Foreign online gambling sites blocked in Switzerland
On Sunday June 10th, a referendum on the gambling law in Switzerland was voted on. At the referendum more than two-thirds of voters approved the new law, blocking foreign online gambling sites, despite strong opposition who called it a first step towards censoring the Internet.
72.9% vote "yes"
The Gambling Act had already been passed by Parliament, but opponents of the law managed to obtain a referendum which was then held on the 10th of June. The electoral participation rate of the 23 Swiss cantons in the referendum, however, was only about 34%. In other words, only roughly one third of the eligible voters voted 72.9% voted in favor of the bill.
Taxed gambling and blocked pages
The law will now enter into force at the beginning of 2019. It is also planned to tax all licensed gambling in Switzerland in order to finance, among other things, an anti-addiction fund and social security systems and cultural and sports programs. The central aspect of the debate, however, was online gambling.
One of the most restrictive laws in Europe
The future law will allow only licensed and certified gambling companies and casinos in Switzerland to offer their services online. In short, operators based abroad are then excluded from the market and can no longer offer their services to residents of Switzerland. The exclusion will then be carried out via a blacklist of Internet service providers (ISPs) who will then block the corresponding websites. Opponents of this approach believe that this is Internet censorship.