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Switzerland Pushes to Regulate Online Gambling, Remove International Operators


In a note sent to the media earlier this month, Switzerland's Conference of the Cantonal Directors in Charge of Gambling and Lotteries (CDCM) expressed its full support to the regulation of the country's online gambling market, as long as this will now happen at the cost of an excessive liberalization.

According to the note, the CDCM discussed the online gambling regulation during a plenary assembly held on June 30, and decided that "it would be convenient to give gambling operators the opportunity to offer their games on the Internet."

According to the CDCM, however, the regulation should open the online doors only to the brick-and-mortar operators currently licensed in Switzerland, and not to international online companies.

"We support the idea of extending the current license," the CDCM states. "The online environment is not a new market: it is only a new medium to distribute the offer already available, it addresses the same clients and it meets the same needs of the traditional games."

"The arrival of new operators specialized in the online sector would lead to a competition that would be problematic from a political, social and possibly even economic point of view," the CDCM continued.

"We believe that those who hold a license to offer brick-and-mortar casino games should not be 'punished' for the fact that they have respected the rules that currently forbid them to run operations online."

According to the CDCM, a full liberalization of the market would have a negative impact against the live operators such as "introducing a new kind of licenses for online games would cause them significant disadvantages," because it would put them in competition against other international operators that have already developed advanced platforms and a significantly superior know-how while the former were forbid to launch any online product.

Talks about future regulation of the Swiss online gambling market started in May, when a draft of a new gaming bill was deposited by the Swiss Federal Government.

According to the bill, Switzerland has plans to plans to make all gambling winnings tax free and also to allow "small" poker tournaments and home games to be held outside licensed brick-and-mortar casinos.

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