Switzerland on the Verge of Approving Local Gambling Regulation
Switzerland appears to be on the verge of becoming the latest country to adopt new gambling legislation. Local news agency Swiss Info reported Thursday that local lawmakers have agreed to do away with an old tax on winnings from sports bets and lotteries. That was the final hurdle that needed to be resolved before Switzerland could pass new gaming laws.
All that remains is one more vote on the Money Gaming Act in Parliament before the new legislation officially becomes law. However, there is no official word on when said vote will actually take place.
Switzerland’s current gambling laws state that earnings from sports bets and lotteries are taxed, which is not the case for winnings from land-based casinos. Switzerland’s lawmakers came to an agreement on a provision in the new bill that would only tax winnings of CHF1 million or more. By doing so, lawmakers are ensuring that all legal forms of gambling receive the same taxation treatment.
If the bill gets voted through, it would replace the current and extremely outdated Lotteries and Betting Act of 1923 as well as the Gambling Act of 1998.
New Provisions in Money Gaming Act
Under the proposed new laws, online gambling will be legal in Switzerland, which is not the case as of now. However, only local, land-based casino operators will be allowed to provide online betting services. No outside operators may operate an online betting site within the country’s borders under the new law.
Foreign operators will not be granted the opportunity to apply for licenses from regulators. Foreign regulators will also be blocked from attempting to target Swiss players. Those that attempt to circumnavigate the new laws will be promptly blacklisted and then blocked by Switzerland’s local internet service providers.
While foreign operators will be blocked, suppliers based outside of Switzerland will still be able to provide local casinos with products under the new bill. Additionally, they will not have to obtain a new license in order to do so.
However, the casinos accepting the products have to prove to the Swiss government that those foreign suppliers have maintained a favorable reputation. It is not yet known what sorts of guidelines the suppliers will have to meet in order to be greenlighted as an acceptable foreign supplier to Swiss casinos. Once the suppliers are approved, they will be allowed to operate in the Swiss market.
The Money Gaming Act would additionally allow poker players to organize formal tournaments outside of casinos. The new laws are also expected to bring forth more comprehensive protection for players by invoking new policies.
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