There is bad news in the pipeline for online gamblers in Switzerland as next week will reportedly see the small nation implement a blanket ban on foreign iGaming operators in order to compel local players to utilize only those sites run by domestic providers.
According to a Monday report from TheLocal.ch, the move is due to come into force from Monday and will transform Switzerland into one of Europe’s most tightly controlled online gambling jurisdictions. The policy is to also purportedly involve the Swiss Federal Gaming Board publishing a ‘blacklist’ of prohibited iGaming domains but will conversely allow local firms to operate online casinos for the first time.
The new policy is reportedly being implemented despite protests from those who claim that restricting access to the Internet poses a serious threat to liberty. These opponents even purportedly managed to gather some 50,000 signatures in order to get the matter placed before the electorate via a 2018 referendum.
However, TheLocal.ch reported that this opposition was subsequently defeated as 73% of the population ultimately voted in favor of the new policy after the Swiss government claimed that the strict ban would it to combat gambling addictions. Officials had moreover claimed at the time that such problems afflicted approximately 75,000 people in the small Alpine nation of some 8.3 million inhabitants and ended up costing society almost $512 million every year.
The news domain reported that the new law will only allow gamblers in Switzerland to wager on sites that have been approved by the Swiss Federal Gaming Board while the state is to collect tax revenues that it is to use to fund a range of anti-addiction programs. This new setup is purportedly set to be a boon for the nation’s 21 licensed land-based casinos as they will now be hoping to collect some of the estimated $284 million that local aficionados annually spend with foreign iGaming domains.