The country of Switzerland has just held an election and Swiss voters approved to legalize online gambling and allow online casinos to operate within the country while blocking all foreign gambling sites.
The newly approved Gambling Act won the voters approval with an overwhelming 72.9% approval rate, a rate much higher than early polls were suggesting. Critics of the new Gambling Act claim that by blocking foreign betting sites its equates to censorship however their voices were clearly not enough to stop the peoples wishes.
The new Swiss gambling law will begin to take effect in early 2019. It is going to be one of Europe’s most strict online gambling regulation laws and only allow certified Swiss online casinos and betting firms to legally operate to Swiss citizens.
It is reported that Swiss gamblers spend around 250 million Swiss francs per year on foreign, unregulated online betting websites. The Government says the new Gambling Act which has already passed both houses of Parliament is going to help deal with the problem of gambling addiction.
This will be the first time Switzerland has approved legal online gambling by Swiss companies.
The switch to allow Swiss gaming forms to offer betting sites to their citizens should help the country regulate the market and provide enforcement rules to help people dealing with gambling problems. The government has been adamant that the new Gambling Act is necessary to block known gambling addicts in an effort to deal with the gambling addiction issue.
Opponents argues the government could have offered incentives to foreign online gaming companies that agree to be taxed but their argument fell on def ears. Additionally, critics have said that the issue was being pushed forward by Swiss casinos with big money at stake and who stand to bring in massive revenues from a prohibition on citizens placing online wagers with their competitors.