Swiss Casino Operators Submit Applications For iGaming Licensing

Swiss Casino Operators Submit Applications For iGaming Licensing April 29, 2019 April 29, 2019 Carolyn Dutton
 Industry April 29, 2019 by Carolyn Dutton

Casino operators in Switzerland have started the process of applying for iGaming licenses to be able to offer legalized table games and online slots to the Swiss market.  

Four land-based operators, namely: Grand Casino Davos, Grand Casino Lucerne, Grand Casino Baden and Casino Zurichsee have submitted their respective applications with the Federal Gaming Board (ESBK). Local media also reported that Grand Casino Kursaal Bern had sent in its application back in February for itself and an unidentified partner. However, the paperwork is yet to be fully completed.   

The new iGaming laws in Switzerland were approved last year and have come into effect from 2019. The licensing process will ensure that all iGaming operators in Switzerland will fully comply with gaming regulations and be held accountable by the gambling watchdog in the country.

It is expected that the Federal Council will also review these applications as they are seen as the key decision maker in the process.  If these applications are green-lighted, the Federal Gaming Board will be mandated to check the games to be offered to ensure that the standards of the gaming industry are met.

Swiss gaming regulations requires that these casinos must have their online offerings certified technically and that they must partner with technology firms that have attained ‘good reputation‘. The good reputation basically means that iGaming operators cannot partner with tech firms who have served Swiss players in the last five years without obtaining prior permission.

The applicants have already taken steps to sign agreements with the technology companies. Grand Casino Davos has teamed up with the Ardent Group from Belgium and will operate under its Casino777 name.  Casino Zurichsee will partner with Playtech, while Grand Casino Baden, owned by Stadtcasino Baden Group will migrate its current site into a new real-money gaming setup.

Unlicensed Operators Get Blocked From July 1

Swiss internet service providers are mandated to block access to all offshore gambling operators from July 1. This move will significantly limit the reach of these unlicensed operators who have for many years had a free hand in offering online gambling services to the Swiss market.

Some offshore operators are not very happy with the sudden change in gaming laws and question the effectiveness as offshore operators usually find a way to get around ISP block tactics and often use new domain names to continue to offer their services.  

Carolyn is our legislation expert, with a background in law she is able to cover the current state of gambling around the world