As a nation that is known for taking the vote to the people via referenda, Switzerland has just undergone a referendum vote on casino gaming. They controversial referendum was set out recently and was supposed to help limit access to the Swiss market for any international operator looking to get involved.
Arguing that is was ‘censorship’ of the internet, this has been opposed heavily by opponents to this kind of limitation. However, despite the campaign promoting the use of online gambling form other sources, it would appear that the referendum has gone against the industry.
The referendum was passed after a challenge from the Free Democratic Party, pushing for a referendum on the matter instead of just a basic vote. For that reason, it was expected that the vote would be tight: the vote, though, was overwhelmingly in favour of rejecting international operators being able to use the market as they had.
Given that those who champion and argue about the benefits of gambling are often out-numbered by watchdogs and charities, it’s easy to see how one message can so easily win over one another. For Swiss gamers, it will be time to get used to the concept of having less variety and options.
What is interesting is that Swiss-based casinos will be able to still offer online gambling services, meaning that there’s a limitation of choice compared to what was available beforehand. It will be intriguing to see what the response to this decision is.
Known as a country that looks at its mistakes and constantly looking to continue a democratic conversation, the next stage of this debate will be very interesting to watch for those interested in what is to come.