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Swiss Parliament Reviews New Gambling Bill
- October 27, 2015 By Nemanja L. -
Switzerland is moving closer to allowing its residents to take part in online gambling as the Swiss Federal Assembly is believed to be reviewing the latest gambling regulation.
Under the current law, online gambling is forbidden in the country, although a number of famous gaming operators do accept Swiss players.
And in order to prevent the residents playing at unlicensed gambling websites, the Swiss government is considering softening its stance on online gambling.
Gambling Bill Presented in May 2014
The new gambling bill was presented by the Swiss Parliament back in May 2014, but it has yet to be voted into a law. The Conference of Cantonal Directors in Charge of Gambling and Lotteries (CDCM) have since offered its support to the new regulation.
However, it looks as though at least for the time being world’s leading gaming companies have little to hope for when it comes to the Swiss market, as the government only plans to allow existing operators in the country to extend their services to digital channels.
Namely, a total of 21 land-based casinos operate in Switzerland, and having seen their revenues drop over the last couple of years, they are exploring new opportunities.
They have, therefore, welcomed the government’s plans to legalize online gambling and are ready to apply for licenses as soon as possible.
New Bill Does Not Comply with EU Laws
However, with the new legal framework clearly favouring domestic firms, it remains to be seen how Switzerland is going to ensure that new legislation is going to comply with existing EU business and competition laws.
While the country is not a member state of the European Union, it is a member of the European Economic Community and as such as it has adopted many of the EU business guidelines.
The new gambling bill is supposed to make gambling winnings exempt from tax charges, with only casino winnings currently free of taxes.
Similar to the United States, Switzerland will leave it to each of its 26 cantons to make a decision on gambling licenses, although an intra-national body will be created as well with a view to ensuring the close cooperation between the authorities and the gambling venues.