Swiss Punters Have Input Into IP Blocking Law

Published Sunday, January 21, 2018 -
Swiss Punters Have Input Into IP Blocking Law

In Switzerland there is a caveat to any law made in the nation allowing for a public referendum if a petition of over 50,000 signatures is submitted within 100 days of a new law’s passage. This civil law has been enacted by the voters in Switzerland which gathered 60,000 signatures on a petition protesting the government’s plan to block international gambling operators from accepting Swiss punters.

The coalition of Swiss political party youth groups, internet service providers and civil liberty advocates were successful in obtaining the support of the people and will have their referendum on the Swiss government plan to block the domains of internationally licensed gambling sites.  Despite evidence to the contrary revealed recently terrestrial based operators have been blaming international sites for their falling revenue.

President of the Free Democratic Party youth league, Andri Silberschmidt, which led the petition drive, commented to media that those individuals who’d signed the petition “don’t want state interference in legal online offer. And they don’t want protectionism for domestic casinos.”

The Swiss Federation of Casinos (SFC) was not happy with the success of the petition drive. The organization claims success was only possible thanks to the financial support of the international online gambling operators. The SFC issued a statement claiming that overturning the new law would result in increased problem gambling behavior, less money for social programs.

Lukas Reimann a member of the Swiss People’s Party (SVP) reminded media outlets that domain-blocking has been ineffective at achieving its goals. Reimann also suggested that government revenue from online gambling would “more than double” if international sites applied for a local license.

Reimann also pointed  out that “the majority of domestic casinos have foreign owners.” Reimann continued to add he was opposed to “unfair intervention in the market” and said the new law “clearly bears the hallmarks of the local casino lobby.”

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