Germany's Second Online Casino Opens for Business

22 July 2004

Germany's second online casino, based in the state of Hessen, opened its doors for business last week, and it appears that the new site will enjoy a better fate then the country's first online gambling operation.

The first online casino, operated by the Spielbank Hamburg Group, went live in the state of Hamburg on Oct. 28, 2002, but it was determined three days later that the state's senate is not empowered to issue an online gambling license. The site ultimately shutdown on Oct. 24, 2003

But unlike Hamburg, Hessen's casino legislation specifically allows "Internet gambling," a policy outlined by an amendment to the Hessian legislation in 2002.

The Hessian casino, operated by Spielbank Wiesbaden, features a roulette game with software and all online components developed by e-dict GmbH & Co.KG, an affiliate of Spielbank Hamburg Group. e-dict was also responsible for the launching of the Internet Spielbank Hamburg, which also featured a roulette game.

At the time Spielbank Hamburg's Internet casino was launched, e-dict Managing Director Tim von Törne stated, "Since the casino's focus is live gambling, we could not find anything close to our needs. We did not apply streaming video techniques like others are using it, but we introduced an improved broadcasting technique of a series of snapshots, which results in an improved high broadcasting quality of each individual picture. We think that quality is essential looking at a fast moving roulette wheel."

von Törne said this week that Spielbank Wiesbaden features upgrades.

"We deployed a modified version of the online gambling system for Spielbank Wiesbaden," he said. "We host it in our own data center, and we do all customer support on behalf of our client."

He added, "The technology is still the same, however, we made some modifications regarding risk management and payment systems, but they were under the surface, and I will not go into further detail."

von Törne also said he's optimistic about the return of the first online casino in Hamburg.

"After the court ruling in Hamburg, we were eager to get the system up and running again as soon as possible," he said. "But due to political turbulences around the senator of interior, the new election had to take place in February 2004. In the meantime, the political process was blocked. Now the new government has been settled, and we will go into negotiations again after the 'political summer break' in early fall. The issue is that the gambling law has to be changed to give room for an online casino."

Rob van der Gaast has a background in sports journalism. He worked for over seven years as the head of sports for Dutch National Radio and has developed new concepts for the TV and the gambling industry. Now he operates from Istanbul as an independent gambling research analyst. He specializes in European gambling matters and in privatizations of gambling operators. Rob has contributed to IGN since Jul 09, 2001.