Switzerland: Poker tournaments legal

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Lennart folder 29. September 2021

The Swiss canton of Zug has adjusted the Gambling Act and thus legalized poker tournaments. The Swiss canton is one of the last step towards a new gambling law. Most of the other cantons had previously revised the old Swiss Game Act. The new, adapted gambling law is changing the gambling industry in the canton of Zug. In the future, poker tournaments will be legal again. In addition, slot machines with skill games will be approved. As a result, elaborate, bureaucratic processes for game trials are also eliminated. However, the government’s step is not entirely unselfish.

Poker tournaments will be legal on the Swiss canton of Zug in the future. ((© Mos-Media / Pilayai)

Legalization of poker tournaments should strengthen player protection

Various Swiss media reported on the step of the government council on Wednesday. An official confirmation also followed that the new gambling law, a cantonal introductory law on the federal law on money games, had been officially sent to consultation. However, there will be a little time before the new law really comes into play. It is estimated that this will Entred into force at the earliest in 2023. To what extent Switzerland continues to Illegal gambling combats like USA be waiting.

The content of the new template has it all. The new regulations concern both the so-called small games, i.e. small lotteries, local sports betting and smaller poker tournaments, as well as the large games such as lotteries, sports betting or skill games. Poker friends in particular should be happy about the innovations. So will be in the future Smaller poker tournaments officially allowed in the canton. So far, only licensed casinos had the legal permission to offer poker tournaments. However, this limitation was canceled by the Swiss Game Act of 2018. So now it has too Swiss canton of Zug drawn in this point.

With the new regulation, the decision-making power for commitments to poker tournaments now lies with the respective cantons. Since a large part of the other cantons had already decided to take this step, a ban in the canton of Zug would no longer make sense and would rather promote the execution of illegal poker tournaments, the government council’s law said. In addition, the combination with the associated intended approval obligation leads to the fact that The player protection is strengthened. A ban on smaller poker tournaments would only pave the way to illegality. Every poker tournament that is held must be officially registered and approved. Furthermore, smaller poker tournaments are not considered charitable or earmarked in the future, unlike small lotteries or local sports betting.

Influence on the entire gaming industry. The new legislation not only regulates the poker industry and simplifies the execution of poker tournaments. Small lotteries are also permitted, but these remain subject to approval if their total missions are limited up to 100,000 Swiss francs (CHF). Each organizer may also carry out a maximum of two lotteries of this size per year. However, mini lotteries or tombolas with a value of up to 50,000 CHF are free of approval. This step is aimed primarily at leisure associations, some of which also organize such events for their own financing. It looks a little different with the local sports betting. Only when the so-called totalizer principle applies, i.e. the weather only play against each other and not against a bookmaker, are they allowed.

Slot machines are approved

Another step by the government council of the Canton of Zug also has far -reaching effects. The gambling categories of the big games are no longer fundamentally prohibited. This is based on the basis that the Game Game Act does not allow, for example a specific game like Poker Or to ban roulette, but only to declare an entire category as illegal. As a result, sports betting, lotteries or skill games are generally allowed.

However, this step is not entirely unselfish, you take a look at the tax taxes of gambling providers. After all, the individual communities and the canton themselves benefit significantly from the taxes. The provider alone pays tax taxes in the amount of CHF 7.7 to CHF 8.1 million to the canton of government. Therefore, the skill games are also mentioned especially in the draft law.

Skill games in the new draft law. Only around ten skill money slot machines have been operated in the canton of Zug in recent years. The company was absolutely unproblematic. There is therefore no conflict with a future operation of such slot machines. The company should be permissible.

With this wording, however, a loophole remains open. After all, the official definition of “skill money slot machines” is also quite imprecise within the Game Game Act. On the one hand, the category includes the classic slot machines where well -known slots can be played, as well as slot machines such as flipper that serve for pure entertainment. The entertainment machines should also also be used in the future are issued and operated without official approval. Here again the evaluation applies that no risk of such machines runs out. Likewise, entertainment machines are on the descending branch, since online game offers exuded a significantly higher stimulus. This also shows a look at the neighboring country, where more and more people inquire about Legally to play online. However, each game can only set up a maximum of 20 machines. In addition, the entertainment machines must not be mixed with other gaming devices.