The Merkur History: From a One-Arm Bandit to a Global Gaming Company


Many companies tried jumping on the casino wagon when casino gambling started becoming popular in the 20th century, but very few of those companies are around today. However, one such company that actually had a passion for providing a great gaming experience is Merkur.

So, what is the Merkur Gaming company? What is the connection to the Gauselmann Group? Well, today, we’ll explore the history of Merkur and examine how the company went from slot games to running a global gaming empire.

Who is Paul Gauselmann?

Merkur’s history all starts with a man named Paul Gauselmann. Paul Gauselmann was born in Germany in 1934 and started his career repairing slot machines and jukeboxes, as well as distributing them.

Eventually, he turned this into a business with only a handful of employees. In these early years, this initial business would actually be the bedrock of what the successful company was built on. It was also during this time that he invented a remote selection box for jukeboxes used in Germany.

The Beginning of the Gauselmann Group

The Gauselmann Group was started in 1957 when Paul Gauselmann began installing jukeboxes (the humble beginnings mentioned above). However, Gauselmann noticed an opportunity in the market with the popularization of casinos and began installing not only jukeboxes but slot machines, too.

By 1964, with only 15 employees to the name of the business, the Gauselmann Group was responsible for the installation of 300 slot machines in the restaurant and pub industry. At the same time, Gauselmann realized he could reinstall the technology from secondhand American jukeboxes into new cabinets, boosting installations since they’re now four times cheaper.

How Did the Merkur Brand Begin?

The Merkur brand began 10 years after Gauselmann’s hardworking efforts, having established himself and the brand as quite reputable in many sectors. Keeping the standards of a four-star hotel in mind, Gauselmann develops and creates the modern arcade.

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Armed with this new technology, he opened the first Merkur branch in Lower Saxony, focusing on providing excellent service and ensuring the available games were entertaining. Naturally, with his experience in the pub and restaurant industry and an understanding of the casino industry, the Merkur casino quickly became one of the most popular in Germany.

However, it wasn’t until 1977 that the first Merkur branded slot machine was created, also produced by the company. By 1983, Merkur had created what was known as the Merkur Disc, a new slot machine that used discs instead of reels, which sold more than 40,000 units.

What Does Merkur Gaming Do?

In a nutshell, Merkur Gaming provides high-quality gaming products to the gambling industry but is not limited to one type of product. Naturally, since the company started with slot installations, they have created and manufactured many slot machines, which include video slots and more traditional reel slots.

They’re also responsible for creating electronic roulette machines, video poker, and multi-game systems that offer a wide selection of games housed in a single machine. As it goes with the territory, Merkur Gaming also develops online casino games for online casinos.

Why is This All Impressive?

Running any business, especially a casino game provider or an online casino, let alone both, is challenging. Running either for as long as Merkur has isn’t something most companies are capable of.


Merkur had to face many challenges, such as economic downturns, like the oil crisis in the 70s, the dot-com bubble burst in the 2000s that affected the stocks in the technology industry and resulted in inflation, and in 2008, there was a global financial crisis.

Then, Merkur started global expansion, which naturally has its own set of challenges, from different regulatory environments to cultural differences.

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