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Switzerland – ACE SWISS Group applies for a casino licence in St. Gallen

By - 4 November 2022

The ACE SWISS Group is applying for a licence to operate a casino in the Shopping Arena in St. Gallen. It has submitted the application documents for an A licence to the Swiss Federal Gaming Commission (SFBC).

An ADMIRAL Casino is to be opened at the St. Gallen location from 2025. ACE SWISS Holding AG has been firmly anchored in Switzerland for 20 years.

ACE SWISS Holding AG has been operating successfully in Switzerland for many years in Mendrisio and the minority shareholdings in the casinos in Locarno, Bad Ragaz, Interlaken and Baden (together the ACE SWISS Group). The Group is now applying for an A licence for the operation of a casino at the “Shopping Arena” location in St. Gallen. The rental agreement is signed.

As a long-standing market player in Switzerland, the Group operates Mendrisio, one of the largest and most successful casinos in the country. Birgit Wimmer, Chairwoman of the Board of Directors of ACE SWISS Holding AG, says: “We are very committed to Switzerland; we make a significant contribution to the national economy, and we are therefore strongly connected to local companies and our long-standing employees. Together, we ensure high-quality service as well as innovative and sustainable play on site.” A new ADMIRAL Casino could thus be opened in St. Gallen from 2025. The licence application was submitted to the Swiss Federal Gaming Commission (SFBC) on time.

St. Gallen is already an established casino location with a catchment area of more than 400,000 inhabitants. Dominik Racic, Member of the Executive Board of ACE SWISS Holding AG, says: “With Casino ADMIRAL, we can create great and diverse added value for St. Gallen for the region and its inhabitants. With the Shopping Arena, we want to tap into the existing market potential in the best possible way.”

The Shopping Arena St. Gallen, the largest shopping centre in Eastern Switzerland, is located on the main traffic axis, with direct access to the A1 motorway. With around 1,100 parking spaces (including over 50 electric parking spaces) and in the immediate vicinity of bus and train stops, the location is optimally accessible. The international shopping offer as well as numerous restaurants and hotels in the immediate vicinity and the adjacent football stadium of FC St. Gallen offer a very attractive environment.

The project complements the existing shopping and entertainment offer with a modern casino games offering. This would further increase the attractiveness of the shopping arena on a spacious area with over 300 of the latest machines, 17 gaming tables and regular poker tournaments. In addition, the casino will employ about 120 full-time employees, mainly from the region.

The high economic benefits of casinos and how many attractive jobs they create and secure are exemplified by the existing ADMIRAL Casino in Mendrisio. Over the past 20 years, the site has paid over CHF800m in gaming levies. He has paid about 45 million in profit taxes as well as about 370 million in salaries. Executive Board member Racic says: “We are very proud of our long-standing employees, who ensure quality, safety and our mutual success on site. We would now like to expand this commitment in St. Gallen.”

The ACE SWISS Group wants to be an entrepreneurial role model and live up to its social responsibility. At each of its locations, it strives to support regional and local organisations and institutions in the region, for example in the fields of culture, social affairs, tourism and sport. Wimmer says: “Our entrepreneurial activities and our success oblige us. We like to take responsibility and want to create added value for society and thus contribute to the well-being of all.” The location in Mendrisio shows what this means in concrete terms: During the current concession period since 2002, the ACE SWISS Group has so far paid around 85 million Swiss francs in sponsorship and contributions in the region. In addition, the topic of sustainability is of particular concern to our Group. “We recently founded the company ACE Green Energy AG within the Swiss group, which will initially operate solar systems at the Mendrisio site and thus supply the ADMIRAL Casino Mendrisio and third parties with sustainable energy.”

ACE SWISS Holding AG invests heavily in order to offer visitors a range of games with state-of-the-art technology in an appealing and high-quality setting. Wimmer, Chairman of the Board of Directors, says: “We would be delighted to be able to open a first-class casino with state-of-the-art technology in a safe and attractive environment in St. Gallen from 2025. Our standards are very high and we place very high demands on player protection and security.”

The new casino in St. Gallen would open its doors for the first time at the beginning of 2025 if a concession is awarded. The Federal Council’s and non-appealable decision on the casino concessions is expected in autumn 2023.

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