New Swiss Mission: Catch iGaming Up After General Gambling Industry ReboundPublished July 8, 2017 by Lee R
With new growth, the lucrative Swiss market regulation is in need of a rapid revamp.
In the competitive and relatively wide open European gaming market, an encouraged Swiss government has announced Swiss brick and mortar casinos have reported growth for the first time in years, and people are wondering what that means for the iGaming sector.
After nearly a decade of annual decline, figures released by the Swiss Federation of Casinos Numbers indicate gross profits of $711m USD in 2016 for Switzerland’s 21 licensed brick-and-mortar gaming venues, representing a year on year jump of 1.2% from 2015.
As far as individual performance, twelve of the Swiss casinos posted year-on-year gains last year, with the other nine showing slight declines.
Causes for Decline
The general declines in recent years has been attributed to a myriad of factors at brick-and-mortar casinos, ranging from a smoking ban; to the strong Swiss currency deterring cross-border gambling; to the expansion of unauthorised online operators to face Swiss players; to most of all competition from online gambling activity.
The iGaming Impact
Online gambling operators are now positioning themselves for legal entry into Switzerland after Swiss politicians approved legislation allowing local casino operators to launch online gambling sites.
Early entrants look to be Stadtcasino AG, Switzerland’s third largest operator whose chairman informed shareholders that the company’s Grand Casino Baden was preparing online casino JackPots.ch online casino for prompt launch.
Historical Government Revenues
In the first growth since 2007, the government saw its share of casino revenue rise 3.2% to CHF 323m. This pales in comparison to the CHF 769m generated in 2004, the first year of legal casino gambling in Switzerland; and is still a one third drop from the market’s 2007 peak of CHF 1.02b, but positive gains is the first step to recovery and rapid iGaming activity integration.
Taking the Biggest Bite
International online gambling sites who serve Swiss punters have been bringing in estimated revenues of CHF 250m per year, which without effective blocking will continue to take similar totals out of the Swiss government revenues. Domain-blocking is expected later in the year.
Outlook in Switzerland
At this point, the rules governing ISP blocking of unauthorised gaming operators remains murky to most operators. A clear set of guidelines looks like the next key to iGaming integration and harnessing of revenues from the jurisdiction’s ongoing online activity for the Swiss government.