After almost three years of debate, Switzerland’s Money Gaming Act, known as the Geldspielgesetz, has been approved, paving the way for online gaming to be legalised in the country.
The new legislation combines land-based casinos and online gaming into a single piece of legislation. Only operators with a Swiss land-based presence will be allowed to operate gaming websites although international operators will be allowed to team up with Swiss casinos to target the local player.
Swiss ISPs (Internet Service Providers) will block locals from accessing international operators who are not in participation with a Swiss land-based casino. The new legislation states that winnings from lottery or sports betting will be taxed only if exceeding CHF1m.
The Money Gaming Act will also allow small-scale poker tournaments to take place away from casinos.
The new gaming laws are due to come into force in January 2018 but could be delayed if opposition mounts to 50,000 signatures. The Free Democratic Party, the Green Liberal Party and the Swiss People’s Party are all opposed to the Act.