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INSIGHTGERMANY CASINOS


Mother of Monte-Carlo - living in the present


With a history spanning more than 175 years, Spielbank Bad Homburg is one of the oldest and most famous casinos in Europe. Should a historic casino look to the past or future for answers in the present?


Could you give us some background on yourself and how you got involved in the casino business?


I stepped into the industry by accident after several years of working as a bank-assistant and was easily “infected” by the spirit of a casino and its international clientele. Because of my clear interest in my job I got quickly promoted and educated by my employer (Westdeutsche Spielbanken) for leading positions.


Lutz Schenkel Managing Director at Casino Bad Homburg


We talk to Spielbank Bad Homburg’s Managing Director, Lutz Schenkel, about the history of the casino, how it has impacted the local community, some of its plans going forwards and some of the emerging trends and challenges in the German casino marketplace in 2020


My biggest interest was building up new casinos. I was involved as a dealer in the first casino in the former East- Berlin, GDR, in 1990. Our company got a license in Denmark, where we built up the casino in Aarhus. After five years I went back to Germany and built the Casino Schenefeld, at that time the latest casino in Germany. At the same time I was responsible for the integration of two old-fashioned casinos (Sylt and Travemuende) into our new casino-group of Schleswig- Holstein.


In 2012, I got the chance to lead Casino Bad Homburg into the future. It is one of the oldest casinos in Europe. I regarded this task as very challenging


P36 NEWSWIRE / INTERACTIVE / MARKET DATA


due the difficult times our industry had to face.


Could you tell us more about its history? How has the casino benefited the local community over the years and how has it evolved?


Casino Bad Homburg was found by the twins François and Louis Blanc in 1841. They decided to take the “00” off the roulette wheel, which increased the winning chances for their customers.


At the same time François Blanc was one of the first marketing experts and made advertisments in all large European papers. They built the spa and a huge park, plus an extraordinary “Kurhaus”, where famous singers and orchestras appeared on stage. Within a few years, Homburg became THE meeting place for the higher classes, Royals, artists, military – it was a must to spend time at Homburg.


From 1873 onwards, gambling was forbidden in Prussia, so Casino Homburg was forced to close down. François Blanc and his German wife Marie were aware of this and had, in 1866, acquired the license of the then unsuccessful Casino Monte-Carlo.


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