Questions & Answers

The Group ▾

The core business of the NOVO SWISS Group is focused on the gaming and entertainment industry. The group combines NOVO SWISS AG as the management and holding company and its subsidiaries, ACE SWISS Holding AG (Swiss casino investments), Gryphon Invest AG (international casino and technology investments) and ACE Invest AG (Swiss real estate).

ACE SWISS Holding AG with its holdings (together the "ACE SWISS Group") is wholly owned by NOVO SWISS AG. It was founded in 2000 and has thus been active on the Swiss market for over 20 years. ACE SWISS Holding AG is exclusively active in the Swiss casino business with the ADMIRAL Casino in Mendrisio and the minority holding in the casino Baden.

Gryphon Invest AG is the sister company of ACE SWISS Holding AG and also a 100% subsidiary of NOVO SWISS AG. The Gryphon Group operates over 230 terrestrial casinos and around 100 sports betting locations as well as online casinos outside Switzerland in various European countries (including Spain, Liechtenstein, the Czech Republic as well as some Southeastern European countries). Gryphon Invest AG also maintains over 100 real estate properties in various European countries.

The NOVOMATIC Group, consisting of NOVOMATIC AG and its several hundred international subsidiaries, is a globally active, integrated gaming technology and entertainment group with over 40 years of experience as a producer of innovative high-tech gaming equipment and operator of gaming venues, including casinos, arcades and sports betting outlets. The group has developed into Europe's leading and one of the world's largest gaming technology groups, employing around 20,000 people and operating successfully in around 50 countries! NOVO SWISS AG holds approx. 10% of the shares and approx. 90% are held under the Austrian holding company, Novo Invest GmbH.

As a leading global player within the gaming industry, the NOVOMATIC Group is vertically integrated and consequently both a provider of high-tech gaming equipment and an operator of gaming venues. In addition to offering innovative terrestrial gaming equipment, the NOVOMATIC Group's business activities also include the development of gaming content for licensed offline and online providers as well as the operation of online games and sports betting platforms. NOVOMATIC's many international blockbusters include the market-leading Book of Ra™ and Lucky Lady's Charm™ games.

No. NOVO SWISS AG holds approx. 10% of NOVOMATIC AG. The other approx. 90% is held by the Austrian Novo Invest GmbH, which - like NOVO SWISS AG - is majority-owned by Prof. Johann Graf. 

The casinos in Switzerland ▾

ACE SWISS Holding AG with its holdings (together the "ACE SWISS Group") is wholly owned by NOVO SWISS AG. It was founded in 2000 and has thus been active on the Swiss market for over 20 years. ACE SWISS Holding AG is exclusively active in the Swiss casino business with the ADMIRAL Casino in Mendrisio and the minority holding in the casino Baden.

Please refer to the section "Who is ACE SWISS Holding AG?".

CASINÒ ADMIRAL SA, a 100% subsidiary of ACE SWISS Holding AG, has been operating the casino in Mendrisio since 2002, which celebrated its 20th anniversary in October 2022.

Das ADMIRAL Casino in Mendrisio hält eine B-Konzession. In der Schweiz gibt es aktuell 21 konzessionierte Spielbanken. Davon verfügen 8 über eine A-Konzession und 13 über eine B-Konzession. 10 Spielbanken betreiben auch ein Online Casino. Alle aktuellen Konzessionen laufen bis Ende 2024 und wurden für weitere 20 Jahre bis 2044 verlängert.

The differences between an A and B concession are:

  • The maximum stake on slot machines in terrestrial casinos is limited to CHF 25 per game in casinos with a B license;
  • 100% of the casino tax for casinos with an A license flows into the AHV. For casinos with a B license, 60% of the casino tax goes to the AHV and 40% to the canton in which the casino is located.
  • Für A- und B-Konzessionen gelten die gleichen gesetzlichen Auflagen betreffend Sicherheit und Sozialschutz.

Due to a regulatory provision, it is not possible for the ACE SWISS Group to operate online casinos in Switzerland with the gaming content or technology (platform) of its sister group NOVOMATIC during the current concession phase. Since the game content of NOVOMATIC (or its subsidiary Greentube) also has a leading market position in the online sector, the current provision results in a significant competitive disadvantage for our Group. Only with the planned abolishment of this provision for the new license (i.e. as of January 1, 2025), will it be possible for our Group to implement an attractive and competitive online offering in Switzerland.

See also the section "Is an application for an online licence planned?" under "The licence applications".

Im Jahr 2023 erwirtschaftete das ADMIRAL Casino Mendrisio einen BSE von rund CHF 74 Millionen, was einem Marktanteil von etwa 12% entspricht (bei gesamthaft 21 Casinos in der Schweiz).

ADMIRAL is the internationally renowned brand of operational gaming companies, which is licensed from the sister company of ACE SWISS Holding AG, NOVOMATIC AG.

The casino in Mendrisio, in which ACE SWISS Holding AG holds a 100% stake, operates under the ADMIRAL brand. In addition, the corporate identity was revised and uniformly implemented in 2021.

Neukonzessionierung der Schweizer Spielbanken ▾

Die Konzessionen der gegenwärtig 21 Spielbanken in der Schweiz laufen am 31. Dezember 2024 aus. Das gleiche gilt für die Konzessionserweiterungen, die es zehn dieser Spielbanken erlauben, ihre Spielbankenspiele auch online anzubieten. 

Die Eidgenössische Spielbankenkommission schrieb das Verfahren am 1. Juni 2022 öffentlich aus und bot interessierten bis zum 31. Oktober 2022 Gelegenheit, der Kommission zuhanden des Bundesrats Gesuche einzureichen. Die Schweiz wurde neu in 23 Zonen unterteilt – zu den bisherigen 21 Zonen kamen neu Lausanne und Winterthur hinzu. Für jede Zone erteilt der Bundesrat eine Konzession. Jeder, der die gesetzlichen Anforderungen entsprach, konnte sich für jede Zone bewerben.

Insgesamt gingen bei der Eidgenössischen Spielbankenkommission («ESBK») 29 Konzessionsgesuche ein. In vier Zonen (Basel, St. Gallen, Lausanne, Wallis) bewarben sich mehrere Gesuchstellerinnen um die gleiche Konzession. Zusätzlich ersuchten zwölf dieser Gesuchstellerinnen gleichzeitig um eine Konzessionserweiterung zum Betrieb von Online-Spielbankenspielen. Zuerst unterzog die ESBK alle Gesuche einer formellen Kontrolle mit Fokus auf die Vollständigkeit der Angaben und Unterlagen. Im Anschluss daran erfolgte die materielle Kontrolle der Gesuche. Parallel dazu ersuchte die ESBK die Standortkantone und die Standortgemeinden um deren Zustimmung zum Betrieb einer Spielbank auf deren Kantons- bzw. Gemeindegebiet.

In 18 Zonen bewarben sich nur die bestehenden Spielbanken als einzige um eine neue Konzession und erhielten sie. In den vier Zonen mit Konkurrenzgesuchen erteilte der Bundesrat auch den bestehenden Spielbanken eine neue Konzession. Allen 12 dieser Gesuchstellerinnen – die 10 aktuellen und 2 neue, die um eine Konzessionserweiterung zum Betrieb von Online-Spielbankenspielen ersuchten, erteilte der Bundesrat eine neue Konzessionserweiterung. Die neukonzessionierten Spielbanken können ihren Betrieb frühstens per 1. Januar 2025 aufnehmen bzw. fortführen, dies jedoch erst, nachdem die ESBK die Betriebsaufnahme bzw. Betriebsweiterführung bewilligt hat. Folglich wird die Schweizer Casinolandschaft ab 2025 aus 20 bestehenden und 2 neuen (Lausanne und Winterthur) landbasierten Casinos und 12 Online Casinos bestehen. Einzig die Zone Schaffhausen wird kein Casino mehr haben. Das bestehende Casino stellt den Betrieb ein, und ein neues Gesuch wurde bereits in der formellen Prüfung abgewiesen.

The contributions to the OASI and to the cantons ▾

Yes, 100% of the casino tax for casinos with an A license goes to the AHV. For casinos with a B license, 60% goes to the OASI and 40% to the canton where the casino is located.

The basic levy rate for gross gaming income (BSE) generated in terrestrial casinos is 40%. It is levied on gross gaming revenue up to CHF 10 million. For each additional million francs, the marginal levy rate increases by 0.5% up to the maximum rate of 80%.

For gross gaming revenues generated online, the base levy rate is 20%. It is levied on gross gaming revenues up to CHF 3 million. The marginal levy rate increases in five tranches up to the maximum rate of 80%.

The economic benefit ▾

Since their opening, Swiss casinos have, among other things, paid over CHF 7.0 billion in levies to the AHV and the cantons.

Since its licensing in 2002, the casino has generated gross gaming revenues of over CHF 1.5 billion. Of this, more than CHF 800 million or around 54% was paid to the AHV and the canton of Ticino as part of the casino levy. Taxes on profits during this period amounted to around CHF 45 million. In total, regional expenditures of around CHF 575 million were also made. Regional expenses include: Rents, wage costs, sponsoring, contributions to organisations and to the municipality, energy costs, cleaning costs and catering expenses. On average, around 230 employees work in the casino.

Gambling addiction and player protection ▾

In casinos, players must be protected in accordance with strict legal requirements and persons at risk of gambling addiction must be identified and barred. The SFGB regularly monitors casinos' compliance with these requirements and measures. The NOVO SWISS Group is strongly committed internationally in the area of responsible gaming. Among other things, we invest a lot in the training and further education of our experienced employees.

Before entering the casino, guests must identify themselfs with a valid official ID. For online casinos, customers must submit a copy of their ID. This is to ensure that the guest are at least 18 years old and not included in the national register of barred persons.

According to the results of the study jointly commissioned by the SFGB and the intercantonal gaming regulator GESPA (until December 31, 2020, the intercantonal lottery and betting commission Comlot), in 2017, 2.8% of the people surveyed exhibited high-risk gaming behavior and 0.2% exhibited pathological gaming behavior. The downward trend was also confirmed among frequent gamblers.

Each of our casinos works with an addiction prevention center and a treatment facility to which problem gamblers are reported and referred. We actively ensure that the best advice and support is accessible at all times. A social concept tailored to each casino also sets out measures to prevent, reduce where necessary, or if possible to eliminate any possible economically, socially, or psychologically harmful effects of gambling.