Consultation process kicks off
After years of careful deliberation and much speculation, the Federal Council of Switzerland has met its commitment earlier this year to commence a consultation process on the regulation of online gambling.
Preliminary drafting has already begun on the legal requirements underpinning the regulatory process, and provision is being made for land gambling companies already licensed in Switzerland to be invited to apply for online gambling licenses.
There are also tax provisions, precautions against under-age and problem gambling, the exclusion of criminal elements and the prevention of money laundering.
The drafting work is being carried out by the Swiss Department of Justice and Police with the collaboration of representatives of each of the 26 Swiss Cantons (provinces).
There are 19 land based casinos licensed under existing Swiss law. Land gambling taxes boosted the national coffers by around $390 million in 2011, the latest figures available.
Government's change of policy from banning online gambling to regulating it came after a 2009 study conducted by the Federal Gaming Board, which recommended the regulatory route with stiff enforcement penalties and action against any unlicensed operators.
Punters will be pleased to hear that the national tax structure will be changed so that winnings are not subject to income taxation.
Taxes extracted from licensed operators will be earmarked for old age and other funding such as charitable purposes, culture, social projects and sport.
Online Casino News Courtesy of Infopowa