CIRSA orders Catalan makeover to complete Giga Games acquisition

Following a review by Spain’s Competition & Markets Commission (CNMC), Grupo CIRSA has been ordered to restructure its Catalonian commercial presence in order to complete its acquisition of slot machine and arcade hall operator Giga Games.

CNMC has ordered CIRSA governance to dispose of two of its Barcelona bingo halls, whilst further demanding that the Blackstone owned gambling group ‘terminate exclusivity clauses’ attached to recreational machine contracts servicing Catalonian leisure/hospitality businesses.

Should CIRSA secure control of Giga Games, the company will control 30% of market share for Spanish machine gaming services, hitting its peak saturation within the province of Catalunya.

Protecting the Catalan gambling marketplace, CNMC further demands that CIRSA governance must limit its hospitality gambling machine contracts to five-year terms, a mandatory requirement specified by European Union competition laws.

Concluding its review, CNMC states that CIRSA must either close down or sell to competitors two of its Barcelona bingo hall properties.

Last May, US private equity firm Blackstone sanctioned the acquisition of Giga Games, from Conei Corporation a gambling and leisure investment fund owned by Juan Lao Hernandez, the brother of CIRSA founder and former President Manuel Lao Hernandez.

CIRSA governance has responded to CNMC’s demands, detailing that it will require between 12-24 months to carry out a review of Catalonian gaming machine contracts, making sure that the Commission is informed throughout its process.

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