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Switzerland is Getting Ready to Legalise Online Gambling
- November 30, 2018 By Riley Wilson -
Earlier this year, Switzerland voted and gave the green light to the new online gambling bill, which will come into force next year.
The Swiss Gambling Act will officially have legal effect from January 1, 2019, effectively legalising online gambling in this Central European country.
New Licenses for Operators
However, all operators based outside of Switzerland that continue to offer their services to Swiss customers will be banned from the country’s market. So, in order to legally serve players in Switzerland, operators will need to be present in the country, as foreign-based ones won’t be able to enter the market.
The new bill will give them the chance to enter the local market, while the full ban on unlicensed gambling sites will come into effect from July next year. At this moment, the Swiss Federal Council is reviewing applications for gambling licenses, while this process will be finished by the end of June, while successful applicants will be able to start doing business from July 1, 2019.
As previously planned, the licensing process will encompass online casinos, poker sites, lotteries, and raffles. According to available information, all operators that have the Swiss license will be able to offer services such as poker or raffles. Single poker entry fees and total entry fees are capped at €175 and €17,500 respectively.
A Big Opportunity for Switzerland
The legalisation of online gambling was approved on a nationwide referendum, held in June this year, where an overwhelming majority of the electorate – or 73% of them, to be precise – gave their support for this important change.
According to some politicians, the voters in Switzerland saw this as a big chance to use revenue originating from online gambling to fund various projects around the country.
There’s another important factor. The experts estimate that approximately €220 million in revenue are lost every year to gambling operators based outside of Switzerland. That’s why the Swiss will ensure that all the money spent on gambling stays in the country. In addition to this, Switzerland will implement more effective measures to address the issue of problem gambling.