Swiss voters approve legal online gambling

11 June 2018

Swiss voters have approved the country's new Gambling Act, which legalises online gambling for the first time but bans foreign operators.

Some 73% of the electorate supported legislation, set to be introduced in 2019, which will allow only Swiss-certified casinos and gaming firms to operate.

The government estimates that around $253m is currently wagered with unregulated foreign betting sites.

Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga said the Gambling Act, which has already been passed by both houses of parliament, would be "indispensable" in the fight against problem gambling.

Opponents are concerned about what they argue is effectively online censorship, and the referendum came about after more than 50,000 signatures were gathered to overturn the Gambling Act.

It was one of a number of polls taken over the weekend, with the public also asked to vote on banking regulations and whether Switzerland should bid for the 2026 Winter Olympic Games.

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