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Casinos blame smoking bans for lost revenue

Casinos in Switzerland say they suffered a 5.6 per cent drop in revenue last year as a result of the economic slump and because of the introduction of local smoking bans.

The association has called on the government to impose restrictions for online gambling to put them on par with casinos.

The 19 licensed establishments made a total of SFr936 million ($853 million) and recorded 5.4 million clients in 2009.

Most of the benefits, which go the state old-age pension scheme, were made at gambling machines; only 20 per cent came from table games.

Switzerland’s most popular casino is in Montreux on Lake Geneva, while the establishment in Mendrisio, close to the Italian border, posted the worst dip with nearly minus 15 per cent.

By the beginning of this year about half of the 26 cantonal authorities had outlawed smoking in public buildings and restaurants. A nationwide ban came into force at the beginning of this month. and agencies


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