Since the licensing practice was changed in 2016 following a legal dispute over the award of a casino licence, the demand for casino operating licences in Liechtenstein has been high. Currently, there are five casinos with roulette tables and slot machines. Three others have submitted applications for a permit, and the infrastructure for gaming operations is being put in place at two sites. Ten casinos for a population of just under 40,000 are causing discontent across the country. A motion was submitted in Parliament in 2021 to stop casino developments.
That gambling is part of the culture in many countries is evident in the wide range of films, books and songs. Table and card games such as blackjack, poker or roulette have also been part of the cultural heritage since the 19th century. But not in Liechtenstein. In April 2022, a group called “IG VolksMeinung” registered a popular initiative. Its purpose is to have an amendment in the Constitution that prohibits casinos. This will require clarification as to whether the prohibition of a single industry is compatible with the principle of freedom of trade and commerce in accordance with the EEA directives.