Interview with Peter Wolf – General Manager of the Baden-Württembergische Spielbanken

Reinhold Schmitt
ISA-GUIDE Chefredakteur (V.i.S.d.P.)

ISA-CASINOS talks with Peter Wolf, manager of casinos Baden-Würtemberg: Baden-Baden, Konstanz and Stuttgart.

This three confirm since August as Baden-Würtembergische Casinos GmbH, registered seat at Baden-Baden though Casino Stuttgart will be the greatest.

The casino at Stuttgart is one of the most modern and pretentious Casinos situated in Germany. 650.000 guestes vearly guarantee a leader position among the 60 German Casinos. It’s a solid employer for 250 persons, all in national hands, so the taxes are for social projects.

And the house is known for innovative alignment. So only a few people wondered on Juli 25, 2003 that Casino Stuttgart presented a novelty at a press conference: the „Eurolette Table“ will entrance the world of table games. Peter Wolf, manager of Casino Stuttgart, invented this game.

400.000 Euro and more about two years are invested by management and marketing behind closed doors, working for the reduction of the „Great Game“. Well versed architects spent their know-how. At the end a so-called „intern table-commision“ of technics of play, shop committee and leaders of the hall were consulted to optimise the handling on the new table for the staff. At July 2003 the new envolved „Eurolette Table“ was presented in a ceremony to the publicity – after 250 years „Roulette-Table“ a little revolution.

ISA-CASINOS, Editor of Chief, Reinhold Schmitt: How long you are manager of „Casino Stuttgart“?

Peter Wolf: since 1st of April 1996.

ISA-CASINOS: Whats your office now?

Wolf: since 1st of August I’m manager of the casinos at Baden-Würtemberg. All three locations at Baden Würtemberg belong to: Baden-Baden, Konstanz and Stuttgart.

ISA-CASINOS: Do you work at other reaches belonging to casinos?

Wolf: No.

ISA-CASINOS: If you work at casinos for a longer time: where are the most characteristic changes?

Wolf: The simple fun on game gets rare. The guest searches for tension and release at the same time. Tension he will find at play, release at a drink at the bar, at casino-restaurant or on Live-Music. You must be able to offer this to the pretentious guest. Earlier … as the beginning of casinos in Germany … the casino was a meeting-place for society…for young and old players. See and be seen was as important as to have fun at amusing. And certainly the guest today longs for amusement. Most of all casinos recognize this trend and try to realize this.

ISA-CASINOS: Which gambles you offer at your casinos?

Wolf: All three houses offer now the „New Eurolette“. They even offer the „French Roulette“ and „American Roulette“, in the same way as “Black Jack”. “Baccara” happends only at Stuttgart and Baden-Baden. Additional at Baden-Baden Poker. Slot-gambling is posed at every three locationes. Konstanz degrees since 1st of August 2003 about two depandances.

ISA-CASINOS: You are the inventor of „Eurolette-Table“. Are you able to present topical numbers or results?

Wolf: Relative to the known noticeables we are pleased. The “Eurolette-Tables” are first at issue.

ISA-CASINOS: Everytime will be talked about very much casinos at Europe. Do you think, all casinos at Switzerland will financiell survive for all that miserable start?

Wolf: As we heard about Switzerland … not all casinos there will financially survive. Its my mind that the expandation was expected too high and now a konsollidation starts.

ISA-CASINOS: What’s your mind about casinos today?

Wolf: Since many years Dortmund, Berlin, Stuttgart and Hamburg dash against for the four first places. Stuttgart proudly reaches the third rank since 1997 among 60 casinos. For the casinos at health resorts it`s more difficult in the last years because the tourism of culture recedes. The culture of casino will be very marked at place but there are less visitors than at former times. The trend goes further to open more slotgaming-dependances.

ISA-CASINOS: How will you comment on the first results of Swiss casinos?

Wolf: You can establish a parallel between Switzerland and Germany. The most successful there is the Casino Baden next to Zürich. The casino is settled in the region at a great international city. Pure tourist locations have problems and so some have been closed.

ISA-CASINOS: Do you see possibilities to intensify the attraction on casinos, even during modificationes on the part of the law-maker?

Wolf: We believe that casinos stand at the threshold to transform into real places of experiences. The wishes of the guests must be more satisfied. But surely many visitors would not understand one or other order of law and a relaxation of these would surely have an positive effect.

ISA-CASINOS: Slotgambling reaches more and more popularity even through its technical innovation. Will the classical play not be interresting any more?

Wolf: The slotgambling is a quickly and uncomplicated offert of play. The classic play exists on the lively happening at the table. In this case the knowing of rules is very important. Principally in both areas – Great Play and Slotgambling – two different targets wanted to be reached. Slotgambling means newest technology, therefore it`s logical that plays at slotmachines must always offer the most modern technical innovationes. The Great Play is still attractive but I think innovative ideas about playing will make the great play more interesting. That’s the reason why we established the new „Eurolette-Tables“. But going this way was not simple and you must be couraged.

ISA-CASINOS: The slotmachines follow trends. Do you think the continued adaptation to most modern generationes will be efficient or is the practice of play in the foreground?

Wolf: How formally said the guest awaits always the most modern cariaton of play at slotgaming. Therefore we think its efficient to allocate the necessary investitiones. The success of the slotgaming at Stuttgart depends on this concept.

ISA-CASINOS: Will dependances remain in the future?

Wolf: We don’t see Baden-Baden and Konstanz as dependances. Because at the union to „Baden-Würtembergische Spielbanken“ there are three equivalent managements, all working economically for their own purpose. Since now we realized our concept in Baden-Baden and Konstanz and we think this will be the basic for the future of Baden-Baden and Konstanz which saves the success.

ISA-CASINOS: Tournaments are attractive specials… for example Poker or Black Jack. But the interested gamblers reduce. Many gamblers complain of excessive entry fees at Europe. Should we act here?

Wolf: No, not at this time because at our former Baccara-Tournamentes we took no entry fees.

ISA-CASINOS: What do you think about Baccara at casinos and which chances this play will have?

Wolf: Baccara is a very exclusive game. It cannot be offered at every casino because you must have enough players. In a city the chances will be better than in small casinos to meet the requirements. We proudly can say that Stuttgart is the only casino in Germany which can offer and play Baccara daily.

ISA-CASINOS: A good trained staff is the “Nonplusultra” at casinos. How does your training and improvement of your staff looks like?

Wolf: We carry through trainings and instructions inside all three houses.

ISA-CASINOS: The economically down-hill cant be stopped at this time. How much will your casinos be toughed?

Wolf: At Stuttgart we have an increment in 2003, so our engagement was profitable. About Baden-Baden and Konstanz I cannot give up a statement because we didn’t have comparable figures of a complete year.

ISA-CASINOS: The web takes nowatimes an important place for giving informations to consumers. What do your activities look like?

Wolf: Our activities are restricted on giving infomations. At the moment we develop a new and fresher web appearance for all three houses. The purpose will be to reach new visitors.

ISA-CASINOS: What do you think about Online-Casinos and will you become active at this domain?

Wolf: We hope all casinos will find a common way to Oline-Casinos. But in Baden-Würtemberg the legal basis would not be given at present.

ISA-CASINOS: More and more casinos face up to the problem of the passion for gambling and do so their duty to human society. Which activities do you support in your business?

Wolf: The „Casino Stuttgart“ was the first casino in Germany that got down to this theme and offered it’s guests the possibility of consulting with well versed extern persons. We built a cooperation with the „Evangelical Community Stuttgart“ to assist guests with abnormal gambling-behaviour. This cooperation still goes on successfully. The guest is able to use a free, extensive and varying offer of advice. Also the hole casino staff was sensitived for this theme at training lessons. The concept of Stuttgart will be adopted in both other casinos – Baden-Baden and Konstanz.

ISA-CASINOS: With the term „Casino“ the consumer links not only the „Ambiente“ (design) but also the chance of a great winning. Which great pay-off to your guests do you remember?

Wolf: I remember a pay-off at the slotgambling at Casino Stuttgart. I was permitted to present a cheque about 1,5 Mio. DM to a lucky winner. The guest was so overjoyed that he took the cheque perhaps without speaking and left the casino at the back exit.

ISA-CASINOS: On one side casinos are associated with a opalescent “Ambiente” (design), on the other side give horrorstorys about enormous losings a very bad impression to the visitors. What’s your meaning… what must be done to bring the inner life of casinos closer to the population?

Wolf: The negative individual cases are picked up with pleasure by the press and they falsify the picture. So the impression will be produced that only one visit longs for becomming an abnormal gambling-behavior. Thats absolutly wrong. In this way the on the part of press scruples and fright will be built. A casino is a social meeting-place where you even can go without playing. And this you must bring closer to the humans.

ISA-CASINOS: In former times a strictness order of dressing had to be observed when you wanted to visit a casino. In the meantime relaxed – but although most of the houses set a high value on great evening dresses. How will you see this?

Wolf: Suitable clothes are ordered in our casinos. Casinos are no designers or watchers. It takes tolerance and strictness to reach an adequate standard.

ISA-CASINOS: What comes in your mind when you think about amusing happenings?

Wolf: I remember a „Roulette-Battle“ on Sylt. There I’ve been manager of the Casino Westerland for a few years. Three gamblers battled two days long on Roulette for a big amount of money. Even myself as manager expected a lot of these three guests. At the first day the duell ends 1:0 for the casino. But the day after the fortune was on the side of the three gamblers and the two-day battle ends with a deficite for the Casino Sylt. The gamblers were never seen again.

ISA-CASINOS: If you had three wishes what would you think of spontaneously …beside riches?

Wolf: health, calmness and relativ less vexitation.

ISA-CASINOS: What does your private compensation looks like?

Wolf: I like to read – in my few free time.

ISA-CASINOS: Thank you for the interview.