For years, Switzerland has been lauded as a nation that is a picture of maturity; a country that takes the voice of its people very seriously. Known for holding many referendums, another one is just around the corner in the form of an online gambling legislation referendum. Rather than enforced from the government, these referenda give the people a chance to vote on everything as best they can.
This latest referendum is part of a challenge against September 2017 rulings that were brought in. The bill only passed through last year, has become a major source of conversation in Switzerland as the country tries to find an equal balance of opinion on what is a very controversial and challenging topic.
The new rules were approved in September, allowing for online casino and poker games to be used in the country for the first time. Local internet service providers, though, have to still block the domains of international gambling sites, making sure that the online operation stays national. While some argue that this blocks the use of the internet in a free and liberal manner, others argue that it’s important to help keep the gambling in-house within Swiss companies.
Supporters of the bill claim that foreign online casinos have been backed by foreign money in other casinos (without any proof, it has to be said) while they also say that it would stop millions of Swiss francs being spent outside the country.
With 60,000 signatures grabbed – and only 50,000 needed – this is set to go to the people to decide what the next step should be. For those who are interested in the wider gambling circuit, this could set a pretty major precedent as many European nations begin to become a little more open-minded about changing gambling rules. At the moment, this is just the start of what we believe will become a long-running discussion in the country, enabling a very interesting nationwide discussion. More to follow.