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Gambling: New Law in Force in 2019        

The new law opens online gambling to Swiss casinos, which will have to apply for an extension of their concession.

Small poker tournaments will be allowed outside the gambling houses as of January 1, 2019. The law that will come into force will also allow online gambling on Swiss sites, but it will take another six months.

The new law on people’s gambling was accepted on 10 June by 72.9% of voters. As the Federal Court on Thursday rejected an appeal by The Pirate Party challenging the authorities ‘ interventions in the campaign, there is no longer any reason why the text should not enter into force on 1 January 2019, the Federal Council notes.

The new law opens online gambling to Swiss casinos. Establishments wishing to offer, for example, certain games such as roulette on the Internet will have to apply for an extension of their concession. The Federal Council will decide on the applications in the first half of 2019.

Blocking of Offers

The provisions allowing the blocking of unauthorized bids will therefore only apply from 1 July 2019. Players who want to play poker or roulette on an international website will then be redirected to a page warning them that this offer is not legal in Switzerland.

For online poker, a gaming house will be able to collaborate with a different casino games operator under certain conditions. In particular, the latter should be allowed to exploit the game in his country and not have its seat in a jurisdiction on a Financial Action Task Force (FATF) blacklist.

Players residing in Switzerland will have to play through their account with the Swiss house. The foreign House will have to prevent them from accessing its unauthorized gaming offer in Switzerland.

Blockage Challenged

This lock-in had been widely contested during the election campaign. Opponents feared that this “censorship” would set the black market on fire, as it could easily be circumvented.

The law must also strengthen protection against gambling addiction. Like gambling houses, lottery companies will have to exclude dependent persons. A program of social measures will have to be set up, but the new ordinance no longer requires operators to collaborate with an institution specializing in additions, have noted the circles concerned who denounce a weakening of the protection of players.

Poker Between Friends

The cantons will be able to authorize small poker tournaments and avoid illegal lotteries and games. Gambling with family or friends will not require authorization. But strict conditions are imposed.

For each tournament, each bet cannot exceed 200 francs and their total sum 20 ‘ 000 francs. No more than four tournaments per day per venue will be permitted. A player who participates in several tournaments will not be able to commit more than 300 francs in total at the start, and the sum of the starting bets for all tournaments will be limited to 30’000 francs.

Also, these tournaments will have to take place in a private circle with a small or very small number of players. Games offered on a platform operated professionally or as part of an automated offering will not be considered as private.

Small Lotteries and Raffles

The order also sets the maximum stakes for small lotteries and raffles. Following the criticism expressed in the consultation, the Federal Council raised the ceiling from CHF 25’000 to CHF 50’000 for raffles and from CHF 400’000 to CHF 500’000 for small-scale games used to finance events in the region.supra-regional Importance.

When? Does a game meet the criteria? A raffle, but if the sum of the bets exceeds 50 ‘ 000 francs, it can be requalified as a small lottery and take place subject to? Cantonal authorization.

Against Excessive Play

Excessive online gambling should be avoided. Provision is made for player information to enable early detection of high-risk cases via an automated alert from a certain stage.

To prevent manipulation of sports competitions, betting may not be offered for certain sports competitions or events. A new national platform will centralize information on concrete suspicions.

The winnings from the gambling will be as today allocated to the AVS and the AI and goals of Public Utility. In 2016, this contribution amounted to nearly one billion Swiss francs. Online casinos will be taxed in the same way as traditional gambling houses. (tty/nxp)