History of the ISA-CASINOS – Part 1

Reinhold Schmitt
ISA-GUIDE Chefredakteur (V.i.S.d.P.)
E-Mail: info@isa-guide.de

ISA-CASINOS is one of the biggest European internet platforms concerning the topic “games of chance”. The boom of the internet started in the 90th and with it many business ideas were created. But many firms were not successfully with the internet boom and so they disappeard again from the market very quickly. Only a few firms have survived because they offered good quality. The ISA-CASINOS is one of this successful firms and celebrates today its 10 firm anniversary.

The founder and today`s chief editor Reinhold Schmitt tells us the history of the company.
He reports about the difficulties at the beginning and the most important stages within the past 10 years. He also tells us about the hard times and the first busines contracts. At the end he
tries to give a view about the development of the game of chance industry.

1998 – 2003: Foundation and the beginning

Everything began in autumn 1997. Reinhold Schmitt felt together with his family the decision to end his career as profi gambler. He wanted to use his 15 years experience to pass all his know how to other gamblers. He had the idea to build up a service and advertisement platform where casinos and gamblers get full information about the topic game of chance. He knew that this idea was exciting but his motto was: “nothing is impossible in the casino world because here many dreams become true”.

To this time he had contact to a student and learned by pure chance about the new media “Internet” which was generelly not well-known. Quickly he realized the unlimited possibilies which this new medium offers. So he founded in February 1998 the International Service Agentur for information of all parts of the casino world.

Then it was time to sell his idea and so he started in 1998 his “advertisement tour” through German casinos. Once he was guest in this casions, now he appeard as an entrepreneur and convinced the casino chieves from the new advertisement possibilities with the internet because this was not very popular by the end of the 90th. It was really hard for Reinhold Schmitt to distroy reservations about the internet because there were nearly no experiences.
“ I had to go to many firms and everyday I had to motivate myself again. Today I am happy that I had the strength to make this”, said Reinhold Schmitt at the beginning.

By the end of 1998 he won one of the oldest and most traditionally casinos as first client for his internet platform ISA-CASINOS: the Casino Baden-Baden. That was the breaktrough.
The former director Ludwig Verschl was very open-minded and believed in Reinhold Schmitt´s idea. He trusted in him and gave him the chance to manage this impossible project.

With the contract in his suitcase he went to Wiesbaden and talked to the director of the
local casino Gerhard Schmulder. In many conversations he was able to convince him and so this famous casino became the second partner of the ISA-CASINOS.

In the first months in 1998 only 7 people visited the website of the ISA-CASINOS. In the whole year 1998 there were 150 visitors. In 1999 the number of visitors increased from 80 per months to 500 visitors monthly. Also the isa-casinos was able to close new business contracts with other casinos. This positiv development leaded to the fact that Reinhold Schmitt was able to employ his first webmaster Andre´Lohan who still works for ISA-CASINOS. The third employee Denis Jörger reached the ISA-CASINOS team in 2000 and finally Daniel Guther was empoyed in 2003.
The Team of the ISA-CASINOS­ f.l.t.r. Denis Jörger, Daniel Guther, André Lohan,<br>Ulli Schmitt and Reinhold Schmitt.
Up from the millenium the internet became more and more popular and with it some competitors appeared who tried to establish themselves in the market. The Casinoland and the Casino News of Berlin convinced because of their respectable reportings. Other competitors disappeard very quickly again from the scene. Today Casinoland and ISA-CASINOS are the signs in the line of busines.

The internet became successful and the ISA-CASINOS, too. First partner became the Novomatic AG in 2000 and second partner became the Casino Austria in summer 2001. This was a clear sign for Reinhold Schmitt that the ISA-CASINOS should turn to a European platform. Original it was planed that the ISA-CASINOS should be a German platform. The first step was made.

The internet portal became more and more dynamic with every new casino partner. Together
new ideas were developped. This fact leaded to better and more extensive service offers for the visitors. So in 2001 the casino event calender was created and the dispach of the daily newsletter was realized. In the same year the 1,000 newsletter subscriber could be welcomed.
Then the ISA-CASINOS started to report in English and so the number of subscribers increased.

A further and important decision was felt in February 2002. The new and independent repubric “law” as introduced. Quickly a row of solicitors found themselves on the website and they created an excellent forum about the topic games of chance. With this very popular forum new readers were won e.g. from the Bundes- und Landesministerien which use now the ISA-CASINOS as an important information source.

This new service offer would not be there without help and engagement of the lawers Dr. Martin Bahr and Hans-Joachim Höxter. They accompany the ISA-CASINOS since many years and they take care of an objective and perfect reporting. Dr. Martin Bahr is also the press officer of the ISA-CASINOS since 2002.

Reinhold Schmitt hold on under the stress like an sportsman the first years. He had the classic
qualities: iron discipline, high stamina and an intensive believe in his idea and the success.
But also other facts were very important for Reinhold Schmitt and they played an important role: “The ISA-CASINOS has profited enormous from the tireless work of the casino staff and its readers. Especially at the beginning we have daily received tipps how to improve and extend our offers. It was really a team work and I would like to thank every sponser.”