Casino operators in Switzerland have started filing their applications to get new gambling licenses. Obtaining the permit will allow them to offer table games and online slots to their users starting this summer.
Swiss Media recently reported that the Federal Gaming Board (ESBK) has already received four online casino license applications. The applications were from Grand Casino Davos, Grand Casino Baden, Casino Zurichsee and Grand Casino Lucerne. In February this year, media also reported that Grand Casino Kursaal Bern filed for an online casino license. The company did so behalf of itself an unnamed large technology partner. However, latest reports suggest that the casino and its Neuchatel based sister operation haven’t submitted their paperwork yet. It is likely that they will wait until the launch of the four casinos before making a move.
The country’s new gambling law was approved by a national referendum in 2018. It proposed for technical certification of online games. It also asked for a good reputation of the technology partners of these companies. No technology partners should have operated within the Swiss borders without local permission in the past five years.
Keeping new rules in mind, the four casinos are busy in striking new deals with international technology partners. Casino Zurichsee operator Swiss Casinos has already partnered with Playtech, a UK-listed tech provider. Casino Davos, on the other hand, is teaming up with the Ardent Group from Germany.
The Stadcasino Baden Group, which owns the Grand Casino Baden and a 47% stake in Casino Davos is planning to transition its business completely. Its freeplay gaming site Jackpots.ch will now turn into a real-money gaming operation. The site had 12k registered users by the end of 2018 and was using Ardent’s B2B division Gaming1. In February, Stadcasino got 50% stake in the platform. It is planning to work with game developer Gamanza Group to ensure that Casino Davos, on the other hand, will now work under the Casino777 brand by Ardent.
On July 1, all local internet service providers will start blocking the domains of international operators serving Swiss customers. The ISPs have vehemently opposed the requirements, claiming it will be cost-prohibitive and ineffective too. Local online operators will be given a six-year window to create a stronger presence in the market before the authorities allow international operators in the market.