In Switzerland, Swiss National Council Bundesrat has approved iGaming licence applications from four of the country's land-based casinos.
Grand Casino Baden, Casino Davos, Grand Casino Luzern and Casino Zürichsee were the four receiving approval for licences they applied for last year to extend gaming services online in Switzerland.
The licences are the first issued after a national referendum ratified iGaming laws passed by Swiss lawmakers in June of 2018.
The applications were initially approved by Swiss gambling regulator Eidgenössische Spielbankenkommission (ESBK), with the Swiss National Council's permission providing the second approval necessary to award licences, with ESBK having committed to distributing all permits by June's end.
The New Blocks
Switzerland's Gambling Act was approved by 73% of voters in last June's national referendum, with the new legislation taking effect in January 2019. However, unlicensed sites will not be blocked until next month.
As the sole applicants, the four new licence holders will be permitted to offer games of chance such poker and roulette, with but face strict measures on maximum sums for poker tournaments, small lotteries and raffles.
As for licencing fees, small poker tournaments are subject to a maximum single entry fee of CHF200 (£159/€179/$203), with total entry fee limits to be set at CHF20,000. Lotteries and raffle limits will be determined by lottery size.
The most notable new entry into the Swiss market is Stars Group, which in March announced its intention of partnering with a Swiss casino after suspending its own casino operations and sports betting in Switzerland.
Another impending partnership of note includes Swiss Casinos and Playtech in a new online venture.
More ventures of note include the online launch of Grand Casino Baden in Switzerland under its long-time free play Jackpots.ch brand; the Davos venue's deal with Belgium’s Ardent Group to operate under Ardent's Casino777 brand; the Pfäffikon venue's new deal with Playtech; and the Lucerne casino's operation in Switzerland will under its mycasino brand.
While the hurdles are still to be worked out, the new opportunities visible popping up in Switzerland should be a selling point for further applicants.