The Swiss Federal Gambling Act (Loi fédérale sur les jeux d’argent – LJAr) came into force as of 1st January 2019. This has cemented in place a new legislative framework for Loterie Romande to operate in. Since the outset of this year, Loterie Romande has duly been implementing a range of measures to strengthen protection for gamblers and the public at large. A joint blacklist applicable for both lottery companies and casinos has been compiled to bar access to Loterie Romande’s online gaming platform to any person banned from casinos in Switzerland, and vice versa.
One further development brought about by implementation of this new law is that all Loterie Romande gaming terminals and equipment will be fitted, as from 1st August this year, with ageaccess checks via an individual card, issued to players, linked to fingerprint recognition. This new touch-screen verification procedure will ensure all those playing on Loterie électronique games will be at least 18 years of age while maintaining their anonymity.
The new legislation will also contribute towards boosting the fight against match fixing and manipulation of sports events in Switzerland. Loterie Romande will systematically notify the Swiss Lottery & Betting Board (Comlot) should it have any suspicions that such activities might be taking place. Moreover, direct or indirect manipulation of sporting competitions is now punishable under Swiss criminal law.
In related news, Loterie Romande’s net profit, i.e. the sum disbursed for the public good, held steady in 2018 at CHF 216.4 million. Gross gaming revenues (GGR) rose slightly to total CHF 388 million. The diverse range of games on offer from Loterie Romande, the high quality of its distribution network and tight control exerted over operating costs help to keep up the high level of profit available for allocation to social-welfare, cultural, sports, education and environmental projects.
In 2018, gross gaming revenues (GGR), i.e. the amount of money staked less winnings paid out to players, totaled CHF 388 million, corresponding to a small 0.5% increase on the 2017 level (CHF 386 million). This can be put down to the variety of products offered by Loterie Romande, coupled with the string of innovations and promotional campaigns.
Net profit for the year worked out at CHF 216.4 million. This total, allocated to the cantonal bodies tasked with redistributing Loterie Romande’s profits and to sport, held steady very close to its 2017 level (CHF 216.2 million). This bears testament to long-term strategies put in place to maintain levels of funding distributed to projects for the public good.
With 275 staff on its books as of 1st January 2019, Loterie Romande paid out in 2018 CHF 71.9 million in commission fees to the 2,500 retailers distributing its games throughout French-speaking Switzerland. Loterie Romande thus makes a significant contribution to local neighborhood businesses (kiosks, cafés/bars, restaurants) located in city centres, on the outskirts of towns or in villages in the country.