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Gaming1 outlines plans for Switzerland after double casino licence success

| By Richard Mulligan
Gaming1 has outlined plans for changes at its two Swiss casinos after it was awarded new gaming concessions that will run until the mid-2040s.

Gaming1, via its Circus Casino France subsidiary, now has the right to operate the Casino de Davos and the Casino de Crans-Montana in Valais from 2025 to 2044.

The licences were awarded by Switzerland’s federal council. This was during a process where it selected licensees covering 22 regions for the two-decade period in late 2023.

The Belgian gaming group said the licence awards consolidate its position in Switzerland. It follows its entry into the market in Davos in 2017. It became that casino’s main shareholder in 2021 and did the same in Crans-Montana the following year.

Gaming1’s plans

After its position was secured, Gaming1 said it intends to move the Davos casino to a nearby facility in order to develop it further. It will also open a new sports bar at the location.

In Crans-Montana, Gaming1 plans to modernise and expand the casino with a sports bar, seminar rooms and a new restaurant area overlooking the lake and function rooms. Gaming1 also hopes to obtain an online licence.

Emmanuel Mewissen, chief executive of Gaming1, said: “I am delighted and proud that the Gaming1 group has been awarded these two new concessions for the Davos and Crans-Montana casinos.

“This news delights all our employees and confirms the quality of our management as part of our development strategy. We would like to thank the various authorities for the trust they have placed in us.”

Online casino licences increased in Switzerland

Valais was one of just four zones where more than one operator applied for an operating licence ahead of the federal council’s decision in November 2023. The tender process began in May 2022.

The federal council decided that existing casino operators in 17 zones, including Geneva, Montreux and Zurich zones, will continue operating their casinos beyond 2024. Swiss Casinos Winterthur AG was the only operator to apply for the licence in the newly created Winterthur zone.

The federal council awarded 10 type A and 12 type B licences. In casinos with a B licence, the maximum stake for slot machines is limited to CHF25. This restriction does not apply under type A licences.

Some 12 casinos have now been granted permission to offer casino games online. This is the highest number since the new Gambling Act came into force in 2019, with the addition of online offerings from the casinos in Locarno and St Moritz.

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