The Swiss government has updated their online casino legislation—Swiss players will soon be enjoying the kind of gambling freedom they haven’t had in decades. The Swiss Parliament is putting a new legislation called the Money Gaming Act (MGA) in action. This act will completely legalize gambling both in online casinos and land-based casinos. Swiss players will be allowed to play in all locally licensed casinos.
The legislation doesn’t include foreign-based casinos, as only land-based casinos in Switzerland will be allowed to operate online casinos. There hasn’t been a clear legislation regarding foreign casinos before, but the new Money Gaming Act has answered all questions revolving around the topic.
The new bill will become a law in 2019. The current Swiss land-based casinos will hence have time to develop and launch online casinos, sports betting sites and poker rooms and prepare the technology to track the players’ geolocation and verify their ages. This will come as a blow to foreign casino site operators like
Online Casino Games
Swiss players enjoy a wide variety of online casino games at online casinos, with their tastes largely mirroring the rest of Europe. Some of the most popular games include online slots, progressive slots, Blackjack, Roulette, and Baccarat –a favorite with high rollers.
Big Tax Breaks for Swiss Players
The law will be very strict with foreign-based casino operators, attempting to offer services to Swiss players- they will be blacklisted immediately. The law might allow foreign cooperation with the Swiss casinos though.
The Swiss players will be grateful for the notable tax breaks they will enjoy under the new legislation, as only winnings exceeding a million francs (999,500 USD) will be taxed for lottery and sports betting. This is an exceptional tax break in a European country. And cash winnings from land-based casinos will be completely tax-free.
The Money Gaming Act with its loosened taxation will make it easier for Swiss players to enjoy their winnings from lottery operations, online casinos, and sportsbooks. Further poker legislation is currently under negotiations. For the moment, poker games are only allowed in land-based casinos, but they are expected to be permitted at online casinos and privately in the future. The revenues collected from casinos will be used increasingly in charitable initiatives.
Opposition to MGA
There have been several parties in the Swiss Parliament, opposing the new Money Gaming Act. The opposition has come among others from The Swiss People’s Party, the Free Democratic Party and the Green Liberal Party.
However, these groups are not directing their opposition at online gambling. Instead, they are against the monopoly given to Swiss casinos, and the restrictions it places on foreign-based online casinos that wish to offer their services in Switzerland, either online or as a land-based casino. Even though the new legislation provides looser taxation, and gives Swiss players the full liberty to play in any Swiss-licensed casino, whether online or land-based, it still leaves the Swiss players without the full variety provided by international casinos.