On September 29, 2017 the Swiss Parliament passed a revised gambling law entitled the Money Gaming Act. The Act unites Switzerland’s existing acts on casino games (SR 935.52) and betting/lotteries (SR 935.51) into a single Act. The new Act equally lifted the current online gambling ban, however only operators of licensed casinos (type A and B) may qualify to apply for an additional online casino license. The new Money Gaming Act therefore provides the possibility to block access to foreign online gambling websites to Swiss citizens.
After the Money Gaming Act had passed, the “Committee Against Internet Sensoring and Digitial Isolation («Komitee gegen Internet-Zensur und digitale Abschottung») – mainly consisting of representatives of the Young GLP and SVP Liberal Associations – collected the required 50,000 signatures to launch a public referendum against the new Money Gaming Act. On January 18, 2018 the required number of signatures were finally submitted. Therefore, a public referendum concerning the Money Gaming Act will take place on June 10, 2018.
If the Swiss electorate accepts the act by referendum, the new Gaming Act will remain unchanged and come into force during 2019. In the other hand, the parliament will have to pass a revised new Gaming Act, delaying the process of implementation.
In addition, the Act’s related Ordinance is currently in a consulting process conducted by administrative bodies. If the Act is accepted, the Ordinance and the Act will enter into force at the same time. Otherwise, the Ordinance will require revision.