06-Nov-2017 – Espelkamp

Statement by the Gauselmann Group on the Paradise Papers

The accusations levelled against the Gauselmann Group in reporting on the Paradise Papers for allegedly obscuring business activities in so-called tax havens are totally unfounded.

The respective companies were established openly and transparently. Their existence and their relations with the Gauselmann Group have been disclosed and are therefore known to the responsible authorities (GSC, UK Gambling Commission, German tax authorities, etc.). Such a strategy is not unusual and is generally accepted. It is mainly employed to protect the development of new business segments from being observed by rivals.

The Gauselmann Group acquired its Edict subsidiary in 2008 from the state-run casino in Hamburg, which the Interstate Gambling Treaty prohibited from engaging in online gaming activities. The rationale behind the acquisition was to gain insights to help the group prepare for digitalisation in the gaming and sweepstakes market, which was already foreseeable.

For the companies in the Gauselmann Group, tax considerations do not play a role in the choice of location; all that is taken into account is where legal and licensed possibilities exist to develop new markets.

Alliance Gaming Solutions Ltd., a Gauselmann Group company based in the Isle of Man, has a full gaming licence allowing it to provide gaming services. The business operations are licensed and therefore legal.

This company sells online casino products Europe-wide to companies that also have the requisite gaming licences and market their own online casinos worldwide. We explicitly make operators of the games aware of the fact that it is only permitted to offer these in licensed markets and in light of the current situation intend to reiterate this emphatically.

The Gauselmann Group neither directly nor indirectly operates real cash online casinos in countries where this is not permitted. The group only operates online casinos in those countries for which it has corresponding licences. This is currently the case in Schleswig-Holstein, in Italy, Spain, the UK and Denmark, etc.

In these markets, online games are offered under a separate country-specific licence issued by the relevant regulatory authority. The respective licences in the stated countries were obtained through participation in qualitative licensing procedures in which the reliability and performance, as well as the technical competence of the group were confirmed.