*Swiss Bets Historical Gambling Perspective* :

Swiss voters went on to decide last Sunday, whether to back a new gambling law designed to prevent addiction and allow some online betting, or  reject what opponents said amounts to Internet Censorship.

Recent polls, before the Sunday referendum, indicated a clear majority plan to support the new law, which has already been passed by both houses of Parliament, and was then put too a high stake referendum.

The Swiss government says the Gambling updates legislation for the digital age, while raising protection against addiction

If approved by voters, the law would be among the strictest in Europe and would only allow casinos and gaming companies certified in Switzerland to operate, including on the Internet.

This would enable companies for the first time to offer online gambling, but would basically block  foreign-based companies from the market.

This particular aspect of the law in particular spurred a coalition, made up primarily of the youth wings of various political parties, to gather more than the 50,000 signatures needed for to launch a referendum.

Opponents have slammed Bern for employing ''methods worthy of an authoritarian state'' with a measure that they claim is ''censorship of the Internet''.

''This sets a very dangerous precedent,'' Luzian Franzini, co-president of  The Greens'youth wing and head of the campaign against the new-law, told AFP.

Block Addicts, Boost Revenues :

Swiss Justice Minister  Simonetta Sommaruga, however, insists that allowing only Swiss-based companies to sell gambling services is ''indispensable'' to ensure that everyone in the space adheres to strict rules, like blocking known addicts.

According to Addiction Switzerland, some 75,000 people in the small Alpine nation of 8.3 million inhabitants suffer from gaming addiction, costing the society more than half a billion Swiss francs, [half a billion dollar annually].

The Honor and Serving of the latest Global Operational Research on Gaming and Gambling and Addiction continues to Part 2.


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