Switzerland federal council grants all casinos new licences from 2025

The federal council in Switzerland has made the decision to grant all casinos a fresh licence from 2025.

The announcement was made following the Switzerland casino industry’s delegate meeting on Wednesday (22 May). With current licences lasting until the end of 2024, the new agreements will be granted for 20 years and start from next year.

New casinos were approved in Prilly and Winterthur, with the latter replacing the current venue in Schaffhausen after no licence application was submitted.

Gerhard Pfister, Swiss Casino Association president, believes the new licences mark a landstone moment in Switzerland’s gambling history.

“The granting of the new concessions is a milestone,” Pfister said. “The federal government has recognised that today’s casinos ensure safe and responsible operations and generate great economic benefits in their region.”

All Switzerland casinos now members of association

Additionally, the Swiss Casino Group venues in Zurich, Schaffhausen, St Gallen and Pfäffikon have all joined the Swiss Casino Association following a unanimous agreement. Winterthur will submit a membership application to the Swiss Casino Association after it opens.

It means that all of the 21 land-based and 10 online casinos are now members of the Swiss Casino Association.

Pfister feels the enhanced collaboration of all Swiss casinos being part of the association will prove beneficial for the industry.

“I’m pleased that Swiss Casinos has joined the association and with it the entire casino industry with one voice can speak,” Pfister said.

Swiss Casinos board member Marc Baumann 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.”

Land-based GGR decreasing but online on the up

Over 2023, Switzerland saw a slight decline in revenue from its land-based venues, although online casinos showed significant year-on-year growth.

Last year, land-based venues generated CHF623m (£536m/€629m/$681.2m) in gross gaming revenue (GGR). That was down 1.1% on the year prior.

However, the 10 online casinos accumulated CHF286m in GGR, a 14.3% year-on-year increase. The Swiss Casino Association noted that the change in popularity from land-based to online offerings matches other industries aside from gambling.

Casinos also paid 3% more year-on-year in tax, with the state receiving CHF409.3m in contributions over 2023. Swiss casinos have contributed over CHF8bn in taxes over the last 20 years. The majority of that total has gone towards the country’s AHV pension system.

Switzerland lottery reports record profit

Earlier this week, the Loterie Romande public lottery in Switzerland posted an increased net profit of CHF5.1m for 2023. The lottery will also pay out a record CHF243.7m to good causes.

This was despite Loterie Romande’s GGR dropping 3.4% to CHF420.7m in 2023. The year 2022 saw the lottery post record GGR of CHF435.5m.

Loterie Romande chairman Jean-René Fournier attributed the rise in profit to reductions in marketing and administrative costs.

“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 said.

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