Swiss lotteries see charitable contributions decline in 2018

10 June 2019

Switzerland’s cantonal lottery operators Loterie Romande and Swisslos have seen money raised for charitable projects across the country decline to CHF588m (£457.8m/€525.6m/$593.8m) in 2018.

Latest figures from the Inter-Cantonal Lotteries and Betting Commission (Comlot) reveal that gross gaming revenue rose 0.4% year-on-year to CHF943m. While CHF517m of the total came from draw-based games, this was down 2.1% from 2017, offset by growth in games to CHF562m, and sports betting revenue, which rose to CHF63m.

The majority of revenue - CHF553m - came from Swisslos, the lottery covering Switzerland’s 20 German-speaking cantons. This was flat year-on-year, with a 2.4% decline in draw-based games revenue to CHF366m offset by growth in other lottery games and sports betting.

Loterie Romande, which covers the country’s six French-speaking cantons, saw revenue grow marginally to CHF388m. Draw based games revenue fell to CHF151m, with gaming flat at CHF195m and sports betting revenue up slightly to CHF42m.

While Comlot did not provide a full breakdown of revenue, it said that profit for the year amounted to CHF588m, down 1.3% from 2017. This decline was down to Swisslos profit falling 2.1% to CHF372m, largely down to lottery games, with Loterie Romande flat at CHF216m.

During the year Comlot granted Loterie Romande approval to launch 38 new games, and gave Swisslos the green light for 22.

It also continued to step up efforts to combat illegal gambling, with 78 cases opened on suspected violations of the country’s lottery laws. The majority of these concerned betting terminals, with the regulator initiating supervisory action in 30 cases. A further 24 cases were opened in relation to sweepstakes, with six companies warned they were in breach of gambling laws.

Just four concerned foreign igaming operators targeting Swiss players, with only one of these cases resulting in Comlot issuing a warning.

However its role in regulating online gaming will expand in 2019, with Switzerland’s igaming market set to open for business from July 1, with licences issued to Grand Casino Baden, Casino Davos, Grand Casino Luzern and Casino Zürichsee. This will see Comlot handed oversight of inter-cantonal and online skill games, as well as gaining powers to mandate internet service providers to block access to unlicensed sites.

“Comlot is pleased to tackle these upcoming challenges, supported by modernised regulations,” it said.

Image: Oleg Magni