Switzerland Introduces New Online Gambling Legislation

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Switzerland Introduces New Online Gambling Legislation ( Click to Enlarge )

News broke this week that Switzerland has formally approved new legislation for online gambling. The new law was authorised by the Swiss parliament with 73% positive votes.

It contains a provision enabling customers to access only the online casinos that are authorised by the Swiss authorities, and it came into effect on July 1, 2019.

The Details

The Act that has been approved dictates that gamblers in Switzerland will only have authorisation to bet with domestic casinos that are proven to comply with tax obligations and strict problem gambling policies.

Anyone who registers an account with an overseas casino should make direct contact with the operator, as Switzerland will no longer have jurisdiction over any online casino providers located in foreign countries.

The list of unauthorised gambling operators has been published by both the Lotteries and Betting Commission and the nation’s Federal Gaming Commission.

All providers included in the blacklist have been blocked by locals telecoms service DNS (domain name servers).

Foreign sites accessible from Switzerland are under restriction, and the operators who withdrew from the Swiss market voluntarily have not been affected.

Offshore Impact

An estimated $252 million per year has been moving from casinos operating in Switzerland into the budgets of offshore casinos situated in Gibraltar and Malta. The Swiss government wants to put a stop to this and keep more money in the country.

Recently, licenses have been issued to 4 local Swiss casinos.

These licenses have approval from the Federal Council and the Federal Gaming Commissions.

The first casinos to make it to the ‘approved’ list are Grand Casino Davos, Grand Casino Baden, Pfaffikon and Grand Casino Lucerne, all of which have partnerships with online gaming companies.

The Previous Situation

Before this legislation came into force, Switzerland had 21 casinos in addition to 11 horse racing events. Swiss citizens could also participate in a lottery organised by each state, while the national lottery was restricted.

With the prohibition of foreign gambling platforms, it is hoped the local gaming sector will be boosted and problem gambling management in Switzerland will be improved.

There are an estimated 75,000 people struggling with gambling addiction is Switzerland, and only by committing to problem gambling policies will this be improved.