Switzerland is laying the groundwork to begin regulating online gambling after a draft of a new gaming bill was introduced by the Swiss Federal Government last week. The objective of the bill is to allow the country’s brick-and-mortar casinos to expand their gaming options, allowing them to offer online gambling to its citizens.
Various reports indicate that the Swiss Casino Federation is looking at ways on how to take advantage of the growing clout of online gambling in the country where foreign gambling operators are making hand over fist from Swiss nationals. So basically, the Swiss government wants Swiss players to eschew these foreign operators by allowing the country’s casinos to offer online gambling within the country. Sounds like a neat plan, right?
The new bill that’s been prepared to regulate online gambling seeks to address concerns brought up by the Casino Federation regarding the decline of business attributed to all the casinos in the country’s cantons. As part of the draft, which has been sent for consultation until August 20, 2014, the country is looking at making all gambling winnings exempt from any taxes while also allowing poker tournaments to be held outside of the 19 casinos in the country.
There’s still a lot of points in the draft that are up for discussion, including the status of foreign online gambling operators and how the country is going to address what essentially will be competition for its casinos’ online gambling offerings. Another important aspect of the draft that still needs a lot of ironing out is who gets the responsibility of controlling the industry moving forward.
Will the government create a federal entity that will oversee the whole industry or will jurisdiction be shouldered by each of the 26 cantons in the country? Switzerland’s federal government is reportedly leaning towards the latter setup, but it’s also looking into creating an agency that will bring together legislators of the Confederation and the cantons to exchange thoughts and ideas on how to jumpstart the country’s gaming industry.