Swiss voters will decide on Sunday whether to back a new gambling law designed to restrict online gambling to a state monopoly or reject what opponents say amounts to internet censorship.
Recent polls indicate a clear majority plan support the new
law, which has already been passed by both houses of parliament, and now is being put to a referendum.
The Swiss government says the Gambling Act updates legislation for the digital age. If approved by voters, the law would be among the strictest
in Europe and would only allow casinos and gaming companies certified in Switzerland to operate, including on the internet. This would enable Swiss companies for the first time to offer online gambling, but would basically block foreign-based companies
from the market.
Bern also wants all of the companies' proceeds to be taxed in Switzerland, with revenues helping fund anti-addiction measures, as well as social security and sports and culture programmes.
The new law represents a windfall
for Switzerland's casinos, which had put huge amounts of money into campaigning.
Opponents have slammed Bern for employing methods worthy of an authoritarian state, with a measure that they claim is censorship of the internet.
Update: State Monopoly wins by a distance
12th June 2018. See article from globaltimes.cn
Swiss voters have
overwhelmingly approved blocking foreign-based betting sites in a referendum on a new gambling law designed to create a local monopoly.
72.9% of voters came out in favor of the new gambling law.
The law, which is set to take effect next
year, will be among the strictest in Europe, allowing only casinos and gaming companies certified in Switzerland to operate in the country, including on the internet.
It will enable Swiss companies for the first time to offer online gambling, but
will basically block foreign-based companies from the market.