It’s Complicated! Swiss face long road to gambling coherence

Dr Simon Planzer,

Swiss legal expert Dr Simon Planzer, Partner of Planzer Law has detailed that Switzerland faces a long and complex road towards developing any type of coherent online gambling framework.

Speaking at the iGB Live Amsterdam conference, Planzer has detailed that despite Swiss Parliament approving the mandate of ‘Money Gaming Act – MGA’ in 2017, the application of new online gambling laws could take years to implement.

In his presentation, Planzer details Swiss Confederation legislative complexities which have to be implemented throughout 26 autonomous Cantons.

Put simply, implementing any federal legislative framework/mandate is considered a tough undertaking for any Swiss government constrained by the nation’s legislative make-up.

The revamp of Swiss gambling laws, has been debated for over three years, with little traction for industry stakeholders.

Should Switzerland’s  government move ahead with the provisions of the MGA mandate, Planzer details the following likely scenarios for online gambling;

The government will implement a tightly monitored ‘ring-fenced regime’, with a capped number of licenses, likely favouring established Swiss gambling enterprises.

Furthermore, all online betting/gambling licenses will be certified directly by the Swiss government

Supporting its digital regime, the government will implement tougher internet and banking restrictions; including stringent IP blocks, bans on third-party marketing and limiting banking transactions.

The subject matter of taxation has become a sticking point for all stakeholders. At present Swiss online GGR is set to start at a base level of 20%, in line with the majority of European jurisdictions.

Nevertheless, the government has reviewed a number of incremental tax charges, rising from 20% for the first CHF3m (US$3m) of revenues to 40% GGR up to CHF10m, capping out at a maximum 80% rate for every further CHF 1m.

Sustaining a population of 8.5 million citizens, with the world richest working median per adult, Switzerland remains an attractive proposition for industry operators. Nevertheless, the complexities of navigating Switzerland’s legislative processes, indicate that patient is of the utmost value for all incumbents.


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