History

 

More than 40 years by your side

Take a look through CIRSA’s history to see how it all began. You can see how the group has evolved and grown over time, and is now the leading multinational in the gaming sector.

2018

Agreement with Blackstone

Manuel Lao Hernández reaches an agreement for the sale of CIRSA to an American private equity fund managed by Blackstone. The transaction does not include its business in Argentina which will continue in the hands of the Lao family. Joaquim Agut is appointed Chairman and Managing Director of CIRSA Group.

2017

Expansion in Peru

The Group continues to consolidate profitable growth in line with its strategic plan, and in July acquires 17 casinos operated by Novomatic in Peru, following its policy of selective acquisitions to strengthen its businesses and strategic markets.

2016

The Dominican Republic, Colombia and Panama

CIRSA successfully executes a further bond issue of €450M.

The group acquires the Napolitano casino in Santo Domingo and Gran Victoria in Santiago de los Caballeros, expanding the number of establishments it has in the Dominican Republic.

The largest Hollywood Casino in the area is opened on the Milla de Oro (Golden Mile) of Medellín, continuing the rollout in Colombia.

Sportium continues with its international expansion and sets up in Panama.

2015

Presence in Costa Rica and Morocco

CIRSA expands its international activities, breaking into Costa Rica with the acquisition of 7 casinos, 1,400 slot machines and 40 gaming tables. The Company makes a new bond issue of €500 M with the lowest interest carried out to date.

Sportium becomes the largest betting house in the country, with over 1,500 points of sale.

Casino CIRSA Valencia is consolidated as the second most visited casino in Spain and becomes the first one to open 24 hours.

2014

Hello Peru. Hello Italy. Growth of Sportium

In Peru, CIRSA acquires the Portal Group with 9 rooms and 1,200 machines. In Italy the video lottery terminal park is completed with more than 2,500 machines.

Sportium becomes the leader in in-person betting in Spain, with 1,300 outlets; and the first betting house to operate in Catalonia, with 120 outlets.

Sportium signs a sponsorship agreement with the Professional Football League (LFP) to become the official betting house for the then Liga BBVA and Liga Adelante for the 2014-2015 season.

2013

Sportium

With Sportium, the Group focuses its efforts in the area of on-site betting and online gaming, supported by new technology that provides better products on any platform (PC, mobile and tablets).

2012

1st company to operate online gaming in Spain

CIRSA, under the domain cirsa.es, was the first Spanish company to operate legal online gaming in Spain, with betting, casino games, poker and bingo.

2010

We arrive in Colombia, and the Casino Valencia opens

Acquisition of Unidelca in Colombia through its subsidiary Winner Group. The Casino CIRSA Valencia opens that same year.

2008

Anniversary

CIRSA celebrates its 30th anniversary.

2005-6

Rollout in Mexico and emergence of Sportium

The rollout of CIRSA in Mexico begins, with the acquisition of 50% of the company Pringsa. Sportium is created as a joint venture with British company Ladbrokes, a European market leader in sports betting.
Joaquim Agut is appointed Managing Director of CIRSA and begins his restructuring of the company within the framework of a new strategic plan.

2003

Successful 1st bond issue

CIRSA successfully completes two bond issues aimed at European institutional investors, totalling €210M. It is the first Spanish company not belonging to the telecommunications sector to successfully launch a bond issue of this kind.

2002

CIRSA Corporate University and the opening of the Panama casino

The CIRSA Corporate University (UCC) is founded, and the largest and most luxurious casino ever launched in Central America opens its doors: the Majestic Casino de Panamá.

1999

Expansion in Latin America

CIRSA opens the Casino de Buenos Aires, the first floating casino set up on a ship, Mississippi style. It also continues its expansion in Latin America, with a great deal of activity in Venezuela, Panama, the Dominican Republic, Suriname, and Argentina itself.

1998

Manuel Lao Hernández takes full control of the Company

In July, Manuel Lao Hernández takes full control of CIRSA after acquiring his brother Juan’s interest.

1996

1st Spanish gaming company to enter the American market

CIRSA achieves certification in the State of Mississippi (USA), giving it the green light to market machines for casinos. It becomes the first Spanish company to manage to break into the complex North American market.

1992

New R&D&I successes

This is a key year for the company, marking a turning point thanks to technological innovation, and the definitive rollout of CIRSA on the domestic market. The R&D&I department successfully launches flat ribbons, applied to the Nevada model, which marks a before and after in the history of the leisure industry. CIRSA takes part in the Las Vegas Gaming Expo for the first time.

1990

Our international adventure begins

International expansion begins with acquisition of our first casino in the Dominican Republic.

1989

We open the doors to Bingo

Bingo emerges in the sector, through the acquisition of two bingo halls in Zaragoza and Castellón.

1985

First CIRSA casino

CIRSA sets up its first Casino in Spain, the Casino Marbella.

1979

Our gaming machines

We started to design and manufacture our own gaming machines, called type “B”, for the hospitality sector in the Spanish market. CIRSA becomes the market leader both in terms of manufacturing and operations within a year.

1978

The beginning of CIRSA

CIRSA is set up in Terrassa, founded by Manuel Lao Hernández, to manage the type B machines business in hotels, restaurants, and catering.