Bad Actor Clauses In New Swiss Online Gambling Regulations?

Government’s consultation on the new gambling law throws up some interesting questions

Following the Swiss referendum earlier this year, when Swiss voters supported new gambling laws that embrace online gambling services offered by existing Swiss land casino operators (see previous InfoPowa reports), the government has been consulting with interested parties on the content of regulations scheduled for implementation early next year.

Among a number of interesting questions that have been raised is the Swiss equivalent of the “bad actor” restrictions that so bedevilled California’s repeatedly abortive legislative attempts to legalise online poker in past years.

In the Swiss case, the debate is centred on which technology companies should be regarded as acceptable for Swiss casinos who decide to take advantage of the exclusive online gambling opportunities handed to them by their government.

According to local media reports several relationship models are under discussion ranging from full partnerships to licensed games arrangements.

The “bad actor” issue has inevitably surfaced, with some recommending that any company that has actively involved itself in the Swiss online gambling market over a period of five years prior to any partnership deal with a Swiss online operator should be excluded.

This rather harsh possibility would probably side-line many of Europe’s leading industry companies and technology providers, reducing the benefits of competitive bidding for deals and a wider selection of products.

However, it’s early days yet, and there remains hope that Swiss regulators will not fall into the same commercially protective and unproductive trap as their Californian counterparts did years ago.