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Swiss Federal Council Sets New Casino License Regulations for 2025

Swiss Federal Council Sets New Casino License Regulations for 2025

In a landmark decision following the Switzerland casino industry’s delegate meeting on May 22, the Swiss Federal Council has unveiled new regulations for casino licenses, set to commence in January 2025. These licenses will be granted for 20 years, introducing new casinos and reinforcing industry standards.

New Casinos in Prilly and Winterthur

Switzerland-federal-council-grants-all-casinos-new-licenses-fromAs part of the new licensing framework, new casinos have been approved in Prilly and Winterthur. Notably, the Winterthur casino will replace the current venue in Schaffhausen, as no application was submitted for the latter location. This shift underscores the evolving landscape of Switzerland’s gambling industry.

Gerhard Pfister, President of the Swiss Casino Association, hailed the new licenses as a historic milestone for Switzerland’s gambling sector. “The granting of the new concessions is a milestone,” Pfister stated. “The federal government has recognised that today’s casinos ensure safe and responsible operations and generate great economic benefits in their region.”

Enhanced Industry Collaboration

The Swiss Casino Group venues in Zurich, Schaffhausen, St. Gallen, and Pfäffikon have unanimously joined the Swiss Casino Association. Winterthur will also submit a membership application once it opens. This development means that all 21 land-based and 10 online casinos in Switzerland are now members of the Swiss Casino Association.

Pfister emphasized the benefits of this unified collaboration, stating, “I’m pleased that Swiss Casinos has joined the association and with it the entire casino industry with one voice can speak.” Marc Baumann, a board member of Swiss Casinos, added, “The online business is changing the Swiss casino industry sustainably. We are happy to work together with the Swiss Casino Association to help shape the future.”

Revenue Trends: Land-Based vs. Online Casinos

In 2023, Switzerland’s land-based casinos experienced a slight decline in revenue, generating CHF 623 million in gross gaming revenue (GGR), down 1.1% from the previous year. Conversely, online casinos saw significant growth, accumulating CHF 286 million in GGR, a 14.3% year-on-year increase. This trend reflects a broader shift towards digital offerings in the gambling industry.

Casinos also saw a 3% increase in tax contributions, with the state receiving CHF 409.3 million in 2023. Over the past 20 years, Swiss casinos have contributed over CHF 8 billion in taxes, primarily benefiting the country’s AHV pension system.

Record Profits for Loterie Romande

In related news, the Loterie Romande public lottery reported a net profit increase to CHF 5.1 million for 2023. The lottery will distribute a record CHF 243.7 million to good causes, despite a 3.4% drop in gross gaming revenue to CHF 420.7 million.

Jean-René Fournier, Chairman of Loterie Romande, attributed the profit rise to stringent management of operating costs, enhanced digital offerings, and the introduction of the EuroDreams draw game. “This result can be attributed in particular to the rigorous management of operating costs, the strengthening of our digital offering, and – with the launch of the European draw game EuroDreams in October 2023 – the diversity of our product range,” Fournier explained.

The Swiss Federal Council’s new casino licensing regulations mark a significant evolution in the country’s gambling industry. With new casinos in Prilly and Winterthur and a reinforced industry collaboration through the Swiss Casino Association, the future of Swiss gambling looks robust and promising. As the sector shifts increasingly towards online gaming, these new regulations ensure a balanced approach to growth and responsible operations.

Source: “Switzerland federal council grants all casinos new licences from 2025”. May 24, 2024.