Swiss Action Groups Assemble Enough Signatures To Force A Referendum On New Gambling Law (Update)

By Brian Cullingworth, Last updated Jan 26, 2018

Internet freedom action groups, ISPs and civil society rally to object to ISP-blocking

The Swiss government has now been placed on course to hold a public referendum on new gambling laws introduced last year which legalise online gambling, providing it remains the exclusive preserve of existing Swiss land casino operators (see previous InfoPowa reports).

Civil society, internet service providers and internet freedom action groups are particularly concerned about enforcement provisions in the law which could require ISPs to block certain domains, claiming this constitutes unwarranted interference with the internet and freedom of use and communication.

Under Swiss law, petitions leading to a mandatory referendum on any new law must be accepted by government, providing there are at least 50,000 verified petitioners and the petition is lodged within 100 days of the passage of the law.

The organisers of a petition for such a referendum successfully met these requirements with a more than 60,000 signatures document in January, and government is currently completing the verification process leading to an opportunity for Swiss voters to make their feelings known.

The petition has triggered vigorous for and against arguments by various individuals and bodies, all closely followed by local media.

Brian Cullingworth

Infopowa news was a staple of Casinomeister’s news from 2000 until 2019. Brian Cullingworth was the main writer, contributor, and was one of the most knowledgeable persons I have ever known involved in the online casino industry.

We first met in January 2001 at the ICE in London where I observed him going booth to booth interviewing online casino, software, and licensing jurisdiction representatives. Brian was also heavily involved with our forum as “Jetset“, he was involved as an informal consultant to eCOGRA, the OPA, and was a player advocate who assisted countless aggrieved players with his connections to industry folks. He also published “Casino Cautions” via Infopowa news for quite a number of years. These can be found in our news archives.

His passing in February 2019 was a dark day for us. He will be forever missed.

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