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Sovereign money and gambling Vote survey shows no generation gap but misunderstandings

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The “sovereign money” initiative, which was overwhelmingly rejected in a national vote in June, was misunderstood by many Swiss voters, a survey has revealed. It also found similar trends among young and old voters who backed a reform of the country’s gambling law the same day.

On June 10, 75.7% of Swiss voters rejected the “sovereign money” initiative - a proposed radical overhaul of the Swiss financial system, calling on the central bank to take total control of money supply, which would have imposed much tighter controls on commercial bank lending. 

The VOTO survey, published on Thursday, found that the “sovereign money” initiative had been hard for voters to follow. In all, 58% of people said they had found it difficult to understand what it was about. Consequently, 21% of opponents and 8% of backers had followed political party recommendations. 

The same day, 72.9% of voters approved a parliamentary decision to reform the country’s gambling law that included the banning of offshore casinos from offering online gambling in Switzerland and measures against gambling addiction.

The survey did not find any major differences between generations of voters who backed the gambling law reform. The 18-29 age group voted 74% in favour of the new law, over-60s backed it by 77% and the 30-39 age group by 61%. Political parties and their youth sections had little influence on voters’ choices.

Part of the debate ahead of June 10 had focused on plans to block online access to websites of casinos operated outside the country. The opponents appeared to target younger voters by raising the spectre of censorship and further state intervention in the free use of online offers.

The VOTO survey, financed by the Federal Chancellery, was conducted by the Centre for Democracy Studies Aarau (ZDA), the FORS research institute and the polling institute Link. It was conducted from June 12 to 29, with 1,509 voters.

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