Swiss Action Groups Want A National Referendum On New Gambling Law (Update)

By Brian Cullingworth, Last updated Oct 11, 2019

Deep concerns regarding provisions for ISP blocking

Swiss moves to legalise online gambling but make it the exclusive preserve of existing land operators in the country (see previous InfoPowa reports) could face the possibility of scrutiny through a national referendum, according to local media reports.

The new law passed late last year has provisions for the imposition of ISP blocking on operators who are not authorised to access Swiss punters (ie anyone competing with the local casinos).

It has triggered a strong reaction from civil society, internet freedom groups and ISPs concerned at the prospect of “digital isolation,” and the danger that government controls and bans have a tendency to escalate to other sectors and smack of censorship.

To bring about a national referendum on a particular subject in Switzerland, citizens must assemble a petition supported by at least 50,000 government-certified voters within 100 days of the law in question passing.

Local media reports indicate that various groups, including political parties and the Swiss chapter of the Internet Society, have been canvassing support and already have 65,000 signatures, over a third of which have already been government-certified.

The deadline for reaching the certified 50,000 number is January 18.

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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