Illegal gambling sites to be blocked in Switzerland

Blocking websites is what dictatorships do, according to one Swiss politician Keystone

The Swiss parliament has clearly voted to block internet access to online money games that are not allowed in Switzerland.

swissinfo.ch, swissinfo.ch and agencies/ts

The House of Representatives also decided on Wednesday that only casinos resident in Switzerland may receive an online licence. 

“Blocking websites works – experience abroad demonstrates that,” said Thierry Burkart from the centre-right Radical Party. The Senate had already approved the block.

Only the rightwing Swiss People’s Party and the leftwing Greens showed signs of resistance.

“Blocking isn’t in step with the liberal, democratic way of thinking,” said Franz Grütter from the People’s Party. “It’s what dictatorships do.”

One unresolved issue is how – and whether – to tax winnings. The Senate wants all winnings from sporting bets and lotteries to remain tax-free up to CHF1 million ($990,000); the cabinet and the House of Representatives commission want to keep all profits from gambling tax-free.

The debate on the gambling law is set to continue on March 15.

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