First blacklist of foreign gambling websites published

Websites on the blacklist will be automatically obstructed by Swiss telecommunications service providers. © Keystone / Gaetan Bally

The Swiss Lottery and Betting Board has published its first blacklist of foreign gambling websites following a change to the law on online gambling.  

swissinfo.ch/ac

Over 60 foreign websites have been blocked to Swiss gamblers. 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 only started in August.  

Swiss gamblers can bet online only with Swiss casinos and lotteries that pay tax in the country and take measures to protect people against addiction.   

Those on the blacklist published on Tuesday will be automatically obstructed by Swiss telecommunications service providers via DNS (domain name server) blocks. Only websites accessible from Switzerland will be blocked. Foreign service providers that voluntarily withdraw from the Swiss market with appropriate measures will not be blocked.  

Swiss gamblers registered 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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