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Swiss gamblers to lose access to websites of foreign casinos

Swiss gamblers will be able to bet online only with authorised Swiss casinos and lotteries. © Keystone / Gaetan Bally

The provision of the new Swiss gambling law which restricts online gambling to a few authorised Swiss-based casinos comes into effect on July 1.  

Last June 73% of voters approved the overhaul of the country’s gambling law despite claims by opponents of government censorship. The law came into effect in January but blocking of foreign gambling websites will begin next month. Swiss gamblers will be able to bet online only with Swiss casinos and lotteries that pay tax in the country and take measures to protect people from addiction.  

A list of unauthorised gambling providers will be published on the websites of the Federal Gaming CommissionExternal link and the Lotteries and Betting CommissionExternal link. Those on the blacklist will be automatically blocked by Swiss telecommunications service providers by means of DNS (domain name server) blocks. Only websites accessible from Switzerland will be blocked. Foreign service providers who voluntarily withdraw from the Swiss market with appropriate measures will not be blocked. 

Swiss gamblers signed up with foreign casinos will have to contact them directly for any money due as Swiss regulators have no jurisdiction over them.  

It is estimated that more than CHF250 million ($252 million) a year flows into the coffers of foreign internet casinos based in offshore locations such as Malta or Gibraltar.  

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR