One of the tax havens of the world, Switzerland will soon be regulating its online gaming industry which will benefit the poker players residing in the country. The parliament of Switzerland passed a new draft law to create an entirely legal framework to run gaming business in the country. Once the final laws are passed, the current Swiss laws which completely prohibit online gaming in the country will be revoked and fresh licenses will be granted to the operators.
Another good news coming out of the announcements is that the poker earnings will be made tax-free in the country. With the new law in effect, Switzerland will not charge any immediate tax on the poker winnings however Income Tax will continue to be levied. This move is supposed to come eyeing the outflow of a huge amount of money to the unlicensed foreign sites. The tax-free environment will boost the volume of play on the country’s licensed websites.
Under the new laws offshore sites can also obtain license to operate online games like poker. The Swiss residents will also be allowed to play private poker games and home games. Such games were restricted only to the casino since 2010 when Swiss court declared Texas Hold’em a game of chance. The poker scene in the country is going to get revived with the new laws coming in place.
It would be interesting to watch if Swiss authorities choose to make such games ring-fenced in the country like Italy and France. Another concern about the new laws has been raised by the Swiss Casino Association which is not in favour of licensing offshore sites. Instead, they have proposed the “buddy up” system for online sites with the local casinos to obtain license.
Furthermore, a notable percentage of taxes earned from the legalized gaming industry will be spent by the government for charitable purposes, in particular in the fields of culture, social projects and sport.