Swiss Missed: a Blacklist Highlights the Inaugural Switzerland Regulation ModelPublished June 30, 2019 by Lee R
With players forces towards locally licenced operators, the Swiss government will for the first time use gaming revenues for social benefit.
The dreaded blacklist has returned to regulation—in one of the industry's most progressive and efficient jurisdictions.
To coincide with the launch of new gaming regulations, Switzerland's Federal Gaming Commission (CFMJ) and the Commission for Lotteries and Betting (Comlot) will publish and maintain a blacklist of unauthorized online gambling sites.
Taking effect July 1st, the move effectively blocks foreign-based companies from the Swiss market and forces online gamblers towards domestic sites.
The Last Opposition
Vehement objections were voiced in the form of a 50,000 signature petition to put the measure to referendum, but the efforts ultimately came up short when 73 percent of voters voted in favor anyway.
The prevailing argument won by the Swiss government was that the Gambling Act which had been passed in both houses of Parliament was an appropriate and effective update of legislation for the digital age.
Addiction Prevention Campaign
The Swiss government explained the motivation for the sweeping measure is to combat gambling addiction, in a country where Addiction Switzerland estimates some 75,000 out of 8.3 million people at a social cost of over half a billion Swiss francs (€450,000) per annum.
Use of Funds
The regulation model in action will provide the Swiss government with tax revenues from online gambling activities to fund more anti-addiction measures.
The Original Problem
This regulation model provides a solution to the problem identified by the government as the previous expenditures by Swiss gamblers of approximately 250 million Swiss francs annually on unregulated betting sites abroad that were not paying anything back into the Swiss social cause or government.
With publishing due at the end of July in the Swiss Gazette, the blacklist blackout leaves Switzerland's 21 registered casinos to provide online gambling and the Swiss lotteries to provide sports betting.
The amount of revenue they bring to the Swiss government will be interesting to discover, with every drop putting the government further in the red from the new regulation model. As for the blacklist impact, once the end of July rolls around, we will see how this plays out across the industry and the greater operator community.