Wiesbaden Casino is one of the most attractive casinos in Europe and has been enchanting visitors such as emperors, kings and artists and writers, musicians and Bohemians for over 230 years. Like many others, Fjodor Dostoyevsky and Richard Wagner are among those who have put their luck to the test at Wiesbaden Casino.
The Casino boasts an eventful history:
The history of the Casino begins when Prince Carl of Nassau-Usingen granted a banker from Wiesbaden the first ever betting licence. This was initially accompanied by the so-called “Residenzverbot” (Residence Ban), which prohibited citizens of the city of Wiesbaden from visiting the Casino or gambling.
Roulette becomes the emblem of the gambling world when the citizens of the neighbouring city of Mainz are banned from playing card games.
The world of gambling blossoms. The Casino moves into the new main Kurhaus hall, the “Kursaal”. This is followed by the new construction of the actual gambling room.
The leaseholder Chabert receives the gambling monopoly of Nassau, which contains the casinos of Wiesbaden, Bad Ems, Schlangenbad and Langenschwalbach.
The end for the Casino! Gambling is stopped for a short time during the Revolution. Nevertheless, seven years later a stock corporation was formed from the casinos of Wiesbaden and Bad Ems.
A historic year for world literature and Wiesbaden Casino: Fjodor Dostoyevsky loses 3000 gold roubles in one fell swoop and then dictates his famous autobiographical novel “The Gambler” in a record time of 26 days due to his financial straits.
The new Kurhaus is opened. Its construction was funded by Emperor Wilhelm II in order to enrich Wiesbaden’s popular architecture. The Kurhaus was partially destroyed during the Second World War.
Casinos are initially banned by the government of the North German Confederation. Gambling in Wiesbaden is suspended at the end of 1872. The doors of Wiesbaden Casino also remain closed after the First World War. In 1933, Wiesbaden does indeed meet all of the legal requirements but only the town of Baden-Baden is granted a casino.
The Casino is allowed to reopen for gambling in the foyer of the Theatre. Another attempt within the German Federal Parliament to ban casinos fails in 1952.
After nearly thirty years in the Christian-Zais Hall and following comprehensive reconstruction and renovation work, the Casino moves to its current home in the Wine Hall and the “Wintergarten” conservatory.
The “Residenzverbot” (Residence Ban), which prohibited citizens of the city of Wiesbaden from visiting the Casino or gambling, is lifted.
- The city of Wiesbaden grants the casino experts Wilfried Achterfeld and John Jahr and the restaurateurs Roland Kuffler and Gerd Käfer a licence to operate the casino. Since then, over 6 million guests from Germany and abroad have visited Wiesbaden Casino.
- On 13th May, 2000 guests accept their invitations to come and celebrate the opening of Käfer’S Bistro. These guests include Hans-Jürgen Bäumler, Claus-Theo Gärtner, Uschi Glas, Rainer Hunold, Marika Kilius, Dieter Kürten, Dunja Rajter, Rill Ramsey, Heinz Schenk, Ilse Werner and many other celebrities.
On 11th December, the sparkling wine producer Henkell & Söhnlein provide the Casino with the legendary “Dostoyevsky Roulette Wheel” on permanent loan.
- A new premiere takes place in the Casino, namely the presentation of the first art exhibition to the public. The exhibitor is Kita Kittel, an artist from Frankfurt.
- On 15th September, the Casino Management introduces the Poker game “Seven Card Stud” and is one of the first German casinos to do so. The German-language Poker rules that were developed in Wiesbaden, including those for the “Texas Hold’em” and “Omaha” variants, are now used for Poker games in all German-speaking countries. Incidentally, many gamblers nowadays still consider Wiesbaden to be the Poker capital of Germany.
- The first female dealers are employed as student temps.
- On the Feast of Corpus Christi (one of the few days on which the Casino is closed), the famous director Dieter Wedel films scenes for his production “Der Schattenmann” in the Casino. The film involves the major actors Mario Adorf, Stefan Kurt, Heinz Hoenig, Christine Reinhart and Heiner Lauterbach.
- On 29th October, the preliminary round of the 2nd German Poker Championship takes place at the Casino.
- On 10th February, a bronze bust depicting the famous Russian author Fjodor Dostoyevsky and made by the prominent artist Gabriel Glikman is officially unveiled by Achim Exner, the Mayor of Wiesbaden, at the Casino.
- The slot machine area is elaborately redesigned during the summer.
- On 14th February, Wiesbaden Casino celebrates its 225th Birthday with 225 invited guests including the unforgotten Hans Joachim Kulenkampff, who reads from the works of Tucholsky. As part of the celebrations, the Casino donates the aforementioned Dostoyevsky bust to the city and it has stood in the “Nizzaplätzchen” area of the Kurpark (Spa Park) ever since.
- Another premiere takes place in the Casino: The first concert in the large Roulette Hall is presented to the public. This tradition in the “most attractive concert hall in Europe” has been maintained up to the present day and is an extremely popular event.
- The Casino commissions the city councillor Erhard Niedenthal to write the book “225 Years of Wiesbaden Casino”, a fascinating chronicle of the Casino and the city from 1771 to 1996.
The Casino introduces the “Roulite” variant of roulette, which it developed itself and which is protected as a registered design.
In November, a guest from Frankfurt wins around 1.1 million DM at the gambling tables.
- On 29th October, the Casino celebrates “50 Years Since Reopening after the War” with 200 guests. This is also a wonderful occasion for the Casino to present its new logo.
- In November, the Casino is the first of the around 300 European casinos to present the new Euro chips.
- The Casino is probably the first casino in the world and definitely the first of the around 50 German casinos to be certified for its gambling tables and slot machines in accordance with the DIN EN ISO 9002 standard.
- 20th February is a dark day for the Casino. A businessman from Frankfurt wins 550,000 DM in one single game of Roulette after placing everything on the “8”. On the previous day he had already left the casino with a prize of 200,000 DM.
- The Kurhaus catering services and Wiesbaden Casino celebrate having held a licence in Wiesbaden for 10 years.
- On 2nd March the Casino introduces its next world first: the “Wiesbaden Bonus Number”. When, for example, a gambler correctly bets on a full number, the Bonus Number, a revolutionary invention by the Head of Gaming Gerhard Schmulder, means that they do not just win 35 times the bet that they placed, but could make a profit of up to 175 times this, without place an extra bet.
- In July the Casino enables a former forced labourer to revisit her history. The Casino Management invites the 75-year-old woman from the Ukraine to come to Wiesbaden, the capital city of the German Land of Hesse, for a weekend.
The highest jackpot in Germany is cracked on 19th December. A guest wins over 675,000 Euros on a slot machine.
- On 1st April, the Casino begins to also offer an online Roulette game. Initially, interested players can try their luck under the motto of “Fun Game – Fun Money – Just 4 Fun” at www.spielbank-wiesbaden.de.
- Another first: A Roulette table with touch-bet stations is installed in the table games area.
- In October, the Casino goes deep into the red. A guest wins over 300,000 Euros in a game of Blackjack.
- In May, the Casino expands its management level. From this point on, Klaus Gülker and Thomas von Stenglin will work together to manage the fortune of the Casino.
- On 16th July, Hesse’s Minister of the Interior Volker Bouffier rolls the first ball in the German premiere of Wiesbaden Online Roulette. The Casino is the only casino in Germany offering regular and licensed online gambling.
- In August, a sheikh from Kuwait wins an unbelievable amount of €1.5 million at the Roulette table.
- In December, a guest cracks the keno jackpot, winning the inconceivable prize amount of 514,811 Euros.
- In April, the Casino Management increases the Blackjack maximum. From this moment onwards, bets of up to 10,000 Euros per box will be accepted.
- The Casino starts its Sunday Blackjack Tournaments in October.
- In November, the Casino goes deep into the red. Guests from the Middle East clean up at the Roulette table and win over 400,000 Euros.
- In January, the Casino extends its range of Poker tournaments. From this moment on, 60 places will be available to guests at each tournament. The tournaments now take place on as many as four days a week.
- From the "Golden 13" to the "Queen of Ohio" – In March, the Casino throws a lavish anniversary party to celebrate its 25-year anniversary.
- The Casino introduces the new Joker Jack variant of Blackjack, with which guests can occasionally win double of the normal amount, without having to place an extra bet.
- In March, the Casino introduces the so-called “PokerPro Tables” into its slot machine area. These completely electronic machines can now also be used for ‘live’ games of Poker. Due to the constantly increasing demand for traditional Poker, a fifth tournament day per week is introduced.
- On 9th April, a regular guest cracks a slot machine jackpot, winning 261,055 Euros.
- On 14th May, the Kurhaus celebrates its 100th Birthday. The Casino donates a book and offers its guests free entrances.
- A Blackjack player wins the phenomenal amount of 700,000 Euros in one evening. A dark day for the Casino.
- The German Non-Smoking Act comes into force on 1st October and hits the Casino hard.
- The Casino has to suspend its successful online game on 31st December due to the new German State Treaty on Gambling.
- The new German State Treaty on Gambling comes into force on 1st January. This very much brings gambler protection to the forefront and, alongside the banning of online gambling, also stipulates that casinos have to have a front desk in slot machine areas and prescribes drastic limitations where advertising is concerned. The Casino suffers further heavy losses.
- The Casino introduces the new “TWINS” variant of Blackjack. When guests place an additional bet in this game, they can win up to 200 times this amount.
- The Kurhaus jackpot is cracked on 19th August. The amount won: nearly 160,000 Euros.
- The PokerPro Tables in the slot machine area are upgraded. The Bad Beat Jackpot, an absolute novelty, enables guests to win handsome additional prizes without having to place an extra bet.
In May, the existing operating company of the city of Wiesbaden and the German Land of Hesse are granted a licence for another 10 years, namely until the end of 2020.
In the course of the licensing process, the operators undertake to make investments that will be successively implemented.