New gambling law in Switzerland

Switzerland has, after a referendum, passed a new gambling law. This changes little, but regulates gambling in cantons with one law.

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In a referendum held in 2012, the Swiss chose to amend the law governing games of chance. The Swiss parliament approved this amendment at the end of 2017. They are now being incorporated into the new gambling law, which regulates gambling in a single law that applies to all cantons. /p> /p> p> However, implementation did not occur automatically after approval. A number of youth parties argued that the amendments, and indeed the entire law, were flawed. The Young Liberals, Young Radical Liberals, Young People’s Party, and several interest groups gathered over 60,000 signatures. There was a new referendum last summer, on Sunday, June 10, 2018.


The simple question was: should the new law be kept or should it be changed? As with Brexit, a simple solution to a complex problem. A topic with complicated arguments, many interests at stake, and far-reaching consequences. /p> /p> p> Obviously, there were polls conducted beforehand. For a long time, the number of supporters and opponents of the new gambling law grew in lockstep. However, as the referendum date approached, the number of YES voters increased dramatically in the regular polls. Only on social media did the No voters have a slight lead. According to some MPs, debates on television helped the elderly understand Switzerland’s interests better than young people.

The new gambling legislation/h2> p> Switzerland has a total of 21 legal casinos. That is, and will continue to be, the maximum under the new law. These casinos are mostly run by international gambling organizations. They are granted the exclusive right to launch an online casino. Foreign online gambling sites must be blocked by Internet service providers. Swiss citizens who visit foreign gambling sites are informed that they are engaging in illegal activity.

The tax-free profit from gambling will be increased following the implementation of the new gambling law. This will then increase from around 850 euros to around 850,000 euros. The AVS/AI* and public utilities (culture, social sector, and sport), among others, continue to benefit from the tax revenue generated by gambling profits. In 2019, the AVS/AI is expected to receive 255 million euros. The gambling profits will provide more than 500 million euros to cantonal lottery funds. With this, the cantons support volunteer projects. They can also grant licenses for local gambling initiatives.

The government and the new generation of liberals

Naturally, the government supports the law that was passed last year. The law, they claim, strengthens protection against gambling addiction, money laundering, and manipulation by competing organizations. With the exception of a few skill games and small barely profitable gambling initiatives, gambling winnings are spent on society. Furthermore, the latter is completely controlled and transparent.

Young liberal parties believe that the law is out of date. The law stifles free trade. And they consider the restriction to 21 casinos and the blocking of foreign online casinos to be a form of censorship. Furthermore, Switzerland would be isolated because it rejects initiatives from innovative ICT and gambling companies. /p> h2> The end result/h2>

The referendum turnout was 34% lower than in many other Swiss referendums. In the end, 1,326,000 Swiss citizens voted in favor of the new law. Almost 500,000 people voted no. With 72.9 percent of the vote, the new law was approved.

Parliament had already approved the legislation. As a result, the conditions are already in effect. Following the referendum, however, there will be some consultations in parliament. The new gambling law is expected to take effect in early 2019.

Switzerland’s Casinos h2> /h2> p> Switzerland’s 21 casinos

Switzerland has 21 casinos, and online gambling sites may soon open. Permits are classified into two types. Casinos with a B concession may have three types of gaming tables (for example, roulette, blackjack, and poker) and a maximum of 250 slots. They must also stick to betting and winning limits. They can connect slot machines with this license, but only indoors. /p> /p> p> A casino with an A concession can have an unlimited number of gambling tables and slot machines. The cabinets can be linked together, as well as with cabinets in other casinos, and the stakes are unlimited. /p> /p> p> The AVS receives 100% of the tax revenue from casinos with an A license. A B license is worth 60% to the AVS and 40% to the canton in which the casino is located. /p> /p> p> *AVS/AI stands for assurance-vieillesse et survivants / assurance-invaliditéde, or insurance for old age, next of kin, and invalids.

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