Casinos in Switzerland are struggling. Under their country’s current regulations, they cannot offer online alternatives to their brick-and-mortar gambling halls, meaning that those who don’t enjoy the bright lights and glitz of true casinos are turning to foreign sites for their online gambling fix. There is hope on the horizon — Switzerland’s online gambling scene is expected to be fully regulated by 2019 — but when you’re haemorrhaging money and would-be customers are sending theirs abroad, it’s understandable that the country’s casinos should be feeling the heat.
In response, casino operators have asked Internet service providers to block access to international gambling sites until the all-important regulations arrive and they, too, can open their virtual doors. But doing so costs money, and it is the casino operators themselves, ISPs maintain, who should have to pay for it if the government approves a bar on online gambling.
Of course, even if someone does eventually foot the bill, blocking international gambling websites might prove fruitless. Savvy web users can easily find ways around such blocks, which would explain service providers’ reluctance to spend time and money blocking specific sites. But without action, and with two years to go before they find themselves legally able to offer their own online games, Swiss casinos are stuck between the proverbial rock and hard place.
Perhaps instead of focusing on potentially ineffective online blocks and arguing over who will foot the bill, Switzerland’s government and casino operators should focus their energies on hurrying their online gambling regulation through and providing Swiss players with the online entertainment they clearly crave.