Gauselmann Group expands casino activities aboard cruise ships
The family-managed Eastern Westphalian Gauselmann Group has established a partnership with TUI Cruises. Aboard TUI Cruises’ new “Mein Schiff 1” liner, to be named in May, it will operate a ship’s casino under the CASINO MERKUR MARE brand.
A second CASINO MERKUR MARE will be established on the new “Mein Schiff 2”, which is currently under construction and will set sail on her maiden voyage in 2019. “The partnership with TUI Cruises marks another milestone in the over 60-year history of the Gauselmann Group. In Germany, the gaming industry is subject to increasingly restrictive statutory regulations, with the consequence that the focus is shifting more and more towards international activities. CASINO MERKUR MARE is another step in this direction,” Dieter Kuhlmann, Management Board member responsible for Gaming Operations within the Gauselmann Group, explains.
TUI Cruises currently has six cruise ships, “Mein Schiff 1” to “Mein Schiff 6”. For the Gauselmann Group, this is not the first partnership involving ship’s casinos. The Eastern Westphalian company was first granted a licence to operate casinos on cruise ships in 2016. Under the CASINO MERKUR MARE brand, it already operates four casinos aboard four ships belonging to the “Pullmantur Cruceros” cruise line.
The 120-square-metre-plus CASINO MERKUR MARE on the new “Mein Schiff 1” is designed in the style of a boutique casino. The portfolio of games on offer includes a variety of slots made by Gauselmann, a 14-place table featuring electronic roulette and blackjack and a pusher with two places. Beyond the area covered by the gaming licence, CASINO MERKUR MARE is also installing driving simulators for younger guests. CASINO MERKUR MARE will be staffed by three employees who have previously gained professional experience with the Gauselmann subsidiaries CASINO MERKUR-SPIELOTHEK and in the Merkur casinos. “They will also be extensively trained for their new job with CASINO MERKUR MARE to ensure they are optimally prepared to cope with the specific demands that go with working in a ship’s casino,” explains Kathy Schröder, Head of Casino Operations at CASINO MERKUR MARE.
Summing up, Dieter Kuhlmann says: “The ship’s casino business is another opportunity for making the Merkur sun even better known internationally and at the same time places the Gaming Operations business segment on a broader footing. We hope to continue to expand this line of business in the future”.