Stadtcasino Baden Group submits concession applications for Baden and Locarno
Press release, November 1, 2022
The Stadtcasino Baden Group has submitted the applications for the concessions for its casinos in Baden and Locarno. This is to ensure the continuation of the successful casinos in the new concession phase from 2025 onwards. Extensive investments are planned at both locations to offer even more entertainment for guests.
At the end of 2024, the concessions of all 21 Swiss casinos will expire. Anyone intending to operate a casino in Switzerland from 2025 onwards therefore had to submit an application for a corresponding new concession to the Swiss Federal Gaming Commission (german: ESBK, Eidgenössische Spielbankenkommission) by the end of October 2022. In April, the federal government put 23 casino concessions in predefined zones out to tender.
For the location in Baden, Grand Casino Baden AG is again applying for a type A concession to be able to continue operating the casino in Baden’s Kurpark, which has already been operating for 20 years. During this time, the Grand Casino Baden has developed into one of the leading casinos in the country. With an added value of over CHF 100 million per year, it makes a significant economic contribution to the region and employs over 370 people.
Casinò Locarno SA, which was aquired by the Stadtcasino Baden Group in September 2022, has submitted an application for a type B concession. Casino Locarno has already held a type B concession since 2003.
150 years of gaming tradition in Baden
“In our application, we show how we are constantly developing our successful ‘House of Entertainment’ concept in Baden,” explains CEO Michael Böni. The concept consists of a variety of entertainment offers around the classic casino games, thus offering an extensive package. The further development also envisages structural measures: The “foyer”, the current entrance area, is to be redesigned and turned into a bar and lounge that is also open during the day – and not only for casino guests.
“The new foyer will also make the Kurpark more attractive because it will provide visitors a new opportunity to have a drink or a meal,” says Böni. “But the foyer should also provide space for cabaret. That could be performances by musicians. Exhibitions, a radio talk show or readings are also conceivable.” An innovation is also planned for the gaming room: In the area above the main bar, a new floor will be added. On this floor, the “Arena” will create space for new, interactive games.
According to the concession application, the structural adjustments are to be realised before the start of the new concession period in 2025. “We want to be ready with everything at the start of the new concession,” says Böni. This is not surprising, given that the new concession period coincides with an important anniversary: In 1875, the new Kursaal building was opened after two years of construction – so in 2025, the venerable building will be exactly 150 years old.
Baden and Locarno will both host online casinos
The federal tender also includes the possibility of applying for an extension for an online casino. The Stadtcasino Baden Group is making use of this option at both locations. The online casino jackpots.ch, operated by the Grand Casino Baden, was the first Swiss internet casino to go online in 2019. It runs on a platform whose software was developed by Gamanza, a proprietary technology company of the Stadtcasino Baden Group.
Casinò Locarno is also to have its own online casino, “casinello.ch”, which, like that of Grand Casino Baden, will be operated on the successful Gamanza platform.
Decisions expected in a year
The ESBK, which is now examining the concession applications received and submitting them to the Federal Council, had already presented the roadmap for the further procedure last autumn. It envisages that the Federal Council will decide on the applications received by autumn 2023. .
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