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Switzerland issues four online casino licences

Mon, Jun 10, 9:40am by Staff Writer

Switzerland has officially issued its first online gambling licences to four local casino operators and their online technology partners.

Calvin Ayre reports that Switzerland’s Federal Council rubber stamped their approval of four casinos’ online gambling permits.

The permits were previously approved by the Federal Gaming Commission ahead of the July 1 launch of the country’s regulated online market.

The four caisnos so honoured were the Grand Casino Baden and its sister venue Grand Casino Davos, as well as Grand Casino Lucerne and the Swiss Casinos group’s Pfaffikon venue.

Grand Casino Baden will launch online under its brand, which has for years operated as a free-play site.

The Davos venue has a deal with Belgium’s Ardent Group and will operate under that company’s Casino777 brand.

The Pfaffikon venue has a deal with Playtech while the Lucerne casino will operate under its own mycasino brand.

There are still some hurdles before these first four licences can launch their online operations, as the ESBK must certify the software of each operator’s respective online games.

Switzerland’s new gambling legislation technically took effect on January 1 but the country’s Internet service providers won’t start blocking internationally licenced gambling sites until July 1.

There are 21 licenced casinos in Switzerland, some of which are still awaiting their own licence approval, while others are taking a wait-and-see approach.

This latter strategy is folly, according to Grand Casino Baden chief financial offer Marcel Tobler, who told attendees at this week’s Gaming in Holland conference that operators who pass up this “once in a lifetime opportunity” would regret not staking out an early claim for the loyalties of Switzerland’s online gamblers.

Nevada governor passes new casino security plans

Bill 69, which was approved by the state Senate and Assembly recently, states that casinos must file updated emergency plans every year before November 1.

It also recommends a special task force to oversee security plans.

It also recommends finding new ways to fund an electronic system of tracking emergency plans.

These recommendations are intended to help support the Nevada Resort Planning Task Force, an agency that was created as a response to the Mandalay Bay shooting of 201 that saw 58 murdered during a concert.

At the time the task force was created, casinos had not had their security plans reviewed for five years.

If a casino does not file updated emergency plans on time, the task force may now report them to the Nevada Gaming Control Board, and possible incur fines, a suspension of their license, or lose their right to operate entirely.

The emergency plans must provide maps of the casino building and grounds, with descriptions of access routes and an evacuation plan.

Casinos also need to provide a list of employees responsible for maintain compliance.

The effort to create this new security plan, spanning republican and democratic governors now, is just a common sense reaction to the potential dangers of our current world.

It might cost the operators a little bit more money to maintain the safety of their staff and customers, but that cost is far outweighed by the potential to save lives from another massacre, and the bad publicity that would come with it.

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