Interview with Michael Seegert – Managing Partner of the Spielbank Bad Neuenahr

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

We speak with managers, directors, shareholders and personalities from the casino industrie. ISA-CASINOS analyzes current affairs and interesting for you. Today we speak with Mr. Michael Seegert, acting partner of the casino Bad Neuenahr.

ISA-CASINOS, Reinhold Schmitt, editor in chief: Mr. Michael Seegert, since 1986 you are in the casino industry. Today you are acting partner of the casino Bad Neuenahr. How did you come to the casino and which fields of application cover your activity?

Michael Seegert: To the casino I came like the maid to the child, like many different also, like an Exot. I looked for a new field of activity; for an activity with the German Federal Armed Forces, with which I was obligated as an officer for 12 years, I was studying the large newspapers and encountered an advertisement: „Dynamic capacity for work wanted for an enterprise of the leisure industry“. I had applied at that time on a box number advertisement. Afterwards I have had an interview led, with the offerer Bad Neuenahr had revealed themselves and I than was employed later as the assistant of the management. As I know today, nearly 200 applicants were available to the choice.

After 1 ½ years I became attorney and took over the management of the casino Bad Duerkheim from the beginning. On 1 January 2003 I occurred as acting partners and the exclusive management of the society took over. Bad Neuenahr and Bad Duerkheim are summarized in a society. Besides we have direct participation in Sylt, Flensburg, Mainz, Trier and Bedims, in Berlin in the Potsdamer place and in Aalborg. There I am a representative in the respective company meetings, and or supervisory boards. Beyond that we have indirectly over the German Casino management Group participation in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (Schwerin, warn-flows and goods), in Frankfurt at the airport, where I’m also a managing director, and recently in Switzerland in Locarno; that is the group „Bad Neuenahr“.

ISA-CASINOS: Which games are offered in your houses?

Seegert: In our casinos we have the well-known classical plays, roulette in the different variants, Black Jack, Baccarat only in Bad Neuenahr. Of course we have automat plays in all variants with most diverse Jackpot systems, as well as recently also electronic MultiMate-Roulette.

ISA-CASINOS: 2005 are to be opened the play center in Duisburg. Which play offer meeting demand do you want to oppose in the casino Bad Neuenahr to that?

Seegert: I know planning for the casino Duisburg – topic Casino-liner – already pursue for years the political situation on the local level, which is not uninteresting. Only two weeks ago I was in the provisional automat offer and have taken a view also the environmental situation, e.g. the distance to Bad Neuenahr, in order to plumb, how the new offer becomes into our catchment’s area urged on. We are very clear over the fact that, if the Casino management is realized in such a way this becomes a mass offer, similarly as in Stuttgart. It does not make a sense for us to operate in Bad Neuenahr same. We can offer surely what is ordered in Duisburg, not to same extent, but we will concentrate on the offers, which could not be offered to Neuenahr in Duisburg and establish these in Bad. We would like to create a small, but fine offer in Neuenahr a more elegant, more superior and some what more intimate atmosphere, both for the classical range as well as in the automat range.

ISA-CASINOS: Do you plan Events, which can be merged also into the casino happenings, like gulf tournaments or like in Bad Duerkheim with the „Kurpark Gala“ with its largest roulette in the world?

Seegert: I know of course many casinos also in reference to balances and year’s results, and there one must say that various casinos in this country can only still exist, because the federal state governments lowered the still very high contributions, so that the enterprises can work still economically. One sees that the screw of the delivery increase went in the meantime into the other direction. We were in the peak point times with 93 % on contributions and that in the last 10 years became substantially less. These high deliveries were only possible in the past, because the concession givers knew that the casinos at all had not any personnel expenditure by „Tronc“. As long as the system was correct, one could justify also high deliveries. Now in the time, in which the tips are already for a long time not sufficient any longer in order to pay the personnel and which substantial subsidies must be carried out to the personnel expenditure by the casinos, one cannot carry such a high delivery ratio out naturally any longer.

ISA-CASINOS: Do you train own Croupiers in your house?

Seegert: We train all our Croupiers for the „internal requirement“ in Bad Neuenahr and Bad Duerkheim.

ISA-CASINOS: Is there a special experience, which you remember gladly during your work in the casino?

Seegert: Yes, I was still relatively young in the casino business, there we had a very highly playing guest, who played at that time regularly in Bad Duerkheim, starting from and to also in Bad Neuenahr. On one day I experienced then, like he 100,000 – 150,000 EUR piece for piece at the Roulettetisch playful. He had packaged his entire capital in 10.000,- EUR bundles and in Couverts. When he came to the remainder of his capital, he folded then his last envelope playful, this up, rose and has said to the Croupiers: „Gentlemen, it has been a pleasure for me“ and gave them a princely tip. That had style.

ISA-CASINOS: What purposeful means do you make against the addiction of gaming?

Seegert: We already started a common initiative with the Mainzer Society three years ago in Rhineland-Palatinate. We have a foldingsheet, that the guest, who endangers itself sees, they are to read and test themselves with the pertinent questions. One can call then a Helpline, by which one is then passed on to a group of self-helps. We make that for some years and also on the part of the ministry of the Interior it was very much welcomed. Each self-conclusion is supported by us, we had o have our own Coworkers to a training, they are skillfully, who were trained about early recognision by possibly endangered players.

ISA-CASINOS: Do you have any spare time left still with your activity at all?

Seegert: Yes, it is become less, must I confess, but I take myself the necessary free space nevertheless. I do not have pronounced Hobbies, but I have 4 children, from whom two are still small. For me there is actually important only that I am in the office, and/ or in business on the way or spend my time with my family.

ISA-CASINOS: Which desire goal do you have for the future?

Seegert: The economic basic conditions for casinos in Germany worsened fundamentally. I would wish myself that I succeed, to be able to lead our casinos also in the difficult times, which might occure through into a successful future.

ISA-CASINOS: I thank you for the discussion.