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Swiss Voters Seem to Support Foreign Online Casinos Ban

A nationwide opinion poll in Switzerland has shown that plans for a gambling law amendment are making progress ahead of the vote scheduled for June 10th.

Only a few weeks before the changes in the existing gambling legislation takes place, the leading polling and research institute GfS Bern revealed that 58% of a recent survey’s respondents will back the reform, which is set to include a foreign online casinos ban and tighter regulation aimed at reducing gambling addiction in the country. The result represented a 6% increase in the number of voters who are willing to support the amendment in comparison to a previous survey commissioned by the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation.

According to Lukas Golder, co-director of GfS Bern, the announced result is a trend which was by no doubt in favor of the local Government. As revealed by the polling and research institute, 58% of the survey’s respondents backed the gambling law amendment, while 37% were against the change. The remaining 5% of the respondents have not decided whether to back it yet. Mr. Golder, however, explained that the gambling legislation issue has not managed to gain popularity among the general public, in spite of the massive campaign on the social media.

Youth Wings of Local Political Parties Oppose the Amendment

The increasing percentage of Swiss residents who seem to be approving the reform is considered to be due to the rising concerns over an expected lotteries and casinos’ revenue decline. The proceeds accumulated by these gambling operations are normally used to fund age pension schemes and other social services.

According to the results of a study released by the Justice ministry, a ban imposed on overseas online casinos would cost Switzerland no less than CHF250 million on annual basis. The overall proceeds brought to the country by gambling operations have been estimated to approximately CHF1 billion per year.

The country’s Parliament approved the new piece of gambling legislation in 2017. Under the law, only domestically-licensed casinos will be allowed to offer web-based games, while foreign casinos’ websites are to be banned. Center-right and right political parties, however, opposed the law and managed to gather the necessary 50,000 signatures to schedule a nationwide vote on the matter.

As mentioned above, support for the legislation amendment has been growing lately, especially in the German-speaking regions and in rural areas. The issue related to the ban that is to be imposed on the foreign casinos has not raised enough interest, with the mobilization of voters remaining relatively low.

Only residents in the age group from 18 to 29 years appeared to firmly oppose the reform. According to the research results, one of the main reasons why younger Switzerland citizens were against the amendment is the fact that they were concerned over the restrictions which may be imposed on the use of the Internet. This trend is also followed by the youth wings of the main political parties, with younger politicians backing campaigns against the legislation change.

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