Blackstone-owned Grupo CIRSA has expanded its presence within North Africa, announcing that it has become the exclusive operator of the Tangier Casino in Morocco.
The deal, agreed with the municipality of Tanger-Tetouan, will see CIRSA take over the management of the Tangier Casino (Casino de Tanger) – a 2,000 m2 hotel and casino complex.
CIRSA has an established presence in Morocco, operating two casinos in the southern city of Agadir, which were reopened in 2022 following a temporary closure observing Morocco’s COVID-19 lockdown rules.
Morocco’s government currently allows for seven casino contracts that must be operated with a hotel and entertainment complex.
Taking over management of the Tangier Casino, CIRSA declared that it had become Morocco’s biggest casino operator.
CIRSA’s Moroccan expansion follows positive H1 trading, as the Barcelona-based gambling group declared corporate profits of €14m – reversing 2021 comparative losses of €105m.
The results see CIRSA announce its first underlying profits since 2018, the year US private equity fund Blackstone acquired the Spanish gambling group.
Further positives saw its business units ‘match and outperform’ 2019 pre-pandemic results, as group H1 revenues grew by 93% to €778m – helping H1 EBITDA double to €250m.
CIRSA outlined its plans to continue to expand its casino venues globally, in which the company operates 150 venues, primarily in Spain and South America.
Last year, Blackstone disclosed that it had placed CIRSA under a strategic review of Spanish market assets, monitoring how the business would rebound from the global COVID-19 pandemic.