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Old 21.10.2006, 09:17
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Fact Sheet #3: Casinos in Switzerland

Although slot parlours have existed in Switzerland for many years, „real“ casinos are a relatively new phenomenon here. Five years ago the Swiss Government introduced a new set of laws governing casinos in exchange for issuing casino licences. The laws are policed by the Swiss Gaming Commission , known as the ESBK (Eidgenössische Spiel-Bank Kommission).

Two types of licenses were issued:-
  • A-Licence (Grand Casino) : Unrestricted licence that allows the operator to offer many different table games and slot machines, with no real capping on maximum bet. 7 of these exist (Baden, Basel, Bern, Lucerne, Montreux, Lugano, St. Gallen).
  • B-Licence (Casino) : Restricted licence. Generally restricted to 3 table games (normally American Roulette, Black Jack and Tropical Stud Poker). Maximum bet on slot machines of 25chf, table games also normally capped. All casinos in Switzerland not in the above list are B-licences. One exception: Mendrisio is a B-licence with that resembles more like an A-Licence. This place has more tables than most A casinos, to cater to the cross-border punters. (Apparently, Italians don’t mind a little punt now and then J)
With the introduction of these licenses, all poker machine and table gaming activity is confined to these locations.

Sounds great, but the Casinos have a few important rules to follow:

Social Concept / Responsible Gaming : Probably the strictest in the world. You must produce a Passport, Resident Permit or CH-Drivers licence to enter a casino in Switzerland. Your name is then checked against a database of names from people who either are banned from entering (barred patrons) or have playing restrictions (eg. casino employees, shareholders, etc). If you have no ID, you cannot enter.

There are two types of barred patrons: Voluntary (initiated by patron) and involuntary (initiated by casino). Cheats and thieves usually get a permanent CH-wide ban. In some cases, a temporary and/or local ban can also initiated (eg. drunken patron who needs to get the message).
Voluntary bans are a serious thing. If a patron feels he/she is becoming a gambling addict, they can asked to be banned. This is a minimum of 1 year, at the end of which the patron must prove that he/she has the financial means to enter the casino again.
Casinos can be heavily fined (up to 500,000chf) or have their licence revoked for not checking ID at entry and/or allowing banned players to enter. Statistics and records are subject to frequent ESBK audit, and casinos have been criticised for not identifying problem players earlier.

Surveillance: In Switzerland its overkill. Camera footage is saved for either 7 or 28 days, depending on the regulatory requirements. The ESBK can make snap inspections and review footage at anytime.

Tax: Casinos pay at least 40% on the gross gaming income. This could go up in the future.
Player winnings from casinos located in Switzerland, including Jackpot payouts, are not subject to taxation on the win itself. You only pay tax on it if it ends up as part of your assets. Winning from casinos OUTSIDE Switzerland are subject to taxation.

Casinos are subject to Money Laundering monitoring requirements. If you cash out more than 15’000chf in a given gaming day, your transactions will be registered.


Already some casinos here have failed, in particular those in mountain resorts (Arosa and Zermatt), while others still struggle. Others, particularly A-Casinos, enjoy good results.



PLANNING TO HAVE A PUNT? A FEW TIPS:


Casinos are basically taxation for the statistically challenged. All games (except Player vs Player games like Texas Poker) favour the house to varying amounts. If you must play, table games are the best for a disciplined player. Slots will most likely ruin you over time.
  • Bring ID (passport, Drivers licence, permit). No ID, no entry.
  • Most casino floor staff speak basic English. Table Gaming staff normally speak good English. However, the official game language is always the local language.
  • Credit cards/EC cards are normally not accepted, but ATMs are often nearby.
  • Black Jack min is normally 10chf, Roulette 5chf. Some casinos offer Tropical Stud, Punto Banco, Texas Holdem, Baccarat or French Roulette.
  • The Roulette wheel is a French style (single “0”). If the 0 falls, all even chances are halved instead of completely lost to the house. Playing outside chances on Roulette is the "best" theoretical return for the player of any casino game.
  • Slots range from 5 rappen to 1chf credits. I have seen machines that have a total max. bet of 90CHF PER SPIN.
  • The most popular slot machine in Switzerland is the Super Cherry, a very simple 3-reel with some basic features. It is a very volatile machine, meaning that it occasionally gives big payouts, but most of the time it will empty your pockets really quick. Avoid it like the plague…in fact avoid all slot machines if you can unless you enjoy giving your money away.
  • All casinos have some sort of local mystery jackpot attached to their slots. This jackpot must go off before 100,000chf.
  • The A-Casinos are linked to the Swiss Jackpot. This is a WAP jackpot (Wider Area Progressive). On certain machines you have the chance to win this, and it usually goes off somewhere between 1 and 4 million francs.
Relative Links:

www.esbk.ch (Gaming Commission)
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  #2  
Old 20.02.2007, 13:44
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Re: Fact Sheet #3: Casinos in Switzerland

Nice fact sheet Lightspeed. There was stuff in there I didnt know and I am a Casino regular. I tend to go to Austria though as I like the atmos of Austrian casinos. The one in Bregenz is my favourite.
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  #3  
Old 21.02.2007, 11:36
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Re: Fact Sheet #3: Casinos in Switzerland

Quote:
  • Slots range from 5 rappen to 1chf credits. I have seen machines that have a total max. bet of 90CHF PER SPIN.
Some very good info here, thanks.

As a regular in Bad Ragaz with the jump into the foreign Bregenz now and then, I don't recall a CHF 90.- per spin. You mentioned in your report that the maximum for B casinos is capped at CHF 25.-. Could it be, perhaps, that you saw "Maximum 90 Credits" per spin?


Quote:
  • The most popular slot machine in Switzerland is the Super Cherry, a very simple 3-reel with some basic features. It is a very volatile machine, meaning that it occasionally gives big payouts, but most of the time it will empty your pockets really quick. Avoid it like the plague…in fact avoid all slot machines if you can unless you enjoy giving your money away.
Awwwww, come on now...

The Super Cherry is one of my favorites! Sure, I have unloaded hundreds into the Cherries, looking for the stars. However, I have received a couple of those massive payouts you mentioned LS. Basically, I am still ahead. Can speak out of experience, CHF 20.- into the Cherry machine, 2 minutes later CHF 2000.- out.

The Roulette table has been my biggest winning live game. There are days when CHF 200.- is gone in two spins (that is when I stop playing Roulette that day). Other days when CHF 200.- turns into CHF 1000.- inside of five spins. That is usually when I grab my black CHF 100.- chips and head for the door. My last two vacations have been sponsored by the Roulette table at Bad Ragaz!

Another stroke of luck... Won CHF 400.- gift certificate at a local shopping center sponsored by the casinos... During a casino demonstration (free Black Jack and Roulette) I played Roulette and was allowed to register. The following Saturday was the final Roulette competition and I took third place (missed 2nd by 1 chip and 1st by 11 chips).

If you go, go with a limit. Reach that limit, then go somewhere else. Don't let yourself get hooked. Seen some pretty bad things when US military troops spend their paycheck on the one-armed bandit... leaving their wife and baby hungry at home.

Enjoy!
Scott
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  #4  
Old 21.02.2007, 12:51
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Re: Fact Sheet #3: Casinos in Switzerland

Quote:

As a regular in Bad Ragaz with the jump into the foreign Bregenz now and then, I don't recall a CHF 90.- per spin. You mentioned in your report that the maximum for B casinos is capped at CHF 25.-. Could it be, perhaps, that you saw "Maximum 90 Credits" per spin?

I was referring to an A-Casinos. There are Cherries up to 50CHF, and the Gaminators 1CHF machines redline at 90 credits (10 coins x 9 lines). Of course, the payouts tend to be proportional, for those with the enough cash to risk. Bregenz has some popular 0.5€ machines that will take 180 credits for each spin...you do the maths.

Last edited by litespeed; 21.02.2007 at 13:45.
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  #5  
Old 21.02.2007, 15:56
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Re: Fact Sheet #3: Casinos in Switzerland

Quote:
Of course, the payouts tend to be proportional, for those with the enough cash to risk.
I like the way you put that LS. I look at it like this; big risk = big win. My cherries start at CHF 5.-. Then down around CHF 50 in the pot I will back it down to CHF 2.- and let it ride.

Made some big hits on the Dragon Legend lately, of course that is all a luck thing to get the right machine.

Seen some people drop well over a thousand before any big win comes out of it... then again (as noted earlier) 20 Franks + 2 minutes = CHF 2000.-

Happy gambling
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Old 03.08.2011, 18:50
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Re: Fact Sheet #3: Casinos in Switzerland

Quote:
View Post
Although slot parlours have existed in Switzerland for many years, „real“ casinos are a relatively new phenomenon here. Five years ago the Swiss Government introduced a new set of laws governing casinos in exchange for issuing casino licences. The laws are policed by the Swiss Gaming Commission , known as the ESBK (Eidgenössische Spiel-Bank Kommission).

Two types of licenses were issued:-
  • A-Licence (Grand Casino) : Unrestricted licence that allows the operator to offer many different table games and slot machines, with no real capping on maximum bet. 7 of these exist (Baden, Basel, Bern, Lucerne, Montreux, Lugano, St. Gallen).
  • B-Licence (Casino) : Restricted licence. Generally restricted to 3 table games (normally American Roulette, Black Jack and Tropical Stud Poker). Maximum bet on slot machines of 25chf, table games also normally capped. All casinos in Switzerland not in the above list are B-licences. One exception: Mendrisio is a B-licence with that resembles more like an A-Licence. This place has more tables than most A casinos, to cater to the cross-border punters. (Apparently, Italians don’t mind a little punt now and then J)
With the introduction of these licenses, all poker machine and table gaming activity is confined to these locations.

Sounds great, but the Casinos have a few important rules to follow:

Social Concept / Responsible Gaming : Probably the strictest in the world. You must produce a Passport, Resident Permit or CH-Drivers licence to enter a casino in Switzerland. Your name is then checked against a database of names from people who either are banned from entering (barred patrons) or have playing restrictions (eg. casino employees, shareholders, etc). If you have no ID, you cannot enter.

There are two types of barred patrons: Voluntary (initiated by patron) and involuntary (initiated by casino). Cheats and thieves usually get a permanent CH-wide ban. In some cases, a temporary and/or local ban can also initiated (eg. drunken patron who needs to get the message).
Voluntary bans are a serious thing. If a patron feels he/she is becoming a gambling addict, they can asked to be banned. This is a minimum of 1 year, at the end of which the patron must prove that he/she has the financial means to enter the casino again.
Casinos can be heavily fined (up to 500,000chf) or have their licence revoked for not checking ID at entry and/or allowing banned players to enter. Statistics and records are subject to frequent ESBK audit, and casinos have been criticised for not identifying problem players earlier.

Surveillance: In Switzerland its overkill. Camera footage is saved for either 7 or 28 days, depending on the regulatory requirements. The ESBK can make snap inspections and review footage at anytime.

Tax: Casinos pay at least 40% on the gross gaming income. This could go up in the future.
Player winnings from casinos located in Switzerland, including Jackpot payouts, are not subject to taxation on the win itself. You only pay tax on it if it ends up as part of your assets. Winning from casinos OUTSIDE Switzerland are subject to taxation.

Casinos are subject to Money Laundering monitoring requirements. If you cash out more than 15’000chf in a given gaming day, your transactions will be registered.


Already some casinos here have failed, in particular those in mountain resorts (Arosa and Zermatt), while others still struggle. Others, particularly A-Casinos, enjoy good results.



PLANNING TO HAVE A PUNT? A FEW TIPS:


Casinos are basically taxation for the statistically challenged. All games (except Player vs Player games like Texas Poker) favour the house to varying amounts. If you must play, table games are the best for a disciplined player. Slots will most likely ruin you over time.
  • Bring ID (passport, Drivers licence, permit). No ID, no entry.
  • Most casino floor staff speak basic English. Table Gaming staff normally speak good English. However, the official game language is always the local language.
  • Credit cards/EC cards are normally not accepted, but ATMs are often nearby.
  • Black Jack min is normally 10chf, Roulette 5chf. Some casinos offer Tropical Stud, Punto Banco, Texas Holdem, Baccarat or French Roulette.
  • The Roulette wheel is a French style (single “0”). If the 0 falls, all even chances are halved instead of completely lost to the house. Playing outside chances on Roulette is the "best" theoretical return for the player of any casino game.
  • Slots range from 5 rappen to 1chf credits. I have seen machines that have a total max. bet of 90CHF PER SPIN.
  • The most popular slot machine in Switzerland is the Super Cherry, a very simple 3-reel with some basic features. It is a very volatile machine, meaning that it occasionally gives big payouts, but most of the time it will empty your pockets really quick. Avoid it like the plague…in fact avoid all slot machines if you can unless you enjoy giving your money away.
  • All casinos have some sort of local mystery jackpot attached to their slots. This jackpot must go off before 100,000chf.
  • The A-Casinos are linked to the Swiss Jackpot. This is a WAP jackpot (Wider Area Progressive). On certain machines you have the chance to win this, and it usually goes off somewhere between 1 and 4 million francs.
Relative Links:

www.esbk.ch (Gaming Commission)
So what are the odds in Switzerland on their slot machines? Do they have a regulated payout on the odds?
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  #7  
Old 03.08.2011, 18:52
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Re: Fact Sheet #3: Casinos in Switzerland

Oops, sorry my post went awry. What are the odds on the slot machines in SUI? Do they have a regulated payout for their odds or is it done by the "house"?
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