In order to operate in Switzerland, casino Lugano and casino du Lac Meyrin are expecting the approval of ESBK – the Swiss gambling regulator.
Casino Lugano and Casino du Lac Meyrin on the Starting Line
Two new online casinos – Casino Lugano and Casino du Lac Meyrin – are expected to join the online gambling market in Switzerland. The new entrants were given a go-ahead by Bundesrat, the Switzerland National Council.
Yet, before they can proceed and roll out their products, casinos’ online operations are subject to approval by ESBK (Eidgenössische Spielbankenkommission). ESBK is the country’s federal gambling regulator in charge of the entire industry.
Once the two new casinos receive ESBK approval, they will become the country’s 6th and 7th operators respectively to hold and offer online gambling products. Casino Lugano is operated by Casinos International which is currently a part of Sazka Group.
The French operator Groupe Partouche is steering the other casino- Casino du Lac. Last week, Casino du Lac signed a content deal with iSoftBet, and back in January, Casino du Lac inked a partnership with Evolution Gaming.
Swiss Operators Need the Revenue from Land-Based Venues
This week, Switzerland’s Federal Council announced plans for reducing the current anti-COVID-19 measures. From May 11 onwards, the Federal Council proposes to allow services and businesses such as markets, restaurants, shops, libraries, and museums to operate.
They do have to comply with the country’s social distancing and hygiene regulations. The latest announcement, however, did not specify if casinos would be allowed to operate.
Operators with closed physical operations reported that online casinos have helped them survive the lockdown. Online revenue hasn’t caught up land-based numbers, however. According to operators, online players are different from those who visit land-based casinos.
Strict Online Gambling Rules in Switzerland Since 2019
Casino Lugano and Casino du Lac Meyrin are still anticipating ESBK approval. Last year, the Swiss government voted on and approved one of Europe’s toughest gambling laws. As of July 1 last year, the federal commissions in charge of gambling and lotteries published a blacklist of web sites that were blocked in the country.
That effectively allowed only operators that are approved and certified by Switzerland to offer online gambling products to residents. The law, as strict as it is, allows Switzerland to collect tax revenues from online gambling activities and fund anti-addiction campaigns as well as the country’s pension funds.
Recently, ESBK and Comlot (Inter-Cantonal Lotteries and Betting Commission) have announced an updated blacklist operators that cannot offer online gambling in Switzerland.