According to a survey conducted by the MECN research company together with the Swiss legal firm MME Partners on Switzerland’s view on online gambling it was found that Switzerland is headed towards a serious online gambling liberalization without any pressure whatsoever from any external sources.
The study found that Switzerland is a role model for countries such as the United States because other than its unforced decision to liberalize online gambling Switzerland is also concentrating on opening up the online casino segment. It is felt that all online as well as offline casino operators should pay attention to developments in Switzerland.
Martin Oelbermann of MECN feels that the online poker segment will also be included in Switzerland’s planned liberalization because Switzerland has a more enlightened approach to poker. He also feels that Switzerland, being one of the first western countries to open up parts of its gambling market only because of pressure from commercial competition such as foreign online companies, could prove to be a role model for other non-EU countries.
"The similarities between the Swiss and the US gambling market are clear," says Oelbermann. "Aside from the World Trade Organisation dispute, both countries can freely contemplate a potential liberalisation without being pressured by third parties such as the European Commission when reviewing and drafting their regulations.
"Moreover, both countries have a strong federal system that allows each state/canton to draft its own gambling regulations. Finding a binding and nationwide regulation for all states/cantons will be a key challenge for both.
"Last but not least, the gambling markets of the US and Switzerland are structured in similar ways."