The Switzerland online gaming market continues to expand and this week, two new operators were given permission to join the sector.

Switzerland’s gambling authority the Eidgenössische Spielbankenkommission (ESBK) has awarded internet gambling licences to a pair of casinos based in Bern and Interloken.

Casino Interloken and the Grand Casino Kursaal Bern have been given permission to offer online casino products to Swiss customers, as well as their current land-based betting services. But the ESBK have emphasised that they will carefully analyse the online gaming products of both operators before they are able to launch. ESBK will also scrutinise individual games that the two operators propose to offer to Swiss players.

But assuming that there are no regulatory issues, the Bern and Interloken casinos are set to enter the market that already includes the Grand Casino Baden, Casino Davos, Grand Casino Luzern and Casino Zurichsee. All four have already gained online licenses, however, the Grand Casino Baden was the first to launch its online site, back in July.

New Rules

The new licences have been issued under rules that became operational in January, which give the ESBK the authority to give licenses to Switzerland-based casinos. However, foreign operators are not allowed to offer online gambling services to Swiss residents.

In October, another Swiss gambling body, the Inter-Cantonal Lotteries and Betting Commission, known as Comlot, announced an update to its list of blocked sites that were found to be offering online casino games to Swiss citizens. Bet365.it was on the list, along with 16 other new names. The list was set up in September, following the enactment of the new Federal Act on Real-Money Gaming.

But it is not clear what effect the new licenses will have on the Swiss gambling market. Last month, figures showed that the number of people who gambled frequently in Switzerland had fallen in 2017.

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