSpiel Group, Gauselmann becomes a national casino champion. Gauselmann relied on the Luther casino team, which had already accompanied privatisations in Lower Saxony, Berlin and Saxony-Anhalt – in each case for the public sector. "The complex procedure, the demanding due diligence and the drafting of the purchase agreement details for this privatisation process could be implemented very well with Luther's experts. The professional and strategic support throughout this entire process was immeasurably important and helpful for us" says David Schnabel, Managing Director at Gauselmann.

For Gauselmann:

Luther, Gaming Law: Dr Thomas Gohrke (Partner, Lead)

Luther, Corporate/M&A: Dr Thomas Halberkamp (Partner, Lead), Dr Daniel Schubmann (Counsel, Lead)

Luther, Real Estate: Theresa Becker (Senior Associate), Patrick Gocht (Senior Associate), Tatjana Giutronich, LL.M. (Senior Associate)

Luther, Competition: Dr Helmut Janssen, LL.M. (Partner), Lukas Kienzle, LL.M. (Senior Associate)

Luther, Employment Law: Sebastian Fedder (Partner), Klaus Thönißen, LL.M. (Partner), Dr Martin Kolmhuber (Counsel), Dr Hilmar Rölz, MLE (Senior Associate), Lukas Beismann (Associate)

Luther, IP/ IT: Dr Kay Oelschlägel (Partner), Dominik Menhaj (Senior Associate)


Hogan Lovells, Gaming Law: Prof. Dr Thomas Dünchheim, Carsten Bringmann

Hogan Lovells, Corporate/M&A: Dr Franz-Josef Schöne, Merlin Laufenburg