January 1st is set to be the official start date of the Swiss Gaming Act, which has around 73% electorate backing, as confirmed by Switzerland’s federal council.
In June 2018, Swiss voters approved the new legislation which includes sanctions against illegal operators that will come into force as from July 1st.
Licence applications will be considered by The Federal Council during the first half of the year with plans to issue licences to operators before the blocking measures are enforced.
Licenced operators will be allowed to offer new services such as poker and roulette so long as they adhere to strict measures for maximum sums for poker tournaments, small lotteries and raffles. With respect to poker, the maximum single entry fee will be set to CHF200/€176 for small tournaments and the restrict total entry fees to CHF20,000. Limits for lotteries and raffles will be set on a case-by-case basis, depending on the size of the lottery.
This act and its laws will apply to both casinos and lottery companies as part of Switzerland’s efforts to clamp down on gambling addiction and its adverse effects, as according to the government, Swiss gamblers spend roughly CHF250m annually on unregulated foreign gambling sites.