Slot machines in the canton of Zurich outside of casinos

In the canton of Zurich there was one recently Poll. The topic of the vote was slot machines, namely whether they can also be set up outside of casinos. The survey was answered clearly: more than half of the population was in favor of installing slot machines. As expected, however, there was criticism from government circles and the installation of the machines was linked to many conditions.

Auf einem Spielautomaten befinden sich drei Walzen, die Früchte- und das Barsymbol.

The citizens of the canton of Zurich spoke out in favor of installing slot machines. Starting next year, skill machines may be set up.(©OpenClipart-Vectors/Pixabay)

No installation of typical slot machines

It may Slot machines will be installed from next year, but not without restrictions. So thenew permission doesn't apply to the typical slot machines that everyone thinks of when they hear the term. But what are typical slot machines? As such are considered those based on chance and which cannot be influenced by the player. This description applies to most slot machines that are often found in bars or arcades.

The point of slot machines is actually precisely that they are played randomly and that they cannot be influenced by the player. Otherwise it would not be a gamble. So what does the Swiss government mean when they talk about other slot machines? It's about theskill machines that are also based on luck. These are special machines where players can learn and control their own luck to some extent. A brief definition reads: “The most important feature of a game of skill is that after a certain number of games a player becomes more and more practiced, i.e. more skillful. A player should be able to gain the maximum possible profit after learning a few games.” This definition can be found on the Skilltrade company's website. This is a company that produces these special games for Switzerland.

In Article 3 let. D BGS similar words are used. There, a skill game is also described as agame in which certain skills are required. The perfect mix of different skills increases the chance of making a win. Also described in this law is that the players have several possibilities to influence the game.

Cantons of Switzerland have to adjust their laws

Of course there is a reason why the survey of the citizen was carried out. In 2019, a new game of chance was passed in Switzerland, which requires, among other things, that the cantons have to adapt their previous laws to the new law. A transitional period was created for this purpose, during which the survey was placed. According to the new law for Switzerlandcantons may prohibit or allow three types of gambling. These variants include the skill machines, casinos and lotteries.

If games of skill are allowed, two of these machines may be in restaurants and twenty of these machines in gambling establishments. However, the maximum profit and the stake are always subject to federal law and may not be changed by a canton. The canton of Zurich has a special position in this context andin 1994 it banned slot machines as a matter of principle. The survey took place after this ban conflicted with the nationwide gambling law. Due to the outcome, the canton of Zurich is now aligning itself with other districts. Because slot machines are allowed in many areas of Switzerland.

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Political parties not satisfied with outcome

How could it be otherwise than that there is always some party criticizing in a vote. In the case of the canton of Zurich, these are the EPP and the Greens. TheEPP, in their own words, is very disappointed and considers the result a defeat. This party is concerned that the government council's threat has borne fruit: if the result of the vote is no, no more money would flow into prevention. The EPP cannot understand this, as they follow a completely different approach: they believe that prevention is not as important and effective as a total ban on gambling.

The Greens do not see the result so drastically and react with a demand: In the nextthree years, a study is to be carried out that shows all the facts about gambling addiction and how it came about. Thanks to these findings, sensible prevention can also take place.

TheSP on the other hand is very pleased with the result and sees no problems with prevention. The operators of the slot machines in the canton of Zurich must giveten percent of the gross profit. This income is intended to be used for prevention and at the same time to cover the costs of combating gambling addiction. Since the operators of slot machines have to point out the emergence of gambling addiction and also have to present addresses of prevention agencies, the danger of gambling addiction seems rather low.

Overall, the cantonal council was unanimous and supports the decision of the citizens. If there had still been a ban on slot machines, online gambling should have been banned as well. Since nobody wanted this, the bottom line is that all politicians are satisfied. This is also due to thenational limits and the high player protection. Only the EPP and the Greens fear that skill machines can also lead to gambling addiction.

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The article was published on June 28th, 2021 in the magazine by cpaws-ov.org under the keywords,, ,, published.
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