PRAESEPE

Praesepe is managed by Stefan Bruns CEO supported by Mark Schertle (COO) & Börris Lüngen (CFO). Praesepe became a part of the Gauselmann Group after they were acquired in 2012. Whilst Gauselmann operates in Germany, they have multiple international venues in countries such as Spain, Serbia, Czech Republic & The Netherlands.

The Praesepe group operates a number of venues throughout the UK including 165 Adult Gaming Centres, 7 Family Entertainment Centres, 5 Beacon Bingo clubs & 28 tanning salons.

EXECUTIVE TEAM

Stefan Bruns

Chief Executive Officer

Mark Schertle

Chief Operating Officer

Börris Lüngen

Chief Financial Officer

Having worked in the Gaming Industry since the age of 18 across both Bingo and AGC sectors, Steve Ambrose has an immense knowledge of the industry sector with much of his experience being gained from a ground up perspective.

In 1990 as an 18 year old Steve began his gaming career as a team member at his local Bingo Hall in Wembley and then rapidly rose through the ranks until his 1st General Manager Appointment at the age of 22. In 1996 he moved to Beacon Cricklewood where he became House Manager before swapping the bingo life for that on an Area Manager looking after the AGC part of Thomas Estates.

Currently occupying the position of Operations Director for Praesepe, Steve joined the team in 2010 as part of the Thomas Estates Accusation and has been an integral part of the Praesepe business development ever since.

Away for the industry Steve enjoys his family life with his wife Kerry and 2 Children Abbie and Jack with much of the family time spent either at or on the way to a football or sporting event.

Nigel Davis has worked in the Gaming Industry all his working life, some 34 years, across both AGC and Bingo sectors, he has an in-depth knowledge of the industry very much from the bottom up.

In 1980 as a 17 year old he joined the Beacon Bingo, in his hometown of Loughborough, as a Bingo Operative. Where his hands on, and can do approach soon had him rising through the ranks, under the watchful eye of Jimmy Thomas. Nigel became Showboat Holdings youngest Regional Manager at the age of 21, and ultimately heading up the Machines and Technical Department for Thomas Estates Ltd.

He is currently the Head of Gaming Machines for the Praesepe group, and joined the team in 2010 as part of the Thomas Estates acquisition. He has been at the heart of the Praesepe Machines Department, ever since, working closely with all manufacturers and Industry bodies.

Away from the office Nigel enjoys family life with his wife Kerry and 2 Children Abbie and Harry, hobbies include cooking and Moto GP.

Vicky joined us with a wealth of HR experience from a variety of sectors including retail and entertainment.
Having started her career as a retail department manager Vicky moved into a receptionist role, with a food manufacturer, as she wanted a new challenge. She was quickly snapped up to work in the personnel team and developed in her HR career by going back to university two nights a week to gain her CIPD qualifications.

She’s run Graduate Recruitment Campaigns, devised reward and recognition programmes, worked in within a wider team turned around an underperforming business, developed customer service programmes, designed leadership development and dealt with too many tricky ER cases to mention. Vicky hadn’t completed a TUPE Transfer until she joined Praesepe, but she’s got a few of those under her belt now and we can safely say there’s not much in the HR arena she hasn’t done!

A couple of breaks in her career meant Vicky qualified as a counsellor, a gym instructor as well as an exercise to music instructor.

When she’s not bouncing around at work, in a class or working with her clients Vicky likes to spend time with her husband Richard.

Simon has worked in the gaming industry since leaving University in 2002. Starting his career on the Graduate Gala Management programme in Nottingham before moving to London where Simon spent most of his Gala career. From a trainee to club manager Simon has run many clubs for Gala Bingo during his time there, focussing particularly on the customer journey and development of the machine estate. Simon joined Praesepe in 2013 as a Business Development Manager focussing on Beacon and Cashino before moving to Head of Marketing in early 2017.

Outside of work Simon does love to visit the cinema and time off permitting exploring the world!

OUR BRANDS

Merkur Cashino represents the very best in terms of ‘slot gaming’ entertainment. Merkur Cashino venues are well appointed friendly venues with an emphasis on low stake slot gaming with pay-outs that range from £5 to £500. All of them have well trained and pleasant staff who will help the uninitiated (to get started) and pamper the regular players offering whatever (free) refreshments they desire. You will find Merkur Cashino Gaming venues all over the UK
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Praesepe operates the Beacon Bingo Clubs chain in the UK. The estate of clubs includes very traditional buildings such as Loughborough to clubs such as Northampton and Cricklewood which are considered ‘state of the art’. In fact the Cricklewood Club is the biggest in Europe. At Beacon we pride ourselves on providing an experience, which is not just about Bingo. We know how important their local Bingo Club is to many of our patrons and we always strive to deliver (not just) great service but a bingo experience which focuses on ambience, safety and fun in a modern environment.

We pride ourselves in providing responsible, indoor tanning solutions with UV tan and fake tan results. At Tan Express we’re very focused on the customer, their skin, their well-being and overall tanning experience. We have a great choice in tanning equipment along with great service and value. We want to keep you looking and feeling great.

Originally called Merkur Engineering, this company was split, with part of it forming Praesepe Service (Operating as Merkur Cashino Service) and the rest integrated into Regal Gaming who supply, service and distribute gaming machines to AGCs, Bingo clubs and pubs across the UK. Merkur Cashino Service is a dedicated machine technical support to the Praesepe Group. Chris Leather (Technical Director) operates Merkur Cashino Service out of Birmingham and Slough distribution centers.

Praesepe also operates a number of ‘Family Entertainment Centres’ (aka seaside arcades) and these can be found at Burnham-on-Sea, Ilfracombe, Margate, Weston Super Mare, Wells-next-the-Sea, Hunstanton Showboat & Thomas’ No. 1 Bingo. All our ‘FEC’ venues are equipped with the very latest pusher, video and racing games along with Bowling and Bingo!

ADULT GAMING CENTERS

‘Adult Gaming Centres’ (AGC’s) are the technical description now given by the 2005 Gambling Act to town and city centre located slot machine lounges. These businesses cater for male and female audiences from 18 years upwards and provide an alternative form of leisure on the high street.

Typically an AGC operates out of 1000 square feet, in a good secondary pitch on the ‘High street’ and contains around 40 gaming machines. The majority of Cashino venues are open 24 hours a day.

In 1957, Paul Gauselmann laid the foundation for today’s Gauselmann Group with his part-time work as an independent gaming machine operator. The unique development from one-man operator to an international group is a rare kind of German success story. The professional career path of the businessman born in 1934 in Borghorst near Münster, Germany, began with his training as a telecommunications inspector. His part-time work as a jukebox operator culminated in 1964 in full business independence. Despite considerable workloads, the young entrepreneur still found time for his hobby: tinkering. Amongst other things, he developed a remote selection box for German jukeboxes – the first of his 300 patents to date.
In 1974, Paul Gauselmann opened his first gaming venue in Delmenhorst, Germany, which at the same time was also the first modern venue of its kind. Over the coming decades the CASINO MERKUR-SPIELOTHEK subsidiary became one of the largest national gaming venue chains in Germany. In 1986, the Gauselmann Group opened its first international entertainment centre, in 2005 Merkur Casino GmbH was established to promote the international expansion of gaming venues and in 2014 it changed its name to Casino Merkur International GmbH. Another pioneering invention was the first amusement with prizes(AWP) machine developed and produced in-house by the Gauselmann company, which was brought to market in 1977 under the name ’Merkur B.’ In 2014, the two millionth AWP machine rolled off the production line at the Lübbecke production site.
In 1980, Gauselmann AG was established as a holding company, which offers centralised services for many of the companies established in the meantime. With the establishment of the Atronic subsidiary and entry into the international casino equipment business in 1993, the Gauselmann Group began its global business activities. In May 2008, Atronic came completely under the responsibility of the American lottery system provider GTECH.
Nowadays, the adp Gauselmann GmbH subsidiary with its brand Merkur Gaming is responsible for the development and distribution of entertainment machines with cash prize opportunities, casino slot machines, and video lottery terminals as well as server-based gaming systems for international markets. Another milestone was the certification of adp Gauselmann in accordance with the DIN EN ISO 9001:2008 standard at the end of 2002. As a result, the Gauselmann Group became the first TÜV-certified company in the industry. In 2003, the Gauselmann Großhandel and Merkur Servicegesellschaft segments also received the certification, followed in 2014 by the headquarters of CASINO MERKUR-SPIELOTHEK.
Another important field of business is New Media. This company segment brings together the Group’s activities in the sports betting, Internet-based gaming (online gaming) and financial services in the form of Merkur Interactive GmbH established in 2006.
In 2012, the Gauselmann Group took over the British Praesepe arcade network in the largest acquisition in the Group’s history. Another milestone was the opening of the first casino in Leuna-Günthersdorf (Saxony-Anhalt) in December 2014. The casino is operated by Merkur Spielbanken Sachsen-Anhalt GmbH & Co. KG and its partner, Stadtcasino Baden AG.
The Gauselmann family of entrepreneurs has been devoted to its work in associations for many years. Since 1966, Paul Gauselmann has held leading roles in industry associations; since 1981 he has been President of the VDAI (German Association of Coin-Op Amusement and Vending Machines). For decades, Paul Gauselmann’s sons have also helped shape the Group’s destiny. Michael Gauselmann, a graduate in business administration, has played a leading role in the company’s international expansion for more than three decades. Beyond that, he also founded the ‘FORUM Junger Automatenunternehmer in Europa e.V.’ (FORUM for young coin-operated machine entrepreneurs in Europe) in 1990, today’s ‘FORUM für Automatenunternehmer in Europa e.V.’ (FORUM for coin-operated machine entrepreneurs in Europe).

Armin Gauselmann, also a graduate in business administration, is the Gauselmann Group’s Director in charge of personnel and real estate. He also oversees the Deutsche Automatenmuseum – Sammlung Gauselmann [German Coin-Op Museum], which was established in 1985 by Michael Gauselmann, and together with Karin Gauselmann he presides over the Paul and Karin Gauselmann Foundation. In his role on the Supervisory Board, Karsten Gauselmann also helps to secure the company’s fortunes. In the 1980s, Peter Gauselmann also worked as a computer scientist in charge of the development of the IT department of today’s BEIT Systemhaus GmbH.

In order to secure the Gauselmann Group’s continued existence as a consolidated entity, the company was transferred into the “Gauselmann Family Foundation” at the beginning of 2016. As a consequence, the members of the entrepreneurial family have incorporated their respective shares into the foundation. The Foundation’s Advisory Board and Board of Directors are made up predominantly of members of the Gauselmann family.