Dr Simon Planzer is a pre-eminent figure in the global market who is praised by sources as "exceptionally well versed in gaming law" and stands out for his sweeping knowledge of both Swiss and EU matters.
PLANZER LAW AG is a boutique law firm specialising in gaming, entertainment and technology. The firm’s team further holds strong expertise in general business law and (white-collar) criminal law. With its internationally recognised expertise in gaming, entertainment and technology, PLANZER LAW AG has advised most of the global gaming industry leaders in B2C and B2B matters. Numerous international partners and domestic casinos have used the firm’s services in seeking and concluding partnership agreements for the regulated Swiss market.
Clients benefit from highly specialised expertise, an entrepreneurial perspective and an outstanding global network. PLANZER LAW AG notably provides strategic, regulatory and legal advice on complex matters relating to Switzerland, the EU/EEA and globally.
The firm further supports its clients in their global business development, advises them on complex transnational risk exposure and produces one-stop shop, hands-on multi-jurisdictional advice. The firm has expertise in implementing compliance programmes and robust working protocols (e.g., AML, responsible gaming, data protection).
Dr Simon Planzer, M.A.
Dr Simon Planzer works as practising attorney and scholar. He is the founder of the law firm PLANZER LAW AG. Through his legal practice, presentations and publications as well as work with regulators and the media he has substantially contributed to the cause of empirical-based and sound gaming regulation.
Dr Planzer wrote his interdisciplinary PhD on EU/EEA gaming regulation and addiction, a monograph for which he did research i.a. at Harvard Law School, Harvard Medical School (the Division on Addiction) and the European University Institute in Florence ("Empirical Views on European Gambling Law and Addiction" Published by Springer International Publishing, https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-319-02306-9).
After a bilingual law degree from the University of Fribourg and passing the bar exam he did postgraduate studies in EU law at the College of Europe and continued specialising in EU / EEA law working at the Legal Service of the EFTA Secretariat and the EFTA Court.
Early on, his peer-reviewed publications have focused on gaming, technology and compliance related matters such as responsible gaming and AML and have been published by the finest academic publishing houses, including ‘Gambling Law’ for The Handbook of EEA Law (book chapter, Springer) and ‘A Gambling Lawyer’s Perspective on Responsible Gambling’ (book chapter, Oxford).
Dr Planzer is a member of the IAGA and the IMGL and serves as editor-in-chief of the IMGL Magazine. He has been repeatedly invited by regulators to present, notably by the International Association of Gaming Regulators (IAGR) and the Gaming Regulators European Forum (GREF). Dr Planzer also serves as lecturer in law and director of the Competence Center on Gaming & Entertainment at the University of St Gallen (CH).
Why did you decide to set up your own firm, PLANZER LAW?
Setting up my own firm has allowed me to implement a boutique approach towards providing advice and services to clients, to focus on our core expertise and build close relations with clients who integrate us into their internal deliberations. Finally, I wanted to chop off quaint, outdated formalities of the legal profession.
What do you enjoy most about practising in gaming law?
Working directly with owners, top C-level executives, regulators and even scholars on highly complex, transnational issues is rewarding. It regularly means to look for solutions off the beaten track. The more complex, the more rewarding it is to provide sound, hands-on advice.
What are the greatest challenges currently faced by gaming lawyers?
A big challenge for our clients is the mix of shrinking profits, an ever-increasing burden of regulatory requirements and an unequal level playing field in competing with the unlicensed market.
If you could introduce one reform to Swiss law pertaining to gaming laws, what would it be and why?
A sound ‘player support system’ that does not limit itself to producing high numbers of nationwide player bans. Currently, many of the player bans are solely due to the fact of players not submitting the financial documentation requested from them on time.
In what ways does PLANZER LAW stand out from its competitors in the market?
Building on an outstanding international network, we understand the full product range and the topical issues surrounding the game. We speak ‘gaming’. The way we work, our use of technology as well as office space is closer to a technology company than a traditional law firm. In everything we do, we are not bearers of concerns but facilitators of solutions.
What excites you most about the future of gaming law?
We have the privilege to work with some of the smartest minds in an ever-transforming, innovative industry. It is exciting to be able to shape the ‘rules of the game’ by advising C-level executives, presenting to thought leading regulators and publishing educational content to all stakeholders.
As founding partner of the firm, what are you goals for the firm's development over the next five years?
We have earned our dominant position in the regulated domestic market in Switzerland servicing the full range of regulated stakeholders. Building on this base, we are increasingly acquiring transnational matters involving complex issues in gaming, entertainment and technology with no apparent link to Switzerland, which we wish to further expand.
What advice would you give to younger practitioners hoping to one day be in your position?
Study the Stanford University marshmallow experiment.
Planzer, S., & Lycka, M. (2019). A Gambling Lawyer’s Perspective on Responsible Gambling. In H. J. Shaffer, A. Blaszczynski, R. Ladouceur, D. Fong & P. Collins (eds.), Responsible Gambling: Primary Stakeholder Perspectives. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Planzer, S. et al. (2019). Practical Licensing Guide: Switzerland. Gambling Compliance, 30 April 2019.
Planzer, S. (2017). Anti-Money Laundering and Online Gambling: Guidance on How to Implement Broad and Indistinct AML Notions in Regulatory Practice. Published on SSRN.
Planzer, S. (2015). Gambling Law. In C. Baudenbacher (ed.), Handbook on EEA Law. Cham: Springer International Publishing.
Planzer, S. (2015). Towards an EU Addiction Policy: Rationale and Competences. In Alemanno & Garde (eds): Regulating Lifestyle Risks in Europe: Alcohol, Tobacco and Unhealthy Diets. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015.
Planzer, S. (2014). Glücksspiel-Regulierung und Glücksspiel-Sucht: Annahmen und Fakten. Die Nationale Glücksspielsucht-Forschung im Lichte des internationalen empirischen Erkenntnisstands (Gambling Regulation and Gambling Addiction: Assumptions and Facts). Bern: Weblaw (in German).
Planzer, S. (2014). Empirical Views on European Gambling Law and Addiction. Studies in European Economic Law and Regulation (Vol. I). Cham: Springer International Publishing.
Planzer, S., Grey, H., & Shaffer, H. (2014). Associations between national gambling policies and disordered gambling prevalence rates within Europe. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry 37(2), advance online publication 23 December 2013.
Planzer, Simon (2013) Lifestyle Risks: DSM-5: What's New? European Journal of Risk Regulation, 4 (4). 531-533.
Planzer, S., & Wardle, H. (2012). What We Know about the Impact of Advertising on Disordered Gambling. European Journal of Risk Regulation, 3(4).
Planzer, S., & Wardle, H. (2012). What We Know about the Comparative Effectiveness of Gambling Regulation. European Journal of Risk Regulation, 3(3).
Planzer, S. & Alemanno, A. (2010). Lifestyle Risks: Conceptualisation of an Emerging Category of Research. European Journal of Risk Regulation, 1(4).