Betting in Hamburg

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The Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg is the second largest city in Germany after Berlin, with a population of just over 1.6 million. It arose as a member of the medieval Hanseatic League and a free imperial city of the Holy Roman Empire, later designated as a city-state under German reunification. As a hub for transportation, it has become one of the most affluent cities in all of Europe and ranks as a major tourist destination for both domestic and overseas visitors.

Culture thrives in Hamburg, as evidenced by some 40 local theatres, 60 museums and 100 music venues and clubs. The city is noted for its many festivals and regional cuisine, its famous St. Pauli harbour promenade dating back to 1909, and its nightlife area, the Reeperbahn, which is Europe’s largest red light district and home to strip clubs, brothels, bars, cabarets and nightclubs.

Smack in the centre of the entertainment zone is Das Casino Reeperbahn, an imposing four-storey building that houses 130 gaming machines, a bar and nine table games, including American Roulette, Blackjack and Poker. The casino’s operating hours are from 4pm to 4am daily, and there is an entrance fee of €1.00 charged to all visitors.

Reeperbahn is also home to one of four branches of Casino Merkur-Spielothek located in Hamburg. Casino Merkur-Spielothek is a division of the Gauselmann Group, which is headquartered in East Westphalia. It was founded by Paul Gauselmann in 1957 to refurbish used U.S. jukeboxes, and by 1976 the family-owned company had begun manufacturing its own slot machines.

Today, Casino Merkur-Spielothek properties make machine gaming available all around Hamburg. The Reeperbahn location is open 23 hours a day from 6am to 5am, as are the two venues on Kieler Straße and Papenreye to the east. The Casino Merkur-Spielothek Hamburg-EZK is situated inside the EKZ Hamburger Meile shopping mall at the corner of Hamburger Straße and Adolph-Schönfelder-Straße, open from 6am till 3am daily.

One of the largest gaming establishments in Hamburg is the Casino Esplanade inside the former Hotel Inter-Continental on Stephansplatz. It features a 9,000-square-foot gaming space with 160 gaming machines and 19 table games, available daily from noon to 4am. It is a sister casino to Das Casino Reeperbahn, operated by Spielbank Hamburg.

In fact, Spielbank Hamburg also manages three other gambling venues around Hamburg, all with a focus on machine gaming. The Automatenspiel Mundsburg on Hamburger Strasse offers 73 units daily from 1pm to 1am; the Automatenspiel Steindamm has 60 gaming machines inside the Hotel Graf Moltke open from 10am till midnight; and the Automatenspiel Wandsbek on Wandsbeker Marktstraße offers 68 units in operation from 10am to 7pm, except Sundays and holidays.

One other stand-alone casino of note is Vulkan Stern – Hamburg. The venue on Sander Damm is representative, open 23 hours a day with 24 gaming machines, billiards tables and a snack bar. It is actually just one of more than two dozen Vulkan Stern locations that dot Hamburg, so-called “Automatencasino” that resemble garish neighbourhood game arcades for adults aged 18 and older. Several can be found along Reeperbahn, in the St. Pauli area and on Saseler Chaussee, northeast past the airport.

AIDA Cruises operates two casino cruise ships out of Hamburg—the AIDA Blu and the AIDA Mar. They ply the waters of the Elbe River, offering gaming space on board for 45 gaming machines and five table games, plus dining and bar facilities.

One other attraction for gamblers in the Hamburg area is the Hamburg Racecourse on Rennbahnstraße. The turf track for thoroughbreds hosts the annual Deutsches Derby (German Derby) as well as a full season of flat racing fixtures. Wagering at the track is available through the German Tote.

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