First Legal On-Line Casino Launched in Switzerland
The largest land-based casino operator in Switzerland, The Swiss Casino Group, has launched the first domestically based online casino, “The Free Online Casino.” Although the Swiss government continues to prohibit the advertising or operation of real money online gaming companies within its borders, the launch of the first domestically based free online casino is viewed by many as being indicative of the government’s recent liberalization of its views towards online gaming and may be the first step towards Swiss legalization.
The new online casino and poker platform has the look and feel of any real money operator. Registrants on “The Free Online Casino” must be over 18 years of age and must be a resident of Switzerland or Liechtenstein. Rather than playing for real money, players accrue points that may be redeemed for non-cash prizes at the Casino Group’s land based casinos.
The prizes vary in value from a free cocktail to prizes worth in excess of $1,000. Poker players will be able to redeem point vouchers for seats in real money tournaments and to compete for portions of valuable prize pools. The online casino and poker platform offers 24 traditional casino games, such as slots, blackjack, American roulette, craps and video poker.
In addition, the “Free Online Casino” will expand its gaming offerings throughout the coming year. The Casino Group has launched its online platform in conjunction with the grand opening of its land based, Grand Casino in Zurich.
The online casino is primarily intended as a marketing tool that will inspire customer loyalty, lure in new patrons and provide customers an additional incentive to visit their land based casinos in a highly competitive market. Many view this move to also to be the first step towards the eventual legalization of online gaming in Switzerland.