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Switzerland – Swiss Casinos lands new licence in Winterthur

By - 30 November 2023

The Federal Council has granted Swiss Casinos four casinos licences for the three existing locations in Zurich, St. Gallen, Pfäffikon (with online) as well as an entirely new licence for Winterthur. The licences will run from 2025 to 2044.

The Swiss operator was unable to convince the Federal Council with its application for a concession in Oftringen. The company did not applied for a licence for Casino Schaffhausen. The employees have received job offers from Swiss Casinos in Winterthur or within the Swiss Casinos Group. Casino Schaffhausen will close operations at the end of 2024.

It said however: “We are extremely pleased about the trust placed in our company by the federal government and see this decision as a positive assessment of our management over the past twenty years. We were aware from the outset that the concession application in Oftringen was a particular challenge.”

The Swiss Federal Gaming Commission (SFBC) had previously prepared a report for the attention of the Federal Council, in which it requested that Switzerland be divided into 23 zones. The Federal Council had approved this procedure, but reserved the right to deviate from the fundamental decisions in the granting of a licence in exceptional cases and in justified cases, provided that market conditions permit it and the objectives of the Gambling Act can nevertheless be achieved. This message encouraged us to apply for a concession in Oftringen. Oftringen is located in the Basel area, where there is already a successful casino. We judged a casino in Oftringen to be a welcome addition to the nightlife offer for the growing Mittelland and the municipality of Oftringen. The Federal Council did not change the specified zones and thus rejected the licence application. We regret this, but we can well understand the Federal Council’s decision.

The planned casino in the listed hall in the Lokstadt supports the city of Winterthur in preserving its traditional industrial history. The combination of modern entertainment and industrial tradition will make Casino Winterthur a beacon for the entire region.

In the St. Gallen zone, the Federal Council had to decide between Swiss Casinos’ existing casino and a competition application from ACE Holding.

“We are relieved that the Federal Council has acknowledged our experience, our integration in the region and our careful management and has given preference to our application,” it explained.

“In Pfäffikon SZ, we will open the casino at the new location halten and offer an attractive nightlife offer for the region. Casino Pfäffikon also includes the online casino (swisscasinos.ch), which has established itself as a very successful online casino. And last but not least, we can further anchor our flagship, the Casino in Zurich, in the city and region of Zurich. Casino Zurich offers a large and regularly changing range of games and is an important player in the city’s nightlife offerings.”

The concessions will be valid for a further twenty years from 1 January 2025.

Hans Ulrich Rihs said : “This decision shows us that the Federal Council has great confidence in the Swiss Casinos Group, for which we would like to express our gratitude.”

Marc Baumann added: “We are extremely pleased that the Federal Council has recognised our many years of experience and commitment with this decision. However, we also regret that we were not able to convince him with our considerations for the Oftringen site. We would like to take this opportunity to thank our guests for their many years of loyalty, our employees for their daily commitment and the authorities for their open and supportive cooperation.

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