Switzerland Prepares to Regulate Online Gambling

A draft of the new gambling bill was deposited by the Swiss Federal Government last week is aiming to regulate online gambling in Switzerland, besides allowing bricks and mortar casinos to use their licenses in order for them to operate on the internet. This bill has no mention of the possibility of any foreign operators ( view updated licensed online casino operators piramind.com) to join.

Out now for consultation until August 20th this year (2014) the text states that all gambling winnings will be tax-free and the running of poker tournaments will be allowed outside of the land-based casinos, although there will be some restrictions that will apply (and these restrictions also require finalising)

Coincidentally it was only a few days before that the Swiss Casino Federation issued a report which accused online gambling to be among the causes of the decline that Swiss gambling establishments and the industry as a whole has suffered since 2007, the Federal Government chose to publish the draft of the new gambling act.

Even though Switzerland’s Federal Government has decided to leave the country’s 26 cantons the freedom to decide up their licensing policies, it has included the creation of a new intra-national body in the bill to ‘institutionalize’ the exchange of ideas and co-operation between the authorities of the Confederation and the cantons.

The Swiss Government includes the seven members of the Federal Council who are elected by the United Federal Assembly for a four-year term. Present members include Johann N Schneider-Ammann, Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf, Simonetta Sommaruga (Vice-President), President Didier Burkhalter, Doris Leufhard, Ueli Maurer, Alain Berset and Corina Cassonova. Each year, one of the seven Councillors is elected by the United federal assembly as President of the Confederation and the Federal Assembly also elects a Vice President, it is usual that the positions of President and Vice President rotate annually and each councillor becoming Vice President and the President every seven years whilst in office.

The President of the Confederation holds the role of the highest ranking Swiss official and he or she presides over Council meetings and carries out representative functions that in other countries are taken on by the head of state. Alongside this accolade in urgent situations where a Council decision cannot be made in time the President is empowered to act on behalf of the whole Council. The Council operates mainly through weekly meetings, which take place each Wednesday at the Federal Palace in Bern.

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