The referendum held in Liechtenstein on Sunday rejected the proposed ban on gambling in the microstate by 73 to 27 percent to show that the country’s reputation claims have been surpassed by revenue-oriented ones. The referendum showed that voters consider the proposed ban irrelevant to gambling addictions and other gambling-related issues in the population.

”The Las Vegas of the Alps”:

Liechtenstein is a small European country with a population of only 40,000 but also with a marvelous Alpine landscape to make the country a highly popular destination among European tourists. However, Lichenstein is also a favorite destination of punters since there are six top-tier land-based casinos across the tiny territorial jurisdiction.

Ever since these casinos were launched in 2017, worldwide customers have kept coming back to enjoy the unique combination of the Alpine scenery and superior gambling experience that boosted the country’s reputation as ‘‘The Las Vegas of The Alps” among gamblers.

Reputation claims:

But it was the reputation that made the pressure groups like IG Volksmeinung initiate the referendum to ban the casinos from the state. These groups argued that the image of a popular casino destination brought by the presence of gambling facilities across the state might harm its wealthy international reputation.

These reputation claims were based on the fact that the country had been internationally blacklisted as a ”tax haven” for years to ease the bank secrecy laws a decade ago and win its international reputation back. Also, the pro-ban groups argued that gambling-related issues in the population would be reduced if the casinos were banned.

Proposal rejected:

On the other hand, the revenue generated by the gambling industry amounted to around $54.5 million. Before the referendum, both the country’s prince and the government spoke out against the ban as they consider the gambling industry an important source of income. The officials argued that a ban would be too drastic to address problems like gambling addiction. As a result, 73 percent of voters rejected the proposed ban on gambling in Liechenstein. None of the eleven municipalities had enough votes in the casino ban initiative to win a majority.

Highly regulated jurisdiction:

After the announcement of the result,  the casino association stated that it hoped “that the industry can now consolidate without a further tightening of the law” as casinos have already seen around 20 changes in laws and regulations over the last five years.

As for the reputation claims, the president of the country’s casino association and director of the Grand CasinoReinhard Fischer, stated that gambling is not a threat to the country’s image. He said: “What we do is in accordance with the law and, in some cases, even above the level required by law,”  to justify the grounds for the rejection of the proposed ban in the Alpine country.