Thomas Schindler About Land-Based Casino Sector of Germany

Thomas Schindler About Land-Based Casino Sector of Germany

As the news articles about the casino industry inform, terrestrial gambling establishments have suffered the most from the lockdowns and pandemic-related restrictions. But as the land-based casino venues reopen in Europe, classic casino ops have a chance to regain their position in the market.

Thomas Schindler, general manager of Casino Baden-Baden, has explained how the offline casino sector of Germany works in 2021. In this interview, Mr. Schindler also talked about the challenges that classic casino ops are currently facing, outlined the main benefits of terrestrial casinos, and expressed his view on the future of brick-and-mortar gambling establishments.

Thomas, could you describe what is currently happening in the land-based casino sector of Germany? In your opinion, will the industry recover and return to the pre-pandemic level in terms of revenues and players?

I think that land-based casinos with lower entertainment value will tend to have more difficulty getting back to pre-pandemic levels. However, this relates not only to the pandemic but also to the fact that visitors are fundamentally more demanding and expect a higher entertainment value. The pandemic intensifies this development.

How did the State Treaty on Gambling impact land-based casinos in Germany? Did you see a decline in the number of players after the legislation of the online gambling market came into force on July 1st?

I have not noticed any negative changes for our casino. On the contrary, we continue to see increasing numbers of visitors. However, this is because we run a casino with a very high entertainment value. In principle, the period from July 1st should not be sufficient to determine any clear changes.

The global pandemic has demonstrated a massive shift of casino players to online gambling establishments. Do you believe that land-based casino venues will stay relevant in the upcoming future? What are the main benefits of brick-and-mortar casinos in comparison with online casino sites?

I believe that land-based casinos can continue to thrive as long as they expand their business areas and offer more entertainment. The advantage of land-based casinos is that they offer real experiences that online casinos cannot deliver through a computer. However, gambling alone will not be enough to remain successful in the future. Some casinos will run into problems here, as they often do not have the space and financial resources to open additional business areas.

How can land-based casinos increase their brand visibility in 2021?

Basically, here too, every casino stands for a certain type of entertainment at its location. Influencing the “casino” brand locally is difficult after many years of operation. It is a great challenge to differentiate yourself from the competition in a saturated market with limited advertising opportunities.

In your opinion, why so many land-based casino operators are hesitant to go online?

First of all, a casino company has to make high investments, although it is not yet clear whether the online business can be operated sufficiently profitably under the current conditions. Smaller companies often lack the know-how to gain a foothold in the online market. However, especially in Germany, the regulatory difficulties, which should not be equated with hesitation, should not be underestimated. It was not possible to go online as a land-based casino for many years because online gambling was illegal. The first options are now available, but these are associated with a high level of bureaucratic effort so that no German online casino based on a terrestrial license has yet penetrated the market.

What are the main difficulties that offline casino ops encounter in the gambling market of Germany?

Most classic casinos have not expanded their business areas in the past few years. The products have remained almost the same. At the same time, online casinos advertise with the option of consuming similar and more attractive offers from the comfort of your home. Against the background of increasing consumer expectations, it will be a major challenge for terrestrial casinos to remain interesting.

What is your opinion on integrated casino resorts? Would a launch of such an establishment be possible in Germany?

Casino resorts require high investments. Whoever is able to do this could be successful in the right location.

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