On 10 Juni 2018, the Swiss electorate voted on Federal Act on Gambling (Gambling Act).
A lot of people enjoy gambling, playing games like roulette or poker, or buying lottery tickets. But these games can also lead to gambling addictions, or be exploited to commit fraud or money laundering offences. That is why the State sets clear regulations, in particular to protect consumers and require providers to pay levies to counteract the harmful effects of gambling. These levies go towards the AHV/IV, sport, culture and social causes. Swiss voters support this policy: in 2012 they voted clearly in favour of an article in the Constitution for this purpose.
The new Gambling Act implements this constitutional article and permits new games, in particular on the internet. The rules remain unchanged. Providers of these new games must also pay levies towards the general good and ensure that players are protected. The Act is also designed to increase protection against the dangers of gambling.
Various groups have launched a referendum against the Act. They argue that the State is engaging in internet censorship because it is seeking to block online games offered by providers who do not have a Swiss licence or permit.
The Federal Council and Parliament recommend accepting the Gambling Act, which updates Swiss gambling laws for the digital age and improves protection against gambling addiction. It implements the will of the Swiss voters, namely that only approved and certified games should be available in Switzerland and that gambling revenue should be used for the general good.
Who is entitled to vote? Where and how to vote?
- Everything you need to know about voting in Switzerland: www.ch.ch/democracy
Last modification 05.06.2018