Money Time in Switzerland? New Parliamentary Proposal Says SoPublished October 8, 2017 by Lee R
This is a big step forward in adapting outdated European gaming legislation.
After almost three years, the Money Gaming Act has been submitted for a final vote in Switzerland.
In draft since 2014, Switzerland’s Money Gaming Act containing sweeping reforms to the gambling sector has finally been sent to Parliament for a final vote for enactment into law.
Severely Outdated Legislation
The Money Gaming Act would update the severely outdated gambling regulations currently prevailing in Switzerland comprised of the Lotteries and Betting Act of 1923 and the Gambling Act of 1998.
Equal Taxation Model
A key issue of contention which Swiss lawmakers had struggled to resolve was equal taxation of all sectors, with sports betting and lotteries to this point bearing the entire tax burden for Swiss gaming activity.
New Tax Exemptions
The proposed solution in the draft on its way to Parliament establishes tax exemption rates for the play categories of sports bets and lottery winnings rending only winnings over CHF1 as taxable by government according to the Money Gaming Act.
First Online Regulation
The Money Gaming Act would for the first time permit online gambling in Switzerland, with new licensing limited to Swiss land-based organisations accompanied by blocks of foreign operator IPs and blacklisting of attempted encroachers.
Foreign suppliers will be permitted to serve Swiss gaming operator clients, with the as yet undefined caveat that their chosen international supplier has “maintained good reputation.” This likely refers to foreign providers showing no history of attempting to circumvent Swiss gaming law or being insensitive to vulnerable players.
To Face Swiss Players...
The door for foreign operators to serve Swiss players would be left open through partnership with a local casino.
Private Poker Tournaments
Small-scale poker tournaments will be allowed outside casino floors. What “small-scale” is not at this juncture specified.
Promising Poker Permission
This is a key compromise for the Swiss government, whose highest court was roundly criticised in 2010 for banning private poker tournaments. At the time, the Swiss Supreme Court confined the increasingly popular organised poker tournaments to gambling casinos alone.
With the greater social mission of the Money Gaming Act to combat fraud and underage online gambling, the ways in which gaming taxes will be legally adapted to focus on donations towards charitable causes.
Despite passage still leaving 2019 as the earliest possible date for actual enactment of the Money Gaming Act, the progress and efforts of the Swiss parliament to scrap less equitable regulation stands as an encouraging and galvanizing sign for the rest of Europe’s regulators and gaming operators in one of Europe’s largest and traditionally progressive markets.