But no new casino in Liechtenstein?

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Lennart folder 29. May 2019

Liechtenstein is an admittedly a rather small country, even the sixth state on the world. Nevertheless, Liechtenstein offers certain industries and groups great advantages, for example from the gaming industry, and in particular casinos. Thanks to new legislation, liberalization processes and favorable tax rates, it is quite lucrative for casinos to settle down in the principality. But now the casino boom could be put to an end, because a small community defends itself against the construction of a new arcade.

Albert Frick (left) has been in office since 2013 and sees the casino boom in Liechtenstein rather negative despite numerous advantages. (©Flickr)

Casino Austria Contra community Balzers: Dispute over casino project

Not too long ago we had already reported that Gambling in Liechtenstein enjoys a high priority, especially for casino providers. of course, this has its reasons and is no coincidence, because tax levies in particular are comparatively low in liechtenstein. for comparison: in neighboring switzerland, tax levies commute between 40 and 80 percent in relation to gross games. in liechtenstein minimal 17.5 percent tax be assigned to the tax authorities. in the maximum case, the tax rate amounts to 40 percent. the numbers are therefore clear and make the decision relatively simple whether casino companies settle in switzerland, austria or liechtenstein. but of course in liechtenstein, an official state concession is also needed to be able to offer roulette and co. in a casino. the large casinos of liechtenstein, the casino Admiral Ruggell and the Casino fianwald in mauren, of course, are in possession of an official gambling license. but another big casino should now be added. this is a project of the Casino Austria AG. The company recently received permission to build a second casino location in the municipality of Balzers in Liechtenstein. But the small community of 4,500 inhabitants defends itself and wants to prevent the building of the arcade. According to the municipal building management, the building, including its function, is not “zone conform”.

Commerce okay – but not building regulations?

To date, it is not clear what exactly is to be understood by “zone conform”. In addition, the potential dispute between the municipal administration and the casino company has not yet been communicated via an official channel, but unofficially by a Comment of a previously anonymous employee from the municipal building management in balzers. nevertheless, austria casino ag now fears that that large -scale construction project shortly before the start could be stopped, which ultimately not only resulted in legal problems, but also financial. under no circumstances do you want to accept the stop of the project, it says by the gaming company. this is also quite understandable, because the group had already received permission to start the project from the official body. before that, a successful application was already Office for economics submitted. this application is necessary because the permit for the public and commercial implementation of lotteries is granted here. but since a new building is also to be built and the casino should not move into an existing building, one also needs one Approval of the municipal building management. in liechtenstein, however, there are community -specific building regulations for all places. and these are apparently not fulfilled. but is that so? because allegedly, the municipal office should not argue with building regulations in order to stop the construction of the casino. according to the alleged statement by the anonymous community employee, the office refuses, the casino as Commercial operation to accept. rather, it is a service company. however, this decision is not in the area of competence, which is why Michael Moosleithner, Marketing Manager at Casino Austria AG, in the event of cases, announces legal steps and does not want to give up the project at the moment.

“This is evaded by our knowledge. This view is amazed because a casino operation, like other entertainment companies, are defined as commercial companies worldwide. ”

Image of the country in danger?

One reason why the responsible decision-makers in the municipal administration of Balzer ’is apparently defending themselves so vigorously against new casino buildings could actually have greater national reasons. Because at the state level, too, people have been dealing with the Casino-Boom in Liechtenstein. due to lucrative changes in the law, politics has given the decisive impetus itself, but many politicians are now asking themselves whether this development may not be a shame for the country’s image. one of these politicians is President of the Landtag Albert Frickthat has been in office since 2013. specifically, frick speaks of “disrepair”, which for many people in liechtenstein is still connected to the idea of a casino. in addition, liechtenstein has always been a country that had come to wealth through “bone work”. this could not be linked so quickly with the idea of liechtenstein as a location for luxurious large casinos. however, casino austria ag cannot understand this view. because the new casino would increase the attractiveness of the municipality of balzer sustainably. in addition, the economic benefits should not be forgotten. right at the beginning would also be with the casino 35 new jobs develop. furthermore, the casino offers a central entertainment location to the south of the country, which has so far been more dreary. even landtag president albert frick had to admit that there was a “social need” for this. in the end, the law decides. and here the situation is clear. Liechtenstein had only passed a law in 2016that it allows that in Liechtenstein de facto New casinos in unlimited number can arise. Only when this law is overturned could it be legally taken against the new casino project. How likely this is, but cannot be said at the present time.