New rules that will legalise online gambling in Switzerland will come into effect on January 1 2019, but foreign operators will be outlawed.
The announcement was made by the Swiss Federal Council, which was confirming the timetable for implementation of Switzerland’s new Gaming Act. The Act was approved by a nationwide referendum held in June, in which nearly three-quarters of Swiss voters backed the measure.
The new laws will come into effect in January, and unlicensed operators will be banned from July 2019. Betting operators have been invited to submit licence applications to the Federal Council during the first half of the new year, and the aim is to issue all licences by July 1, at which time new blocking measures will be introduced to prevent online access to unlicensed operators.
Under the terms of the new Gaming Act, all licensed operators will have the freedom to offer new betting products to customers, including poker and roulette, but they will also be required to stick to strict guidelines on the maximum sums involved in poker tournaments and lotteries.
In the case of poker, the maximum single entry fee permitted will be CHF200 (£154) for small tournaments and the limit for combined entry fees will be CHF20,000 (£15,302). Stake limit sizes for lotteries will vary according to the size of the lottery.
The laws will be mandatory for all casinos and lottery companies, and are being portrayed as part of the Swiss government’s ongoing attempts to tackle gambling addiction. Commenting on the laws, the Federal Council said they were concrete measures that would protect players. It has been estimated that at present, Swiss gamblers spend around CHF 250 million (£119 million) a year using unregulated foreign-based betting sites.
Steven is a seasoned freelancer writer from Coventry in the UK. He specialises in writing about the gambling industry and aims to provide unbiased, trustworthy and high quality content to the public. Whilst away from his freelance writing work he enjoys watching the football and following the F1.