Swiss referendum approved betting regulation
Voters from Switzerland overwhelmingly backed a new online gambling law that requires gaming companies to be certified by the government in order to operate online and in the country. The bill that also aims to prevent addiction received 73 per cent of support from voters who cast ballots.
The results mark the first time that Swiss firms will be able to offer online gambling services in a market where foreign companies are not welcomed. Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga voiced her support and said that the bill was indispensable to ensure that strict rules are followed. The government believes that by limiting gaming sited to Swiss-based companies, the tax revenue will help fund anti-addiction measures. Gamblers from Switzerland spend approximately €215 million on foreign betting sites, and those bets have no contributions to Swiss coffers.
Sommaruga said that the new gambling law would help them heal. On the other hand, Luzian Franzini, co-president of The Greens’ youth wing and leader of the campaign against the new law, said before the vote that the approval sets a very dangerous precedent, as the government has “methods worthy of an authoritarian state,” through a law that could be taken as censorship of the internet.