History

History

We invite you to take a walk through the history of CIRSA to learn about the beginning, evolution, and growth of the company, eventually becoming the leading multinational in the gaming and entertainment industry.

More than 45 years by your side...

1978
1979
1985
1989
1990
1996
1992
1997
1998
1999
2002
2003
2005 - 2006
2007
2008
2010
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
2021
2022

1978

Birth of CIRSA

Establishment of CIRSA in Terrassa, founded by Manuel Lao Hernández to manage the business of B-type gaming machines in the Horeca channel.

1979

Recreational Machines

CIRSA begins designing and manufacturing its own recreational machines, known as 'B-type,' for the hospitality sector in the Spanish market. In just one year, CIRSA becomes a leader in both manufacturing and operational areas.

1985

First CIRSA Casino

CIRSA adds its first casino in Spain, Casino Marbella.

1989

We open the doors to bingo

Entry into the bingo sector through the acquisition of two halls in Zaragoza and Castellón.

1990

Our international adventure begins

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

1996

First Spanish gaming company to enter the USA - Hello Peru

CIRSA obtains approval in the state of Mississippi (USA) to market machines for casinos, becoming the first Spanish company to successfully enter the complex North American market.

CIRSA acquires Grupo Portal in Peru, which includes 9 halls and 1,200 machines.

1992

New successes for the R&D+I Department

A key year for the Company as it reaches a turning point thanks to technological innovation, marking the definitive takeoff of CIRSA in the national market. The R&D+I Department achieves new successes with the development of flat belts and their application in the Nevada model, which marks a before and after in the history of recreational machines. For the first time, CIRSA is present at the Las Vegas Trade Show.

1997

Hello Italy and Panama!

In Italy, the deployment of the video lottery machine park is completed with more than 2,500 units, and CIRSA is established in Panama.

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 shareholding.

1999

Expansion in Latin America

CIRSA opens the Casino de Buenos Aires, the first floating casino installed on a boat in the style of the Mississippi, and continues its expansion throughout Latin America, with full activity in Venezuela, Panama, the Dominican Republic, Suriname, and Argentina.

2002

CIRSA Corporate University and the opening of the Majestic Casino

CIRSA Corporate University (UCC) is born, and the largest and most luxurious casino ever opened in Central America, the Majestic Casino in Panama, opens its doors.

2003

Success in the first bond issuance

CIRSA successfully completes two bond issuances for European institutional investors, totaling €210 million. It is the first Spanish company, outside the telecommunications sector, to successfully launch such a bond issuance.

2005 - 2006

Expansion into Mexico and the birth of Sportium

CIRSA begins its expansion into Mexico with the acquisition of a 50% stake in Pringsa. Sportium is created as a joint venture with the British firm Ladbrokes, a leader in the European sports betting market. Joaquim Agut is appointed CEO of CIRSA and initiates a restructuring of the company within the framework of a new strategic plan.

2007

Expansion into Colombia

CIRSA acquires Unidelca in Colombia through its subsidiary Winner Group.

2008

Anniversary

CIRSA celebrates its 30th anniversary.

2010

Opening of Casino CIRSA Valencia

Opening of Casino CIRSA Valencia.

2012

First Company to Launch Online Gambling in Spain

CIRSA, under the domain cirsa.es, was the first Spanish company to initiate legal online gambling in Spain, offering sports betting, casino games, poker, and bingo.

2013

Sportium

With Sportium, the Group focuses its efforts on both in-person and online sports betting activities, supported by new technology that delivers the best product across all platforms (PC, mobile, and tablets).

2014

Growth of Sportium

Sportium becomes the leader in in-person sports betting in Spain, with 1,300 points of sale, and the first betting company to operate in Catalonia with 120 points of sale.

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

2015

Expansion into Costa Rica

CIRSA expands its international activities by entering Costa Rica, where it acquires 7 casinos with 1,400 gaming machines and 40 gaming tables. The company issues new bonds totaling €500 million at the lowest interest rate to date.

Sportium becomes the largest Betting House nationwide, surpassing 1,500 points of sale.

Casino CIRSA Valencia solidifies its position as the second most visited casino in Spain and becomes the first to operate 24 hours a day.

2016

Republic of the Dominican Republic, Colombia, and Panama

CIRSA successfully issues new bonds worth €450 million.

The acquisition of Napolitano Casinos in Santo Domingo and Gran Victoria in Santiago de los Caballeros expands the range of establishments in the Dominican Republic.

The largest Hollywood Casino in the Milla de Oro area of Medellin is inaugurated, continuing the expansion into Colombia.

Sportium continues its international expansion and establishes itself in Panama.

2017

Expansion in Peru

The Group continues to consolidate its profitable growth as planned in its strategic plan and in July acquires the 17 casinos that Novomatic operated in Peru, in line with the selective purchasing policy to strengthen its strategic businesses and markets.

2018

Agreement with Blackstone

Manuel Lao Hernández reaches an agreement to sell CIRSA to American private equity funds managed by Blackstone. The operation does not include the business in Argentina, which will remain in the hands of the Lao family. Joaquim Agut is appointed Chairman and CEO of the CIRSA Group.

2019

Giga Game System Operation and Sportium

Acquisition of Giga Game System Operation and 100% of Sportium. In April, CIRSA announces the purchase of Giga, the leading slot operator in Catalonia and Levante. Likewise, in July, an agreement is announced with Ladbrokes for the acquisition of its 50% stake in Sportium. With this operation, CIRSA now holds 100% of the company.

2020

COVID Protocols under the "Play Safe" Plan

Creation and implementation of specific COVID-19 protocols through the "Play Safe" plan in all bingo halls, casinos, gaming halls, sports betting points, slots, B2B, and corporate buildings. For this, Full Audit awards CIRSA Spain the seal that verifies and rates the excellent management of preventive and health measures for the Company's employees and customers. This adds to other certifications of excellence received in the countries where the Group operates.

2021

Launch of the Compact Manhattan Cabinet

Revolution in the hospitality sector with the launch of the Compact Manhattan cabinet, which allows machines to be placed in smaller spaces while maintaining all their functionalities.

2022

Integration of ESG Criteria

ESG policies are at the core of our decisions, with a strong focus on Responsible Gambling. As a pioneering Group, we have obtained the G4 certification in Spain and Latin America, reaffirming our commitment."