Switzerland to Regulate Online GamblingPublished January 8, 2010 by OCR Editor
High hopes that Switzerland will set the tone for other European countries.
It seems likely that Switzerland is about to liberalize its legal stance on online gambling and start licensing internet gambling sites. Economists predict that proper regulation of the Swiss internet gambling industry such as that being proposed could net more than $22 million every year for the government. It's hoped that this tidy profit alone will influence other European countries to follow suit.
Switzerland has decided to rethink its existing policy because of stiff commercial competition from foreign online companies and loss of revenue in taxes and not because of outside pressure from the European Commission or the World Trade Organisation. Further, Switzerland is focusing its attention primarily on regulating the online casino segment rather than on online betting and poker like many other countries. It is interesting to note that online lotteries and sportsbooks are already legal in Switzerland.
Given the many similarities between the two markets, Switzerland is being touted as a role model for the United States (along with other non-European Union countries). Firstly, neither are subject to external interference by third parties such as the European Commission (Switzerland is not a member of the EU) when reviewing and drafting their regulations. Plus, both countries are based on a federal system meaning that each state is allowed to draft its own gambling regulations and the challenge to negotiate a nationwide regulation can be avoided altogether.