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Groupe Partouche’s Pasino.ch is Growing by Leaps and Bounds

Casino Life speaks with Pasino.ch Managing Director Rupert Ecker. By Peter White

Over his two decades in the iGaming industry, Rupert Ecker has become on of the leading figures in the field. The managing director of Groupe Partouche’s Pasino.ch, Ecker’s career has taken him to his native Germany, to Austria, then Malta, South Africa, Gibraltar and finally Switzerland. There, he presides over a flourishing online casino. Casino Life Magazine Publisher, Peter White caught up with him recently. Their conversation has been edited for clarity and length.
Could you give us an introduction in to your background in iGaming?
I have worked in the iGaming industry for the last 18 years for providers of poker, sports books and casino operators. It all started with the Danish poker operator Mermaid Poker. A few more highlights were four and a half years at Vera&John in Malta, BetVictor in Gibraltar and Betsson Group in Malta. Finally I landed in Switzerland in 2019 to bring Grand Casino Luzern online as online director. Now for over two years I’ve been managing director of the Swiss online casino PASINO.ch. Together with Casino du Lac Meyrin, we are part of Europe’s leading casino operator, Groupe Partouche.
How did you get started in gaming?
The CEO of Mermaid Poker asked me in 2006 if I would be interested in publicizing Mermaid in the German-speaking market. We made a plan and were able to secure a large market share within a short space of time. We became very successful in the late 2000s with the Mermaid Poker Challenge all over Europe. It combined live and online events. It was a great start in the iGaming industry, which I still love.
Image: Rupert Ecker Pasino.ch Managing Director 
What was the development and expansion process involved over the last two years with Pasino.ch?
We have built up a strong team that optimally implements our marketing activities, retention, customer service and responsible gaming in all areas in order to offer our customers an outstanding range of games. We are ISO 27001-certified and have just been granted the license to operate for another 20 years, which we received from the Swiss Federal Council at the end of 2024. I am very proud of my team, which is made up of some experienced iGaming experts and many young, ambitious employees. With 42 percent growth in 2023, we are ideally positioned in Switzerland and this performance will now be further expanded. We also got off to a strong start in 2024.
What are the biggest challenges during your first year with developing Pasino.ch in the regulated Swiss iGaming market?
I have significantly reorganized the team and shaped it into a high performing, process-oriented and customer-focused one. I did this with full commitment to ensure not only profitability but also strong growth. During this time, I not only had the support of Groupe Partouche but also that of my wife, to whom I have now been married for 18 years. This support has given me the strength to work passionately on our success in intense times.
What are amongst your prime objectives over the next 12 to 24 months?
Our objective is clear: We will continue to drive forward our strong growth of recent years. We will constantly improve our product and work passionately every day to realize our goals. Groupe Partouche and PASINO.ch are focused on offering the best possible service, and on being at the forefront of everything we do.
What are the unique factors that distinguish Pasino.ch from its competitors in Switzerland?
My team and I have a lot of experience in the iGaming industry, and I have gathered some of the top people of the industry around me. We will use this experience to further expand our position in Switzerland.
Does Pasino.ch provide patrons of Casino Du Lac with promotions and incentives?
Yes, we work very closely with land-based Casino du Lac. We constantly have promotions that benefit both our online casino and land-based customers. We offer top Swiss quality in our casino and look back on over 50 years of experience as a proud part of the Group Partouche.
Whom are your partner companies involved with Pasino.ch from platform to games, and from live streaming to payment-solutions provider?
We offer the most popular games in Switzerland in the regulated Swiss online-casino market and we have the leading game providers Greentube, Pragmatic Play, Evolution, Playn’Go, and many of the up-and-coming providers such as ELK, Wazdan, Hölle, and many more. Our technology partner for the platform is Gamanza, and of course we offer the most popular payment methods and the Swiss payment method TWINT to our customers.
In addition, we have various TV formats on TELESWIZZ and on STAR TV, which we produce in-house with the expertise of Groupe Partouche, with Swiss presenters and high-end technology from Paris. Furthermore, we offer the unique Swiss Facebook Live Roulette, which is also produced in-house and streamed every Monday in Swiss-German and French exclusive at PASINO’s Facebook account.
How does Pasino.ch communicate with patrons the importance of responsible gambling?
Responsible gaming is one of the cornerstones of Swiss legislation and is meticulously implemented by our team in Geneva. The ESBK constantly monitors our social concept, processes and correct implementation. We are proud to say that at PASINO.ch all players can gamble safely and, should a player ever gamble too much, we have detailed systems in place to take immediate action, and our experienced staff will help take the appropriate measures to protect players.
If you didn’t have to work, why would you come into the office?
I simply enjoy working in the iGaming industry and at PASINO.ch in particular. Seeing how we grow
month by month, how my team is constantly learning and growing with the challenges is wonderful. And of course, we have an excellent kitchen at Casino du Lac and all our employees enjoy the best delicacies every day. Once you visit us, you'll want to come back again and again.
Do you visit many of the industry exhibitions and conferences in the course of year, and if so, which ones are you favorites and why?
Yes, I've been to ICE and LAC in London every year since 2011. SBC is also always on my diary. My favorites are definitely ICE and SBC. ICE will be moving to Barcelona and this year I'm already looking forward to SBC Lisbon. Being there and meeting all my colleagues, partners, and now friends is always a highlight.
What do you see as key for player engagement and retention?
Offering the best gaming experience is key. After a successful acquisition, you have to offer the customer something that binds them to you. This includes our loyalty program, our VIP management and our very well-structured CRM program. It is important that the player feels that we are always there for them, that we offer them the best promotions and have offers that make them choose us as their next Swiss online casino. In all of this, we must never forget to find the sweet spot between marketing and responsibility for the player. This is the only way to ensure that a player enjoys playing. PASINO.ch is the online casino in Switzerland where players feel comfortable.
Pasino.ch is the online gaming site of the Casino Du Lac in Geneva. It was the first casino in French-speaking Switzerland to go digital. The objective of our online casino is to guarantee a safe and reliable gaming environment focused on entertainment, and supervised by experienced professionals to satisfy all types of customers.
*** This exclusive feature interview was originally published in May 2024 edition of Casino Life Magazine Issue 165 ***