Illegal casinos are not penalized in Switzerland
When considering that online casinos are illegal in some countries, one might make the logical assumption that the websites will simply be blocked in those respective countries. Well, for some countries this is not an option, and this is also the case for Switzerland. The Legal Affairs Committee of the Swiss National Council voted that no gambling websites were to be blocked.
Not everyone agrees on this subject, as the Council of State previously gave its approval to the plans in order to support the land-based casinos that had been facing difficulties with the growing online market. However, the National Council doesn't want the law to contain amendments imposing the blocking of unauthorized foreign online casinos, instead, they prefer to study what will happen in the next five years before making a definitive decision.
This position was adopted by the Legal Affairs Committee with 13 to 12 votes, as the measure of blocking websites was considered excessive and could easily be circumvented by the operators.
Some measurements and a 5-year study
Although there will be no blocking of unauthorised website, the National Commission still wants certain measures to be adopted by the Federal Gaming Commission to combat illegal sites.
An analysis of the Swiss market and unauthorised online casinos is also carried out at the same time for a period of 5 years to give the Federal Council an informed overview on how to decide whether or not to introduce more drastic measures in the fight against illegal gambling.
The Council of States also wants to implement a taxation exemption on winnings of less than 1 million Swiss francs. This decision was approved by a minority of the members of the Committee. Another minority would rather have the threshold lowered to 10,000 francs, while most members believed that there should be no limit at all on the amount of winnings that can benefit from the tax exemption.
No new type of concession
There is another subject on which the Council of States and the Commission come together, and it is on the fact that online casinos can be legalised, but without creating a new type of concession. This means that operators who fulfil all the conditions of type A casinos will be able to offer online gambling as well. The online casinos in the country would not be illegal anymore then.
It was also decided that there will not be a special tax to finance the measures to combat gambling addiction or a federal commission dedicated to this area.
Another amendment was added to the text by the Committee, and it concerns the amount of wages in a large casino that should not be higher than that of a federal councillor. The casinos will also have to offer games of skill, sports betting and lotteries.