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Switzerland moves to ban online gambling from foreign-owned betting firms


Swiss voters have backed plans to block foreign betting sites in a bid to control the industry and curb addiction.

Early results of a referendum indicate that an overwhelming majority of almost three quarters (73 per cent) support what would be one of the strictest gambling regimes in Europe.

The Gambling Act, which is set to take effect next year, will allow only casinos and gaming companies certified in Switzerland to operate in the country, including on the internet.

Swiss voters have backed plans to block foreign betting sites in a bid to control the industry and curb addiction

Swiss voters have backed plans to block foreign betting sites in a bid to control the industry and curb addiction

The vote spells a crushing defeat for opponents, who warned that the restrictions are ‘worthy of an authoritarian state’, and amount to ‘censorship of the internet’. 

According to Addiction Switzerland, some 75,000 people in a nation of 8.3million suffer from gaming addiction, costing society more than half a billion Swiss francs (£380million) annually.

Early results of a referendum indicate that an overwhelming majority of almost three quarters (73 per cent) support what would be one of the strictest gambling regimes in Europe

Early results of a referendum indicate that an overwhelming majority of almost three quarters (73 per cent) support what would be one of the strictest gambling regimes in Europe

Bern also wants all of the companies’ proceeds to be taxed in Switzerland.

The crackdown comes amid growing concerns about gambling addiction in the UK and the growing power of online betting firms – some of which are registered abroad.

They include online gaming giant 888, which is registered in Gibraltar.



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