Country's top casino ready to roll
Switzerland’s largest casino is officially opening on Thursday in Zurich with hoopla, including Las Vegas showgirls and concerts by impersonators of Elvis, Marilyn Monroe and Louis Armstrong, among others.
The gambling palace, opened in a former downtown department store building on the Gessnerallee after 11 months of renovations at a cost of 47 million francs ($50 million), is betting on drawing large crowds.
Swiss Casinos Zurich said it expects an average of 1,600 visitors a day in a city that was previously without a casino.
With its sleek interiors, the casino was designed in a “modern and timeless way,” director Michael Favrod told a press conference.
The company says it will generate 107 million francs a year in revenues, 66 million francs of which will be paid out to the federal government in taxes.
By 2015, the company expects to take in annual receipts of 124 million francs.
Gamblers can bet up to 20,000 francs on a variety of games of chance.
The casino features 400 slot machines and 26 roulette, blackjack and poker tables spread out over 3,000 square metres of floor space.
A restaurant set to open next year is planned for the fifth floor of the building.
The casino is employing a total of 213 people, including 60 croupiers.
It is expected to provide competition for the Grand Casino Baden in the canton of Aargau, which previously held the title as biggest in Switzerland.
Swiss Casinos Holding also owns casinos in St. Gallen, Schaffhausen, and Pfäffikon (canton of Schwzy), in addition to a share in the ownership of casinos in Bern and St. Moritz.