Although Liechtenstein is the fourth smallest European territory, the principality features the Princely House of Liechtenstein (the origin of its name), an abundance of alpine and snow-capped landscapes, assorted medieval palaces, a system of trails connecting villages together, the (cultural, social and financial) capital city of Vaduz, the Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, current and contemporary artistic expressions, postage stamps, and the exceptional Vaduz Castle. Double-landlocked by Austria and Switzerland, Liechtenstein is a unique principality (note: not a country). Pertaining gambling and casinos, Liechtenstein is still one of the youngest territories in the world.
History of Casinos in Liechtenstein
The first appearance of gambling in Liechtenstein is generally unknown. However, in 1868, Liechtenstein was in a serious financial struggle and had various debts to pay. In response to this, the Liechtenstein Parliament (officially, the Landtag of the Principality of Liechtenstein) proposed the legalization of gambling and creation of a casino to raise funds. The proposal received a big no as Prince of Liechtenstein at the time, Prince Johann I Joseph, paid the debts himself and further placed a ban on casinos and gambling.
Six years later, the well-known German casino company – Casino Baden-Baden – proposed the creation of the first casino in Liechtenstein. The Parliament took the proposal into consideration and approved the establishment. Prince Johann I Joseph came through again by declining the offer.
Similarly, in 1919, a Swiss-French finance group approached the principality with an aim of receiving a license to establish a casino. The group guaranteed the Parliament of providing a steady supply of drinking water, the construction of a tram line, an advancement of vehicle traffic, and an improvement of the road system. These promises were handy for Liechtenstein because the principality, at the time, just lost its investments in Austria after World War I. Similarly, the Prince declined the offer and impeccably assisted the finances of the principality.
In early 1995, the International Lottery in Liechtenstein Foundation (ILLF) was established and licensed. The lottery was a result of a British software development company, London Mall, aiming to run a fixed-odds lottery on the Internet. Liechtenstein was approached for the licensing and regulation and, luckily, the idea was approved.
Accordingly, PLUS Lotto was created and the majority of its profits were used for charitable purposes. The lottery offered lottery games in land-based outlets and online (via its websites: PLUS Lotto, BossLotto, World Lotto Corporation, Dr HoLotto, Lotto.li, and Lotto Luck) until September 2011 when it filed for bankruptcy.
In 1999, a committee was set up by the Parliament to debate the advantages and disadvantages of legalizing casinos. Unfortunately, a public scandal of international crime and money concealment shook the principality around the same time. As a result, the committee was disbanded far too soon.
One of the principality’s neighbors, Switzerland, legalized casinos in 1998. Eight years later, Liechtenstein began contemplating the legalization of casinos once again. The contemplation began with the acknowledgment of Switzerland’s profitable gambling industry after less than a decade of legal casino gambling.
Fortunately, the licensing and regulation of casinos were later permitted in 2010 according to an approved law. The law became effective in 2011 and made casino gambling and a number of other gambling activities in Liechtenstein licit but authorized by a concession system.
In April 2016, an amendment was made to the law by the Parliament. The law became effective in October 2016 and approved a license approval system instead of the initial concession system. Yet, the first casino in Liechtenstein – Casino Admiral Liechtenstein – opened on August 9th, 2017.
The second casino in Liechtenstein – Casino Schaanwald – opened on October 13th, 2017. The casino is an operation of the Casinos Austria International company. Today, these are the two casinos in Liechtenstein and gambling is averagely popular.
Current Gambling Climate
Currently, casino gambling is legal and other forms of gambling are legal as well. There are just two casinos in Liechtenstein and are similar with regards to the number of gaming machines and table games, and they both offer a fun and luxurious experience.
The principality is considerably small but its scanty population is not a drawback to its gambling industry. Those casinos are situated in strategic, economic locations and present a variety of casino activities and – most importantly – a pleasing gambling atmosphere.
One must admit the fact that the principality offers little to no variety of casinos, but the little amount is more than enough to please anyone preparing to visit Liechtenstein and pay a visit to at least one of the casinos. Moreover, Liechtenstein is one of the safest territories in the world. In fact, as of 2013, the last murder in the principality dates back to 1997.
Casinos in Liechtenstein by Area
The largest casino in Liechtenstein is Casino Schaanwald which is situated in Schaanwald and offers a variety of 114 gaming machines and seven table games. Casino Admiral Liechtenstein is situated in Ruggell and boasts 108 gaming machines and five table games which makes it second largest casino in Liechtenstein.
Types of Casinos in Liechtenstein
While there are two casinos in Liechtenstein, the lottery and sports betting are the only additional gambling facilities within the principality. So, there are no bingo halls, horse racetracks, greyhound racetracks, or gaming arcades. Also, both casinos do not include hotels but are remotely close to many. For example, Casino Admiral Liechtenstein is situated in KOKON Corporate Campus – which is close to many Ruggell hotels.
Both casinos offer blackjack, American roulette, slot machines, electronic roulette, Ultimate Texas Hold’em, and Punto Banco. Unfortunately, these are the only casino options available. Further, the lottery is quite popular in Liechtenstein but has seen a decrease since bankruptcy wrecked the ILLF in 2011. Nonetheless, Liechtensteiners can still participate in other online lotteries.
List of Casinos in Liechtenstein
Below is a list of all casinos currently operating in the regions of Liechtenstein.
Casino Admiral Liechtenstein
Facts About Casinos in Liechtenstein
– The minimum gambling age in Liechtenstein is 18 years.
– In Casino Admiral Liechtenstein, slot machines open from 11 AM to 3 AM from Sunday through Thursday while they open for an hour longer on Fridays and Saturdays. Table games, on the other hand, open from 6 PM to 3 AM from Sunday through Thursday and afi rnan hour longer on Fridays and Saturdays.
– In Casino Schaanwald, the opening hours are almost identical to Casino Admiral Liechtenstein’s. Slot machines open from 11 AM while table games open from 4 PM. Its closing hours, according to a particular day of the week, are identical to the aforementioned.
– There are more than 294 gambling websites that allow Liechtensteiners and residents of Liechtenstein.
– Liechtenstein is a member of the EEA so cross-border gambling in other EEA territories is completely legal.
– Although small, Liechtenstein is a very wealthy country with one of the highest HDI and GDP per capita and a 1.5 percent unemployment rate. In fact, Liechtenstein’s current prince – AS Hans-Adam II – is worth about $3.5 billion as of 2015 and is one of the wealthiest leaders on the planet.
– Liechtenstein is divided into Balzers, Eschen, Gamprin, Mauren, Planken, Ruggell, Schaan, Schellenberg, Triesen, Triesenberg, and Vaduz municipalities – and each has a single town. However, casinos are only available in Ruggell and the capital city of Vaduz.
– Liechtenstein’s tax rates are extremely low. This is why more than 73,000 companies are located in the principality, making it wealthy. Similarly, gambling facilities are taxed lowly to attract more licensees. Nonetheless, foreign casino operators are not enthusiastic about operating in Liechtenstein.
– Casinos in Liechtenstein accept both Euro and Swiss franc.
– The licensing of casinos is directed to the Office of Economic Affairs.