Switzerland Moves Towards Online Gambling Legislation
The Swiss Federal Government has published a draft of a new gaming bill which would regulate online gambling in Switzerland. The bill would allow land casinos in the country to use their licenses to operate online.The bill also says that all gambling winnings will be tax-free and that poker tournaments will be allowed outside of casinos but there will be some restrictions that need to be clearly defined. It is not clear what size of poker tournaments will be allowed to take place outside of casinos and whether there will be restrictions on buy-ins, prize pools and player numbers.
The bill was published just a few days after the Swiss Casino Federation issued a report which claimed that online gambling was a primary cause of the decline in the country’s casino industry.
The industry has been declining since 2007 and last year land casinos suffered a 1.5% fall in business. It is thought that the Swiss gamble around $113 million each year at foreign online casinos.
The bill also outlined the creation of a new intra-national body which would “institutionalise the exchange of ideas and cooperation between the authorities of the Confederation and the cantons.”