The Swiss parliament has voted in favour of a measure that requires internet service providers in the country to begin blocking access to illegal gambling websites.
The lower section of the House of Representatives yesterday (Wednesday) gave its approval to the plan after the upper house had previously given the green light to the proposal.
In addition, the House yesterday approved a measure that states only casinos based in Switzerland can receive an online licence.
The move comes after the Legal Affairs Committee of the Swiss National Council in January voted to withdraw plans to introduce legislation to begin the blocking of sites based overseas.
“Blocking websites works – experience abroad demonstrates that,” Thierry Burkart from the centre-right Radical Party said, according to the Swissinfo.ch website.
The Greens and Swiss People’s Party were the only parties to oppose the domain-blocking plans, with Franz Grütter, a representative of the latter, saying that the move is “what dictatorships do”.
Grütter added: “Blocking isn’t in step with the liberal, democratic way of thinking.”
However, despite reaching a conclusion on the matter of blocking websites, the country remains undecided as to whether it should tax winnings.
The Senate has previously said that it would like all winnings from sports betting and lotteries to remain tax-free up to CHF1 million (€939,400/$989,400).
However, both the cabinet and House of Representatives commission have said that they would prefer all profits from gambling to be tax free.
The debate is scheduled to continue on March 15.
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