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Let The Fun Begin

Glyn Thomas attended the recent opening of the impressive Olympic Entertainment Casino Tallinn

Interview with Arman Karu Chairman of the Board at Olympic Entertainment Group and Madis Jaager  CEO at Olympic Entertainment Group

Casino Life was the only trade media who attended the opening--thank you for inviting us. We saw a varied mix of people at the opening party. What customers are being targeted?

AK: It is certainly an absolutely new level in the Baltics’ hotel and casino scenery. The managers of Hilton Worldwide have already called this their most gorgeous hotel. Thus I believe that there will be a lot of business travellers among hotel customers, but also a great deal of tourists who expect high quality in all aspects of their travel. We are also expecting an increase in the number of casino tourists – especially from the Nordic countries and the region of St Petersburg.

MJ: And then there’s also poker… our last vastly popular festival Kings of Tallinn did not fit into the old venue anymore – all the tournaments were sold out and, at times, queues for cash games were a few hours long. Now the problem has been solved and the new hotel and casino complex is prepared to host any major festival at European level. We shall not be short of experience as well because, within years, Tallinn has hosted both the European Poker Tour, Unibet Open as well as other major tournaments.

The casino is a major part of the overall entertainment and lifestyle mix offered by Hilton Tallinn Park.

AK: Yes, certainly. For the first time in OEG’s history of over 20 years we have been able to plan the entire building from scratch in a way as we believe that the synergy between a casino and a hotel is best presented considering the Northern European context.

Hilton Tallinn Park is the first property Olympic Entertainment to have partnered with the organisation. Do you foresee other such opportunities in the future?

MJ: Yes, of course. However – we have been cooperating with international hotel chains already for years. Our flagship casino in Warsaw is located in the same building as the Hilton there and the flagships in Latvia, Lithuania and Slovakia are located in the hotels of Radisson Blue chain in each country’s capital city. The most glamorous casino of Malta, the most recent country on the so-called Olympic map, was established in cooperation with the Eden Group, the top performer of the tourism business in the area, and it is located in the same complex as the Intercontinental hotel.

AK: I’m convinced that tourism – both business as well as holiday travellers – and high-quality casino entertainment is a very natural and strong combination. This has been proven also by our experience from all other countries. If possible, we shall certainly continue the same way also in the future.

What elements of Hilton Tallinn Park Casino are consistent with other Olympic Entertainment properties?

MJ: The main elements of Olympic Park Casino are all the same as those of our flagship casinos in other countries. We now have a larger stage than before, a spacious lounge-bar for live performances, gaming tables, more than a hundred of the most modern slot machines and a spacious area for poker, in addition also our largest and the most luxurious VIP area.

How pleased have you been with the partnership with the Hilton Tallinn Park as it is an impressive building.

AK: It is certainly a great opportunity and I am sure that this partnership will benefit both Hilton as well as Olympic. We have been in the same complex with Hilton Worldwide chain in Warsaw, the capital city of Poland, for years and it has been a very successful cooperation.

Who were amongst the VIP guests?

AK: The Opening Gala and the festive opening ceremony was honored by the presence of Toomas Hendrik Ilves, the President of the Republic of Estonia and Patricia Page-Champion, Hilton Worldwide’s Senior Vice President & Commercial Director for Europe, Middle East and Africa. Altogether the opening festivities were attended by a thousand guests, our friends and cooperation partners from London to Vegas, tens of celebrities from neighbouring countries and of course the celebrities from Estonia – ministers, MPs, entrepreneurs, and many others. In addition, approximately fifty journalists from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, the Nordic countries and from elsewhere joined us for the events.

Can you outline some of the world-class features? How many and what type of rooms does the hotel have?

MJ: The Baltic’s first Hilton, the 12-storey Hilton Tallinn Park, has 202 rooms including 27 suites. It includes a Presidential Suite and also a special suite named in the memory of beloved and widely known Estonian conductor Eri Klas. The hotel features a spa with a swimming pool, a fitness centre, a restaurant with an outdoor terrace, a bar and a café. The hotel’s modern conference centre that has capacity to host 800 guests has 10 meeting rooms including one of the largest ballrooms of the city. The hotel also has a business lounge on its top floor.

What manufacturers have been your first choice for Slot Machines and Electronic Roulettes with the new Casino

MJ: Being clearly the market leader in our home territories we have the privilege of introducing and trying new products introduced to the market by industry leaders. Typically, our portfolio consists of high-end producers, which also perform well in the region like IGT, WMS, Novomatic, Aristocrat, EGT and Bally.

What impresses you personally most about this new impressive world class casino?

AK: I think that this is something everyone must come and experience for themselves. I am even willing to bet that our all time best casino is worth a separate trip to Estonia as it definitely stands out from the rest with its unique design, high quality entertainment, smiling service, and a wide range of games for every taste. www.olympic-casino.com