Recently, Switzerland organized a referendum about a new gambling law for lottery and casino’s. Not a lot of people went to the polling station though, only 34 percent. However, 72 percent of them voted in favor of the law. What are the most important parts of the new Swiss gambling law?
Criticism on the gambling law
There was a lot of criticism on the new gambling law before the referendum. Opponents said it was a way to ‘censor the internet’ and considered it be dangerous. It’s interesting to know that a lot of young people actually voted against the law. It was also the youth division of the left-liberal ‘Parti Radical-Democratique’ who managed to raise enough signatures to organize a referendum.
Youth calls it ‘censure’
The youth division doesn’t like the blockade of illegal gambling websites and call it ‘censure’. Opponents also think it’s bad news for the Swiss government that international gambling companies are no longer welcome on the Swiss gambling market. However, supports of the law say that international gambling websites can work together perfectly with Swiss casinos.
Despite the many young opponents, the Swiss casinos are very content with the outcome. A very important part of the new law is that there will be Swiss permits for online casinos. These documents did not exist before. Illegal casinos without a permit will be blocked from now on.
Limited amount of casinos
The permits will only be given to casinos who already run a casino in Switzerland. It means that land-based casinos can also establish an online counterpart now. The online casino permit will only be given to a limited amount of Swiss casinos though, 28 in total.
New situation for Swiss casinos
Before the law was accepted, Swiss land-based casinos were not allowed to establish an online casino. However, it did not mention if it was forbidden for international gambling companies as well. As a result, they were the only ones who offered online games of chance. This situation will change on January 1st, 2019. From then on, Swiss casinos are also allowed to offer games of chance.
Local casinos and international gambling companies
The new gambling law didn’t drop out of the blue. Last year the Swiss parliament already gave its approval for it. They mention Belgium and the United States as a good example. In the state New Jersey a lot of local casinos work together with international gambling companies. An example out of Belgium is the Blankenberge Casino and the Oostende Casino. The first one works together with Unibet and the second one with Bwin. They do this because establishing an online casino can be quite expensive. A cooperation can lower the costs significantly.
It’s a good sign that the first Swiss casinos are already considering to work together with international gambling companies. Recently the Belgian company Ardent Group bought a share of a casino in Baden, Switzerland. Ardent Group is an international company who is also active in Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Colombia and Romania. For example, it established a casino called ‘Circus’ in Belgium and Romania and the ‘Vive la Suerte’ casino in Spain. You should be careful with playing in a Circus online casino though. Some players have been complaining about slow deposits and withdrawals and a bad service team. However, you should try it yourself and find out if the criticism is justified.
Ardent Group and the Swiss casino already established a website called Jackpot.ch. Quite a good idea, because Swiss gamblers can already practice with a demo part of the online casino. So they don’t play with money yet. This will be possible on January 1st, 2019.