Switzerland: Swiss online casinos take over as of 1st July
Published by Giselle
June 27, 2019 6:50 pm
Almost exactly one year ago, the Swiss voted in a referendum that providers from Switzerland may only serve online casinos. This changes the market after years of dominance by foreign online casinos.
They are just saying goodbye and must have completely disappeared from the country by 1st July. From now on the online offers of the Swiss casinos will take over the helm – and one can be curious how it will look like.
The last days of numerous online casinos in Switzerland are numbered. From 1st July, the industry will change completely here, although this has been clear for some time now. This was desired even expressly by the Swiss population. In a referendum held in June 2018, the Swiss community declared, on the one hand, that the licences of the domestic casinos would be extended by six years. On the other hand, the online market should only be available to domestic casinos in the future.
A real bang for the gambling industry, as the online market in the Alpine republic, has so far been dominated primarily by foreign companies. These, in turn, must now gradually withdraw from the market, and on 1st July the barrier will fall completely.
In accordance with the Swiss Gaming Act, which was passed by the Swiss Confederation, a network block will be implemented in Switzerland from 1st July 2019. The websites of foreign casino providers can then no longer be visited. Instead, players will be notified that the website is blocked and that it is not a legal offer within Switzerland’s borders.
In detail, the Federal Gaming Bank Commission states: “It is not expedient to set high standards for legal gaming services if players have easy access to illegal services that are subject to fewer restrictions and may, therefore, appear more attractive to players, at least at first glance”.
Casinos may get started
While numerous offerers, like for example the LeoVegas Casino, must withdraw from Switzerland, the course is now free for the domestic gaming houses. Straight only at the beginning of the month the first gaming houses received the license officially for the online enterprise by the Upper House of Parliament and can now already the first plays on their platforms make available. So far the choice is still a little limited: After all, a total of 21 casinos with a Swiss licence are in the starting blocks and could theoretically take off on the market. But why have online providers from abroad been banned from the market at all?
The reasons for this are very different. On the one hand, the protection of players and young people plays an important role. In the eyes of many experts, this can only be implemented if the gaming operators can be controlled and prosecuted within Switzerland’s borders. Also, Switzerland is expecting horrendous financial advantages. All stakes that previously flowed abroad untaxed can now be held within Switzerland – and thanks to the tax rate, they also fill the state’s coffers at the same time.
Lists should provide clarity
In order to make it as easy as possible for players to change on the online market, the Casino Commission has created various lists. For example, a special prohibition list is to be kept. This will list all providers who are not allowed to make their services available in Switzerland. In this context, the Casino Commission will regularly check the Internet and search for casinos that offer their services despite being banned in the Alpine Republic.
Apart from the restricted list, which is continuously updated, the blocked providers will also appear in an official announcement in the Federal Gazette. Thus each player might have at any time an overview over it, which offerers cannot be headed for.
Of course, the Casino Commission is also going in the opposite direction. In the future, there will also be a list on the website on which all providers with the necessary licence are listed. This list can also be called up by players at any time and is constantly updated.
Selection will remain manageable
However, the players will still have to get used to the fact that there will be considerably fewer opportunities available on the market in the future. As is well known, the number of online casinos outside Switzerland is in the hundreds, if not thousands. However, none of them will be allowed to make their offer available on the market. Instead, the new gambling law clearly states that in order to be considered a Swiss casino, an establishment on Swiss soil must be in place. If a provider has so far only offered online games on the Swiss market and perhaps even comes from Switzerland, the offer will still be illegal in future.
Altogether the number of online Casinos will thus in the future with maximally 21 settles. There are just as many Swiss licensed casinos in the country. However, it is still completely unclear when the individual providers intend to take off on the online market. As already mentioned, there are only four casinos that can cause a stir with their online offerings. For the Swiss, it remains to be hoped that this number will increase even further.