The Principality of Liechtenstein has said ‘no’ to a potential ban on casinos with over 70 per cent of voters rejecting the proposal at this weekend’s referendum.
With six casinos currently operating in Liechtenstein, a country with just 40,000 inhabitants, the constitutional initiative ‘Casino ban’ was launched. It proposed a complete ban on casinos with existing casinos allowed a maximum period of five years to cease operations.
On Sunday, 10,383 (73.3 per cent) voted against the constitutional initiative, while only 3,779 (26.7 per cent) voted for the ban. Voter turnout was 70 percent.
The government had highlighted that a ban on casinos, just five years after the first opening, did not correspond to the Liechtenstein tradition of reliability and continuity. It made a ruling at the end of 2022, not to issue any new casino permits for a period until the end of 2025.
There has recently been an increase in casino taxation and an agreement with Switzerland to exchange data on self-exclusion lists.
The Casino Association said the result of the referendum was a ‘clear commitment to the casino location Liechtenstein,’ adding that it hoped that ‘the industry can now consolidate without further tightening of the law.’
For the year 2022, the government expects gambling tax of CHF 40m. For 2023, a further increase to CHF43m is expected.
Since the market launch five years ago, casinos have already seen 20 changes in laws and regulations.
Caption: Casino Schaanwald in Lichtenstein