Swiss residents have tremendously backed up the move to block foreign betting platforms. The new gambling law was backed up by the support of over 72.9% of voters. This was in disregard of the accusations that the law amounts to online suppression. The law is due to take effect in the coming year, 2019. The law will be one of the toughest in the whole of Europe. It will only permit Swiss casinos and other certified firms to operate. The Swiss government reported that it’s at the forefront to fight gambling addiction. Both houses of the Swiss parliament have passed the legislation.
The bill will only allow Swiss organizations to offer online gambling and the same time block all foreign betting platforms in Switzerland. This issue has left opponents saying that the bill amounts to a restriction of the internet. Several youth wings from the Swiss government political parties gathered around 50,000 signatures that they staged in an attempt to call off the passing of the law.
However, the government said that the move is critically essential to block and tackle gambling addiction in the country. It assured residents that the rule would be rigorous as they want to eliminate the gambling problem for good. Simonetta Sommaruga, the Justice Minister, reported that the law is crucial in the struggle against gambling addiction. Subsequently, the law will aid the government to impose tax gambling revenue and other direct revenues that will see the government raise funds for anti-gambling measures.
According to statistics from the government, the country spends over 250 million Swiss Francs (189 euros, $ 253) per year in unregulated foreign betting sites. Campaigners claimed that the move would cost the government impressive amounts of cash. This is because the new law has increased the threshold on taxable winnings to 1 million francs from 1,000 francs.
The co-president of the Greens Youth Group, Luzian Franzini told the AFP news agency before the vote that the new act was dangerous. Mr Luzian wished to speak about the generation gap between the lawmakers that passed the law and the young voters that were furious about the law. He expressed his worries as the lawmakers were not aware of the repercussions that the law could bring to the internet. Young voters have soundly rejected the law as it will bar the freedom of the internet. The youth’s President Luzian vowed that they would continue to protest against the law before its implementation in the coming year.