A few months after the implementation of the new law regulating the cash games business in Switzerland, the country is getting ready to welcome its first online casinos. With the first group of licences in place, everything is ready for the launch from next July.
The legal Swiss online casinos will allow Swiss residents play legally. The Federal Commission for Casinos in Switzerland grants licences to the interested casinos.
4 land based Swiss casinos should have legal gaming licences
Out of the 21 land based casinos operating legally in the Swiss market, only six have undertaken the necessary steps to launch an online platform. At the moment, four of these are on the way to receiving licences: the Grand Casino Baden (Argovie), the Davos Casino (Grisons), the Grand Casino Lucerne and the Pfaffikon Casino (Zurich). The first two are operated by Stadtcasino Baden- Gruppe, the Kursaal-Casino AG Luzern runs the Grand Casino Lucerne while the Swiss Casinos Gruppe manages the last of these casinos.
Over the first stage
In place since the beginning of the year, there has been significant advancement in the procedure. The Federal Commission for Casinos in Switzerland (CFJM) , the organisation in charge of regulating the local cash games market, is said to have given its agreement in principle to the acceptance of these four applications. So the operators who have applied have completed the first step in the process.
The next step is validation by the Federal Cuncil which should rule between now and the end of June. But before then, the candidates need to certify all the games that they wish to offer on their respective platforms, conforming to the new law. Once they obtain the Federal Council’s validation, the casinos can launch their online casinos that will be open to players resident in Switzerland.
Two casinos waiting
For the moment, the Bern and Neuchatel casinos, which also applied for a licence, haven’t reached the first stage. According to official information, the applications from these two casinos that belong to the same group, have been refused as certain formal and judicial aspects need to be improved. It’s not likely that they will be part of the group holding the first online casino licences in the country.
The new law regulating the cash gaming sector in Switzerland since the 1st of January last, was voted on in a referendum held on the 10th of June 2018 and 72.9% voted in favour. Its passing now limits the offer of online casino games exclusively to Swiss operators who own a land based casino operating legally in Switzerland.
From the 1st of July 2019, the launch of the first legal online casinos in Switzerland should coincide with the implementation of restrictive measures against foreign online casinos, which are still offering up to that date, their services to Swiss players. From that date onwards, access to these platforms will be blocked for Swiss players.