Swiss Online Gambling Censorship Issues Clarified

Published Thursday, March 02, 2017 -
Swiss Online Gambling Censorship Issues Clarified

Switzerland has enjoyed a reputation for being a fair and intelligent jurisdiction in the European Union. A recent post revealing the confusion around the Swiss plan to censor unlicensed online gambling operators has the gambling public in the country wanting to know more.

January 20th saw the Swiss government withdraw a plan to introduce regulations that would demand internet service providers block online gambling websites licensed offshore. Switzerland’s  Council of States approved the blocking plan supported by the terrestrial gambling operators in Switzerland who have felt the impact of internet betting in the jurisdiction. The censorship plan was found unacceptable by the internet service providers who voiced that the blocking plan would be difficult to execute and expensive. It was suggested by the Legal Affairs Committee that the Swiss Federal Gaming Commission issue warnings to offending online operators and prosecute those that do not respond to the threats.

Now however the Swiss parliament has voted in favour of the measure requiring internet service providers in Switzerland to begin blocking access to unlicensed online gambling web locations.

The lower House of Representatives approved of the censorship plan after the upper house voted to approve the move. It was also approved by the parliament that land based casinos in Switzerland are the only entities eligible for internet gambling licenses.

According to the web location, Thierry Burkart from the Radical Party, commented, “Blocking websites works – experience abroad demonstrates that,”  

Franz Grütter, a representative for The Greens and Swiss People’s Party who opposed the censorship plan, saying the move is “what dictatorships do”. Grütter added, “Blocking isn’t in step with the liberal, democratic way of thinking.”

The move is still controversial despite the censorship issues Switzerland has yet to decide whether there should be tax on gambling winnings. The sentiment of the Senate is that wins from sports betting and lotteries are to remain free of taxes. Debate on the gambling issues continues until March 15th.




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