The Swiss government has decided to send a clear message to the operators of international online games. Since yesterday Wednesday, all international operators and those without a license will be blocked by the authorities. The measure is only a blocking of the IP, which means that players will not normally be able to access these sites. However, we know that it is easy today to circumvent this kind of restriction. The adopted measure appears therefore more symbolic than anything else.
Switzerland wants only local operators
It was the House of Representatives that validated legislation to prevent players from accessing certain gambling sites. Originally approved by the Senate, this law aims to protect legal operators who complain that part of their turnover is flying off with unfair competition.
Internet service providers – who are supposed to have the technical and financial burden of this blocking – want the costs of this measure to be paid by the official operators, since the law is to their advantage. ISPs also believe that the measure will be relatively inefficient, given the ease with which a site can be accessed, even if it is blocked (VPN, for example).
In addition, other parties (notably the Greens) believe that this kind of prohibition runs counter to a democratic government. Despite these oppositions, the ban should be passed. The government has about two weeks to ratify the act, but it is unlikely to be canceled.
In passing, lawmakers also clarified that international operators could not have a license to operate. Those who might consider complying with the law will not be able to do so if they are not based in Switzerland.
This measure is therefore mainly a message to these operators: do not come to the territory. It is certainly a first step because we know that some operators will continue to offer their offers to Swiss players. It remains to be seen whether sanctions will be significant enough to discourage them.