Interview with Gerhard Schmulder – Deputy Manager of the Spielbank Wiesbaden

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

We speak with managers, directors, shareholders and personalities from the casino industry. ISA-CASINOS analyzes current and interesting topics and today speaks we with Mr. Gerhard Schmulder, deputy director/conductor of the Casino Wiesbaden.

Gerhard SchmulderWiesbaden, which is state capital of Hessen, is to many also well-known as birth place Second Channel of German Television. Today in Mainz the resident transmitter operated a lion part of his transmit mode in his beginnings also in Wiesbaden.

But the medium giant did not only announce Wiesbaden far beyond its borders, because the friendly city, also affectionately „Nothern Nizza“ mentioned, accommodates one of the oldest German gaming houses. Already by the end of the Century there appeared themselves crowned heads, musician and also men of letters in the gaming casino Wiesbaden, in order to put their luck to the test. In addition, the recent past issues highlight. In the recent past the Prominent gave itself the handle to the hand: So the house was allowed to welcome Richard Wagner, Elvis Presley, Mario Adorf and many other more.

Today the house corresponds to most modern requirements and is characterised in particular by an unusual harmony between historical architecture and newest technology. In the interview ISA-CASINOS.DE ONE speaks with the deputy director/conductor of the casino, Gerhard Schmulder (53).

ISA-CASINOS, Reinhold Schmitt, editor in chief: Since when are you in the gaming industry?

Gerhard Schmulder: Already as a student of the management economics at the University of Mannheim it attracted me before 33 years into the gaming house: Despite urgent warnings of my grandmother („Gaming houses are from the devil“) I earned bath Duerkheim from 1970 to 1976 mean student living costs as part-time croupier in the gaming house, where I worked also after completion of the study as established Croupier. When in January the gaming house Hamburg opened 1978, I participated as trainee croupier.
When 13 years later in the year 1991 the concession for the gaming house Wiesbaden went over to the agents of the gaming house Hamburg, I was sent only for one year as one of technical managers to Wiesbaden. After meanwhile 12 years in Wiesbaden I today never repented this step until, also if it were not always a picnic.

ISA-CASINOS: Which function do you exercise today?

Schmulder: My official position is deputy director/conductor of the gaming house.

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

Schmulder: In classical clearance the emphasis still is on the French roulette, in addition, American roulette and above all Roulite are amazingly like. Besides is booming at present Black Jack and in the Poker environment, we experience a straight pleasing Renaissance. Starting from April we will offer in the large play additionally a Novomatic to Roulette island with hand-made boiler. In our renewed and extended automat play we offer with approx. 180 automats the complete assortment inclusive. 18 Jackpots and a Touch pray Roulette installation with 20 stations.

ISA-CASINOS: In your opinion there is a saturation of the market reached with Casinos in Germany, isn’t it?

Schmulder: If a market can be regarded as saturated, as soon as the offer quantity corresponds to more favourable prices with not far more exactly the demand, then the gaming house market seems in most regions before the today ever more strongly noticeable recession to have been already satisfied already, at least which concerns the classical clearance. Then however if the demand breaks with unchanged offer quantity away, which must experience the industry at present painfully, the market clearly gets oversaturated, if I may formulate that so in distinct times. Straight one in the so-called „Grand Play“ is however the necessary adjustment process not arbitrarily downward continue-able, because starting from a certain order of magnitude a critical size of company is reached, below those the negative processes rather still accelerates itself. Within the automat range against it, I – with all imponderables regarding the online Gambling – see still light growth potential, although the growth speed slowed down noticeably also there.

ISA-CASINOS: Automat plays attain alone by their technical innovation ever larger popularity. Is the classical play not more attractive?

Schmulder: Attractiveness is always measured at the alternatives. The measuring pole is actually put by the automat play ever more highly, in addition the on-line play may not be ignored in this connection. If one regards however the classical play not from the beginning on as innovation-resistant, still some technical potential open. If succeeds beyond that compensating the then still remaining projection of the automat plays by an increase of the service and well-being feeling quality in the classical play needs us. Before the future do not fear for to be. The multiplicity of younger guests in the gaming house Wiesbaden before everything on weekend seems to confirm this.

ISA-CASINOS: What do you, from the poker game in the gaming houses and which chances hold continue to this play?

Schmulder: The poker game within German Casinos seems to with-draw itself similarly the Baccarat play to some few islands. The economic meaning of the Poker offer was limited for us from beginning to the aspect that offer variety, whose positive effects we can only assume on the other plays. As long as Poker nourishes its Dealer, we will continue to offer it.

ISA-CASINOS: Tournaments are an attractive Special. Do you see straight to further need with the Black Jack?

Schmulder: The Black Jack play seems to require with us at least at present no further graduation; we have plays daily on up to 4 tables partially until night at 4.00 o’clock.

ISA-CASINOS: The economic situation in Germany experiences at present a downtrend. To what extent also are the gaming houses concerned?

Schmulder: The old saying that in bad times particularly much plays are gambled, was correct either ever or it does not tune at least today not any more.

ISA-CASINOS: The play automats follow trends. Is the constant adaptation to newest generations meaningful or is the centre of attention more the play habit for you?

Schmulder: We must strive for both aspects. The automat manufacturers try, similarly as mode houses to anticipate future trends. The hit rate might be similar in both ranges. Our priority task is it to seize the regional or even the local trend usually succeeds to us best with sample positions of new devices.

ISA-CASINOS: Which competition do you with the on-line gaming houses and which effect of threat do you see with this form of gambling?

Schmulder: „Feeling“ is at present the correct term, since we do not know which market shares from the „Offline play“ to the on-line play have shifted and/or in the future will still shift. It fit correct however the fact that world-wide already 1,800 on-line Casinos court around the favour of the players is already nearly again reassuring it down, that there are still us. So vehement, as fears, does nevertheless not seem to us this most modern market participant from the market to urge. On the other side we in addition, seize the chance and should want to along-serve this new market under German conditions. The gaming house Wiesbaden is located in this connection in the starting position.

ISA-CASINOS: Well trained personnel are the essence in the gaming house sector. How do the basic and advanced training of the persons employed look like for you?

Schmulder: We train our Croupiers for many years in all plays by our self, recruit however additionally again and again also New Croupiers from other banks. In both cases the education and further training are subject to the criteria, as they are laid down in our quality management manual.

ISA-CASINOS: What occurs to you spontaneously, if you think of amusing occurrences during your activity?

Schmulder: I found the history of the young woman, who let come just after her with first six euro play money afterwards at the second play, the supervision of automat to come, because her automat blocked and she feared most, she made were broken it. On the explanation of the co-worker: „Do you see, good woman, there above this six-digit number? Everything belongs to you. She would be fallen nearly in faint of luck.“

ISA-CASINOS: Ever more gaming houses place themselves and become „fair“ also to the problem of the play addiction, thereby their social order. Which activities do you support in this connection in your enterprise?

Schmulder: We drive in this connection for a long time triple-track-wise: For the one we offer a flyer, which gives references to a possibly existing or the beginning of a gaming addiction to the guest, by the answer out of a set of questions given and our guests receives the telephone number of the service telephone from the federal information centre for health. On the other hand we take each reference very seriously about any wrong of economical conditions of concerning or from their social surrounding field, by expressing a barrier immediately in such cases and keeping these upright until us attorney’s or notary’s safety was confirmed. Beyond that we examine once in the year on the basis of a list with the above-average frequent visitors, whether other remarkable occurrences forces us to resuming measures.

ISA-CASINOS: If you had three wishes for free, which occurs to you times apart from wealth spontaneously?

Schmulder: To stay healthy, to keep having still for a long time fun at the occupation and that me my wife and my social surrounding field despite my work times to remain further in equilibrium.

ISA-CASINOS: Like you are already longer in the gaming house range active: Where do the most salient changes lie?

Schmulder: Of course within the automat range. In regard of the play results, the designations „Grand Play” and „Small Play“ appear almost paradoxically, at least however obsolete. But also in the kind of the service a clear change carried out itself. If the gaming houses were in former times quasi monopolists with appropriate behaviour of the personnel, the clay/tone became clearly more guest-friendlier oriented today.
And almost as a quantum transition has the introduction of the video monitoring in the classical play to be designated: From the formerly „double gambling“, which by the two questions of our guests „Have I won?“ and „Am I also getting my profit paid off?“ was characterized, has a safe portion became now.

ISA-CASINOS: With the term Gaming house and Casinos the consumers associate not only the Ambient, but also the luck of the large profit. Of which large payments, on which profits experienced by your guests, do you remember?

Schmulder: There are the large Jackpots in the automat range, one the latter was natural with 676.690,- EUR at this time the highest of Germany. In the classical play, where the gaming house Wiesbaden offers the highest maxima of Germany for years, a guest won in December within one minute afterwards at two tables 339,000,- EUR, was then a much discussed „wage per hour“

ISA-CASINOS: What distinguishes the gaming house, for that you are working in particular?

Schmulder: We have an enormously compact decisions system in the gaming house Wiesbaden. We have agents with a high desire to invest and risk. We have meanwhile a staff which carries an innovation speed above average for our industry, readily and self-motivated. And we have a supervisory authority, which supports fast and un-bureaucratic the necessary changes. As we could realize projects as the patented and world-wide unique „Wiesbadener Super-Roulette“, with that approximately 12 times on the day after ringing out a fanfare, all profits from plain to down to the transversal simple ones to be paid doubly, triple, quadruple or fivefold. Or the „Roulite utility“ model-protected also unique in this form and, which enjoys a outstanding acceptance. Not to avoid to mention completely about „ISO certifying“ the giant-project. This mixture has us meanwhile led at place 5 of the list of all German Casinos, a place directly behind the „Big City Banks“ and at place 1 in the Rhine-Main area.

ISA-CASINOS: Do you see to possibilities of increasing the attractiveness from play places also by changes on the side of the legislator?

Schmulder: Since we have, because of the risen mobility of our clientele (read Vegas lets greet) and the Omni-presents of the Internets ever more in the international competition to rule, must on the part of the legislator the world-wide unique be more „Strangle-Taxes“ from meanwhile over 90 per cent urgently adapt. As the first step the ability to remove the costs of this delivery load would be urgently required. The moreover I do not consider it any longer up-to-date and to a considerable degree service-hostilely, to have to keep the gaming house closed on certain days in the year.

ISA-CASINOS: The Internet takes in the meantime an important area in the information flow for consumers. How here do your activities look like?

Schmulder: At the beginning of April we will extend our homepage by the supply of the minute-current Permanents all Roulette-tables, so that each guest can see already at home whether today his numbers run in the gaming house Wiesbaden.

ISA-CASINOS: How do you stand to the on-line Casino and would you with your house in this range also for aim at any activities?

Schmulder: We intend to place still in this summer an on-line play offer in the net with Life Croupiers after the pattern of the gaming house Hamburg.

ISA-CASINOS: Gaming houses and Casinos are brought on the one hand with shimmering Ambient in connection, on the other hand one horror stories lead across losses in untenable height with the visitors to negative impressions. What would one have to do according to your opinion, in order to bring the interior life of gaming houses and Casinos closer to the population?

Schmulder: We must take those New-Visitors by the hand and explain then, who are interested in our product, actively, what we „sell“. In the gaming house Wiesbaden New Visitors become regularly in approx. 1-hour-courses with the final free of cost „Mini tournament“ lead near to the individual plays. At the same time we arrange however also the realization for them that gaming houses are not interested in guests, who play themselves for head and collar. That however New Visitors say with the words good-bye: „A very beautiful house, but what you sell, I did not have understood“, we can today not any longer take for granted.

ISA-CASINOS: Until years ago a strict dress code applied with the attendance of gaming houses. In the meantime loosened however, nevertheless most houses put also today still very much value on large evening clothes. How do you see this?

Schmulder: „Grand evening ward-robe“ are already for a long time with us not any more a topic. One is not by any means „overdressed“, if one comes in this appearance to us, which is with large balls in the nursing centre the case frequently, but the everyday life guest comes rather in to maintained Business-Dress, in the summer even permitted without a tie (!). However as we have maintained to Jeans permission already some years ago, turned out the conception of the world of so some older Receptionists nevertheless badly into the sway.

ISA-CASINOS: Thank you for the discussion.