The deal, which closed for €141.8m (£121.7m/$168.3m), saw state-owned banking group NRW.Bank sell its shares in the WestSpiel.
This followed a privatisation tender, that was launched in January by Nordrhein-Westfalen’s Ministry of the Interior, managed by professional services firm Warth & Klein Grant Thornton AG.
The deal effectively grants Gauselmann a 15-year monopoly over land-based gaming in the region, and the operator will have the option to open a further two casinos in addition to the four existing locations.
After Gauselmann won the privatisation tender in July and signed a purchase agreement for WestSpiel, the deal was approved by the relevant competition authorities and permitted to go ahead as of yesterday, 1 September.
“We look forward to welcoming the new employees to our company. Together we will make the casinos in North Rhine-Westphalia even more successful”, said company founder and board spokesman Paul Gauselmann.
David Schnabel, managing director of Merkur Spielbanken, added: “We used the time between the signing of the purchase contract and the final approval by the antitrust authorities to prepare for the integration of the casinos into the group of companies.
“In addition to the technical and organisational aspects, the focus was in particular on the personal introduction of the management to the colleagues in the casino locations and the headquarters in Duisburg. We will intensify this dialogue in the coming weeks and have planned welcome events for all new colleagues in our training centre at Schloss Benkhausen.”