Switzerland passes Money Gaming Act, but new legislation remains unloved

Following three-years of debate and discussion, the Swiss Parliament has passed the ‘Money Gaming Act’ modernising the nation’s gambling laws for land-based and online verticals.

Approving legislation of the Money Gaming Act, Switzerland revamps much-needed provisions for its gambling laws which were initially formed in 1928, and last restructured in 1998.

The process of rectifying Swiss gambling laws began in 2014, with pro-industry lawmakers stating to the Bern Parliament that the Country could not protect its national consumers with existing provisions that did not cover digital services.

To date, online gambling has been ‘technically illegal’ by Swiss laws. However, a number of international operators have serviced Swiss consumers, stating that the government has made ‘no specific’ legislation for online gambling, and choosing to adhere to industry policy designed by regulated European jurisdictions.

Moving forward, the new Act will legalise online gambling verticals serviced by locally registered operators who will be required to have a form of land base presence.

Protecting its new conditions, the Swiss government will ask national internet service providers to be prepared to block IP access of international gambling operators illegally targeting Swiss consumers.

Though passed by Parliament, the Money Gaming Act has met criticism from various Swiss political parties such as the Green Liberals and Free Democratic Party, that stated that the legislation breaches current EU laws on free movement of business services and adds new restrictions to internet access.